YUI Compressor 2.1.1 Released

Julien Lecomte has released version 2.1 of YUI Compressor upon an unsuspecting public – followed closely by a bug fix release 2.1.1. If you are serving JavaScript from your own site then I highly recommend using this to compress it first. Get it here.

Improvements for Madman’s Website

I noticed that Madman Entertainment recently made a few improvements to their website. These things were fairly minor – changing the log in confirmation button from "proceed to checkout" and allowing for cross-session log ins so you don't have to log in every time you visit the site – but go a long way towards improving the overall feel of the site. Since I've used the site for quite a while I thought I would go through some things that I think they should try to tackle in the near future. Read On →

Akelos: Yet Another PHP Framework

Another PHP framework has come to my attention today: Akelos. Its basic claim is that it's a port of Rails to PHP, including adding some "Ruby-like" functionality that PHP can't handle natively. I do wonder why we needed yet another PHP framework when we already have CakePHP, CodeIgniter, Symfony, Zend, PRADO, Solar and probably a hundred others. Seriously, do people create new frameworks for fun?

Site Mod: Separating Trackbacks and Pingbacks

I have finished updating the comments template to separate out the trackbacks and pingbacks from the regular comments made by visitors. This will mean that visitor comments and discussions don't get interrupted by machine-generated comments. I made these changes based on the code from Noscope's modifications. The alterations I made to this were minor: mostly to clean up the code to my own coding style and to adapt it for my theme, rather than the default. Read On →

Aging (Mathematically) Gracefully

Another great comic from Piled Higher & Deeper. [][1] [1]: http://www.phdcomics.com/comics.php?f=904

Free PC games for dancing, singing or rocking out

While the PS2 seems to be the platform of choice for mad fans of SingStar, Guitar Hero and Dance Dance Revolution, there are PC alternatives available for free that might give you most of the features without needing to shell out for a console. All of these games are free and open source (source is available on SourceForge). Frets On Fire An open source version of Guitar Hero that runs on Windows, Mac or Linux (and probably other operating systems), Frets On Fire mimics most of the interface and features of its inspiration and also allows you to import the songs if you have the Guitar Hero disc(s). Read On →

Rant: Wiping Your Work

I was originally intending to be writing something else right now but – unfortunately – I just managed to erase it all by accidentally clicked the home button in my browser. Gah! Even though WordPress periodically saves your work via JavaScript it seems that you need to explicitly save your work before it actually stores these periodic saves somewhere accessible to the user. (Although it's not in the database either so apparently the "saved at -" message is just plain lying.) Perhaps something to look at? Read On →

Charmr: Insulin Pump Meets Good Design?

A few days ago an interesting article on Ars Technica about the Charmr, an insulin pump meant to be well designed, turned up in my feeds. Being diabetic myself, I admit I was intrigued so I took a look at the kinds of things Charmr is meant to be capable of. The first, and most obvious, is that the bulk has been greatly reduced. Currently insulin pumps are quite bulky but I always figured this was due to technological constraints, not lack of designer ingenuity. Read On →

Compressing CSS and JavaScript

Stylesheets and script files can often get quite large. Although they will be cached by the browser there is still the time delay (and bandwidth hit) of the first loading, which according to Yahoo! is more often than you think. Here's a quick and dirty method of using PHP with gzip compression to send your CSS, Javascript and whatever else compressed to browsers. Just create a file called style.css.php (or whatever you prefer) in the same directory as your style file. Read On →

Why IE – sorry – Firefox is blocked

UPDATE: A different take on Firefox blocking. Blocking users who have certain browsers is a rather baffling practice to me. Recently a site explaining why Firefox should be blocked and how it can be done was featured on digg and it got me thinking about the issue. The practice of blocking Internet Explorer is actually substantially older than blocking Firefox so I'll cover both. Blocking Firefox The only reason to block Firefox appears to be that Firefox users have the option of installing Adblock Plus, which will block ads on any website you visit. Read On →