MindBlog... It's just mindbloggling. Passing thoughts of a Pageminder -- a Web developer's journal with Web-related commentary and links.
 
 
Previous passing thoughts of a Pageminder — MindBlog Archives

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November 1 - 30, 2004

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Previous passing thoughts of a Pageminder

An auspicious and very remarkable occasion
11.30.04 - 11:30 pm (CT)
I haven't had a whole lot to say this month, and those who know me know why… however today is an auspicious and very remarkable occasion, as it is little Jonny's 24th birthday, so without further ado, here's a great BIG MindBlog…

Happy Birthday to Jon!

I love you little Jonny… all 6'5" of you!
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Inauspicious, unremarkable change
11.21.04 - 7:29 pm (CT)
Without fanfare something has changed, the inauspicity of it was unremarkable, so unremarkable in fact that no one remarked about it, including me. I just let it pass on with nary a mention due to its inauspiciousness… and quite frankly because I forgot, which brings me to, why bother bringing it up now if it was so unremarkable at the time? Good question… okay, I won't.
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HTML and CSS Guru? Nah, just making and using it
11.20.04 - 8:55 am (CT)
The other night I was working on a group project for the JavaScript (JS) class that I'm taking at the local junior college, where the other members of my group are new to HTML and CSS, so I may have come off like some kind of guru, but I'm not, I'm just a user of both. Sure, I know more than some, but a lot less than others who are probably real gurus when it comes to coding.

Oh to be sure, I would like to be a guru when it comes to HTML and CSS, but right now I don't have the time, however, very soon I hope to find the time to indulge myself a little more in the things in life that interest ME. As for what those things are, well, the guru status on the HTML and CSS, along with more than user status on the JS all would be very nice, and for the icing on my Web cake… well, let's see what interests me at the time.

Anyway, for right now I'm just working on the JS, which you might remember, took me 2 years to get around to, and as time and my interests permit, I'll indulge myself with a little bit of dabbling here and there in the Web world and beyond… yes, 2005 is looking good for dabbling.
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Looking for happiness in all of the wrong places
11.17.04 - 9:47 pm (CT)
There are so many "unhappy" people out there looking for happiness where they will never find it, because they are looking in all of the wrong places! They think that they need others or something else, usually from somewhere outside their little sphere, to put a smile on their face. They should take a lesson from Dorothy in the movie, "The Wizard of Oz" (MGM, 1939):

"...if I ever go looking for my heart's desire again, I won't look any further than my own backyard, because if it isn't there, I never really lost it to begin with."
So many people could be spared the frustration, irritation, and heartache of unhappiness if they would realize that they are not "settling" for who they are and what they have, but that they are accepting it, being happy with and, yes being grateful for, all that they are and all that they have. That does not mean not to strive for more out of, and in, their lives, but first they need to discover the rainbow in their own backyard and go from there.

Of course, after they realize that the rainbow (of happiness) is right there in their own backyard, they might just also realize that the grass isn't really any greener three yards over and that there really is "no place like home". As for those who cannot come to accept that 'acceptance is not settling', well, it's TBSS for them, as being miserable has become their way of life… and the rest of us just need to accept that and move on with our own lives.
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Finding layout errors with Mozilla Firefox
11.08.04 - 9:23 am (CT)
I spent the weekend doing a little bit of housekeeping on a client's website — something had been bugging me with the layout since it had gone online and I decided it was time to figure out what in the heck it was. So, using the sort of new Mozilla Firefox browser, TopStyle CSS Editor*, and Notepad (a plain text editor that comes with Windows®), I opened the site in one window, the CSS file in a second window, and the HTML code in another window.

Since Mozilla Firefox is probably the most Web Standards compliant browser (i.e. it closely follows the latest W3C's — World Wide Web Consortium — recommendations for writing the code that makes a webpage display in your browser of choice), it has the most accurate display of what is in the CSS and HTML code, which, along with JavaScript (JS), is mainly what I use when designing a website, so… it made it very apparent where the layout problem was. With the problem area pinpointed, I started digging through the code (CSS and HTML) that made that part of the page appear and voilà, the little itty-bitty error was found and corrected.

The lesson here is, if you've got a layout problem or whatever with a webpage, be sure to view it in not only the most common browsers (i.e. Internet Explorer and Netscape), but also in Mozilla Firefox — you'll be glad you did.
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Increasing website traffic with RSS feed titles
11.01.04 - 2:44 pm (CT)
I don't know why I didn't do it sooner, but I didn't… a few weeks ago, I started adding titles to each MindBlog entry, both in the blog itself and in the RSS feed, because I belatedly realized that some services and/or service users only display the title of each entry and not the lead-in/description to the blog that follows it. So, upon not much thought, I went ahead and added the titles figuring that it might just increase the already somewhat nice traffic to this site and… lo and behold, traffic picked up quite nicely as soon as it went online!

After seeing the results that quickly, well, I could have kicked myself for not following the advice I give to all of my clients, which is to show the site visitor upfront, in as few words as possible, what you have to offer them, because the Internet is all about speed… the speed of the delivery of information. If you make people wait till the second or third level of your site to find out whether or not you have what they want, well they may never get that deep into your site — they'll just move on to the next site and then the next site till they find one that let's them know right away what they do and don't have.

It's kind of like fishing, which I do not do, you bait the hook, show the bait to the fish, and when he sees what he wants right there in front of his face, he grabs it, you set the hook, and reel him in. Yes, it is just like fishing… online for traffic and customers, and you can't catch them if you don't put the baited hook in plain sight where they can see it, grab it, and then run with it till you reel them in.
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