Comments and Firefox: Watch How You Form Them!

I had a WordPress theme I was modifying and like a good little coder I kept adding these types of comments

<!– HERE IS A COMMENT —————————————————————->

I make that long line so all my comments line up down the page.  While my page was working fine everywhere else, it kept breaking in Firefox and I couldn’t figure out why.  Finally I ran across this post:

http://stackoverflow.com/questions/3050317/can-comments-in-html-and-css-ever-create-rendering-problems

which leads here:

http://weblog.200ok.com.au/2008/01/dashing-into-trouble-why-html-comments.html

and explains that while all other browsers render –> as the end of a comment, FF thinks –> OR — is the end of a comment.

Problem solved! 🙂  Code on, coders!

Helpful Tip: Moving a static site to WordPress

I had a bit of delima…I had a current static site that I couldn’t get rid of, but wanted to replace with wordpress.   Putting WP in a sub-directory, then moving to the home directory is a nightmare so I couldn’t do that.

Basically what I wanted to do was if someone went to www.site.com they would be redirected to www.site.com/oldsite (where I had moved the current site to).  But I needed some people that I’m working with to see the wordpress files in action so if you go to www.site.com/index.php I wanted the wordpress to show…but only if you typed in the fully qualified URL.

I thought this would be an easy set up in .htaccess but either my hosting provider has some behind the scenes stuff going on preventing it or it’s just not easily doable.

After much fighting with HTACCESS, I finally figured out how to do this by going backward with it.  Wordpress plugin to the rescue!

So here’s what I did, start to finish:

  1. Original site at www.site.com, moved it to www.site.com/old
  2. Installed WordPress at www.site.com
  3. Change permalinks to a custom structure of /%postname%
  4. Create a page called WELCOME…in the end this will be my real home page
  5. Created a page called REDIRECT (you can change your page names)
  6. Made REDIRECT my home page under SETTINGS in WordPress
  7. Downloaded this super awesome redirector plugin: http://urbangiraffe.com/plugins/redirection/
  8. Activated that sucker and set it up to where www.site.com (which is the redirect page, default WP home page) goes to www.site.com/old
  9. To view the new home page now you go to www.site.com/welcome

When I’m ready for the WP site to go live:

  1. Make WELCOME my home page in Settings
  2. Delete REDIRECT page
  3. Deactive that plugin.

PROBLEM SOLVED…thanks Urban Giraffe for a cool plugin!

CSS3: The Wonder Years

If you build websites, CSS3 is slap-awesome.  Rounded corners, gradients, transparencies, drop shadows…oh my!

As we know though the good ol’ “red headed step child yet still mamas favorite”, Internet Explorer doesn’t do these things.  Well, correction, IE9, which has recently dropped, does do some of the cool new stuff.  But as of right now a lot of IE users are still on 7 or 8…some even on 6 (Egads!)

If you are building with IE in mind and want all those cool roundy boxes and droppy shadows, here are a couple of links that will help you  get those on IE:

http://css3pie.com/

http://www.modernizr.com/

 

Code Imposter

I was reading a post on coding and open source software and the author said one reason he doesn’t contribute a lot (or any in his case) was that he feels like a “Code Impostor”.  He feels like he has no business being in the coding business.  Several people responded that although they have felt that way in the past, it is something you have to personally get over…and you have to realize that those code geniuses that he thinks are way beyond his skill set may be total noobs in other areas of coding.

I often feel that way.  My programming skill set is HTML, PHP, CSS, MySQL with a smattering of C# in there.  While I’d say I can whip out HTML with the best of them, on most of the others I am anywhere from a mid-level programmer to someone who is really good at faking it for his non-tech friends. All the time I have people tell me “I just don’t understand how you do the technical stuff you do.”  Really?  Just because I made a website check the last date a file was edited and display that date, you are now referring to me as the “John McEnroe of PHP” or the “George Lopez of Style Sheets?” Really, do you think what I did with a few lines of code, code that I probably mostly pilfered from other places, was that magical?

You know what…yes, they do.  They do think it is awesome, because they can’t do it.  In my world, it may be fairly ho-hum, but in their world I just pulled the sword from the stone, killed the giant with a slingshot, and invented the Snuggy, all in one fell swoop.

I used to think, that most people can do vastly more than what their skill set implies…they just aren’t willing to do it.  They are lazy or unmotivated.  I still think that.

But I need to realize that I’m not a code impostor, because I did make the effort.  It may not be magic to me, it may even seem quite ordinary or even fairly basic.  But I took the time to learn it, or at least rip the code off from someone who IS more skilled than me (at least in that one area) and modify for my needs.  And doing that is a skill unto itself.

I think I’m going to stop hiding behind my “Code Impostor” mask and when someone says “You are the Jon Bon Jovi of low to mid level programming”, I’m going to say “Why yes, I am!”

 

Silence After The Storms

Here I am with this brand spankin’ new blog and I’ve not posted to it in days.  But there is good reason.  On Wednesday April 27th, 2011 our area was hit by the worst natural disaster we’ve ever experienced.  A group of 5 separate storm cells came through our area and many home destroyed and lives lost from these storms, and more specifically the tornadoes, that come with them.  Some of these tornadoes were EF4 tornados and brought major tragedy.  In our own church we had a family who lost a baby, a 41 year old sister of the dad and their home.  There are many stories of tragedy here in our area and surrounding areas…but in the wake of these storms I’ve also seen a community, churches, organizations and individuals come together and rise up to help out their neighbors, their families and strangers.  There are too many stories to tell of destruction, of grief, of loss…but also stories of hope, of survival, of love and kindness.  So…I’ve been silent.

As of this writing some parts of our area has started getting back to normal, and some parts will never be the same again.  I am still helping where I can and doing what I can…but also life is slowly resuming.  At least for some of us.  If you are reading this, stop and say a prayer for those with great loss, no matter when you read this.