Friday, 24 May 2013

Why does everything take so long?

Most of yesterday and today I just spent uploading some of my Vis-UV-IR flower photos to various websites (Wikimedia, Flickr, DeviantArt, Google (PicasaWeb). Most of the time was taken up writing the titles, descriptions, and tags for each photo. For some sites you can copy-paste the info (but that's still 3 things to copy-paste per image). Other sites use different text formats (e.g. no html allowed vs html allowed), different tag formats, and different max lengths for each of them. So some re-writing, trimming of tags, reformatting, etc. had to be done as well.

In the afternoon I found the map on my photo website was broken. I'm sure I checked it before, but it was most definitely broken and probably has been for a while. So I fixed that.

Then I validated the page and found some errors. I run the page through YUI compressor, and this had removed spaces between html attributes, which according to the W3C validator, is not valid HTML. After doing some checking, I found that the YUI compressor is only designed to minimize JS and CSS, not HTML. And further to that, it is no longer maintained by Yahoo, and they suggest using uglifyjs and CSSMin instead. (YUI compressor is still being maintained, just by volunteers rather than Yahoo).

So I tried installing uglifyjs, but then that needs node.js to run. So I've downloaded node.js, but haven't built it yet.

Right now, I'm going to clean out some of my open tabs from Chrome, so I might as well post the links here in the slim chance I want the same info again and find this blog post.

The first one was HTML5 DOCTYPE Declaration. I was modifying my XSLT the other day, and you need to specify "about:legacy-compat" as the doctype system when outputting html as html5. So that reference just shows that <!DOCTYPE html SYSTEM "about:legacy-compat"> is a valid doctype declaration for HTML5.

For my photo tips website I use a lot of CC licensed photos from Flickr. I create screenshots of the images as proof of the CC licence. But there is actually a free service you can use to store a proof of the CC license for free. Probably this would be more robust if you were taken to court, since it is a third party service, and with a screenshot it could be argued that you might have modified it. Here's the info: ImageStamper: CC license witness service.

I am a member of the website, though not a paying member, so mainly I just get emails from them, and can download / view the Nikonians e-Zine magazine that they produce. It turns out that they have a partial rights-grab clause in their terms and conditions that means they can keep using any image you upload there for all time, and use it to promote themselves with no recompense to the photographer: Rights Grab.

The Rights grab is not as bad as many websites, since they limit the usage to the service they offer and promoting that service. Many other websites grab full rights allowing them to use and sell the image for any purpose. But it is still bad that a website, designed for photographers (and supposedly run by photographers), would perform such a rights grab that you cannot remove your photos or stop them being used for promotional purposes.

Lastly, on sitepoint they had a bit of discussion about using a CSS pre-processor. But while they said how they can save a lot of time, were very helpful etc, they didn't actually explain how they are useful and save time. But someone did post a link to CSS-Tricks: Sass vs. LESS. And this does give a better description of how they might be useful.

I can't really see variables / mixins being too useful personally. If it was dynamic CSS, they would be. But LESS and SASS are both about building out a static CSS file, not dynamic.

What did look semi-useful was the ability to get all the different vendor-prefixed properties (which sometimes use different formats) from just writing one standard property. The other thing was that rather than having the rules for a class split across multiple media-query sections, you can specify the media-query parts of that rule within the main class (or whatever) definition. So it makes it easier to see what effect that declaration has, and how it changes depending on a media query.

I'm not convinced they would be useful for my work as I don't use enough properties that need all the different vendor prefixes to make it worthwhile, and I don't use media queries at all at the moment. But I can now see how they could be useful.

In the evening I watched James Bond with Mauser and Diddle Bo. We had Fish & Chips from the Chip shop. Yum! And I played on Civ IV a bit.

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