Archive for April, 2014

Egads, The New Firefox Is 'orrible!

Not as 'orrible as the ever-decreasing functionality of the latest few versions of Opera, mind; but it's not nice.

For anyone who didn't fall instantly in love with the new, extra-flashy, swoopy Firefox 29 "Australis," this add-on will restore some degree of sanity. Amongst other things, it makes the add-on status-bar available again, via the context ("right-click") menu, brings back those nice, tidy, unobtrusive square tabs, and gives those of us who prefer to use the menu-bar instead of the Big Orange Button the choice to remove said button. Nice!

Oh, and for those who are wondering where the hell the title-bar went, it's restorable via a button at the bottom-left of Firefox's regular customisation facility.

Sanity restored.

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Okay then, here's an article about one of Hutton's posts in which I intend not to engage in Bob-bashing (unless it takes a different track as I write, from that which I have in my head as I begin). There may or may not be the occasional side-swipe at the Broadstairs Buffoon but, for the most part, I'm going to address the same thing he's addressed, rather than talk about his addressing of it.

Umm. Yeah, I think that sentence made sense.

And, I have to say, I strongly suspect that by the time I get to the end of this post, I'll have asked a lot of questions without having come up with many—if any—answers. The subject he's talking of, messianic Jews (people of Jewish descent who acknowledge Christ as the Messiah) is soaked in nuance and context, and requires a much greater knowledge of Jewish culture than I have. I've talked to Jews, both religious and non-religious, who struggle to define just what it means to be culturally but not religiously Jewish; yet they all seem to agree that, ill defined or hard-to-define as it may be, such cultural Jewishness is a real thing. And if they find it hard to define, then, I, as a non-Jew—and one who knows little of the culture, to boot—am not even going to attempt the task.

But here's where it all gets very hairy.


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FNIMN: Snookered

It being the world championship snooker this week, tonight's Friday Night Is Music Night is on the theme of colours. Well, it was either that or balls…

Eight songs from me in the OP, for a change, for obvious reasons. (Yeah, I included the cue-ball.) No need to stick to the snooker-ball colours if you don't want to. Any colour will do.


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Building A Website: Part One

Something I've noticed in my stats, having posted the odd article or two on basic html/css, is the number of searches which land people here, asking for really basic advice. How to apply a background image, what are the "proper" sizes for headings (any bleedin' size you like; so long as it's contained in heading-tags, and looks like a heading), even a few asking how to create the document in the first place. Some of them, judging by the phrasing, are getting a little desperate. Phrases like "for dummies" and "jargon-free" appear now and again. I sympathise.

One of the drawbacks of using the intertubes as a learning tool is having to sort out, without aid from a teacher, the dross from the good stuff, without even, to begin with, any knowledge of the correct terms to search for. Google for the solution to some problem or other to do with browser-incompatibility for instance, and you're more likely to find outdated solutions for similar problems affecting a now-outdated version of Internet Explorer (just for instance, but IE does throw up more than its fair share of those problems) back in 2007, than you are to find your needed solution.

And if you're a newbie, and don't even know the precise terms you should be looking for? You find yourself staring at an internet message board full of people talking about methods and terms—that you were thinking yourself clever for having worked out just the day before—being "deprecated" or just plain wrong, posting snippets of code that may or may not be good, but you wouldn't know how to apply them if they are, and, all-in-all, seemingly assuming a huge amount of basic knowledge on the part of their readers. Oh, and the ubiquitous car-park-attendant type, who always shows up to tell the originator of the thread that "This question was answered on this thread [insert plain-text url here] way back in 1996. Why the hell didn't you do a search before wasting our time?"

So, chatty preambles now done, this is the first of a series of posts on a theme of "How to build a web-site from scratch," in which I'll assume that the reader has absolutely no prior knowledge. It won't be a fancy web-site—no JavaScript, no fancy drop-down menus which need millimetre-perfect mouse-control to navigate, no pop-up widgets for canvassing readers' opinions or inviting them to join the site; it won't offer, come to that, a way to create a site which can be joined. Just two or three web-pages, interlinked to form the nucleus of an ordinary site. Partly because I happen to dislike (over-use of) all those widgety things, and partly because you need to learn to walk before you can run; and trying to learn to breakdance before you can even take three steps is, frankly, silly.


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According to religion…

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Puzzling Poems

Here's a thing that I don't get,
Having followed some poets, of late.
I've never claimed sophistication—
My doggerel takes simple forms—
But, what makes an un-metered, un-rhymed poem
A poem, and not
Just prose wot's been chopped up?



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So, Hutton's pulled a tall tale from his arse recounted a True Story, which he's neither cited a source for nor provided any other information by which we might verify it. Noting that many of the tourists he wishes to accost in the street don't speak the same language as him, he wonders how can "these needy souls be reached with the Gospel." He says:

As I pondered this question I was reminded of a true story I heard about a Turkish merchant seaman who docked at New York. While on shore leave he walked passed some evangelists who were preaching and passing out tracts. An English tract was given to him, and, though he couldn't speak or read English he was greatly intrigued by this. He resolved to teach himself to read enough English to be able to understand what he had been given.


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