The Next Generation Of Social Networking Sites

FaceSpace and MyBook are out, these badboys are in. I’ve stumbled across a few “social networking” sites over the past few days that are definitely worth a look or two from you, my loyal reader[s]:

  • Open Source Food: exchange recipes, have your own rated by your fellow man and drool over the quick pictures of the mouth-watering dishes your fellow geeks have whipped up.
  • Media Mythbusters: conservatives dedicated to collaboratively putting the lie to the Mainstream Media’s various spins and outright fabrications. Follow along on the MMM blog, too.
  • InviteShare: Down at the moment, but if you’re sick of scrounging for invites to invite-only betas like Skitch, GrandCentral, Pownce, etc., fear no more. Head over to InviteShare and request some beta lovin’ from those on the inside who will, in turn, earn a reputation for their invite generosity. Nifty idea.

Super Link Fighter II: Ultra Hyper Mega Championship Tab Dump Edition

My browsers on each and every machine I have access to have been collecting open tabs like some hideously geeky HTTP-fueled version of Garbage Pail Kids/M.U.S.C.L.E. figurines/Pogs/[insert some other non-Pokemon hackneyed pop cultural reference here] and so, in order to unburden myself fully, I offer the following compendium of links. Consider it some sort of bizarre Internet confessional, wherein you, my loyal readers, bear witness to my hideously packrat-ish collection of links aggregated over too long a time.
Click through, if you dare – there are some real gems, I assure you.
The format goes: [Machine] – [Browser], FYI.
Continue reading “Super Link Fighter II: Ultra Hyper Mega Championship Tab Dump Edition”

Naked Time!

Do not adjust your vertical nor your horizontal — I’m participating in CSS Naked Day ’07 as a way of “showing off” the X/HTML behind my long-delayed theme. It’s a way of promoting good markup (I think I come pretty close there) and of just plain gettin’ nekkid in public.
The mellow tones of my regular theme will return tomorrow.

Up From Humble Beginnings

It’s hard to believe, but Google, the current King of the Internet[s], sprang up from humble beginnings at Stanford back in 1998. Want proof? Here are the pictures that capture the ragtag nature of the first revision of the Little Search Engine That Could And Eventually Did.

Palette Swap!

I’ve had various and sundry people comment that the old default look/color scheme for my site was “too dark” so, in the interest of catering to the masses, I’ve done a bit of a turn-around, colorwise. Let me know what you think – the scheme still has some rough edges that I’m working on, but it’s pretty well tracking the development version of Elbee Elgee (the theme that Literal Barrage is currently running on).
So please, let me know what you think of the colors – what needs tweaking, what you like, what you don’t like, etc.
On the Elbee front, I’m quickly nearing a point where I feel like I could release it to the public. Beta 2 is approaching (yes, I know it says “4 months late” – that’s just about right…) and I think I’ll release it when I hit that landmark.

Required Daily Viewing

First off, a love song, sung by geeks, gone horribly, horribly awry:

Next up, one of the absolute high points in Western action cinema, the car chase sequence from Bullitt:

From Web 0 to Web 2.0 in five minutes’ time:

Lastly, rock out to the oxymoronic “Heck No! (I’ll Never Listen To Techno)”:

‘Scuse The Mess

I took the plunge and upgraded Literal Barrage to WordPress 2.1 on Thursday/Friday. I’ve been slowly picking away at the transition, re-enabling plugins, moving old artwork, etc. over. I know there are a bunch of things that still don’t work correctly: contact form, archives and a lot of my old images among them. If you notice any issues, please drop a comment on this story.
Thus far, 2.1 seems to be all-around faster and better put-together than previous versions of WordPress. For those of you following along with my theme development, I’ve moved Elbee to “beta 2” status. Things are progressing nicely (you can follow along with development without even leaving this page – the RSS feed down at the bottom shows the last few Subversion commits that I’ve made on the project).
Note to my hosted sites (Brad, AndyOne and Andy II, I’m looking in your direction particularly): Now’s the time to speak up as to whether you’d like to move from your existing 2.0.x installs to 2.1. (There’s another alternative as well – best email me so we can talk it out…).

A Quick Tip For WordPress Theme Authors

nobrainer nailed me a couple of days ago for not having auto-discoverable feeds on my site. The process for adding them to your WordPress is a rather simple one.
Add the following code to your document’s <head> section (usually header.php in WP themes):

This will alert RSS/Atom-aware browsers of the presence of your RSS, RSS2 and Atom (0.3) feeds. The last portion of the code will alert pingback-aware blogging apps of the pingback URL on each of your pages/posts so that authors linking to your content will automatically be able to generate pingbacks.
Hope this helps a few others out of the sandtrap I found myself in.

A Plea For A Bit Of Help From You IE-Savvy Web Developers Out There

I’m slowly working my way into making Elbee Elgee into a releasable theme and I’ve been merrily plinking away on my MacBook Pro, validating the look and feel in Opera, Safari and Firefox. However, I’ve also been trying to verify it using Internet Explorer while at work and have been driven to distraction by IE’s broken box model and hideous “float:” handling.
I’ve based my three generalized image handling CSS classes on K2‘s since I used it extensively in the past and thus have a lot of posts with “class=’alignright'”, etc., hardcoded into them. I (naively, it seems) thought that K2 had IE behavior down, which apparently is just about the furthest thing from the truth. Stock K2 looks pretty funky in IE, I have to say.
So here’s my quandary: I really, really want my .alignright, .alignleft and .center image classes to work in IE as well as they do in Opera, Safari and Firefox. When I set an image to .alignright, I expect to see the following:
In IE, the text smooshes up against the image and is visible behind the padding and border on the image.
When I set an image to .center, I expect this:
Instead, “centered” images are mashed up against the left side of the story body with the left border and padding cut off.
So all y’all web designers out there, help a fellow traveler out. My base CSS file is available here (just so you don’t have to do a “View Source…” to get it). I know the fix has to be a simple, stupid one that I’m missing, but I’ve kind of exhausted all the tricks I know.

Winning The Battle Of “Iconistan”

Wired News is currently running a piece regarding the proliferation of “Submit my blog entry to…” buttons that have been cropping up hither and yon on blogs of every stripe. The number and proliferation of said buttons is indeed getting to the ridiculous point and, when bloggers actually post links to even the top few sites, the bottoms of their posts begin to look just a wee bit, well, cluttered.
Peering icons.
Into this messy scene rides Alex King to the rescue with his Share This plugin for WordPress. Share This neatly encapsulates many of the top “social” sites’ submission buttons into a single DOM element box that is hidden by default, linked to by a simple “Share This” link and icon unobtrusively tucked away at the end of each WordPress post. (See the bottom of this post, for instance). Using a little Prototype JavaScript magic, clicking on that link pops up that box, giving readers the ability to submit the story to the social networking site of their choice – Fark, digg, reddit, Netscape, Newsvine, etc. It’s a very simple idea that I think goes a long way towards benefitting both readers and blog authors: it (mostly) hides the various multicolored submission buttons from view and keeps blog footers from becoming cluttered while allowing sufficiently-motivated users to submit authors’ content to a wider audience – a real win/win situation, as far as I’m concerned.
As to my particular implementation of Share This: yes, I realize the transparency isn’t working so the ST icon looks a little funky and the default CSS for the pop-up box is fairly hard to read. I’ll work on making those issues go away, but in the meantime – Share This post, won’t you?
(Side note: the ST icon you see is also the work of Alex King, who has started the Share Icons Project, an attempt to standardize these things in the same vein as Feed (RSS/Atom) Icons and the OPML one as well. I like it – simple and effective.)