Tuesday, October 4, 2005

Is a coding problem, bookkeeping, or some other nonsense getting you down?

A psychiatrist visited a California mental institution and asked a patient, How did you get here? What was the nature of your illness?

He got the following reply:

Well, it all started when I got married and I guess I should never have done it. I married a widow with a grown daughter who then became my stepdaughter. My dad came to visit us, fell in love with my lovely stepdaughter, then married her. And so my stepdaughter was now my stepmother. Soon, my wife had a son who was, of course, my daddy's brother-in-law since he is the half-brother of my stepdaughter, who is now, of course, my daddy's wife. So, as I told you, when my stepdaughter married my daddy, she was at once my stepmother!

Now, since my new son is brother to my stepmother, he also became my uncle. As you know, my wife is my step-grandmother since she is my stepmother's mother. Don't forget that my stepmother is my stepdaughter. Remember, too, that I am my wife's grandson.

But hold on just a few minutes more. You see, since I'm married to my step-grandmother, I am not only the wife's grandson and her hubby, but I am also my own grandfather. Now can you understand how I got put in this place?"

After staring blanky with a dizzy look on his face, the psychiatrist replied: Move over!

Saturday, May 7, 2005

Notes working with Rhythmyx

Rhythmyx takes the developer’s code, strips it, and then recompiles it. Think of it as having Front Page reedit your page after you’ve written it and not allowing current coding standards. You have to go back to 1999 technology, using tables and transparent gifs. Yukk. Furthermore Rhythmyx strips away much of the white space making comments close to useless.

Label your images, even where SEO is not an issue, in order to have a reference point when you searching for a piece of code. Usually it’s easier to copy and paste the code back into your text editor of choice; make the changes; and then copy and paste it back into the Rhythmyx.

Rhythmyx adds width and height to <img src=""> tags whether or not you put it into the source code. However, if you change the size of the image (without changing the name) Rhythmyx does not automatically change the width and height in the <img src=""> tags. You need to go back into the source code and do that yourself.

Rhythmyx does not let developers add stylesheets; nor can one add anything to the head; nor can one use includes of any kind, including javascript includes.

One cannot use classes or ids of any kind. One can use <DIV>s but everything must be inline and one cannot use absolute or relative positioning of ANY kind.

One can add padding and margins to <DIV>s but NOT to images.

The editor is really bad. To link a graphic one selects it and selects a link icon, then input (or search) for the link. However there is no indication given should the icon already have a link attributed to it. So, if you link again, a new link gets added to the existing one. For example:
<a href="xxx"><a href="yyy"><a href="zzz"><img src=""></a></a></a>

and sometimes a <a href=""></a> thrown in at the end for good measure.
I don’t want to judge Rhythmyx solely from one experience with it, especially since we weren’t working with any Rhythmyx reps but I don’t have any warm fuzzies for it. Everything, from big issues such as speed, to smaller issues such as the pop-up windows being too small and having to scroll down to be able to select the form buttons are irritants.

EDIT: 5/8/2005

Spoke to someone from Rhythmyx. It seems as if the overwhelming majority of their users do not bring in designers and developers to work on their subsite. Thus the stripping of whitespace has not been a concern, nor was the absence of absolute and relative positioning.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Are two spaces after the period better than one?

I was having a conversation with several graphic artists, typography experts all, who were of the opinion that one and only one space at the end of a sentence was preferable to two. It's something that I never truly thought about as it not convention on HTML pages. (Although I do remember when clients asked me how to create the extra space.)

Apparently the convention of using two spaces after a period came into play with the adoption of manual typewriters. Typewriters used monospaced fonts that put a lot of space between letters and words. The extra space was necessary in order for the reader to more easily visualize the end of sentences. This is not necessary anymore as we're using proportional typesetting. Instead of helping the eye transition to the new sentence big holes are being put in the middle of the text adversely affecting the transition.