Marv\'s Blog

yeah, like that’s going to happen

February 7, 2006
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Disable Firefox features ?

My 3D Design and Animation lecturer reckons he’ll be able to disable firefox’s text zoom feature on his “widescreen” site. Ha. Ha I say. Like I think I told him, the only way to do that would either be easy to reverse or done as an extension to firefox. So basically, pretty impossible to do.

His site by the way, uses iframes for layout and flash for navigation. Ha.


Annoyed at the thing I have to get taught at University.

November 28, 2005
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Aside from restructuring into semantic (X)HTML, this post appears as it does in the post I made on the Uni message board. Damn WebCT sucks.

obsolete/incorrect info in session 10 power point presentation

I am annoyed and frustrated about being taught obsolete and semantically incorrect techniques.

  1. Frames generally create accessibility, as well as usability problems; they should be avoided, and if scrolling content is needed, div tags with the overflow specified in CSS will fix that problem.
  2. Styles should be applied to tables with CSS, not (X)HTML attributes.
  3. Internet Explorer uses an invalid DOM.
  4. div and span tags aren’t so much layers as blank elements intended to be styled by the designer or end user. span tags can be made into block level elements and div tags can be made into inline elements, as can pretty much every other (X)HTML element.
  5. Since IE uses an invalid DOM, code should be written for everything else (the stuff thats standard based) first, and IE second. Or just Firefox, as IE is a big obsolete waste of time.
  6. Layers and Tables do not reduce the accesibility of web pages to visualy impaired users. It is the incompetent implementation of layers and tables that makes them inaccessible.
  7. Tables should not be used to control layout of a document. That’s a waste of code and creates accessibility problems, unless you know what you’re doing. Then it’s just a waste of code.
  8. Nested layers are good, nested tables are really, really bad.
  9. CSS permits user defined formating of any XML object.
  10. CSS can be applied to ANY (X)HTML object
  11. CSS files do not have to be stored with a .CSS extension. Web browsers couldn’t care less what it’s called as long as it is written in CSS. Preferably valid. Preferably without IE’s invalid bloat.
  12. Fixed pixel fonts should never be used. They are inaccesible, and should only ever ever be used if the design of a page requires it, in which case, alternate stylesheets should be provided. Many websites do this out of courtesy for their users. IE’s text zoom facilities suck. That is a syntacticalyl correct statement.
  13. CSS is not a dynamic language, it does not update all pages it is associated with, the changes are only reflected once the relevant pages have been refreshed in the browser.
  14. Most of Macromedia’s DHTML implementations create invalid javascript code.

Windows Migration pt8

October 15, 2005
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Firefox has been migrated.

I’ve managed to import the important stuff out of the disk image: bookmarks, history & saved passwords. Had a little hassle with the saved passwords but a quick google fixed that.


del.icio.us reorganization pt1

October 11, 2005
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Reorganization of my del.icio.us bookmarks.

A couple of weeks ago, I installed the foxylicious Firefox extension. It’s an interesting extension- it imports your del.icio.us bookmarks to your Firefox bookmarks.

The simple configuration is easy to understand, and prompted me to rethink the way I tag my del.icio.us bookmarks. The specific option I’m talking about is the option to specify a character for category separation.

What I used to do.

Technically what I used to do when I first started out is just put the tags in under any old order. Then I started to denote sub-categories in a linear fashion eg web-comic Ctrl+Alt+Del parody Jack-Thompson (I’m skipping out the bit where I went from camelCase to dash-seperation).

What I’m doing now.

I’m still specifying categories in a linear fashion, except it’s more a case of multiple categories instead of sub categories. Sub categories are now separated with a colon eg web-comic:Ctrl+Alt+Del parody:game-series:GTA:San-Andreas parody:gaming:censorship:Jack-Thompson.

What this means.

I’ve got over 300 bookmarks on del.icio.us to go through, so I still haven’t finished yet. After I’m finished, the parsing that foxylicious does should result in a filing system which mirrors the one I use anyway.

It also means that eventually I can move my bookmarks onto del.icio.us, and use my computer as a backup of my del.icio.us account, instead of the other way around.

The refiling I started today:

Today out of nowhere I started refiling all the parody tags. In issue 80 of Applegeeks, they parody Batman and his . In this case, Batman is a sub-category of parody, so I entered a tag for that page as parody:Batman. The issue itself is referring to Batman’s ridiculous , so that was entered as a separate tag as opposed to a sub-category of parody:Batman.

Conclusion.

Now I’m not too sure if this is the intended use for the del.icio.us service, as a limitation of their service means searching del.icio.us for Batman will not bring up any of my bookmarks. I’m not too sure why that is, but I’m not really intending my bookmarks to be read by anyone else than me. I just don’t care if other people do read them.


Blogger Migration pt4

September 27, 2005
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Problem Work-Around.

I’ve found a small work-around to the problems I was experiencing with my ISP– do the migration from Uni.

So right now I’m sitting in Cell M1 in the Info Centre, typing away in an uncomfortable position because it’s not my comfy office chair, and my shoulders are hurting (although I suspect my wrists will follow) because there are no wrists rests in the entire University. I also can’t spell check my typing as although I’m using , it’s not my computer so I don’t have all my extensions, configurations at hand.

Grr.


Firefox hacks + Google Suggest

July 29, 2005
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Hacking Google Suggest

To enable in the location bar, first go into about:config and enter google.suggest into the filter. Change the setting google.suggest.useForLocationBar to true and copy the value from google.suggest.serviceURL.search to google.suggest.serviceURL.location. To copy the value, right click on google.suggest.serviceURL.search, and select Modify.

Now restart and you can start using the service with the I’m Feeling Lucky feature that you’d normally find when searching from the location bar. Enjoy!!

Update.

The problem with this ‘hack‘, and probably the reason why has disabled it by default is that it interferes with the history drop down in the location bar. So use with caution.


Stumbleupon, Firefox, and Google

July 28, 2005
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Stumbleupon is great, but dumb.

Months and months ago (too many to remember, damn zinc) I started using the . Occasionally there’s a few easily solved hiccups, like having to configure my firewall, or me forgetting my password. The dumb part is that you can’t change the options in the toolbar unless you’re signed in. I’ll tell you why thats dumb later.

Enter Google.

Which feed it was exactly escapes me right now, but the other day I read in my news and blogs that had released a few extensions for . The one that interested me the most was the extension, which brings the functionality of Google Suggest direct to . I’ll let tell you what it does.

Google is dumb.

Now I don’t know whether this is ‘s fault, but I had to refresh the page after having to manually add the site to the list of sites that are allowed to install extensions. I also had to manually download then install it.

Is Google evil ?, part 1.

Shortly after installing the extension, I began having problems with the software update feature in . The progress either froze when checking, or failed entirely, stopping other extensions from recieving updates becase the google extension couldn’t be updated.

Is Google evil ?, part 2.

So eventually I recieve word via that a new version of the toolbar has been released. I uninstalled the old one, installed the new one, and lo and behold, it appears as if Google lets rip a small piece of hell on my Firefox installation. A bunch of the preferences, if not all where reset to factory settings, and StumbleUpon disapeared.

Why StumbleUpon is dumb

Once the toolbar disapeared, my first reaction was to change the position of the toolbar via the Tools>Extensions>(select stumbleupon)>Options window. Except I couldn’t do that, because you have to be signed into StumbleUpon to alter settings (like I said, a bunch of preferences were wiped). Only I couldn’t sign in because the toolbar wouldn’t appear. That is why StumbleUpon is dumb.

My solution to the disapearing toolbar

A thought struck me, I had an idea that I could use the about:config thing in to manaully change the position of the toolbar. So I went in, used the about:config filter to find the StumbleUpon prefs, changed stumble.toolbar-position from stumbleupon to address, restarted Firefox, and there it was. I checked about:config and it looks like StumbleUpon set the location back to stumbleupon upon reboot fixing the whole problem.

This solution to the common disapearing StumbleUpon toolbar may not work for others, as there were other factors involved (like evil google opening a portal to hell up ‘s ass). Do not mess about with about:config unless you know what you’re doing. Or if you don’t give a shit. But preferably only if you know what you’re doing.

PS: I must stress that I can’t entirely be certain that Google was at fault for causing the problem. It could’ve been Microsoft’s shoddy software that was running on :-P. Seriously though, while I’m good with computers I’m no technical expert, I’m just telling you what appeared to have happened. Also, If you have have try the , which adds a nice, simple but elegant touch to the firefox address and search bars.


Template changes

July 25, 2005
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Code Tweaking

Not that anybody comes and reads this, but those of you that do may have noticed some alterations to the . Over the next several days, I’ll be altering my template more and more so it fits my tastes better.

The Sidebar

I’ve added the google adsense ads to the site, I mean I may as well. If you don’t like that I’ve included the ads, I suggest you get a copy of and the . I do plan to eventually replace this with my own ad software (I’m talking months here) once I get around to shifting my blog off the blogger service.

Yet again, not that anybody comes and notices, but I hadn’t finished the section, showing what comics I read. After rediscovering the fantastic service, I decided to post the link to my feed on their service.

If like me, you read lots of at once, then you may find it a waste of time filing the bookmarks and going back to see if there’s a new issue. A few have syndication feeds, most don’t, and even those that do don’t work as you’d expect. In the cases where you find that a doesn’t have a feed, or it doesn’t work as you’d expect, is your saviour. Once you’ve signed up, you can search for your favourite web comics, and add these to your . The limit just got bumped up from 20 to 40 (although I don’t think I’m allowed to tell anyone). Imposes this limit to prevent other nefarious services from using the service, taking advantage of all their hard work.

The Google Bar

I thought to myself, if I’m going to put the adsense service on, I may as well put the google bar on. Simple as that really. It’ll probably stay there for a while, maybe later in the year I’ll enable the search this site option.


…and for those of you without

April 1, 2005
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Get Firefox!

If you’ve never come across Firefox before, head over to the Firefox page on Mozilla.org, and take a look at what it offers. If it seems like something you could do with, grab a copy, then head over to the Mozilla Update site which contains a bunch of great extensions, themes, and all the plugins you’d require.


Posted in Firefox, Mozilla

For those of you with firefox…..

April 1, 2005
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How to import the bookmarklets.

Download the latest collection of yahoo favelets (yes, there’ll be more to come when I get around to it), then import using the Bookmarks Manager. For best ease-of-use, move the newly imported Yahoo folder to your Bookmarks Toolbar Folder. I did a nasty edit of the exported bookmarks document, although Firefox 1.0.2 win32 has no probs importing the manually edited document.

Also note that I have no idea how geocities interferes with the code, as I make use of the to stop the scripts from running. If you don’t have the extension installed, I’d strongly suggest you try it. It’s brilliant, frees up screen space, and speeds up site access a bit since I’m still on dial-up access.


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