A Link that Moves and
Resizes Browser Windows

When opening a new browser window, the window is often not in the position
you want or sized the way you want. I used to spend way too much time
moving and resizing browser windows. Now I have a link on the browser's
link bar (both IE and NS) that resizes and moves the window to the left
side of the screen and another link that moves it to the right side
of the screen. The links have the following text in place of the URL:


The Meaning of XML

What is XML? I've encountered a lot of misconceptions about what XML
is, so I'm going to give a quick high-level explanation. XML is a character-level
format on top of which element-level file formats can be built. That's
an important thing to understand. Whenever a new human-readable file
format is developed to save information to, it's necessary to worry
about the file at the level of individual characters even though we're
trying to save chunks of information. Every time a programmer wants
to create a simple config file, they shouldn't have to write a parser
that has to look at a text file and determine where certain chunks of
information start and end and what things contain what other things
and how to deal with inserting characters that are already being used
as delimiters in the file. That's a lot of effort and the process can
easily be error prone for all but the simplest files. Furthermore, the
programmer will have no choice but to write the code that verifies that
the file is correct. That's a tedious and often error prone process.
With XML, we can use someone else's parser (since it's a widely known
standard), or we can write our own parser once and make sure it does
everything well. From then on, we only need to worry about things at
the element level. XML is hierarchical, so it's more convenient for
storing information than is a file that's organized into a table (like
CSV). I'm writing a more in depth analysis, but the truly key issue
is that XML is a character-level file format on top of which element
level file formats can be built.

Dreamweaver Web Site Manager

I now use Dreamweaver to edit HTML pages and organize my web sites.
Dreamweaver is excellent! It allows the user to edit a page by directly
modifying the HTML code or by editing it in a WYSIWYG window. The coolest
thing is that the generated HTML is actually well formatted for human
eyes (unlike a certain popular HTML editor that generates practically
unreadable HTML) and its possible to edit the HTML and have it update
the WYSIWYG view in real time! Dreamweaver also scans all the pages
in the site and checks them to make sure there are no local dead links.
It's also possible to have Dreamweaver scan the pages for browser compatibility.
(E.g., check to see if all pages on the site are compatible with Netscape
4.04 or IE3, etc.) If I move a page from one directory to a different
directory (using Dreamweaver's interface), all links that point to that
page will be updated to reflect the page's new location. Also, all the
relative links in that page will be updated so they point to the pages
they pointed to before the move. Dreamweaver has numerous other capabilities
that make life easier for a site maintainer. In short, Dreamweaver is
great! I strongly recommend it. Dreamweaver is made by Macromedia, costs
roughly $270.

The only downside to the program (at least in version 2.0) is that
it's rather slow. I still like it though.

ISO Date Standard

Although this isn't really news, it's information that I think should
be spread: There is a standard ISO date format for date and time. The
standard format recognizes (among others) the following date formats
(I'm using my birthday as the example date):

  • 1975-09-12
  • 1975 September 12
  • 19750912

You might want to check out a page that summarizes the entire ISO
date and time standard

Kinesis Keyboard

After several difficult days using the Kinesis keyboard, I'm back up
to, and possibly slightly exceeding, my previous typing speed. Due to
all the possible factors, it's impossible to tell how much it's helping
to reduce the joint pain in my fingers (the Advil, and once an hour
stretching exercises obviously help quite a bit), but it definitely
reduces wrist movement, and that can only be a good thing. I've learned
that the pain in my finger joints is almost certainly not the result
of anything local to those joints. Apparently it's caused by that nasty
and vengeful Mr. Carpal Tunnel choking the nerves to my fingers (or
something along those lines). I'd like to replace Mr. Tunnel with a
better form of nerve impulse transit (cellular nerves?), but Microsoft's
network of LEO satelites dedicated to transmission of nerve impulses
hasn't been put fully in place yet and will probably be delayed till
fourth quarter 1999 due to the justice department's apparent concern
about Microsoft's potential control of million's of extra hands.

Version 4.1 last modified by Geoff Fortytwo on 14/05/2008 at 01:17

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Creator: Geoff Fortytwo on 2008/05/12 01:14
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