Quarter Life Crisis

The world according to Sven-S. Porst

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After my previous post indeed ended up with the meaningful name _ in its URL, I'll give it another try be leaving out all the spaces from the title. The post even got linked to, but they missed the nicest character in the post's title – perhaps because it's not present in most fonts. I recommend Code 2000 or the Beast's Arial Unicode for this – it's about time Apple included one fairly complete font with their OS.

The back-linking above wasn't only for the joy of link ping-pong, though, but also because the post also notices the issue of different time zones in blogs. Very good point. While I haven't moved more than one time zone around in the past year, software should get this right. In addition I'd quite like the software to accept arbitrary boundaries between days. I frequently find myself posting at one o'clock in the evening, say, and of course referring to the previous day as today. Having the software inject a new date header in front of this post is a bit odd. But doesn't matter too much.

In case this post's name doesn't manage to break or at least confuse MovableType, I think I'll choose _ as the name for the next post. Breaking things in a harmless way. Update: The original title, failed to work, so now we have three of them with spaces in between, giving __ as file name. Update 2: That second name didn't work either, so I added hyphens, hopefully giving -- as the file name. Update 3: That didn't work either. Grr. My apologies for the frequent updates.

Dragging the link of any of the aforementioned posts from Safari to the Finder, reveals another bug in Safari, by the way.

Via Scott Johnson, a link to a link to an article on setting prices. While what's described there may be considered good business practice, I hate that attitude of thinking it's best to charge whatever you can get away with rather than offering things for an adequate price. Adequate being determined by what you need to build something and some profit to live off. I am not in favour of price wars but I definitely hate the feeling of being ripped off. Prices should be decent and be related to the effort put into the product. Everything else may be good for profits but for nothing else. In the article they say that starting with low prices may scrape a lot of money off the profits of a whole industry section in the long run – implying that's a bad thing. I don't think it's bad. If the people offering the products can sustain themselves off those profits, they should be happy. Everything else is greed. Which in turn is both the name of a TV game show I saw in South Africa a few years ago and a mortal sin.

Scott also writes about finding RSS feeds, as does Chris Heathcote. I opposed Scott's praise of the orange XML graphic that you frequently see. It's ugly, it's distracting and mostly useless: Someone who visits your site most likely doesn't want to subscribe ever or already is subscribed – i.e. they don't need that link at all. And if discovering links to aggregator feeds is important to anybody, they can easily inject something along the lines of

a[type="application/rss+xml"], 
a[href$="xml"],
a[href$="rss"],
a[href$="rdf"] {
   border:3px red !important;
   background-color:red !important;
   font-size:20px !important;
   position:fixed;
   top:10px;  left:10px;
}
into their modern browser's local style sheet.

Scott's blogging software seems to be having bad days as well. That's a nice thing about MovableType. Even though I don't know anything about perl or whatever it's written in, it was easy to set up and 'just worked' ever since. The only thing I want now is the ability to automatically send e-mails to people if there has been a reply to the post as Scott has. It would be even better, if the software mailed the whole reply rather than just the fact of its existence.

A nice sneering at Segway owners and bloggers by The Register. And even better sneering at the branding of Birmingham. How silly is that? The last time I checked, the most remarkable things about Birmingham were the facts that there seems to be no way to/from the station without passing a stinking fast-food outlet and that Vicky knew a pub that already sold cheap drinks early in the day after record shopping. And if they go for a logo or even a fully-fledged corporate identity, shouldn't they at least take pride in the locals and use Baskerville as a typeface rather than some silly sans-serif with a circle (haha, sorry a b!) around it? I guess that would be a bit too stylish for the subject. On the other hand, at least they gave him a little monument.

Via Scott Johnson, a link to a link to an article on setting prices. While what's described there may be considered good business practice, I hate that attitude of thinking it's best to charge whatever you can get away with rather than offering things for an adequate price. Adequate being determined by what you need to build something and some profit to live off. I am not in favour of price wars but I definitely hate the feeling of being ripped off. Prices should be decent and be related to the effort put into the product. Everything else may be good for profits but for nothing else. In the article they say that starting with low prices may scrape a lot of money off the profits of a whole industry section in the long run – implying that's a bad thing. I don't think it's bad. If the people offering the products can sustain themselves off those profits, they should be happy. Everything else is greed. Which in turn is both the name of a TV game show I saw in South Africa a few years ago and of a mortal sin.

More reading: Mark Pilgrim in Everything considered harmful and his article on RDF doesn't care about the semantic web. While I don't know exactly what RDF is and neither know what the semantic web is, I have the creeping suspicion that the latter refers to writing more metadata than data just to enable stupid computers along with their stupid software to understand what's written. I think it's a bad idea and a waste of time. I might rant about this more later, perhaps.

Peter Lindberg about controlling your sleep. Very interesting. I've made similar observations: Waking up just before the alarm clock goes off, particularly when I'm quite busy. It never occurred to me that I could try to actually use this. Perhaps trying to do so can help me getting up in the morning.

August 21, 2003, 19:50

Tagged as arial.

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Trackback “2003/08/21 13:46” from 2lmc spool:

äöüß

August 21, 2003, 22:54

Trackback “2003/08/22 10:08” from 2lmc spool:

What’s considered harmful?

August 22, 2003, 11:16

Comments

Comment by paul mison: User icon

Dragging the URL to the Finder with Camino shows the same bug, which is evidently in the Finder.

Oddly, Camino can render the Unicode in the page title, but not the headline.

August 22, 2003, 11:18

Comment by ssp: User icon

Thanks for the hint. Perhaps my analysis was a bit too quick here.

I filed it as a general OSX bug with Apple now.

August 22, 2003, 12:14

Comment by d.w.: User icon

Re the RDF thing, especially as it pertains to Pie/Echo/Atom — for a change here’s a technical issue I’ve been following enough to actually have a semi-informed opinion (I was lurking on the IRC channel when a lot of this stuff was being hashed out.) You’re right about the “semantic web”, IMO. The first couple of drafts of the Atom syntax were pretty simple and human readable — simple enough that I was able to rig up a template on my own to generate them. The horrible RDF/XML syntax threatens to undo that. This comment is a pretty good summary.

August 22, 2003, 18:51

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