What bugs me with Nokia’s mobile browsers…

Oh boy! Work is busy and too many blogs have given me reason to comment…
Since bug fixing doesn’t appeal to me all that much right now, I’ll write
some commentary first. Dog wrote on testing CSS support in
mobile browsers, i.e. browsers that come with PDA’s or mobile phones. What he
wrote reminded me of the main gripe I have with
Nokia’s browsers. I try to create all of
my Websites/Web applications so that they follow the guidelines outlined
by TBL in
Cool URI’s don’t
change
. So, none of my
URI’s have an extension
in them (with the exception of this blog for now…) and the server
uses content negotiation to give the correct file type. Alas, Nokia’s browsers
do not support content negotiation at all, so none of my links work. Nokia,
please could you do something about this?

Has it frozen?

I’ve always thought that hell would freeze over before I’d have something positive to say about IE which at the same time is a lack in Gecko-based browsers (Mozilla, Firefox, Galeon, Epiphany, etc.) But, here goes. The work website (still under development and not yet public) has a menu with lengthy titles. The problem is that Finnish, like many other languages, but unlike English, has long words with many characters. Trying to create a menu in the sidebar with limited space requires hyphenation even with small font sizes, let alone larger ones.

The HTML (4.01) and XHTML standards define the entity ­ (or ­) as a soft hyphen that may be used to give hyphenation hints to browsers. A nice solution to my problem, or so I thought. But, testing the solution with Firefox didn’t do a thing. I still had overflowing list items. But, surprise, surprise IE worked like a charm. Digging around the Mozilla Bugzilla led me to bug 9101 which quite clearly states that Gecko-based browsers completely ignore the soft hyphen. And the bug has been known for five years or so by now. I’m sorry to say, but even IE does it better.

Printing protected PDFs

Quite some time ago, Anna was trying to print some protected PDFs and asked me to help.
On Windows I have no idea how this could be done, but on Linux I did the following…

Most of the documents where easy to print by converting them to PostScript with pdf2ps, but this didn’t work in all situations (some files broke the transformation). So I fiddled around with Ghostscript and came up with the following solution:

gs -sOutputFile=[outputfile.ps] -sDEVICE=pswrite [pdf-file]

The end result is that you get the input file pdf-file transformed into PostScript in outputfile.ps, ready to print. The only problem with this approach is that you have to press enter for each page, but that is a small price to pay.

Now I can delete a message from my inbox in which I reminded myself how I did this ;)

White cloud

Ramin must be a white cloud. He has been on call for his first 154 hours,
without a single fire, traffic accident, first responce call etc. There was
a documentary on FDNY
probie who had been a white cloud his whole probationary period. That is,
until 9-11.

A white cloud is a probie who brings with him a period of calm, no big fires or
traffic accidents etc. A black cloud is exactly the opposite – he brings
lots and lots of work with him. Generally a white cloud only affects his own
shift though.

But now, it has been silent for too long. This morning started the third week,
in which we have had only one alarm. It has been calm for so long. And with
us – a long period of calm is a sure sign of the coming storm.

That was Anna. I’ll just provide you with some statistics
to back her up. We (our station at Ylmylly) have about 96 alarms every year.
There are 8760 hours in a year (24*365). This means that we have an alarm every
91.25 hours. In a two week period we have an average 3.7 alarms (96/26).

And yes, we are a superticious lot. We believe that all bad alarms come in
threes (countrywide). And there is always a period of calm before the storm.
And even white clouds get there moments of blackness. So, knock on wood and
hope nothing bad happens.

The runaway variable

It all started a few months after I was first conceived. I still remember the day it all happened. The file I was to live in was created in a flurry of activity. I was one of the first variables that were declared. Well, to be completely accurate I’m not a variable, I’m an attribute – a member of an exclusive group that gives an object its state and identity. This is the story of my escape and subsequent capture.

Continue reading The runaway variable