Older blog entries for dorward (starting at number 77)

Regarding a message from the Laundry public relations office

via Charlie's Diary:

We have verified that the Queen is not, in fact, a Reptoid. Neither is Prince Philip.

Clearly Charlie Stross himself has been kidnapped and replaced by a Reptoid.

Be vigilant!

Syndicated 2013-10-17 11:15:21 from Dorward's Ramblings

Recall is live

Half a year ago I accidentally uploaded a hideous redesign and decided to keep it so that I would be motivated to get things fixed. This plan didn't work quite as well as I had hoped.

The new CMS went live this afternoon though, so fingers crossed that is is going to run smoothly.

It is written in Perl (currently running on Perl 5 version 18.1) with Catalyst and uses FastCGI with a MySQL backend (because that is what my hosting has available). The source code is available on Github.

Syndicated 2013-09-15 16:30:42 from Dorward's Ramblings

Accidental redesign

I’ve been writing a new CMS for ages (it’s been a low priority rite-of-passage project). It is getting to the point where I am almost ready to start using it.

I know! I think. In advance of moving to it, I’ll update the data in my old CMS and hit build.

Unfortunately, I forgot that I’d started redesigning the site a while ago. I’d also been getting experimental with colour schemes and fonts. (For “experimental” you can read “crazy”).

Worse, my backup includes the change in design.

Even worse, the old system predates my use of version control (I love version control … now).

So the net result is that my site is going to look hideous for a little while. This is motivation to get the CMS finished off at least!

The homepage isn’t going to look hideous, it is just going to look dated and ugly. This is because it is generated from a different set of templates, on a different machine.

Overly complicated and twiddly? I knew there was a reason I was writing a new CMS!

Syndicated 2013-04-04 11:23:19 from David Dorward

Wine-bar training

I love the Perl community.

Via London.pm:

I currently have no plans to record, stream or “webinar”[1] my courses. I mean, yes, I’d love to do something like that in the future but have you seen the budget for Perl School?

[1] What ever that means. Seems to be an anagram of “wine-bar” but doesn’t sound half as much fun.

The courses, by the way, are reputed to be rather good. I might manage to find the time to get along to one at some point.

Syndicated 2013-04-04 08:15:00 from David Dorward

The 2013 rendering ending shake up

So Opera isn’t dropping Presto for WebKit but for Blink, which is Google’s new fork of WebKit that exists, as far as I can tell, because Google and Apple have a hard time playing together nicely. (See this HN thread in which people make various claims).

Meanwhile Mozilla is teaming up with Samsung to write a new rendering engine (Servo) from scratch. One which, from first impressions, is very heavily geared towards mobile devices.

I’m going to have to revise my testing platforms before very much longer, aren’t I?

Syndicated 2013-04-04 07:26:00 from David Dorward

Do I like Forecast.io?

I’m trying to decide if I like Forecast.IO. One thing is certain, there are a few pieces which I don’t like about it. This is the greatest of them:

Forecast.IO in mobile Safari prompts me to add it to the homescreen

Detecting that someone is using Mobile Safari and then not letting them use a web application without “Installing” it, is obnoxious.

Forecast.IO in Chrome for iPhone prompts me to add it to the homescreen

Detecting that someone is using iOS and then not letting them use a web application without using a feature that isn’t available in their browser is worse.

Syndicated 2013-04-03 13:46:35 from David Dorward

Golfing World live on the Samsung TV App Store

We’ve managed to get our new Golfing World application into the Samsung TV App Store.

I wrote a large portion of both the front end and the back end for this, so I’m quite pleased that we’ve finally got it launched.

Now you all need to develop a love of golf and buy a Samsung TV made in the last couple of years and you can stream lots of golfing videos over the Internet!

Syndicated 2013-01-23 10:05:04 from David Dorward


I received a job advert today, which opened with:

Reinhart Django was an excellent guitarist, he could play brilliantly, even with fingers missing! Could you code well without your fingers? is your passion for Python Django so deep, that you would, through adversity code with a single digit?

My reaction to this was a desire that recruiters would spend as much time matching CVs to jobs instead of just carpet bombing anything with a keyword.

How naïve of me. Twenty minutes later, the same recruiter sent me another advert for a different job with the same boilerplate at the top.

They do spend as much time matching CVs to jobs as they do thinking up clever things to prefix their emails with.

Syndicated 2011-05-13 10:45:00 from David Dorward

In a moment of self-deprecation, I refer to my beer of choice as “Poncey Organic Honey Beer”. It turns out that Google agrees with me.

Syndicated 2011-03-30 22:40:45 from David Dorward

The hash-bang discussion

Beware! This article contains links to pages that depend on JavaScript. This is stupid, and that’s the point.

It started when Simon Willison noticed that Gizmodo had redesigned, and depended on JavaScript for their URIs to work.

Mike was unimpressed and wondered how you were supposed to get at the data without JavaScript.

Danger! The next paragraph contains and links to sarcasm!

I knew the answer to this one — you use the highly intuitive special Google URI rewriting technique. (Sadly for me, Mike had already found the answer from elsewhere, and Twitter timestamps prevent me from taking the credit for informing him)

More than a few people agreed that the URI format was not a good idea. Terms used to describe it included stupid, not proper, decreasing accessibility and evil.

Then along come the inevitable car analogies. Thomas Fuchs compared JavaScript to the steering in your car but Steve Marshall pointed out that your steering column isn’t randomly cut from time to time.

I prefer to think of JavaScript as something more akin to satellite navigation. It’s very nice when it is working properly, but a bad signal can cut it off and sometimes it can lead you in the wrong direction. I’m glad we haven’t yet reached the point where road signs are not considered worth the effort of erecting.

Since then, some nice analysis of the problem has been published (which is why this entry is largely a collection of links and not an attempt to explain the problem in detail).

I think Peter put it best when he said:

Stop breaking the web with hash-bangs (#!) and stop thinking JavaScript is always on. NO, SERIOUSLY.

Syndicated 2011-02-09 21:26:00 from David Dorward

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