Taking a coffee break
#1

I took the day off from working on the board today. I needed a break to sit back and relax a bit.

There are still a few nagging things to fix, but the board is mostly ready for action now. I will see about getting those last board issues fixed soon and then start inviting a few more people over to join us here.

I did post a notice about this board on facebook, a few days ago, but very few people seem to have noticed my post, and of those that did notice it, fewer still managed to come on over and take a look at the new board. So far, only two of those people who found and followed my link on facebook have actually signed up to become members here.

I do like some aspects of facebook, for example, I can channel in a lot of news and science content to my facebook newsfeed… but the kinds of things that most people on my contact list tend to talk about, oh my. There are a few facebook friends that like to talk about relevant and serious issues, or at least not babble about stupid things, but most of them seem to only want to joke around and copy and paste onto their pages things that someone else said (and then try to make you feel guilty for not doing the same brain-dead thing). I really get tired of seeing the same jokes, motivational thoughts, and poorly thought out statements, over and over and over again. I find that to be the worst aspect of facebook. It is like facebook is designed to promote unoriginality and shallow thinking.

It is the lack of originality of most facebook users that is sickening to me. I guess that is why I am trying again to make a message board for people who like to think their own original thoughts and talk about relevant, real world, issues. It is okay to have fun here too, but please, try to have more originality and intellectual class than the typical facebook user while you are posting here.

Well, that may have been harsh, but it is how I feel.

I will get back to work on this board tomorrow.

MACJR
"I reject your reality and substitute my own." Adam Savage of the MythBusters
Reply
#2
I still have not dug into those last few nagging board issue I need to fix. I suppose getting that explanation of just what a complex password consists of is an issue that I should get fixed ASAP though. I just need to find the right template to fix that, and there are a large number of templates to search though. In fact, I am having a problem finding two or three other templates that I need to find to fix a couple of smaller issues, too.

Those templates are there somewhere, but where? Templates are categorized, but it is not always clear just what category a template function is categorized in, and they are not always where you would think they should be (I guess that would make it too easy).

I also need to touch up a few more board graphics, but I want to get those templates problems fixed first.

Speaking of graphics though, I have been researching a few graphics programs over the last two days. Yesterday I needed a program to make icons with. I have a good icon editing program, that I purchased years ago, but it was not installed on this computer, and I did not have the program handy at that time. So I searched the net to see what is out there today. I found a couple of very good icon programs, but they cost too much for my slim budget, so I kept looking. Then I found an open source icon editing program, free to use, and it has some of the best tool features of all. It is a bit buggy, but I like it better than that older icon editing program I have (that I did find, and installed today).

I am also researching raster style graphics programs. My primary graphics program is Paint Shop Pro (the poor man's Photoshop), but I have been extremely dissatisfied with the latest versions of PSP. Ever since Corel bought out JASC (the original makers of PSP) they have, step by step, ruined PSP, as far as I am concerned. I have been starving for another graphics program to come out that is at least as good as the older versions of Paint Shop Pro used to be, but updated to better deal with current graphic format standards.

Unfortunately, I have not found an open source alternatives to Paint Shop Pro... yet. There are some programs that are showing real potential, but they are just not good enough for my needs just yet. Still, some of those open source graphics programs are good enough to use for some graphics projects now and then. I would even be willing to pay for a good alternative to PSP, but there are no graphics programs, of that caliber, or better, that I can afford. So here I sit, still stuck with that last version of PSP that I was willing to buy (now two versions out of date)... and wishing for better.

MACJR
"I reject your reality and substitute my own." Adam Savage of the MythBusters
Reply
#3
I finally found it! Actually, I had found that template before, but I thought I was looking for something else.

This time, after taking a quick look at the Registration Page's source info, I saw just which template I wanted. I then went right to that template and added the information about what a "Complex Password" is and placed it in a location that should be noticeable enough to help the people who need that information.

I am not sure why I did not see this solution when I was looking at that template before. I guess I just needed a break from templates for a few days. Wink

Now, I need to find at least two more templates to solve a couple more minor issues.

Once I find, and fix, those last (known) template issues, I plant to get started on my web sites. I will be testing out some new techniques that I learned from working on this board. If my ideas work out, I will then begin work on redesigning macjr.com, and then macjr.net.

Once I have macjr.net redesigned, I plan to either put more work into my family tree board, or abandon that one and make a new one with the same software I used for this board.

This all should keep me busy for the next year or two.

MACJR
"I reject your reality and substitute my own." Adam Savage of the MythBusters
Reply
#4
Oh my! This message board sure does not look its best when using Internet Explorer 6. Still, the board doesn't look as bad as I feared it would in IE 6, and this text reply box actually works a little better in IE 6 than it does in IE 9. Never mind the out of kilter toolbar, at least none of the tool options are hidden from view.

I will check how the board looks and works in IE 7 and IE 8 next.

I will post screenshots tomorrow.

MACJR
"I reject your reality and substitute my own." Adam Savage of the MythBusters
Reply
#5
For the next few days I will be spending less time online. I will still check in at least once or twice a day, but the majority of my time will be spent working offline.

I still have a few minor board issues to deal with, but I want to work on a few graphics projects before I get back to dealing with that.

I have been researching books on HTML 5 and CSS 3 (the latest engines that power web pages), and I have selected a couple of them that I would like to purchase, but I have not been able to fit them into my budget yet. I hope to get at least one of those books next month. Then I can get started on updating my web sites, and maybe add a few more fancy tweaks to this board as well.

I also need to get books on php and MySQL, but those will have to wait a while longer. These are more advanced topics than html and css, and they would be very handy to have since this board runs on both php and MySQL. I can dabble a little with php and MySQL, but I need the books to really get to know the power they have, and how to use them... rather than just tinker with them a little bit.

Working on such a tight budget is the pits, but little by little, I do find ways to get the things I need. It just takes a while sometimes.

MACJR
"I reject your reality and substitute my own." Adam Savage of the MythBusters
Reply
#6
About the teardrop posted at the bottom of the main forum page, I call it "Joseph's Tear." I created the original version back in 2002, but this is the first time that I have posted a version of it online.

I see that this version of Joseph’s Tear needs a little more tweaking. Sometimes what looks just right in my graphics program looks a bit off in a web browser (to make matters worse, different web browsers display graphics in slightly different ways). I will see about posting an updated version a little later today.

By the way, Joseph's Tear will only be online until tomorrow morning.

I hope you didn't miss seeing it. Wink

I will eventually post Joseph's Tear again, or another version of it, somewhere else on the macjr.com web site.

MACJR
"I reject your reality and substitute my own." Adam Savage of the MythBusters
Reply
#7
It may not look like it, but I am still working on this board. It is true that it is taking a lot of time to get some things fixed, but that is because I am doing a lot of work "under the hood" and also working on other projects too.

Over time, things are getting done and more noticeable things will show up.

If I could be more than one person, things would get done a lot faster around here. It would be cool if I could be Triplicate Man, from the same planet that Triplicate Girl comes from (in "The Legion of Super Heroes" comics). Unfortunately, that sort of thing only seems to be possible in comic books and fairytale stories though. However, if I could chose any comic book hero to be, I would rather be Superman, anyway. At least, even if only as one person, I could work at super-speed and have all the rest of his super powers too. Wink

MACJR
"I reject your reality and substitute my own." Adam Savage of the MythBusters
Reply
#8
I have put work on the board on hold for the time being, although I may get to a few things now and then, my focus, at the moment, is on studying HTML5 and CSS3. I am learning a few new tricks that I may start applying to my web sites very soon.

I had hoped to get more study time in today, but I heard on the weather report that the weather was not going to get better today, and probably not tomorrow either, as had been expected. I could have held out one more day, but I was in dire need of at least a few food items to hold me over until I can get to a grocery store. I am not going to drive out there in that snow/ice mess with all those city drivers on the roads. No way!

I like having a car, in once piece... and without dents.

Although the nearest grocery store is only a half mile, or less, up the road, I really did not want to walk all the way there and back in several inches of wet snow, while it is still snowing. So I went to a local convenience store (with prices that are only convenient for the store owners). I picked up a gallon of 1% milk and a small tub of margarine, and then stopped by a Papa Murphy's for a large pizza, cheesy bread, and a tub of cookie dough.

I would rather have bought healthier stuff up at the grocery store, but at least this will help stretch out my food supply for a few more days.

Well, looks like I can get in a little more study time today, so I am off to play with HTML and CSS again. Smile

MACJR
"I reject your reality and substitute my own." Adam Savage of the MythBusters
Reply
#9
The book I am studying on HTML5 and CSS3 covers the updated standard model for today's web pages, but it also teaches a bit about an experimental model for making web pages.

I almost wish that I had not seen this new model for making web pages, even though it may become the next web standard. It works in Firefox, Google Chrome, and Safari, but Internet Explorer has no clue as to what to do with it (as usual).

To see a beautiful way to make cool web pages, but not be able to use this method without leaving out IE users (the majority of people online), sucks.

This book has been helping me understand more about web page layout and design, as well as showing me the new stuff. Even though I already knew how to work many of the elements covered, I did not necessarily have complete control over some of those elements. Some things I knew very well, but in other areas, I had a few things to learn.

I think what is helping me the most is that I am doing the step-by-step process that the book teaches. With my older books, I used to study the parts I needed at the time, but not do all the step-by-step tutorials. I think that was a mistake. I could have learned more by doing those step-by-step processes, even though they were covering areas I was not interested in at the time.

Well, off to make lunch and then get back to studying. Smile

MACJR
"I reject your reality and substitute my own." Adam Savage of the MythBusters
Reply
#10
If all else fails read the directions Wink
Reply
#11
(01-21-2012, 12:42 PM)White Crane Wrote: If all else fails read the directions Wink

The problem was that the web page model the books teach are often not what I wanted to build. I would read chapter and verse till the books started going in areas I did not want to go. But, I was missing a few things because of that.

This time, I am reading all the text and doing all exercises. It does help to fill in a few gaps to read ALL of the instructions. Wink

Still, even though my methods of building web pages were more like using bailing wire and duck tape, most of how I did things was not all that far from the standard model. Mostly, I just stumbled into doing it the right way, or found close enough alternatives, because they worked.

Also, I do study other web pages from time to time to see how they did things. This can help a lot too.

One more thing too, sometimes these HTML books do not always write everything in a way that can be understood. You see their examples, you try them, and no matter how hard you try, they do not work because the author left out some important bit of information, or failed to explain it well enough for it to make sense.

The book I am studying now has at least one section like that, too. I will have to go back over that information again at another time if the book does not come back to cover that element in better detail later on (it was shown as an intro to that element, which was not part of the template lessons discussed in that chapter, so it may show up again). If not, then I may have to research that element online if I ever need to use it in one of my web pages. Right now, it does not seem like anything I need, so I did not stress over it too much. It was just one of those, “What the hell?” moments. Wink

MACJR
"I reject your reality and substitute my own." Adam Savage of the MythBusters
Reply
#12
Okay, now I am at a point with my Supernovadust website design that I have to put work on hold until I get a book on how to write, and use, PHP.

From Wikipedia:

  1. "PHP is a general-purpose server-side scripting language originally designed for web development to produce dynamic web pages."
  2. "PHP originally stood for 'Personal Home Page', it is now said to stand for 'PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor.'"

What all that means is that I want to do some things with my new website that are more advanced than I currently know how to do. Huh

I know HTML and CSS fairly well, but PHP is actual programming, not just "Hyper Text Markup Language" and "Cascading Style Sheets." HTML is not all that hard to learn. CSS takes a bit more work to understand, but is still not at the level of real programming.

My goals for my new websites require that I become more familiar with PHP and JavaScript. I want to start with PHP, and worry about JavaScript later.

To achieve my goals, I need a few more books to study, but as usual, I have to wait until I can afford to buy them. Fortunately, I should be able to pick up at least one of the books I need in just a few more days.

Until then, I guess I will find a few other things to do. I do need to do some touch up work on my other two sites in preparation for their renovations. Not to mention, I still need to do some polish work here on this board. Wink

MACJR
"I reject your reality and substitute my own." Adam Savage of the MythBusters
Reply
#13
Cool discovery!

I just found out that at least some of those fancy things I have been learning about CSS3 work in XHTML, as well as in HTML5.

XHTML is supported by more web browsers than HTML5, and better still, I already know how to write XHTML pages. Wink

I can improve my other sites without having to switch to HTML5, which is not quite ready for prime time anyway. I have been hearing about HTML5 for at least a couple of years, but it turns out that it is still just in the experimental stages of development.

I will keep supernovadust.com as an HTML5 site, but I am going to rework the design of macjr.com and macjr.net with XHTML and CSS3. I will have to check to be sure, but this should work better with Internet Explorer 7 and 8. I will still have to forget about trying to make websites that look good with IE6 though. IE6 is just too far behind the times.

MACJR
"I reject your reality and substitute my own." Adam Savage of the MythBusters
Reply
#14
Well, that blows that idea. I just tested the XHTML and CSS3 combination with Internet Explorer 8. FAIL!

The structure elements of the XHTML display right in IE8, but the CSS3 elements do not. IE8 just does not know what to do with CSS3, regardless of what version of HTML I used with it.

With HTML5, IE8 fails with both the HTML structure, and many of the CSS3 styles.

I guess I am better off just forgetting about older versions of IE and encourage people to use Firefox, if they can, when viewing my sites. Firefox works best with almost everything I have tried regarding HTML5 and CSS3, and Firefox works on older computers too.

There are some aspects of CSS3 that do work better in Google Chrome, than in Firefox, but nothing works better in IE9. Nothing at all... and you can forget about anything older than IE9 being of any use on the web today (except with old, outdated, web sites).

Now I have to think about just going all in with HTML5, on all my sites, because that is where the future of the web is taking us. There are real advantages to going with HTML5, even if many of the structural elements are still experimental and still in a state of flux. And even though CSS3 does work with XHTML, that combination still does not solve the problem of older versions of Internet Explorer… over even IE9.

So HTML5 it is.

Sorry about that, for all you hapless IE users, but that is just the way things are going.

MACJR
"I reject your reality and substitute my own." Adam Savage of the MythBusters
Reply
#15
Now that I have updated my skills HTML, it is time to dig into PHP. I ordered two eBooks on the subject today. That takes a bit of a bite out of my food budget for this month, but at least I have something to keep my mind active with, and at least the eBooks were at a reduced price. Wink

The reason I want to learn PHP is that there are some things I would like to be able to do, that cannot be done with just HTML and CSS. This message board uses PHP to load different parts of the page from different files. You would not know it from looking at your screen, but each page you see is actually a combination of different PHP pages, all merged together to look like and act like one single page. That is what I want to learn how to do. That ability would save me a boatload of time when I wanted to update page headers and footers, for example. As it is now, with my HTML pages, I have to update each and every web page every time I want to change the header and footer information. With PHP's ability to make separate index, header, and footer pages, and more, that can all be combined into one page on the screen, all I would have to do is change the header and footer information once, and all pages would then load the new information onto them, thus saving me boatloads of time and effort.

There are other things that I can do with PHP, but I will get back to you on that, once I get a better idea what all it can do myself, and what I else I might want to use it for.

Learning PHP will also give me a much deeper understanding of this message board, and the ability to do even bigger customizations to it, as well.

MACJR
"I reject your reality and substitute my own." Adam Savage of the MythBusters
Reply


Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)