It doesn’t matter what your talent is; as long as you’re prolific you’ll probably end up making something cool.
Jazz music is like a banyan tree.
On Monday, I took the bus to work. Just felt like doing something different. Busing it takes an hour whereas driving takes half an hour. I’d planned to spend as much of the time as possible reading, and got through 30 pages of “The Know-It-All”:http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0743250621. Not nearly as fast as I hope I can read without jarring bumps as the bus goes over pot-holey streets, without distracting announcements by the driver as we pass each stop, without time spent squirming in uncomfortable seats and glances out the window to check my stop isn’t nigh, and this isn’t a particularly cerebral book either (despite the title), but it’s something. It was nice not having to pay attention to traffic, wait for red lights, shift gears or flip endlessly through radio stations. There’s also that element of connectedness, of being part of the life of working Los Angeles, going about its daily business, not isolated in my own box. I think I’ll do it again tomorrow.
Textpattern is limited in that I can’t independently create *sections* and *pages*. What I’d like to do is create an array of pages and then create, as it were, “views” which tie together a particular section with a particular page.
I.e., a “page” should correspond to a way of mapping the entry database to HTML. A “section” should correspond to a way of selecting articles out of the database, based on a singular tag or a more complex set of rules. Then we should have “views”, which say “present section X using page Y”.
The problem is that (1) A given article may only belong to one *section*, and (2) Textpattern only lets us assign a specific *page* to a specific *section*. So let’s say I want to have two different renderings of the articles on the front page, one with a larger font and different color set, and one which only shows the first, say, 50 words of each post. Apparently I can’t do this.
This is just a temporary solution, because I want to create a better piece of blogging software at some point (and I’m dearthing on time). Not necessarily more configurable and flexible, but just something for me to use. What would be nice, and I’ve posted this before elsewhere, but I’ll reiterate, is the following feature set:
(1) Articles may be shown as excerpts on the front page; however pressing “more” or ‘(+)’ loads the rest of the article, still on the front page, using an AJAX-style data load and dynamic page manipulation.
(2) The “add-comment” form is available and hidden on the main page below each full article. Press the “comment” link and the form instantly appears. Adding a comment is done asynchronously, without ever leaving the main page.
(4) Viewing and paging through comments is done asynchronously, also on the main page.
I’m surprised no blogging tools support AJAX yet, considering that it’s really not that complex to implement what I’m talking about, above. Time to put my money (or fingers?) where my mouth is and start coding this, then.
When I say “the ‘Opera’ of Blogging software”, what I mean is that just like Firefox and Opera differ, in that Firefox is very extensible and it’s easy to add tons of plugins (in fact, you need to, to get certain functionality), Opera has all this optimized and built-in. As a consequence it’s not as extensible, but it does what you want. For example, if you want to save the tabs you have open in your current session so you can restart your computer and come back to the same set of windows/tabs you had open before, Opera has this built in. With Firefox, you’ll need the incredible “Tab Mix Plus”:https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/1122/.
Any sort of aerobic exercise machine which has a heart-rate monitor (those metal handles you grip), at any gym, and this happens consistently on every piece of equipment I’ve used as far back as I can recall, is incapable of measuring my heart rate 95% of the time.
What happens is that I’ll grip the metal handles and “HR” will flash on the display for about 30 seconds, and either:
# The display will go blank.
# “HR” will continue to flash indefinitely.
# The display will track my pulse at around half of what it actually is.
I’m not sure what this means; those heart rate monitors can’t be that unreliable. Maybe it’s a conspiracy. Maybe I’m just ”abnormal”.
(Got started writing some comments on Thomas’ blog entry (link no longer works) about a subject near and dear to my heart: placement of punctuation in reference to closing quotation and parenthetic marks. Without further ado, I’m replicating ‘em here.)
I completely agree with you about punctuation outside of quotations (when the quoted passage starts in the middle of a sentence), and I’ve been doing that for years. Parentheses take a bit of thought, too. If an entire sentence is parenthesized, the close-paren should go to the right of the period (i.e., the sentence is contained within the parentheses). However, if the sentence starts normally and contains a parenthetical phrase, it should have the close paren to the left of the period.
: I like ham. (Admittedly, I’m a ham-o-holic.) I also like spam (if I’m in the right mood).
We’re acutely conscious of this (at least I am) because we’re programmers and everything has to be nested properly. (Anyone who’s learned HTML should know about how you can’t overlap tags, as in [bold]a[italic]b[/bold]c[/italic]. (I also use nested parentheses with impunity, but let’s not go there.) )
What do you do when your embedded parenthetical/quoted remark is a question? Can you use a question mark ”and” a period? Here’s what I do:
: She said, “can’t we all just get along?”.
The sentence is a statement, thus the period. What the speaker said is a complete question, requiring a question mark. The question mark can’t go to the right of the close-quote, since that would indicate that the fact she said something is in question (and it’s not). But without the period, we would be violating our own rule of putting the period outside of the embedded close-quote.
So even though the period there is incorrectified grammaticalization, it seems logical to me.
As for lists, that’s something that had bothered me for years. I remember learning in the third grade that you separate all the items in the list with a comma, including the final item with its “and”. But soon enough, out there in the American real world (I don’t know about in Britain) I _never_ saw it done this way. It was always “A, B and C”. At first I reacted to seeing what was in my mind this error (on billboards, ads, etc.) with horror. Then I realized the practice was widespread, and, in fact, I actually never saw it done the other way. But “no-comma-before-and” still bothered me, because it wasn’t logical (like the grammatically correct yet illogical period inside the embedded closing quote).
Then, some unknown number of years back, I rationalized it all and came to be at peace: *the commas in the list are contractions of the word “and”*. Instead of “A and B and C and D”, we have “A, B, C and D”.
Nowadays, “A, B, C, and D” is the version which looks horribly wrong to me. Why? Because in vocalizing (aloud or mentally), the comma equates to a verbal pause of roughtly one syllable: the same length as the word “and”. When reading a list, the comma is not only a contraction for “and”, but also a pause of “and”-length. So we have “A (and) B (and) C and D”. The items in the list are said with the same rhythm. Leave the final comma there, and you have “A (and) B (and) C (and) and D”. Why the extra long interval between items C and D? Messes up my rhythm, man.
Finally, the toilet paper roll should go with the paper away from the wall. Q and E and D.
Sort your Windows taskbar buttons by dragging them around: “Taskbar Shuffle”:http://www.freewebs.com/nerdcave/taskbarshufflev10.htm.
This is something I’ve been working with very extensively at my job: Microsoft’s [http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/forpros/hddvd/default.aspx HD-DVD simulator] and related tools. I’m surprised Microsoft released this to the general public (or the general programming public, rather), this early in the game.
Okay, comments do work now. :)
On the strength of “this review”:http://arstechnica.com/reviews/games/beatmania.ars, I picked up Beatmania from my next-door Best Buy during lunch. I’ve always wanted a rhythm game to master (ever since my Taiko No Tatsujin story (but that’s another story)), but never got around to acquiring one.
So anyway, my main criticism of the game is that there’s way too much temporal space between the notes. If I were programming rhythms into a game like this, I would create a steady beat with one key, then start embellishing it by gradually adding more keys, but with each new key, establish a repetitive rhythm. Like a percussion ensemble where the first player starts hitting a simple rhythm, then after a minute the second player comes in with a simple rhythm of her own that meshes with the first player’s rhythm, and so on until the whole band is playing. Likewise in the game, I would add new keys in the same way. Pretty soon someone playing the game would be pounding out an incredibly complex beat without any sort of frustrating learning curve, and the game would be much more energizing and fun. If the gamer starts missing notes, remove keys until all the notes are being hit, and then start adding keys back. Eventually, start adding in small variations between one measure and the next, or start slowly speeding up the tempo, or little-by-little transform into a different rhythm (mix into a different song). I’m all about incremental learning. On the other hand, this wouldn’t be as much of a challenge, and maybe I’m just reacting to the beginner-most levels, at the moment. We’ll see. But my idea would be fun, at least.