Archive for July, 2004


Monday, July 19th, 2004

A lack of new content isn’t the only thing wrong with this blog. In recent weeks, it has also been brought to my attention that the template I’m using is flawed. It looks fine in Internet Explorer (IE), but lousy in any other browser. Users of both Mozilla Firefox and the Mac-based Safari have reported seeing exactly the same formatting glitches. The problem seems to be with the Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) used by the template; IE interprets the CSS code incorrectly, but the person who created the template evidently was using IE to view the result, and concluded that it worked properly.
I’m not proficient with CSS, but my son Ben is, thanks to the HTML classes he took at school. He did some tinkering with the CSS code, but was unable to find a way to make it look right in both IE and non-IE browsers. My friend Virgil came up with a compromise that he says looks OK in both sorts of browsers, and I may end up using it. But there’s one other thing I want to try first. In the course of researching the problem, I stumbled across this trick for putting two versions of the CSS code in external files — one of which is used only by IE, and the other only by other browsers. If it works, this solution will be the best of both worlds. I hope to have it implemented in the next day or two.
UPDATE: The trick I mentioned above did not solve the problem — it doesn’t work with newer non-IE browsers like Firefox. But Ben wasn’t willing to give up. The problem is now fixed, thanks to his supreme excellence as a Javascript hacker. (I was going to say “his l33t h4x0r sk1llz,” but I thought that might be confusing to readers who aren’t fluent in Leetspeak.)

Dry spell

Monday, July 19th, 2004

I’m back. It was never my intention to abandon blogging for such a prolonged period, but other things got in the way. During May, my spare time pretty much vanished for reasons related to my sprained ankle (a story I started to tell here, but never finished). In June, my involvement in the play Smokey Joe’s Cafe had a similar effect. During the first part of July, it was my job: the Project from Hell, which I had been working on since last fall, suddenly demanded a lot of extra hours.
But that’s finally over. My ankle is mostly healed, Smokey Joe’s Cafe is over, and I’m finished with the Project from Hell. If anyone is still reading this, I thank you for your patience. Actual posting of new material will resume shortly.
At least I’m in good company. It appears that none of the GNO blogs have been updated more than once or twice in the past month, except for those of my teenage offspring. Ben, of course, has been consistently putting us all to shame for a long time with his frequent and thought-provoking posts. He even had a moment in the spotlight recently when he wrote an essay that reduced Kim du Toit to tears. And Ruth, whose blog has been silent for months, has suddenly become talkative again. I hope it lasts this time.