Bloglines Mobile adds Skweezer to its bag of tricks

September 22, 2006
Bloglines Mobile adds Skweezer to its bag of tricks. "When you click on a link while reading a blog post in Bloglines Mobile, Skweezer will compress and reformat the content so you get it faster and better looking on your small screen. As you surf, the content will continue to be skweezed." Very nice. I should note that Google has actually been doing this for a while; whenever you use Google from a mobile device, it will massage the hypertext into a more mobile-friendly format, and, like Bloglines, will continue to do that for all 'telescoping' pages.

Footnotes, Textpander, and shell scripts

September 21, 2006

A while back I wrote a rather well-received piece on how to create footnotes with unique anchors using Textpander. Not long after writing that post, the author of Textpander sold the application and dropped its donationware pricing model — it's now known as TextExpander and costs $30. That said, the older versions continued to work just fine as long as you didn't "upgrade," and I wasn't required to upgrade until I moved to my new Mac Pro last week.

Though it's likely I'll eventually pony up and pay the rather high admission price — it's great software — I've just quickly whipped up the following shell script to hold me over in the interim (at least as far as footnotes are concerned). Realize that it's been broken up a bit so as to not cause IE to render it improperly (grr!).


dateid=$(date +%m%d%y)

echo Footnote reference:
echo <sup id=\r1-$dateid\><a href=\#f1-$dateid\>1</a></sup>
echo Footnote:
echo <div class=\footnotes\>
echo <hr />
echo <ol>
echo <li id=\f1-$dateid\>
echo <p>FOOTNOTE <a href=\#r1-$dateid\>&uarr;</a></p>
echo </li>
echo </ol>
echo </div>

Is this as elegant? Of course not. Does it do the trick? Absolutely. Well, kinda. I may try to come up with some funky Quicksilver voodoo to have this script launched from a QS trigger and the output copied to the clipboard, but probably not before I actually end up buying TextExpander.


September 21, 2006
WebCite "is an archiving system for webreferences (cited webpages and websites), which can be used by authors, editors, and publishers of scholarly papers and books, to ensure that cited webmaterial will remain available to readers in the future."

Fulfillment by Amazon

September 19, 2006
Fulfillment by Amazon. "You send your new and used products to us, and we'll store them. As orders are placed, we'll pick, pack and ship them to your customers from our network of fulfillment centers."

The potential of synthetic worlds

September 17, 2006
The potential of synthetic worlds. "The result might well be a literal multiverse -- thousands of virtual worlds, all different and distinct and economically independent. The human urge to explore, to colonise, to carve out a niche for oneself, does and will express itself in virtual worlds -- and the scarcer such opportunities become in reality, the more prevalent it will become in synthetic spaces. In the absence of other countries and planets to colonise, we are simply building them for ourselves."


September 16, 2006

Lost has to be one of my favorite TV shows of all time. Yes, it can be annoying. Yes, it can be evilly slow. Yes, its twists and turns can make me want to throw up, but there's no question that it keeps me engaged. We just finished the final DVD of season two last night,1 and the thought of season three, which starts in early October, has me positively salivating.

I think it's safe to say that no program has ever caused me to question so much. Every ten seconds I blurt out, "What the hell was that?," or, "Maybe…" — it's all quite fun. Frustrating, but fun. Though I've done pretty well with my guesses, I've definitely had my fair share of misses, and I think that, more than anything, is what keeps me interested. I really can't wait to see how it all ties together, but given that the show sometimes moves at a snail's pace, it may take the producers half a decade to sort everything out.

When I can find a free second I'm going to dive into some of the crazy fan sites to see what others have figured out and where they think the show is headed.

  1. I originally started recording the first season on my TiVo, but after it hiccuped a few times and failed to record the show, I just kind of gave up (there's no question that those first few episodes were slow slow slow). Then, my girlfriend decided she wanted to start watching it and so when she Netflix'd it I tagged along.   

Remove those trailing slashes from your URIs

September 15, 2006

Though I made the move a few years ago to future-proof everything on this site (and have already discussed that process in way too much detail here), I've never really talked about how I remove trailing slashes from my URIs (e.g., using /projects instead of /projects/). There really is no legitimate technical reason for this, I just think it looks better, and I recently received an e-mail asking how I do it, and so, as usual, I thought I'd explain it here.

I should point out that if you use WordPress, this method will not prevent you from having files (minus the extension) and directories of the same name (i.e., /projects.php and /projects/whatever can still work together).1

I don't currently use the "default" WP .htaccess rules (remember, I work outside of its theme system), but instead have a single RewriteRule that handles all of my archives (yearly, monthly, and individual). That said, my best guess is that the following rules, if placed above the WP-created rules in your .htaccess file, will work just fine with a default install. Let me know if you have any trouble.

RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME}.php -f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !/$
RewriteRule (.*) $1\.php [L]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteRule ^(.+)/$ /$1 [R=301,L]

These rules accomplish a couple of things, and I'm going to use my gadget page to illustrate them. First of all, this page exists on my server as /gadgets.php, however, when I point to it with /gadgets, the above .htaccess rules tack on the .php extension (behind the scenes) and give it back to the browser as if it were originally called as /gadgets.php, all while leaving the URI intact (i.e., it doesn't add the extension to the actual address).

Second of all, if I were to link to the gadget page with /gadgets/ (as myself and others have done in years past) and there wasn't a true directory named "gadgets," the rules would remove the slash (both in the address and behind the scenes), tack on the .php extension (behind the scenes), and process it as gadgets.php. To see this, simply go to the gadget page, which you'll notice is linked to here with the trailing slash; you'll see that the slash is removed, no file extension is added, and the page is ultimately processed as it should be.

  1. Not sure if this would work quite right with Movable Type's dynamic publishing option.