Saturday, January 04, 2003

I spent quite a bit of time today looking at other peoples' calendars - the graphical interfaces which they put up on their blogs to make navigation easier.
I'm still trying to figure a neat way to do these dynamically, though doing things the "hard way" would actually not be too difficult, but would be error prone.

Am also trying to figure out what exactly RSS is? As is more usual, the more interesting stuff is at dave2002.

Friday, January 03, 2003

tools and problems
There is now a problem with the template at dave2002. It seems likely to me that this is almost inevitable after a few weeks active text creation.
I was somewhat appalled at the number of errors I'd made in the HTML - though now the number has reduced somewhat.

I fixed some of the problems using HTML Kit, and the included Tidy tool - but many still remain.

It is slightly more complex because some of the HTML gets generated - but I expect I'll get it sorted soon enough.

Serious prospective bloggers might want to look at pmachine, which seems to be the latest

I also discovered a site by a brazilian girl who seems to be very keen on graphics.
The graphics seem to come from, among others, grace and faith - the first wants money for the cuddly little graphics, while both want credit. Some people seem to want to make their websites look cute - my daughter would love it!

Thursday, January 02, 2003

comment on postings
It looks as though w.bloggar often times out when posting, but unfortunately the post has actually taken place. This can lead to multiple entries, and the only way I've found to fix this is to go to the web based blogger site, delete the extra entries, then to make a new posting!

Another page from Google
There were some good pages from google recently, and now they have published their year end zeitgeist.The google options pages have more stuff.

I wonder if other search engines have similar features?

I really should get round to sorting out that Javascript problem - generating a page to print all the links from a web page.

Any time soon ....

Wednesday, January 01, 2003

On message boards

OK - so now I've set up another message board on bravenet - but I have to say that this does not have the sophistication of the boards over at ezboard. There it is possible to set up several discussion areas within the community/forum, and to move messages between different discussion areas.

Still, it is early days, and I think that even though bravenet seems simpler, it won't be a major disadvantage at this time, and at least it's free!
Comment on content

I'm leaving in the last few entries for a little while, as a record of what happened. There were problems with editing the template for blogger, though most are now fixed - some still remain.

The previous "interesting" post was headed "Happy New Year"
testing again
test again
Further comment

The problems have not completely gone away - now every entry seems to be duplicated.

The problem with the template still needs fixing!

Looks like the template has been fixed after all!

Template archiving seems to be a weakness of

Hope that things stay sorted for a little while.
Something has gone wrong with the template - now get one of those As with a circle over the top - quite wrong.

Don't know how this has happened - perhaps an interaction between w.bloggar and

Tried to fix, but not so easy - hopefully will get this sorted before the next archive period....
Happy New Year
Most of the recent work on weblogs has been over at dave2002 on

I have been looking at feedback mechanisms, and have set up a new messsage board which can be used for feedback about these weblogs. Details should appear on the left hand side panels.

I used bravenet for the message board, though it is less sophisticated than the boards at ezBoard, but it should be free for some while. I don't know if it will cause major problems with advertising - if so, please post to the board, and I'll check it out.You may realise that generally I dislike advertising, but sometimes it is a necessary evil - particularly if trying to set up services at low cost - i.e free! If things go wild, and you find that popups infest your PC, then this might indicate that it's time for a change of message board - so please keep me informed.

I have also been looking at other methods for tracking weblogs - e.g pingback, trackback and also the linkback services. Link back seems to have died - at least temporarily - but clearly there are mechanisms for tracking which are associated with some blog software - such as Moveable Type.

I tried to get to deliver me the last 500 postings, but there is a fixed limit of 50.

I can't get the template edit to work using w.bloggar - which is a pity. If anyone knows how to do this, please let me know.

Also, I am still developing the pitas site, but editing on that site is even more primitive. If anyone knows any tools which work with pitas, please let me know.

Only a few more days of chocolate log and mince pie eating to go.

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 31, 2002

Quotations and resolutions
Like several others I'm not going to say much about New Year resolutions.

Here are some good quotes to keep you amused before any New Year parties.

Happy New Year!

Monday, December 30, 2002

Editing the template

I made a series of edits (test, test1 ... test9 - about 10- 10.30 am local time) while I tried to correct problems with the template. These edits should now be deleted.

It turned out to be too painful to use the web based editing tool, and errors were difficult to fix. It would be ideal to use the edit tool in w.bloggar, but I have had problems posting from that.

In the end I discovered that I could cut the text from the web based editor, paste it into w.bloggar for editing, then copy and past it back into the web based editor - this works!

I think I've also discovered the cause of problems with font sizing. The problems only ever arise immediately at the start of an entry - but only in entries which have a titled heading. These are formatted using h1,h2,h3 etc. The solution is to force a paragraph markup immediately after the heading markup. Tedious!

Actually the last comment may have been premature - paragraph markup fixes the font problem, but gives too big a space - I'll try using br instead!

Even that didn't work - perhaps it's just easiest to use bold font for headings, and not use the h1,h2 ... headers within blogger.

Further, although using paragraph markup works in blogger, it leaves too large a gap in most places - there seems to be some form of interaction between interpolated markup and explicit mark up - probably best to avoid using explicit markup in most situations.
Forcing publish again - to fix minor problem! I will have to work out how to do this "properly" to avoid having to make so many unnecessary posts. It seems a pity that there isn't a workable tool which does this - with preview.
Changed the template again - so need to have this post to force publishing. I can't get the editing to work using w.bloggar, so have to do it using web tools.

Sunday, December 29, 2002

force a new post

I may have fixed the template, but need to force a new post to get the fix!

that alignment problem .... and others

I looked at the HTML code for the web page, and there is no obvious (to me) problem with the code. The entries get formatted incorrectly when new postings are made.
This will need fixing as soon as I can find out how.

There are also continuing problems with synchronisation - it looks as though sometimes posting doesn't work, and sometimes when using "post and publish", only the post works, not the publish. This can lead to multiple entries - there is no obvious solution, other than to monitor the resulting web page, and try to fix it if problems arise.

Another problem is that creating entries with different tools can give rise to lines which break at incorrect points. Using w.bloggar and putting in explicit line feeds results in additional break commands, and this formats entries incorrectly. Try to avoid this problem.

that alignment problem

I looked at the HTML code for the web page, and there is no obvious (to me) problem with the
code. The entries get formatted incorrectly when new postings are made.
This will need fixing as soon as I can find out how.

Another comment on blogging

The warnings about the dangers of blogging - a few posts below - do not only extend to using work facilities or writing in work time. Note that stating any opinion about organisation(s) or company(ies) you work for can be problematic - if you use the wrong words. This can lead to disciplinary action, or even dismissal. This can happen even if you use your own web space, and your own computer to make your postings.

Similar situations apply to email, but companies may take blogging more seriously, since weblogs are often completely public.

Also, note that because of the nature of blogging software, there are date and time stamps on each article - obvious!

So, if you take a sickie, and write about your "day at the races" on your blog, or post up photos of your "short continental holiday", your employer might find out, and may be able to work out what you were really doing - not clever.

I wonder how many people will get caught out by this in the New Year!


Now you should only see 1 post - you may wonder what the fuss was about.

Submitting a new post seems to bring the posts and the published web page back into synchronisation.

Trying a fix

OK - so anyone who's reading right now, which probably just means me, will realise that there are now 4 identical posts on the web site.
I have tried to delete three of them, and as posts they no longer exist, but they're still on the web page.

Synchronisation between "posting" and "publication" is clearly sometimes a problem.

I'm going to try making a new post (this one), to see if this brings things back into synch - and lose 3 out of the 4 published postings.

Here goes!
Short notes
A brief trawl revealed that some others had not given up during the Christmas break. SEB - work out the initials - came up with an article about why it is perhaps dangerous to blog in work time or using work facilities - from the Washington Post.

A link from SEB also led to a cartoon about snowball fights, which is interesting to me because I was wondering how to refer to part of someones blog - what the label structure is etc., so now I can maybe work this out..
On incorporating widgets and other things

Tried to include tag messages in one of these blogs, but the blog system would not let me change the template. Not sure if I want to have tag messaging anyway, but thought I'd try it to see what would happen - so far no luck.

Other projects include learning how to really do objects in Javascript - most books skim this so lightly, if at all, so that it's almost impossible to get anything reasonable working. Even the ones which have examples are just about incomprehensible.

I widened the screen panels at dave2002 today - that's a slight improvement, and if anyone's reading it they should find it displays OK in most browsers.

Must go - I'm sure there must be other more useful things to do right now....