It’s just data

Weblog Software Rewrite Underway

I’ve clearly been neglecting my little spot on the web.

It has gotten so bad that Brendan Eich had to link to a web archive copy of a page of mine.  I must say, however, that it is very ironic and amusing that it is was that particular page.  General outline of my current approach:



This site was hacked.  A reader of the site noted that Google’s index of this site had been co-opted by dubious pharmaceutical offerings.  I’ll gladly thank that individual publicly if they give me permission to do so; but my email reply got bounced as spam.

The immediate culprit was the addition of the following lines to a number of .htaccess files


OpenID upgrades

As a part of my server move, I’ve upgraded my consumer logic to Python openid-2.2.5 and provider from phpMyID to SimpleId 0.8.1.  In theory, I should now support OpenID 2.0.

The one small API change I noted in this process is in the consumer.  server.complete now needs an additional returnto parameter.

OpenID -= 37Signals

37Signals: Much has been written about the usability and reliability problems facing OpenID. Some of the better ones are OpenID Is A Nightmare by Rob Conery and the What’s wrong with OpenID? thread on Quora. No need to repeat all that here.

Unintended Consequences

Joe Gregorio: Today I took my Twitter profile private.  I haven’t deleted the account yet…

What about lanyrd?

Non-Draconian XHTML?

Simple test script - Output with various browsers.

Note the one in the top right corner.


Lately I’ve been moving around more between my netbook, laptop, and desktops, so having any single machine being designated as my mail portal at the moment often means that I often don’t have convenient access to my email.

I figured it was time to investigate running my own mail server.


First Patch

I believe that this is my first patch to the Ruby language itself.

Discovered while testing the latest master of Rails 3.0-pre against the last build of Ruby 1.9.1 using RVM.

Disappearing Silverware

Previously I said that there may be as many as four drafts by the end of the last month.  Here we are in August, and we are still holding at one draft.  I firmly believe that enabling forks is the best way to prevent such.  The clearest explanation I have ever heard as to why that premise applies so well in the context of spec writing was made by Joe Gregorio: Camera-Ready Copy and the Social Denial-of-Service Attack.  My experience is that people tend to become reasonable (or at least throttle down the urge to be unreasonable) if you set the expectation that they need to make a concrete and constructive proposal.

Accordingly, I plan to continue enabling such potential forks in the hopes that doing so will end up facilitating the amicable resolution of issues.  During the course of this discussion, I was able to assist a number of people with the preparation of their text for publishing, even though none actually got published.  The remainder of this post is about that process.


Media Dependent Styling

I finally decided to upgrade my cell phone to one that supports the web and email.  I settled on an LG enV3 in slate blue.  One of the pages I frequently check is my comments page, and as I had taken care to ensure that the markup degraded gracefully, the page displays adequately on my mobile device — with one obvious annoyance that surprised me.

To read the comments, I have to horizontally scroll.


Test Notifications

Yehuda Katz: Last week, Carl and I started digging into the Rails initializer, and the tests in the initializer (railties) are more mock-based and less reliable than the tests in ActionPack (which we’ve been working with so far). They’re pretty reasonable unit tests for individual components, but getting all of the tests to pass did not result in an (even close) bootable Rails app.

To help with spreading the word, I’ve created a registration page where those with an interest in doing so can sign up for IM notification on test results.


HTML Reunification

Rob Sayre: this objection wouldn’t be relevant to a document with no “author conformance requirements”, right?

At the present time, the HTML 5 document is a browser behavior specification and a list of author conformance requirements.  The first part is essentially uncontroversial.  The second part is the source of seemingly unending controversy.


SVG Interop

Dean Hachamovitch: I think it’s important to not just do SVG but have complete tests so SVG works the way developers want it to

On the lower right of this page is a “watermark”.  If you are viewing this page using IE, you won’t see it.  If you are viewing this web page using a recent, released version of Opera or Firefox, you will see it in its entirely.  If you are viewing this post using WebKit (either through Chrome or Safari), it will be clipped oddly on two sides.


Blazing a Trail

Anne van Kesteren: Now we have all these early adopters of HTML5 it seemed about time to move the goalposts. With help from Simon Pieters (SVG, some CSS bits), Sam Ruby (notably smaller SVG), and Robbert Broersma (menu) my site now looks uglier in most browsers. In fact, although I have not tested Safari 3.1, I am relatively certain it will not render properly in any released browser.

I approve.



The WHATWG has a FAQ.  In a number of places what is written there does not reflect my thinking on this matter.  Perhaps it doesn't reflect the opinion of others in the group?  As this wiki is not operating under the burden of rules like [citation needed] it is difficult to determine exactly whose opinion this page does reflect.

Here are some thoughts on the points made there.


Ubuntu on a Stick

My plans are to do a fresh install of Intrepid Ibex on a number of computers, and since I had a spare machine, I thought I would recover Windows to a known clean slate, insert a second hard drive, and use that install to clone existing machines which would then be wiped and restored.

A few bumps along the way, none of which affect my overall plan.


OpenId Minus Id Equals Wide Open

Martin Atkins: Yahoo!'s OP and now it seems Microsoft’s OP both ignore the value of openid.identity provided to them, and just return an assertion for whatever user’s logged in.

I may ultimately need to black-list such ids.  If everybody uses the same URI, I can’t tell them apart.


Popping Pie Partial

Looking into Asset Rebalancing, I thought a visual aide would be helpful.  So I developed a simple Rails partial for doing a pie chart and a jQuery script which causes the corresponding slice to “pop out” when you hover over a row in an adjoining table.


X-Content-Type-Options: nosniff

Eric Lawrence: Sending the new X-Content-Type-Options response header with the value nosniff will prevent Internet Explorer from MIME-sniffing a response away from the declared content-type.

I can’t can now reproduce this, either with the feeds I care about or and with the testcase provided.


OpenID Check on Rails

Looking at openidauthentication, it seem to do everything I want.  Since I am looking to check an identity during the processing of a request, I need to somehow have the id of the unprocessed record tag alone with the identity request.