There Is No Cat

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Sunday, July 25, 2004

Secondary Modern

I suppose one reason I haven't been posting much lately is that I've been preoccupied with a new design for the site. I was getting pretty tired of the old one. I've been reading a lot of books about mid-century modern design, since that's what Laura and I like a lot and are planning to redecorate much of the house in over the next few years. So a couple of weeks ago I started playing around with fifties-ish shapes. This is the result. It came together pretty quickly. There are still some unresolved problems in Netscape 4.x, and given that much of the past week has been devoted to resolving them, I'm pretty sick of them and may never get around to fixing them. The site works in that ancient, decrepit browser, and it shows a reasonable facsimile of what other browsers show, but it's not identical, and there are some things that just don't work there. I'm not going to lose any more sleep over it.

I've tested the site in IE 4, 5, 5.5, and 6 for Windows; IE 5.1 for Mac OS 9 and 5.2 for Mac OS X; Mozilla 1.2.1 for Mac OS 9, and various other more advanced versions for Windows and Mac OS X; Mozilla Firefox 0.9 for Windows and OS X; Safari 1.2.2 for Mac OS X; and Opera 7.x for Windows, and it worked okay in all of them. There was a crashing bug in IE/Win for a while, but I think I've resolved that. Please let me know if you come across it.

One thing that's new is the use of alternate stylesheets. The stylesheets are basically identical, with the exception of the colors used. I've got another design that I'll probably incorporate as an alternate in the next few weeks using different graphics, but it needs work yet and I just wanted to get this out because I was sick of looking at the old design.

When you visit the site now for the first time, a random stylesheet is selected. If you choose to stick with the random default, the color may change every time you look at a page or at the site. If, however, you settle on one color, that selection is saved in a cookie and you'll be presented with that color on all future visits (at least until you change the color).

I first noticed the approach to changing stylesheets I'm using over at Shelley Powers' blog Burningbird. She had an exlempary explanation of how she implemented it using an approach originally detailed on A List Apart by Paul Sowden. I altered the styleswitcher.js script slightly to make it not kill Netscape 4.x. Basically, any time the script accessed document.getElementsByTagName, it wasn't testing to see if the getElementsByTagName function was supported. That was causing Netscape to choke. So I just surrounded those calls with if(document.getElementsByTagName) {} calls so that Netscape wouldn't attempt to execute those portions of the script. Very simple, and I was surprised that it wasn't in the original script. Feel free to download my version of the script.

Posted at 5:45 PM

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Note: I’m tired of clearing the spam from my comments, so comments are no longer accepted.

I *love* it, and I'm horribly jealous. :-D Whee!

Posted by sis at 7:43 PM, July 25, 2004 [Link]

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This site is copyright © 2002-2017, Ralph Brandi.

What do you mean there is no cat?

"You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat."

- Albert Einstein, explaining radio


There used to be a cat

[ photo of Mischief, a black and white cat ]

Mischief, 1988 - December 20, 2003

[ photo of Sylvester, a black and white cat ]

Sylvester (the Dorito Fiend), who died at Thanksgiving, 2000.


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