September 21, 2005

Too Precious

Posted by Oxygenik at 5:17 PM | Comments (14)

September 12, 2005


You ever have one of those stretches where it seems like you just solidly achieve? I have just had a week of that, culminating in a weekend of the same.

To the outsider, it probably wouldn't seem like much, but when I was faced with a few days waiting for input from the other highly stretched team members with no fixed schedule for delivery I took it upon myself to revamp the stagnant and unsatisfactory pullddown menu-based navigation with a tree, generated client-side by the excellent dtree.

Three days of hacking and a virtually complete, drop in replacement was ready. What's more it saved about 500KB of server memory per page load, and due to the fact that the whole tree was generated client-side, it meant that it saved server-round trips too because the tree expands and collapses all locally. And each page requires 3 fewer HTTP connections and around 30KB less CSS and JavaScript.

I got a shell account on an American machine I've been trying to get an account on for ages, and immediately developed a couple of pages for inter-territorial collaborative documentation of our classes. Then used this for showing off a copy of my treeview to the developers in the US. I got some feedback on the new navigation, all of which I had anticipated in a document I sent out to my team prior to solicitation, and turned this into a plan for the next stage of nav development. Then, on Friday night, I went home and prepared for moving Noriko into my room.

Saturday rolled round and I saved a copy of my car rental voucher to a PDF (thanks Mac OS) on my site and went to an internet cafe near the rental garage to print out the voucher. The car wasn't ready, so I went to the bookshop and bought a one of the new Penguin 70 series: typically a single chapter from a Penguin book for a pound fifty. Clever pricing from Penguin, and it suited me perfectly. I finished the book at the end of the same day, having dipped in every time I had to wait more than a minute. Got the car and went to IKEA in Wembley. My girlfriend learnt to navigate along the way, which was extremely helpful.

After IKEA, we went to her house, where I packed virtually everything into the tiny hatchback we got, and got her flatmates' new ADSL modem (she was using mine before) to connect. Drove back to mine, took everything up the 3 flights necessary to get to mine, finding a parking space immediately outside my flat that was good for the rest of the night. Went back to hers and got their two Japanese Windows laptops to authenticate successfully with the wireless AP using WPA-PSK. Packed the rest of her stuff and brought it back. She forgot her bag, so we went back again and then took the rest of the stuff upstairs.

Sunday, got up and reserved several large items from Argos. Arrived in the car at 11:05am, paid for the reservation and collected them nearly immediately. Went home, took them upstairs and then put my bike in the car and returned it, cycling home. Six pounds of petrol and no damage. Got home and spent the rest of the day building furniture, during which I made no irreversible errors. I also modified two of the purchased items with hammer and high-speed drill to fit where they previously couldn't.

During a mini break I sat down to notice that someone had spotted a bug with my tree nav; clicking on nodes which merely opened the tree rather than loaded a page prevented the mousewheel working, so I hacked the javascript to make better markup. Then I got back to building and hacking the furniture.

This session of achievement lasted pretty much the whole week. Even though I felt physically low (Chris's leaving do the previous weekend was basically an orgy of alcohol which led to street fighting, tears and the Creative Director of his old company flinging wet toilet paper around the inside of the New Jade Garden's toilet cubicle) I've kept going. I don't know why I've felt so driven; maybe it's the floatation tank Chris and I visited on Sunday night, maybe it's just where my biorhythms are at. Anyway, I'm knackered today. I am having my weekend on a Monday, and I'll start work when my boss gets back tomorrow..

Posted by Oxygenik at 4:54 PM

September 1, 2005

New Euphemism

New Euphemisms (#42 in an occasional series)
"Our early analysis indicates that this attempt to bypass [detection by anti-spyware utilities] is not a software security vulnerability, but a function within the operating system that could be misused," Microsoft said in a statement.
Posted by Oxygenik at 1:36 PM | Comments (4)