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Archive: 3 January 2003

Head Banging

Earlier this afternoon, I was seriously thinking about smashing my forehead through the monitor of my Windows machine.  Why?  I was trying to do some standards-based scripting for IE5.5.  You’d think I’d know better by now, but no.  It’s a very simple little routine, and yet IE5.5 just silently fails at one point for no good reason (and, I’m told, so does IE6).  I have script debugging turned on and it still doesn’t tell me anything.  It just stops the routine.

In another area of the page, I have a block-level element set to 100% the width of its parent element, which is also 100% the width of its parent, with none of them having any margins or padding.  The expected result is that the “innermost” element will be as wide as its parent, and that element as wide as its parent.  Does IE5.5 do this?  Of course not—that would be too easy.  Instead it leaves a roughly-one-em gap to the left.  Oh, and the links in about half the lists simply fail to respond to user interaction of any kind.  The link text becomes plain old ordinary text for no apparent reason.

I’m really beginning to loathe IE/Win.  Sure, sure, NN4.x is worse, but I’ve stopped worrying about how it renders pages (by dint of hiding most styles from it) and I don’t even try to script for it.  Thus IE/Win now occupies the “most unforgivably broken browser” slot in my life.

I should learn not to talk about music until I’ve had a chance to listen to it a few times.  My opinion of Gravity has sharply improved in the past week.  I really started to like it when I told iTunes to always skip track 9.  Gravity still hasn’t grabbed me the way Spiritual Machines did this time last year, but it’s still darned good.

The Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan in your life is likely to find the Buffy Sex Chart amusing on some level.  I found myself remembering the relationship charts that were drawn up in an attempt to map the emotional landscape of Twin Peaks—which was, let’s admit, only possible if you extended the chart into several more dimensions than the usual three.  I was also reminded of an analysis of the show’s vampire population ecology I spotted recently.  It’s  a population-dynamics paper with equations and graphs and everything, although it’s written specifically to be understandable even if you don’t follow the math.  Now that’s über-geekitude for you.  I love it.

Speaking of television, last night Kat and I saw a commercial for Domino’s Dots™.  These are, it would seem, fried dough balls with cinnamon-sugar coating and a white icing.  They sound like donut holes to me, and they seem like a half-step from the Cinna Stix®, which are themselves a half-step from breadsticks.  So here’s my theory: Domino’s is very slowly evolving into a national-chain version of the typical local neighborhood Italian bakery.

It’s so crazy, it just might work.

January 2003
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