omg, I'm actually blogging!

This is a discussion on omg, I'm actually blogging! within the General Discussions forums, part of the Community Boards category; Inspired by many others and growing more open to the idea, I finally decided to put up my own blog. ...

  1. #1
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    omg, I'm actually blogging!

    Inspired by many others and growing more open to the idea, I finally decided to put up my own blog. It's been a long ride before I finally saw the value in these things. If for nothing else, at least a way to express oneself.
    But truth be told, I've been having more insight, been gaining more knowledge, and been having a genuine good time on some people's blogs these days, than in mainstream media.

    It's here
    .
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  2. #2
    Unregistered User Yarin's Avatar
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    MK stole your cool blog photo.

    Also noticed you changed your mind rather dramatically in just 11 days.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mario F. View Post
    Personal pages, discussion groups, manifests, political oriented websites, blogs (only they weren't called blogs), wikis (only they weren't called wikis). That and a lot more, have always been produced by all kinds of people and the biggest group has always been those with the least technological inclination and less talent.
    A class that doesn't overload all operators just isn't finished yet. -- SmugCeePlusPlusWeenie
    A year spent in artificial intelligence is enough to make one believe in God. -- Alan J. Perlis

  3. #3
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yarin View Post
    MK stole your cool blog photo.
    It's not theft, public monuments are in the public domain Unless Mario built that little noisemaker on the hill out back*.

    Also noticed you changed your mind rather dramatically in just 11 days.
    Now we just need to get him out of fixed width formatting.

    * apparently not: the image "is a beautiful shot of The Singing Ringing Tree in Burnley, Lancashire UK". Those must be the moors in the background.
    Last edited by MK27; 03-29-2010 at 10:29 AM.
    C programming resources:
    GNU C Function and Macro Index -- glibc reference manual
    The C Book -- nice online learner guide
    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
    3 (different) GNU debugger tutorials: #1 -- #2 -- #3
    cpwiki -- our wiki on sourceforge

  4. #4
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yarin View Post
    Also noticed you changed your mind rather dramatically in just 11 days.
    errm... there's nothing in that quote that should make you believe that. But you can say I changed my mind dramatically in the past 5 years.

    I concede in one area though. That thread had me look more closely and more intensively at the blogosphere than ever before. It helped speed up the decision process.

    As for MK's avatar, I'm actually flattered. Besides it's a damn pretty picture.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  5. #5
    Registered User whiteflags's Avatar
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    This is good news to me. I like blogs by my friends.

  6. #6
    Registered User UltraKing227's Avatar
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    nice blog, its never late to begin something!

  7. #7
    Ecologist
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    What are these "controversial opinions" you have? I have
    controversial opinions, too. We should hang out.
    Staying away from General.

  8. #8
    In my head happyclown's Avatar
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    Good to see you're blogging. There is no option for the reader of your blog to leave comments. Sometimes the reader wants to discuss or debate with the blogger.
    OS: Linux Mint 13(Maya) LTS 64 bit.

  9. #9
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by happyclown View Post
    Good to see you're blogging. There is no option for the reader of your blog to leave comments. Sometimes the reader wants to discuss or debate with the blogger.
    If the "reader" is already too lazy to actually read, then perhaps the debate was worth missing...
    No Comment | Quiet Technologies
    C programming resources:
    GNU C Function and Macro Index -- glibc reference manual
    The C Book -- nice online learner guide
    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
    3 (different) GNU debugger tutorials: #1 -- #2 -- #3
    cpwiki -- our wiki on sourceforge

  10. #10
    Ecologist
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    Long gone are the ancient days were dialectic was an actual art, were deceit was frowned upon
    got a couple typos there
    Staying away from General.

  11. #11
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Indeed. Fixed.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  12. #12
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    Now we just need to get him out of fixed width formatting.
    MK,

    Don't think I ignored this comment. It has been nagging at me since you first wrote it. It's an area I'm curious about and since then I've been studying the rules of proper text formatting or remembering old concepts from when I used to design websites (I was never a good designer, in that and many other ways. But then we weren't so picky).

    Anyways, could you give me a heads up on what you mean? And any advise on a more central place where I can study the subject of formatting and readability (websites, books, etc)?
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  13. #13
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    I have a beef with fixed width for a couple reasons:

    1) I use a widescreen monitor.
    2) The page width is, or should be, controlled by the user resizing the browser window.

    I've had a few prolonged flaming threads on web-dev forums about this, since there are a lot of pro web-dev people who swear by fixed width and get very offended when someone criticizes it. The truth (IMO) about why people use it is that it simplifies certain design issues* within constraints placed on css techniques imposed by Microsoft because of IE (see the flames rising ). These are solvable, altho it may sometimes require some javascript and in (a very few) cases scaling images, which some designers seem to think that should be spared at all costs. But in the case of the vast majority of fixed width pages, including the software you are using, none of that is necessity, it's just a fashion/habit.

    A lot of forest gets lost for the trees here because people refuse to recognize that certain aspects of the user experience are fundamental, whereas other things are not. Also, I guess if all you do all day is make web pages look pretty you may be prone to certain kinds of mental decay. Even worse than the fixed width is the fixed font size, which leads to disasters like this:

    Aesalon: a tool to visualize dynamically-allocated memory

    I actually did send an email to gitorious about that because I think the open source programmer community deserves better, not some brain-dead corporate approach. Interestingly, they got back to me and said they agreed, that the site was being over-hauled and they'd add this to the list of things to correct.

    The most interesting part is that if you surveyed pro web developers, I would wager a near majority of them would insist that using a fixed font size is good thing and they would never give it up! Even the criticism that this is a very bad thing to do to people who use a large minimum font because of impaired vision has been COMPLETELY REJECTED by the industry. They don't care. They want their pages "just-so", and who cares if anyone can actually read them. This is what I mean when I said it is normative to reject fundamentals (that the user should be able to control the font size in their browser without mangling the page) for what amounts to chintz.

    Anyway, the fixed width page dates back to when The London Times, I believe, went on line. They commissioned some kind of study which revealed that on average, the most "readable" length of a line was 10-15 words. You can see how that would be bound to lead to fixed widths both for pages and fonts. Kind of interested in what motivated them to do that.

    I had a look at the study last year sometime and all it was was testing a sample group in a lab. However, it is now often presented as having some deeper scientific meaning, such as "It is easiest for your brain to read lines 10-15 words in length", sometimes backed up with total conjecture about how the eye moves, which had nothing to do with the study. It was just an average of a random bunch of people.

    I can tell you for a fact I read a lot more than average and have since I was a kid, and my ideal line length is not 10-15 words, it's at least two or three times that, which is why I like widescreen monitors. However, a lot of perhaps barely literate web dev people want to believe that this is not a matter of how well you read (therefore, widely variable) but on the physical nature of the eye and brain.

    So this becomes the excuse, otherwise, they would have to acknowledge that the length of line should be up to the user, who can control it (if they find it easier) by shrinking the browser window.

    But I appreciate variety and don't really have a problem with your site at all. Vis. "the subject of formatting and readability", I think what's implied here is that this is a mostly bogus field populated by charlatans collecting checks from the likes of The London Times to spew moronic pap. That study had a huge impact, is highly respected, and often cited. But maybe you can find someone wise in there if you dig. Probably the best place is to just look around the web and pay attention to things you think work. It is worth noting that businesses really really seem to go for the fixed width thing (the pages look business like that way, I guess, because this is a self perpetuating circle). It ain't me you're selling to.

    I kind of think you should open up comments tho, you might get more fans that way. If I comment on something, I usually remember and come back to it.

    * also, if your content is mostly 35 word blubs, it does look better if they each occupy more than just a single line.
    Last edited by MK27; 04-09-2010 at 06:30 PM.
    C programming resources:
    GNU C Function and Macro Index -- glibc reference manual
    The C Book -- nice online learner guide
    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
    3 (different) GNU debugger tutorials: #1 -- #2 -- #3
    cpwiki -- our wiki on sourceforge

  14. #14
    and the Hat of Guessing tabstop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    (stuff about line length)
    I can't seem to find my LaTeX manual right this minute, but from what I remember of it, Lamport chose the ideal line length from a study (not from the London Times I don't believe) where they asked people what they thought the ideal line length was (and got a number much like MK gave), and then (by design) completely ignored that because what they were actually measuring with a fancy gizmo was how often peoples' eyes "missed" coming back from the right edge to the left; and apparently the 4-inch-or-so LaTeX standard was the optimum from that perspective. So that part appears to have some basis on reality.

    On the other hand, I too think that's awful skinny and I don't know anyone who knows about the fullpage package in LaTeX who doesn't use it all the time, so that most likely isn't a very complete picture of what's going on. (And to be honest I find how things line up vertically to make a larger impact on how easy it is for me to read then the length of the line, but that's way anecdotal.)

  15. #15
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    css techniques imposed by Microsoft because of IE (see the flames rising ).
    Only by someone who never wrote an <html> tag in their life. Microsoft damage to CSS can only be compared to...

    Thanks for your thoughts. I actually agree with essentially all you said. Meanwhile, out of curiosity I opened the book I'm currently reading (Umberto Eco's "Baudolino") and counted the words on 10 random lines. Average was 19 with longest line being 22 words. Reads like a charm. I never really bought that 10-15 words hoopla either.

    The fixed format was pretty much an imposition of the wordpress theme I chose. Liquid layouts are too among my favorite options, but in today's weird screen resolutions (especially 16:9) may be more trouble than its worth. But moving to a non-fixed layout seems a sensible choice. I will eventually try to recover some of my lost knowledge on CSS and try to change it. Not to a full width necessarily, but in any case make the width a percentage.

    I kind of think you should open up comments tho, you might get more fans that way. If I comment on something, I usually remember and come back to it.
    I'm actually not running a popularity contest. But mostly can't stand comment fields pretty much anywhere. There's something to a comment field that empowers people to think they can just say whatever they want. Well, they can't. Not on my blog. If they want to say anything they feel like, go write their own damn blogs.

    It's actually quite interesting this whole comment field thingy. I call it the Comment Field Philodox Effect (*). And I have a few things to say. Should have a post about it sometime in the next days.

    However one thing I do miss indeed. Having interesting and sane feedback. I recently downloaded a plugin to give me a nice feedback form. And that will be the option that I'll put in place.

    I've been weighting the possibility of introducing registered comments. But I decided against it for two main reasons:

    - Really, people don't want Yet-Another-Registration-Form! Enough already. And OpenID is not something I'm too trusting yet. And I won't ask people to use things I don't trust.
    - It doesn't solve anything. Registration is just a one-time unnecessary entry-level formality. It doesn't screen the arseholes.

    EDIT:
    (*) meaning, you are not a philodox until you start writing on a comment field.
    Last edited by Mario F.; 04-09-2010 at 07:09 PM.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

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