web development

I Can't Get No Validation

Thu, 2007-10-04 00:58

I ran this site through the W3C Markup Validation Service today. I got 11 errors. The first two were my fault, I have so far failed to give alt tags to the decorative icons in the sidebar. It would be easy enough to do that, but it seems kinda silly to have alt="eye candy" or alt="fluff". I might do it anyway if it was the only thing holding me back.

The next error that gets me is in the JavaScript. I do not know if it is possible to write JavaScript that validates for this particular case but I suspect not. If I even knew how to do it I might not hack into the Drupal code to fix it.

After the JS error things just fall apart in a way that defies understanding. I think that one error just cascades down the page. I will give it a look-see. I just wanted y'all to know I am thinking about these things.

Filed under:

How To Build Your Website

Mon, 2007-10-01 01:16

Lots of people I know are starting to build websites, and lots more are wondering about moving into what I will call blog software. Sometimes for various reasons I wish I had stayed with static websites and uploaded each page manually, but when I remember the shopping carts and other features I need on various sites I am happy to have kept up with the times.

I use Drupal for everything, even for drop dead simple sites such as this one that would work just as well with Wordpress. I like using and learning a single system, and to me it is easier to enable fewer features when they are not needed. I started out using Movable Type and I was able to expand it in amazing ways. I could have done a better job had I understood a few things better. I am glad I moved to Drupal instead of learning to tweak Movable Type to the Nth degree. The learning curve was about the same, and I was able to join a community of folks interested in blogging plus many things beyond that.

Anything you do will be a challenge at some point. You can pay up front and learn a flexible system, or gradually expand on what you have. It is all good!

Filed under:

New Design

Fri, 2007-09-28 22:54

I finally have the new design of this website installed. I hope you like it. Smiling I have been trying to do something with this poor site for months and months, but nothing was working out. Then just this morning I had an idea, worked on it most of the day, and finally pushed it on through. I still see a few glaring errors and a couple of things are eluding me, but I am happy to have this much of it done.

One of the nice things about Drupal is that it allows different themes for different users, and even another theme for the admin section. I have been living with the broken "under construction" look while everybody else has been seeing the nice stock theme, and it is nice to finally have something that works.

Filed under:

I Lost My Websites

Sun, 2007-09-09 23:41

I must admit that having your web host suddenly go tits up is not the worst thing that could happen. It is in fact a distant second to somehow losing your domain name. With proper backups a change in location is trivial. Recovery is still possible even with no backups at all, if you are quick. The stressful part is in choosing the host to relocate to.

The thing I am grieving is the ability to send emails. With my now extinct host I could set up a mailing list and people could count on delivery. I see outsourcing in my future, but I am reluctant.

Filed under:

Nostalgic for Last Month

Mon, 2007-06-04 23:34

The slogan for Akismet is: Remember the days before spam?

I know I do, and I remember saying "I think that is some sort of robot adding comments. How interesting."

The point I am trying to make here is not that spam has increased. My point is that I said that only three years ago.

There are so many changes happening on the 'Net all the time. I try to keep up in a general sort of way. I wonder if the changes are apparent to my friends who are less web aware. I would assume they are not, and I wonder what sort of things would need to happen before the rank and file would notice.

Funny thing, I think changes will be gradual and slip under the radar.

Filed under:

Social Marketing

Sat, 2007-04-28 23:07

There has been some commotion recently concerning bloggers who review products and services for personal gain. I don't really have any set opinion especially if the blogger explains the nature of the deal. I certainly have no plans to profit from this website, I just keep it around in case I want to share something. If a company decides to encourage me by offering a little incentive and I find the project interesting I may feel a little more motivated. The reward might not even be guaranteed, even the chance at a prize might be enough to get me to send a little Google juice along. The hard part is writing the post, and even if I don't qualify for the bonus I would likely leave the link up because after all I would never have written it in the first place if I didn't think the service was worthwhile.

I recently applied for an offer trading link love for a service. It was not a big deal, just a quick blog post telling about something that I thought might be useful. The rules did explain that there were certain qualifications did exist and I didn't really know or care if my application would be accepted. The service, after all, wasn't anything I couldn't do myself. I just thought it was a neat idea.

Much to my surprise I got a rejection letter. It was not a nasty rejection letter but it was a very clear rejection. No thank you for trying, no thank you for noticing we exist, not even a thank you for breathing. Just an explanation of what I am doing wrong here. Well guys, thank you for noticing but I am not really even trying to be an a-lister here. My feelings were not hurt because there was nothing there I was not aware of, but I am certainly not going to send either of my readers over to a website that does not have the decency to say thanks for the link. I am not quite motivated enough to badmouth the company, they were polite about pointing out all my faults after all, but I did find time to take down the link.

Lots and lots of little people can build up a page's rank too, ya know.

Filed under: