Monthly Archives: January 2003

Website Launch: Crystal Awards

Finally! As of about five minutes ago the AMA Crystal Awards site is now live and open to the public. Check it out and let me know what you think. This is actually the second iteration of the design, the first was entirely done in CSS and the barest XHTML and it worked quite well cross-browser but it was decided that we needed more uniformity across the print and web pieces and so this is what I came up with.

If you’re interested in seeing more of Miss Richfield 1981, he has a very informative website where you can find out all about him. I’ve heard rumors that he might be flown down for this year’s awards as well. We’ll see . . .

Scum

There has been a lot of talk about referrer spamming in blogspace, and while browsing a PHP network query tool I stumbled across this, which looks terrible. What’s even worse is there is some genuinely neat looks scripts on their site, some things that I’ve been meaning to write myself, and it looks like I’m going to have to because I couldn’t support any that sells a product like ReferBomb.

This script will get up to 1000 Google search results for the search term of your choice (we’ve provided a few suggested default search terms), then automatically fetch all of the resulting web pages. What does this do for you? Think “public web stats” or think “blogs who reciprocate referring links!”

Bizarre Content-Type Problems

I’ve been having some really weird problems with my mime types lately, which has put a hamper on some of the RSS and standards compliance stuff I want to do here. Every document generated by PHP was being sent with a Content-Type: text/html; encoding: iso-8859-1; regardless of whatever was being specified with header in the code. I’m still not entirely clear on what fixed it, but I believe it had something to do with no default content type being specified in the php.ini file, but a default encoding specified. This confused things somewhere and it’s all resolved now. There is the default content type of text/html which works for 99% of stuff, and the overrides now work for the rest. Now I can rest easy.

H-Town Blogs New Site

I’m happy to see we have a beautiful new site designed by the wonderful Christine with the header picture by Elaine. Elaine takes great photos and you should check out the ones on her site, also the last time I was at Kaveh Kanes they had a couple of hers on display.

I just had a kinda-cool idea for the site: what if the top image rotated with different pictures that the author felt characterized Houston. For a perfect example of what I mean see Typographica, which has different headers rotate that link to the font and the designer of the header image. It occurred to me when I was looking at the site and thinking “What a nice picture of downtown” and then I noticed the street and the lamps and I started thinking of where Elaine was when she took that picture. My mind wandered to the cool pictures Christine posted the other day and how it was a totally different view of downtown. My mind continued to wander (it does that a lot) to how when people think of Houston, they tend to think of either the Rodeo or the postcard view of downtown, when in fact there is so much more than that. Anyway, just an idea.

War

In his address to Congress in 1951, Douglas MacArthur said: “I know war as few other men now living know it, and nothing to me is more revolting. I have long advocated its complete abolition, as its very destructiveness on both friend and foe has rendered it useless as a method of settling international disputes.” I’d recommend everyone read the entire thing. Hat tip: Mom.

Updated autop

Most of the scripts I offer on this site are things I’ve written myself, for myself. As part of this living site they are constantly updated and tweaked, yet sometimes I don’t update the scripts section with what’s running live here, usually because I tell myself that the code is so ugly that no one would ever want to use it. Well . . . it works. I’ve decided to put the updated autop code up for all to use. Impetus for the change came almost two months ago from Phil Ringnalda, though my implementation is pretty different from the one he suggested in his post.

Basically what the update does is make the paragraph code ‘smarter’ to deal with lines that end with block-level tags, therefore not creating extra spaces and invalidating your HTML. Try it out! I’ve left the simpler version there for people (like me in some applications) that don’t need the extra code at all.