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5 January 2004

Written By: Gary on January 5, 2004 No Comment

I’m addicted to blog! (To be hummed to the rhythm of Robert Palmer’s tune.)

Then: So I thought Heather was crazy (crazier) when she told me about this Movable Type software she was using for her blog. I mean there are about 80 jillion ways she could be keeping this diary(?) on-line, why Movable Type? I had even seen it before and thought it was interesting, but still… I’m the guy who still hardcodes his own HTML and I just didn’t get it.

Now: It’s like wow! I’m not even talking about the software just the posting is kinda cool. It’s like therapy without having to make the appointment. I don’t know if anyone is reading but it’s not like your shrink is really listening anyways…

Okay, back to Movable Type: This is very cool software at a nice price. It kinda violates what web servers were originally supposed to do: serve documents with out altering (parsing) them. MT just parses and parses and if you loop it right, it parses it again. Actually it does all the parsing beforehand, but it’s really hard to tell. But that’s all fine because what it does is do exactly what the web was originally supposed to do (actually what the pages were supposed to do). Wait, I’m not contradicting myself (yet), there’s a big difference between the web and web servers and web pages.

Part of what web pages were supposed to do is provide text, emphasize different blocks of text (headings, bold and italics) and link pages together. This was so that you could use any kind of browser and it could show you how you want to see the text. (I’m doing most of this from memory, it’s a blog not a research paper.) This also helped to make the pages accessible to the blind (flashing graphics with text dancing around generally cannot be read aloud to the blind by the computer). I was always surprised there wasn’t a web browser that didn’t show you just the headings any then you clicked on it to get the content below it; one reason is probably that people never format text the way it was intended so it wouldn’t work very well. (Did you know the guy who designed(?) the web, it’s a shame I can’t think of his name, just got Knighted?) But now we have different kinds of syndication (xml, rss, etc.) which does (almost) exactly the same thing, MT almost forces you to create your pages this way. Actually the less you know about programming the more likely you are to create good formatted pages. It’s amazing.

Why don’t I post more: Besides having the time? When I have the time – Half the time I can’t decide what to post. The other half of the time I’m playing around with it from the geekier side, it reminds me of the good old days on Unix working with Lex and Yacc. Wow, talk about full circle, I’m back to using Linux (Unix) and parsing text…

PS – Thanks Heather!

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