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Split Diffs!

On 2014/09/04, in html, webdev, by ixab

Because this is so sweet, I link to it.


Also, this may drive my page rank up.  Because, ultimately, we’re all attention whores.

Tagged with:

Use 80 columns, please

On 2014/08/04, in rant, signal, webdev, by ixab

I’m seeing a sad-making trend in code these days.  The kids are thinking ‘My editor soft wraps, I won’t bother obeying the rule of breaking my lines of code at 80 columns’.

Well, here is what happens:



As you can see, if I go to look at your code in GitHub, I’m a bit screwed. I have to do a horizontal scroll figgery-fiddle to actually read it.  This goes double for the helpful documentation you included.  The whole point of sharing code is that other people can access it. If I can’t read your code, I can help fix all your bugs.

Just set a column marker and hard wrap, people.  It might slow you down a tick, but it will make your code more readable


Comcast === Derp

On 2014/07/31, in noise, rant, by ixab

I have a Telo Ooma.  Yay 4 me.   This necessitated changing my Comcast to 1) drop my VOIP service and 2) see if I could switch my 20mbs Blast internet which costs $90/month to their offer of 50mbs Blast for $40/month.

Because I hate myself, I used their website.  That was fun, because their website hates me also.  As evidence, it would ask me for my password, then redirect to some logged in page where I can click options.  Clicking any of those options would take me back to their home page, but with me logged out.

Over and over.

Like 500 times.

Having played Flappy Bird, I knew the drill.  I eventually got to a page where I could order an upgrade.  I thought surely I must be close to done.  Then, my checkout workflow was interrupted, and I was suddenly required to chat with someone about the changes I was making.  No joke.  A non-optional, modal chat opened.  Since I thought I was almost out of the black hole’s gravitational pull,  I figured I had enough momentum that I should play along.  That wasn’t as easy as it sounds, because a second chat window suddenly happened:

comcast fail

Then, this happened:


Just. F’ing. Wow. Needless to say, by attempting to chat in both windows at once, I failed to reach escape velocity and crossed the customer support event horizon into nothingness. Chris/Comcast/NBC never got back to me.  Ditto for Shashank/Comcast/Xfinity.  After a while, I decided to back away from the chat and make another run at it.  You know, accelerate toward the black hole, trying a gravitational slingshot to reach escape velocity.  It was an idea so crazy, it might just work.  Alas, Comcast’s website went back to it’s old habit of logging me out and returning me to the homepage.  Wanting to inflict maximum self-loathing before a rage-quit (remember, I’m Flappy Bird hardened), I called customer service.  On my Ooma Telo.  Because irony.

Ring ring, button 1 for English, select an option.  Oddly, there’s no option for waterboarding.

… la la la ding dong  (hold music) …

Suddenly, 17 minutes later, a person answered.  Slingshot trajectory plotted, main engines to full power.  The CSR verified all of my personal information, heard me out, and made convincing keyboard noises in the background.  He wasn’t entirely sure what had happened, but he was able to put me back on hold for a while.

la la ding dong la la (more hold music) …

I avoided looking at any clocks, knowing that whole bit about time near the center of black holes. Then, I’m connected again… but I have been transferred to a new CSR.  I feel a force so powerful, not even light can escape.

Guess what?  You’ll never believe this, but the second CSR also had no idea what was up with my account.  After verifying my personal information and checking many screens and a continued re-asking me about things like my name and last four of my SSN, we decided I may or may not have changed my service, or maybe not changed my service, or canceled Comcast, or possibly some combination of the three.  Considering everything, including black holes and their effect on quantum mechanics, I should not have been surprised.

Yay for having no competition in the marketplace.



On 2014/07/30, in html, signal, webdev, by ixab

I made myself a Grunt example:


I did this because I used to know a lot about Grunt, but I’m trying to not be critical path on the build system of every project I’m on.  That means I’m forgetting stuff about Grunt.  I’m also trying Gulp on another project, but don’t want to just forget Grunt completely.

I can’t say which I like better yet.  Maybe I’ll port my Grunt example to Gulp as an exercise.


OSX Reminder FAIL

On 2014/05/08, in osx, rant, signal, by ixab

Calendar reminders… they are sort of important.  So why (oh why, for jeepers christmas hopping on a crutch) would Apple break them so badly in OSX 10.9, and then leave them broken for multiple releases?

Because Apple does not care about you or your little problems.  If they did, the would bring back the ability to vary the snooze time per notification.  Without that, snooze is this weird black box.  How long will it snooze for? Nobody knows.  Without a useful snooze, reminders are dismissed before the meeting.  Then work resumes, time travel ensues, and next thing you know you’re 28 minutes late for a 30 minute meeting.

A secondary problem is that calendar reminders appear in the same place as all the other noise from the notification center thingy.  On a 30″ monitor, that’s somewhere over in the left hand corner of the room, next to the filing cabinet, by that old chair with a bunch of stuff piled on it.  I get about 200 notifications an hour, so I’m a little numb to things flipping about over there.

It’s criminal.  Also, there are no good fixes, third party or otherwise.  It’s just broken, and nobody cares.


I have discovered that a long click on the ‘Snooze’ button reveals the feature I thought missing.  Has this been there all along?  I have never seen it documented.  Maybe it’s just too obvious, though I have to say that’s not terribly intuitive.

Yay for snooze options!  Now all I need is placement that is not within or otherwise identical to the rest of the notification noise.



I read the TDD is Dead article. It made me think a little, but mostly it made me feel bad for people that feel a polarized view is needed in order to have a discussion.

That article needs a TL;DR:

“I like testing, I don’t like dogma, find a balance that works for you.”

You’re welcome.