HTML/HTTP

RFC 2397 has been around since August 1998 and I’m just learning about the data URL scheme today. Perhaps browser support for it is new? Basically data URLs allow you to embed data, like images directly in an HTML page. Data URLs remind me of Fred Lindberg’s old idea (circa 2001) of “mailing the web” by freezing web pages as email with MIME attachments.

It’s fun to be learning new things about HTML/HTTP: technologies that I thought I was familiar with already. Perhaps I’ve been out of web development for long enough to fall behind. The other day I learned about iframes from my friend and sometime coworker Jason and was similarly blown away by something new under the sun. iframes are esentially the same things as regular frames but for the browser user they don’t see separate panes. Useful for scrolling panels inside of pages and other things I’m sure.

I guess this is all part of the web renaissance that is going on now, spurred on by Google’s forays and investment in javascript and xml. It’s really interesting to see how a big player like Google can redefine what is acceptable technology to rely on in web applications. For years I’ve avoided doing too much in javascript since it was a headache to get it working across different browsers, at least for this programmer. Now javascript is on my list of things to learn more about.


Hello WordPress

Hello WordPress, bye bye custom blog code written in Perl. Well the old code is still running, but I’ve wanted to install WordPress for the past few months and finally got around to it this weekend. I had a little bit of trouble getting PHP installed, only because I decided to use the older php4 with the latest mysql, and php4 didn’t seem to want to configure itself using the latest mysql. Fortunately using php5 was a different story and WordPress was a breeze to install.

My reasons for switching from my homegrown code to WordPress are several.

  • there was really no way of commenting on stories, only adding them.
  • the old code didn’t really archive or categorize stories the way I wanted to
  • links to stories didn’t work, and I wanted to join dan’s Planet #code4lib.
  • I didn’t use the RSS aggregation features I wrote since I started using Bloglines.
  • I’ve been coding more in Python these days and don’t feel particularly tied to my Perl code base any longer. WordPress is PHP, which I’m not a huge fan of, but I think this had more to do with the PHP that I was exposed to more than the language itself. Installing WordPress and the various plugins like the audioscrobbler one you see to the right was very pleasant.
  • the WordPress community is extremely rich. I spent some time with Kesa looking at different themes, but in the end decided to stay with the default for now. There are tons of neat plugins to look at.

So what you can expect here is more of the same. I’m going to try to write more about my work as a programmer, mainly as a journal for myself to keep track of what I’m working on, where I’ve been, and where I’d like to go. Perhaps you are thinking spare me the details, where are the pictures of Chloe?! If this is the case you should see a link to the photos over on the right.