Solipsism Gradient

Rainer Brockerhoff’s blog

Some updates

I’ve updated phpBB to version 2.0.3, which just came out. It fixed some security vulnerabilities.

I’ve also done incremental fixes to page formatting inconsistencies, changed to grey smilies (the default yellow ones were rather obtrusive), added a link to the site map to the 404 page, and did some minor things I can’t remember right now icon_smile.gif.

Most people call them “blogs”, I know, but “weblog” somehow sounds better to me…

Here are some I read quite often – not in any particular order:

Glenn Fleishman’s GlennLogs. Glenn and his wife sat at my table at this year’s MacMania Geek Cruise. He also maintains 802.11b/Wi-Fi News, an incredibly useful resource for all users of AirPort and other 802.11b wireless technologies.

Dave Winer’s Scripting News and his DaveNet. Dave was a Mac pioneer with outlining softwares ThinkTank and MORE. He’s also co-author of several important protocols such as SOAP and XML-RPC. Often controversial, always worth reading.

Doc Searls’ weblog. Doc also was on that cruise. Among other things, he’s one of the authors of The ClueTrain Manifesto and senior editor at the Linux Journal.

Check out all the weblogs at the O’Reilly Networks. A great resource!

Cory Doctorow’s boingboing. Cory’s a noted columnist and science fiction writer.

Mario AV’s blog (em Português). Mario AV is the pixel artist for Macmania, Brazil’s leading Mac magazine, and incidentally, the author of the “RB” logo you see at the top of this page. Even if you don’t read Portuguese, click on some of his links at the left to dig the cool graphics and photos.

More later…

Here’s a great article for shareware developers by Sanford Selznick:

Sanford also writes some nifty shareware himself. Check it out!

I’ll edit this post later to include some more resources for shareware developers…

One problem with IE; posting and editing posts has some problems. I think the JavaScripts that handle cursor position and tag insertions aren’t IE-friendly. Sometimes, when I submit a message, the first dozen or so characters are mangled.

I’ve seen this before on other phpBB boards, so I suppose it’s an IE issue. I’ll look around on the phpBB support forums to see if there’s a fix out…

Meanwhile, be sure to preview, double-check (and edit, if necessary) your posts.

Online comics

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When I was four-and-a-half, I learned to read with a stack of German issues of Mickey Mouse.

Ever since, I’ve been a comics fan; I’ve got a fair number of collections by Bill Watterson, Berke Breathed, Goscinny&Uderzo, Quino, Ziraldo, and others.

Here are some on-line comics I check most every day:


Kevin & Kell

PVP Online

User Friendly

Foxtrot (beware popups icon_evil.gif)

Doonesbury (beware popups icon_evil.gif)

and weekly or so:

Joy of Tech

The 5th Wave (beware popups icon_evil.gif)

I decided to let guests post here, while I figure out a way to hide comments. I can always delete stuff if this gets out of hand icon_wink.gif… now I’m off to learn more PHP…

Also, guests can now post in the 4 product support forums.

I added a new topic about this site’s design, for whoever’s interested.

About this site’s design

OK, the new design is finished.

It took me two weeks of nearly full-time work, going through at least ten iterations. I started out with nothing more than insatisfaction with my previous site, some notes from Adam Engst‘s critique of it at his MacHack 2002 session “Hacking the Press”, and the idea to implement both a weblog and support forums.

At first I tried simply implementing some of Adam’s suggestions under my old design, and using Blogger. However I found it difficult to integrate, and I didn’t like depending on someone else’s site being up to be able to post stuff to my own.

Anyway, after looking briefly at some available options, I decided to download and try out phpBB. My provider turned out to have the necessary infrastructure installed (mySQL and PHP) and very soon I had a test forum running.

I looked at the several visual themes available for phpBB and the default one (subBlue) looked nearly like what I wanted for my site.

After several iterations of convergence between the forum theme and the rest of the site, here it is. It’s now hard to tell which pages are served by phpBB and which aren’t, unless you look at the URL; if it has the .php extension, it’s a phpBB page.

Before anyone asks, I actually like Mac OS X’s “metal” look. The site graphics (actually, there are only 3 graphics altogether for that) have a different blur level and are very slightly blue-tinted. So it will be easy to change in the future. Suggestions are welcome…

Please excuse any remaining inconsistencies (and tell me if you find any). I had no previous PHP experience, and stylesheets also were new to me. Hopefully it came out OK.

I checked the site with all Mac OS X browsers I could find. Internet Explorer, Netscape, Mozilla and Chimera all seem to work OK and render things the same. OmniWeb still doesn’t support borders in stylesheets, but seems otherwise OK. Opera does some strange things to column widths on some page; no time to figure out why. And iCab, so far, seems to have the most formatting problems.

Photos licensed by Creative Commons license. Unless otherwise noted, content © 2002-2021 by Rainer Brockerhoff. Iravan child theme by Rainer Brockerhoff, based on Arjuna-X, a WordPress Theme by SRS Solutions. jQuery UI based on Aristo.