I'm making a paint application that involves SVG and Javascript. Now that IE actually supports it, SVG is a viable cross-browser method of implementing vector drawing, without having to rely on Raphaël*. Write once, run everywhere... ish.


Another president executed (policies)

Mr. Khamenei and his close circle of advisers typically decide the direction of these policies, and the president executes them.

Wow. Seems kinda harsh, but okay.

Of course, I jest. This is actually a good news story! About Iran! Yes, the new Iranian leader, Hassan Rohani, appears to be less ludicrously extremist than his predecessor. It's a good sign that we'll be able to come to some kind of solution that doesn't involve more explosions.


bloody blogger bug

So... for reasons best known to the gods, Blogger has chosen to include the IE7 compatibility mode tag in its default template header.

Why does this matter? Well, it buggers things up, that's why. Behold, an embedded fiddle:

Examining the code using Blogger's Edit HTML feature, we find that there is a line forcing IE7 compatibility mode.

"WTF?!" I thought to myself (which, as I'm sure you know, stands for "What's This For?!"). I was unfortunately unable to come up with an answer. I did figure out a simple solution, though, and was gratified to find I was not insane when I found it referenced in the comments of this nifty blog.


Which leads to the much more pleasant and less useless:

I'm moving away from Blogger soon, and not before time, it seems. I assume the compatibility tag is there to deal with some legacy issue but it seems really shoddy to me, especially since there is no apparent fix for more modern versions of IE. For shame, Blogger!


Sounds like something you say when you hit your thumb with a hammer and there're kids around, I know. I would certainly encourage you to use it that way, if only because it'd make the world a happier place.

Actually it is a little script I have been working on as part of a larger interactive whiteboard project. I hope you're happy; I was this close to calling it the Sprinklinator.


Orders from Chief of Staff, President Executed

Letters to Air Force Base, Obama Seized in Ricin Probe

I know technically it's in line with traditional newspaper headline style, but seriously - nobody noticed the alternative parsing?

The story is interesting enough without this kind of blatant attention-grabbery. It should be beneath an august publication like Businessweek, at the very least.



It only lasted for a few hours, but it was a pretty awesome few hours.

Maybe I need a life.


the importance of vowels

I'm working on an IWB app to show the various rules of phonics. The plan is for it to have multiple functions - a slideshow for rote drills of A is a a ant and so on, a speller, a matching game for sounds and letters, and a couple of other doohickeys including handwriting into the bargain.

It will be a long time in development because it'll be my first time working with audio in a web app, and it is, to put it mildly, something of a nightmare to try and get an efficient cross-browser solution going.

Here's the thing, though. This is for use in elementary schools, and I almost named it the Phonicator. I feel like there's some new brand of irony in that it's only one tiny vowel change away from a word that is totally unsuitable for its target user base.


nerdical seepage

When I was studying Calculus BC and Precalculus (both at the same time, after having passed my Calculus AB exam the previous year; don't ask, but if you went to a school run on Caribbean rules it'll totally make sense to you), I became rather obsessed with math. I won't claim I was awesome at the subject, but it certainly captivated me. I became so enraptured with the rules and logic of it all, that it started to leak into other areas of my life.


$\frac{πp}{r}$: a slice of π

In a previous post I made a doohickey to convert decimals into fractions. It occurred to me that with a tiny bit of tweaking, we could make it work for fractions of pi, too.


necrodev: xwd

On my main computer (I have three, for various reasons, the most salient being that I am an incredible nerd) I have a folder called "webdesign". This folder contains everything I have ever created using HTML, Javascript, and other web technologies.

Since I have been doing this for over ten years, there is a lot of stuff in this folder. Much of it is unfinished, because generally speaking (as I mention in the altastic faq), my creative process goes like this:

  1. Have an idea for a page.
  2. Make a rudimentary plan and produce a working version using the knowledge I have at the time.
  3. Learn the very next day that there is a much better technology I could have used.
  4. Decide to redo the old page using said technology.
  5. Suddenly have an idea for a new page that wouldn't have been possible without the new technology.
  6. Work on the new page, putting the old page on hold for the moment.
  7. Forget entirely about the old page.

Once in a while, though, I go back through all the myriad folders within folders and see if I can find something to salvage.


$\frac{p}{r}$: just the fracts, ma'am

This is the first in a series of posts in which I plan to document myself attempting to wring some mathematics out of Javascript. With Mathjax we can now display complex formulae and equations easily; with Raphaël, we have at least a glimmer of a hope of displaying graphs. I have a number of ideas in mind involving both these technologies, but I thought it would be better to start out small.

The Fractionizer

Improper fraction
Integer + Proper Fraction

Yeah, I gave one of my doohickeys a name ending in -izer. So unlike me. Unfortunately the usual suffix* would have resulted in The Fractioninator, which even I concede would perhaps have been a step too far.



A persimmonious tongue twister this time: 「隣の客はよく柿食う客だ」


foolish microsoft

I thought this was just a silly meme, but if the guys at Microsoft are putting it into finished products, it's gone too far.


vector arc playground

I've recently started working with Raphaël after a long hiatus. I'd forgotten how fun it is. The current project uses a lot of curves, and so I found myself working with a lot of paths that use arcs. Since they are kinda hard to understand intuitively, I made a little playground to help me remember what does what.


a little ditty

99 little bugs in the code
99 little bugs
you fix one bug
compile it again
100 little bugs in the code


do you want frie[d fingertip]s with that?

You know how Macs are superior because they never crash and all that? Well, can someone please let the one I have to use for work know? It appears to be labouring under the misapprehension that it is a fallible machine.



On a recent long-haul Korean Air flight, I was calmly enjoying the in-flight entertainment, trying to distract myself from the horrific chore of being six foot three and seated in economy, and for once I was actually succeeding.



The word is spelt correctly less than an inch away from the error.
They're not even consistent errors! Aaaargh!

I love reading. I have been doing it for years, and if you have, too, you'll be aware that books have always had misprintings and errata. I accept this, as most people do.