10 Oct 2003 shlomif   » (Master)


I wrote some patches to the perlop and perlsyn Perl Man Pages, which I sumbitted to perl5-porters and there Michael Schwern and others have revised them. The two patches were applied to the bleadperl version.

I also copy-editted the translation of Open Source Software - A History that was done by Oren Maurer. Finally, I made some modifications to the Haifa Linux Club "Welcome to Linux" lectures that I'm responsible for. There may have been some other things, but I don't quite recall them.

Subversion Woos

I upgraded the Subversion at the stalker host, without first dumping the repository. That has put me into trouble, as nothing I tried to resotore the old homepage repository (which was changed since the last backup) worked. Eventually, I settled on using the few-days-old backup, checking out a working copy, and syncing the new working copy in, using a Perl script I wrote for the job. Now everything is up again.

Next time, I'll know to be more careful.

New Cellphone

My father decided that the entire family will switch their cellphones to Orange (GSM cellphones) to enjoy their intra-family calls discount. So, I now have a new cellphone. I still have to get used to it, and so far using it is a bit annoying.

One thing I noticed was that I could not enter Hebrew contact names longer than 5 or so characters. After calling the support, it turned out that we could only have it longer if the interface (and the names) were in English. So much for human engineering.

Orange Site

I had wanted to view the new cell-phone in the catalog so I tried to use the Orange site. With Konqueror it was dead on arrival, so I tried Mozilla. This worked better, but when I accessed the catalog page, I could not see anything displayed there.

I wrote an E-mail to the webmaster telling them that Mozilla was not supported. In reply, I got a message saying that the site is guaranteed to work only with Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.5 and above. I asked them if they plan to support Mozilla any time soon, and got a reply that they don't for reasons I found very interesting. Here's my reply:

> Dear Mr. Fish,
> I thank you again for your mail.
> I regret being so blunt but, no, we are not going to change our website in
> the near future. We have developed an amazing website,

"amazing"? By this do you mean full of non-portable bells and whistles, and other idiosyncracies? Sorry, but that's not an amazing web-site according to my book.

A good web-site is either simple and clean, or includes standard-compliant, portable embelishments. (which are usually not necessary).

Usability, low bandwidth, etc. is much more important than "amazingness" and I bet it's not very usable in MSIE either.

> that costs us a > lot of money to develop and maintain,

Why does it? Why should it? I maintain a few web-sites in my free time and I'm not getting paid to do so. If you keep your web-site clean and simple, it will cost less money to maintain and will also attract more visitors.

> and it is currently built exactly > according to our business needs.

I seriously doubt it is built according to anyone's business needs. Why do you need JavaScript to display the catalog of images? Why not simply include them in the HTML? If you look at popular international sites, you'll see that most of them are built with simple and clean HTML (sometimes without any trace of JavaScript).

> I can also say that although > technologically it might be possible to develop a version for Mozilla or > other browsers,

1. It is possible.

2. I'm not talking about a separate version for other browsers. I'm talking about one version > orange, and many other content providers, are investing > in the most common browser, it is currently not cost efficient to > develop versions for other browsers. >

It is cost efficient if you hire clueful developers. Look at my site:


(which links to other sites I made).

They all look perfectly fine in all modern browsers, including lynx (a minimalistic text browser). Why? Because I know what I'm doing and I know how to write good HTML.

First you tell me your site costs a lot of money to maintain, and then you tell me it is not cost efficient to support other browsers. Now, let me tell you this: if you keep your site clean and standards compliant, you can have it support all browsers and it will cost you much less money to maintain.


Shlomi Fish

Latest blog entries     Older blog entries

New Advogato Features

New HTML Parser: The long-awaited libxml2 based HTML parser code is live. It needs further work but already handles most markup better than the original parser.

Keep up with the latest Advogato features by reading the Advogato status blog.

If you're a C programmer with some spare time, take a look at the mod_virgule project page and help us with one of the tasks on the ToDo list!