Go to previous post:
If only this power could be used for good

Go to Electrolite's front page.

Go to next post:
Take heart

Our Admirable Sponsors

March 4, 2002

Midrash Comments are now enabled. Post some. [10:51 PM]
Welcome to Electrolite's comments section.
Hard-Hitting Moderator: Teresa Nielsen Hayden.

Comments on Midrash:

Charity Cleebers ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2002, 10:56 PM:

Wow! Cool! I can say anything I want, at any length!aaWouldn't it be neat if I, like, did my own weblog in the comment spaces of yours? Has anyone done that before?aaWhat's with the part about forgetting personal information? I don't think you can do that. You're not mad because I used your email address, are you? It wouldn't let me post without one.aacc:

Cory Doctorow ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2002, 12:01 AM:

I *love* the new lookenfeel of the site, Patrick. Well done!aaNow, go generate an editorial letter for me, please!aaEr, that was a joke. I'm not actually nagging, as I have zero time to cope with an editorial letter at this point, so your generating one at this juncture would merely shift the guilt from you to me.

Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2002, 12:11 AM:

Actually, I think we can deal with everything in an Editorial Phone Call. The only disadvantage to this being that I still haven't enabled the Wide Area Expense-Account Alcohol Protocol. Darn.aaMeanwhile, jeez, you should invite me to post to Forwarding Address: OS X. Either that, or put a comment facility on the site. What a useful weblog! And how frustrating!

Charity Cleebers ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2002, 12:18 AM:

I got in before Cory Doctorow?aaO glory. (strikes pose) O hallelujah. (strikes different pose)aaI'm going to go call my agent now...aacc:

Zack Weinberg ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2002, 12:58 AM:

As long as I'm complaining about things, let me point out that clicking on a link in the comments causes it to load in the comment window, which is small and has neither resize handles nor Back button.aaCory: Is the implied manuscript the story you've got going into Starlight 3, or something else?

Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2002, 01:26 AM:

Starlight 3 (featuring Cory Doctorow's excellent "Power Punctuation!") came out last summer. What Cory is hocking me about is his first novel, Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, a novel of extropian transcendance and the Haunted Mansion. Coming to you soon from Fill In The Three-Letter Blank Books.

Alison Scott ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2002, 07:55 AM:

Do you want to know that the site looks utter pants in IE 4.0? That's what I get to use at work, no saving throw. Serves me right for pissing around when I have Very Important Work On Which The Fate Of the Nation Depends to do, really, doesn't it?

Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2002, 08:02 AM:

Hm. I do plan to write a minimal style sheet that will provide some minimal formatting to the raw-text version that Netscape 4 users currently see. I wonder if that will help people stuck with IE 4 as well--and whether anyone reading this knows the answer.

Joel Davis ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2002, 08:13 AM:

Ah, an exercise in guiltless marginalia. Bliss.

Kate Nepveu ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2002, 08:50 AM:

Patrick, re: style sheets in 4.x browsers: I think IE 4 is slightly better anyway, as it *was* displaying the pre-workaround page (but only part of it, cutting it off at the bottom). A guide to browser support of CSS is at .

Kate Nepveu ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2002, 08:51 AM:

Hmmm, does it not like URLs in brackets? Try again:aahttp://www.webreview.com/style/index.shtml

Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2002, 09:25 AM:

Oh, just what I needed. Thanks, Kate. I'll crawl through this stuff as soon as I can.

Cory Doctorow ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2002, 09:48 AM:

I tried to talk the FA:OSX people into putting comments sections in their posts and they weren't into it! Bugs me, too.aaAre you using OSX, Patrick? We'd love to have you.aaAnd thanks for the update on the letter. Let's talk v2v after SXSW, before PC Forum (that'd be mid-next-week)

Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2002, 09:55 AM:

I've been using OS X for nearly two months now. It's the best operating system I've ever used. Needs more keyboard operability, though. (And I don't mean QuickKeys.)aaI just want to say that, even though IE 4 accounts for less than two percent of my traffic, I will strive to ease the crushing monotony of Alison Scott's workday, because I am besotted with the English slang term "pants."

Erik V. Olson ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2002, 11:00 AM:

Let's talk v2v after SXSW, before PC Forum (that'd be mid-next-week)aaPurple Monkey Dishwasher. And I remember grumble, wheeze, wave cane when SxSW was about music not tech. Sigh.aa(awesome, awesome music.)

Ray Davis ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2002, 03:34 PM:

Since the request for comments came in the comments-enabled announcement, I suppose that's what I'd better comment on.aa... mm, OK then, how about adding ",resizable=yes" to your OpenComments Javascript function? Could be useful when there are 16 or more comments....

Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2002, 04:14 PM:

Hey, that worked. Thank you, Ray.aa(I know nothing about JavaScript, but I searched the main template file for the phrase "OpenComments", and then noticed a bunch of statements following the form ",foo=bar", so that's where I put Ray's suggested addition. This is a demonstration of how I know just enough about computers to break them real good.)

Alison Scott ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2002, 04:28 PM:

It does, however, look very swish in IE5.0, which is what I use at home (I just checked it out to see.) Though I don't know why you were criticising the type size on PNN the other month. Which, incidentally, it would be awfully nice if you could find room for on your list of specialised blogs (though perhaps you aren't one of our 61 regular readers).

Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2002, 05:00 PM:

I have two answers about why I cruelly criticized the typesize of PNN. aa(1) Being 43, I have good days and blind days. This is why my opthamologist won't give me bifocals -- because, as he puts it, my eyesight is "shifting." (I personally believe this is careful opthamologist-speak for "in free fall.")aa(2) Hypocrisy.aaI do indeed read PNN. I voted for Orlando, I'll have you know. (Blackpool!? Heathrow?!) I never thought of it as a "blog," but miraculously, it seems to have appeared on my links list anyway.

Alison Scott ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2002, 07:07 PM:

Ta. When we re-invigorated PNN, the plan was that it would be a sort of fannish collaborative blog-like entity; we spent a little while wondering about a name before realising that we already had a perfectly good brand. It's sort of bloglike, in that it doesn't stick to plot and it catches memes; it's less bloglike in that it tries to stay reasonably focused on things that most fans might expect to find interesting, and because none of us can manage several hours a day to populate it with trenchant writing and spiffy links. Isn't Gary a cracking blogger, apropos of nothing in particular?

Kris Hasson-Jones ::: (view all by) ::: March 06, 2002, 05:12 PM:

Your nasty, elitist intro to the page for Netscape uses is pretty offensive to me--I have to use Netscape at work, we're not allowed anything else, but I didn't choose it. The only choice I have left is to not read your blog, because at work is where I have a fast enough connection to make following links worthwhile. (Home sick today, can afford to wait the few minutes it takes to download a page over the 24000 connection I have at this moment.) I don't understand what you get out of twitting people for things they can't control; sigh, I still want to read your blog, though. Just a futile complaint.

Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 06, 2002, 05:51 PM:

My "nasty, elitist" intro that shows up for Netscape users reads, it its entirety:aa

aThis site will look much better in a browser that supports web standards, but its raw text is accessible to any browser or Internet device. If you're using Netscape 4.x, please consider using almost any other modern browser. Recent versions of Internet Explorer (for both Windows and the Macintosh, of Mozilla and its several variants, of Opera, and for that matter Netscape 6.x should work fine. A bas le Netscape 4!a
aaI'm sorry you have a systems department at work that constrains what browsers you can use (so do I), and I'm sorry that you're on a relatively slow connection at home, but it's hard for me to entirely believe that the latter circumstance, at least, is entirely outside your control. I suspect, that on some level it's a function of choice: having a fast connection at home isn't as important to you as it is to some people.aaWhat I really don't appreciate is the imputation that I get something out of "twitting people for things they can't control," as if there's some kind of sadistic hatefulness in what was meant as a good-humored message. I don't claim to have an absolutely perfect command of tone, but that's a nasty accusation, and a disproportionate one. (To say nothing of the parting-shot imputation that any complaint is "futile." Sure, I never listen to any of my readers, I haven't been asking people what works and what doesn't, and there aren't any messages in this thread.)aaLast I looked this was a vanity site being provided for free. (Having spent all of the contributions from the tip jar on stuff directly pertinent to maintaining and improving the site, I decided to take it down; I'd rather run this site entirely as a potlatch from now on.) That being the case, it doesn't thrill me to be called names and accused of fairly serious moral lapses simply because I've decided to no longer support an ageing web standard. Guess what: Eletrolite doesn't support the Gopher protocol, either; does that make me nasty and elitist as well?aaAs I believe I said elsewhere in this round of comments, I mean to try to gin up a style sheet that will make Electrolite a little more usable for Netscape 4 users. Several people have made useful suggestions, and Kate Nepveu pointed me to a treasure-trove of info about combing out the quirky interactions between CSS and some of the less compliant browsers. But if I'm just going to get called names, maybe I have better things to do.

Christopher Hatton ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2002, 04:59 AM:

Wow! I love that Britslang! "Pants" is bad, and "swish" is good, do I understand? Being in America, where "swish" has a nasty history vis-a-vis me and mine, I'm delighted. Very swish. :-)

Christopher Hatton ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2002, 05:04 AM:

Hey, Patrick, lots of people who are working as programmers today do just what you did with the ,foo=bar statements...guess, test, fix, test, if not good goto fix. As a last resort, look up in manual, but you can usually figure it out faster than you can look it up in the manual, which is probably wrong anyway.aaThey tell me the fastest way to learn html is to View Source on a bunch of html pages, and copy the bits you like. I haven't done it.