Catching Up

by Robert Nagle on 2/15/2005

in General,Programming

I have a lot catching up to do. I’ll be brief.

In the next year or so I’ll be writing short essays about music videos. Here’s one of my favorites: Fantastic Plastic Machine: Please Mr. Salesman. The yahoo music site has a good collection of vids.

Saw Kristin Hersh live at the Mucky Duck in Houston. She was great. I got to talk to her after the show. Interestingly, Hersh was selling “demo CD’s” instead of big label CD’s. Glad some people are learning. She lets people download mp3’s for $10 per album on her website.

I’ve been enjoying Oxygen XML Editor. I haven’t been able to get CSS to work in the browser window (I haven’t really tried though), and this editor seems more data-centric than document-centric. On the other hand, They have this nifty tree view and folding view and a way to “straighten out” the containers of data.

BTW, it dawned on me recently that the templates for Plone bear an uncanny resemblance to XSL and XSLT.

Now that I have a good and handy editor and validator, I’ve started checking my static webpages to make sure everything validates. It’s not easy, but far from impossible.

Why CSS is better than XSL. Not to be outdone, Norm Walsh responds:

One of the fundamental virtues of XSL (both XSLT and XSL FO) is that they’re expressed in XML and therefore inherently accessible to machine processing and machine validation.

Here’s a description of how to do CSS for different media.

Here’s a nice collection of laminated reference cards for web programming. XHTML, CSS, Javascript, Entities, Colors, Regular Expressions.(Now if only they’d do it for Docbook, XSL, Plone Classes and XSD, I’d be really happy!)

I’ve learned a bit about character encoding. Joel Spolsky about Unicode. Here’s a good guide to character encoding issues. Here are a few of the problems I’ve been having:

  1. I’ve been typing my essays in OpenOffice and then cutting and pasting the content into Dreamweaver text editor. Royally bad idea. I’m not sure what’s going on, but Dreamweaver sets the encoding default to ISO 8859-1, and Openoffice is doing something different. The solution in OpenOffice is to choose SAVE AS, choose the file type Encoded Text file and choose the encoding you want to work with. Then, copy from it. I’ve noticed something similar with MS Word.
  2. Consistent encoding. Dreamweaver slaps 8859-1 at the top of HTML files, but I had a meta tag which specified UTF-8. How stupid am I?
  3. I was doing a global search and replace in Dreamweaver to replace the fancy quotes with boring quotes. Apparently my boring quotes were making things worse when I was trying to put things back into UTF-8.

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