This page is no longer active

Da Blog has moved to Please update your bookmarks, links, and RSS readers.

Friday, August 3, 2007

New Look for the Web Site

I've spruced up the web site to make it look pretty. There's no new content but... well, just click over to the web site and see.

I'm also hoping to set up a 404 page for the site which should be done by the time you read this.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

My gripe with CSS

CSS allows you to have every format rule defined for later use (here "format"
means how things appear). So if you are writing a large website and you want a
consistent appearance for every title, sub-title, how examples of code appear,
how paragraphs are aligned, (I could go on, CSS covers a wide range of
presentation options) then CSS is the way to go.

Let's say you have a 1200 page website that took you months to complete. Your
current boss gets a promotion and another person fills his place. Your new boss
says to change the font, the size, the background, the appearance of tables,
etc. everywhere on your 1200-page site to comply with some corporate policy. If
you engineered your site appropriately with CSS, you could do this by editing
your CSS file that has all your appearance (format) rules in one place.
(Assuming you used linked stylesheets.)

Or you could do it the hard way, and hammer the appearance changes on each
and every of your 1200 pages. Remember sleep? Your constitutional rights allow
you to take the hard way (this is meant as humor, not an insult).

The above is taken from CSS is used by most modern web sites to give all pages on it a consistent look and feel, with all the information needed for formatting in a single file.

If it's so great for formatting, why isn't it so great for other things? Why should so many sites repeat the same info on every page for elements, like navigation, that are repeated on every page? Suppose, to take Wikibooks' example, you were told to add a new item to the navigation bar of the site. If the nav bar is in HTML (not Flash), you would have to "hammer the [navigation] changes on each and every of your 1200 pages."

I should, instead, be able to change a single piece of HTML or CSS and have the changes occur on all pages automatically. Instead, at best you have to rig up some Javascript to apply the changes.

What am I missing here? Is there some easy way to do this (please don't say "frames") that I (and evidently a number of others) don't know about? Is there some reason why formatting should be updated dynamically but other sitewide elements shouldn't? What's going on here?

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Some recent events - and what they mean for YOU

I recently had a minor adventure to get a cell phone and get it working.

Yesterday I went to an AT&T store and got a cell phone. It worked fine in the store and when I got home I was quick to try out all the features.

Well, the problem was, when I tried to make a call, it told me I could make "emergency calls only". I had done nothing to wreck it and nothing I tried fixed it. So today it was back to the AT&T store (I went to one fairly near where I live but got referred to the one I originally went to), got a part changed, and now my phone is making calls.

And the end result is... my web site is now up.

The URL is, for those who want to look at it. Yes, I did end up picking FreeHostia over other options including ZendURL.

The hosting poll is over; the project poll is ongoing, though it probably won't be for long. As you can see, there's not much on the site right now. Tomorrow, or perhaps later tonight, I'll try to get something more substantial on there. A while back, in the late 90's, I fiddled around a lot with HTML and I think I got fairly good at it, but you know what they say about how fast technology knowledge obsoletes, and now I'm completely lost with this newfangled CSS stuff. (I could create web pages with Microsoft Word, but I'd like to get some hot CSS action in to give all or most of my web pages a consistent look. Word would become nearly irrelevant at that point because it probably wouldn't be able to figure out that I'm going to be shoehorning some prefab CSS in there.)

Also, I still need your input to help build The Best Web Site On The Internet. The generic topic poll will be going up soon. I may decide to stick with Bravenet for it, or I may decide to go someplace else. The 100 Greatest Movies project will probably be one of the first things put up, but I'm not sure if it's going to be the first. Also, expect some various football-related things to go up over the course of the next month, mostly focused on Da Blog.

As always, if you have suggestions, vote or reply to this post!