Hi! My name is Cédric Bozzi, I make websites and iOS apps, and this is my blog about technology (mostly a Twitter archive, really).

2 March 2004

CSS drop shadows : I had seen this technique used on 1976design.com, thought the idea was excellent, but didn’t want to copy it, because I thought it was original (turns out, it was) and I respect originality. So all I did was put back the fake shadows I had once made with the non-standard, Mozilla-only CSS properties that allow you to define borders as gradients.

Now that it’s been officially published on A List Apart, I’d love to use it, but… I’d have to edit all my posts containing images in order to add the <div>, and that’s way too much work for something that doesn’t look completely perfect (the shadow’s extremities don’t look natural — they actually look worse than those I have right now).

Tough luck.

First, if you are running an old version of Firebird or Phoenix, visit the Extensions panel in Tools, Options and disable all of your extensions.

And how do you uninstall the fucking extensions? Are the previous versions going to linger forever, inactive, in my extensions panel? Idiots.

P.S. Google : Firefox “uninstall extensions”. I’m linking the results page because the first link (the one with the right answer) doesn’t work, I had to use the Google cache.

Must be damn complex adding an interface for this in the options window. I don’t like this browser, its idiosyncrasies and its stupid, incoherent keyboard shortcuts (Alt-Enter, depending on context, either opens a new tab or saves the link target). I’m going to buy 512 MB of additional RAM and install Mozilla again.

5 March

6 March

A little study of open source CMSs, out of curiosity, just in case I’d go on specializing myself in political campaign websites. Depressing (the study, as much as the thought of working).

I already stated how much I hate SPIP — actually, I didn’t go into much detail about it, so I’ll just say I hate it, very much. But the others aren’t so much better. Typo3 certainly is very professional, but the template management seems absurd to me; besides, the documentation is written in such a bad English that it makes my head hurt, and that’s definitely not helping. Cofax, which looks promising and is used by several online newspapers, is… only available on Windows. No, seriously. Let me skip all the little things, because we’re talking professional sites here. Zope is the opposite of SPIP: the templates system appears to be very well designed, but the thing seems to be completely unusable for a joe writer. If I had to build a site right now, I’d try Plone: base on Zope, but with a real user interface. Except that the thought of committing to a Python system, meaning I wouldn’t be able to extend it at all, is a bit stressful. So what’s left? What’s left is that, out of all the CMSs I’ve seen, the one I’d feel most at east with remains Movable Type. It’s only supposed to make blogs, but it’s extensible, it makes static pages, it can make pretty, clean URLs, and it’s well designed. Only that it’s not open source, and I’m told that political candidates like to use open source software.

So I can choose between Plone (suicidal, because I’m likely to get stuck with what it can’t do), SPIP (suicidal because I’ll want to jump out the window when I’m up to writing the templates), or hand-coding (suicidal because of the amount of work it represents).

Wouldn’t anyone here be willing to design, right here, right now, a good CMS based on SPIP? There wouldn’t be that much to be changed.

8 March

10 March

Is [horrid, amateur] design successful for eBay? I know it contributes to my not wanting to use it.

11 March

Padawan:

Meanwhile in France, SACEM (our local RIAA) is threatening to sue Apple France if the company doesn’t pay the levy tax imposed on hard-drives (from 10 to 20€ depending on the size).

Nevermind the fact that it reminds me there’s a tax on hard drives (everyday life is so much easier when you forget the details of our society’s idiosyncrasies), it’s troubling me.

First, according to the article linked there, the dispute only revolves around the iPod, which makes no sense: Apple computers also contain hard drives, so either Apple is used to paying this tax, or the Sacem shouldn’t be complaining specifically about the iPod.

But, more importantly, what is Apple doing at all? Did they deliberately decide to go to court and play heroes by challenging this stupid tax? That’s a terribly American concept, but could work as an advertising campaign: Apple defends consumer rights! Hurrah for Apple! But, American as it is, it’s quite likely to fail in France and leave them with a hefty sum to pay. Could they really afford to pay 20 € plus interests for each iPod already sold? iPods cost over $50 more in France than in the US, so maybe they saved the difference on a special account in order to finance the operation.

That’s when I’d like to be a super-famous blogger and have inside sources from the industry contact me with confidential memos. Damn. I should have been working harder to build a larger audience. Good thing I don’t care, really.

17 March

Posted elsewhere, about Movable Type 3.0’s upcoming TypeKey feature:

“Centralized authentication service”, as in “Everyone will have to register on typekey.com before they can post comments on most Movable Type weblogs”? This is a really weird idea.

If TypeKey really is what it sounds like (and I checked, Six Apart did buy typekey.com), am I the only one who thinks it looks like MT is trying to pull a Microsoft on blogs? I had already read complaints about their support for Atom instead of RSS…

I’m sure there are many other solutions to fight comment spam, without centralizing stuff. Things don’t get done this way on the Internet.

20 March

TypeKey is just what I thought and, decidedly, even if I don’t question Six Apart’s honesty, I don’t like the concept. When I can define the reasons better, I’ll let you know, if nobody else does in the meantime.

It remains to be seen whether bloggers massively decide to activate TypeKey. But I have a kind of feeling that there won’t be any escape.

Actually, I’m not even sure their idea will work. The biggest problem with Movable Type blogs is that spammers post comments just so that their URLs will be seen by Google. What will prevent them from putting those URLs on their TypeKey page, and recreate their profile everytime they have been banned from too many blogs?

Unless they have a magical, undisclosed solution1, TypeKey could actually make it easier for spammers, as they will only have to register once in order to spam all the affiliated weblogs. Whereas their task could have been made harder by leaving the registration and e-mail address verification job to each individual blog.

We’ll see…

1: Remember Orkut Fight Club? Orkut or Friendster are mostly unimportant toys, but TypeKey may become essential to the blogging world. Just imagine the drama we’ll get when people start getting booted out of TypeKey.

22 March

Why is it so hard to find a good blog CMS that doesn’t force to you give titles to your posts? Is it yet another consequence of that obsession with semantics, or are they designed for a majority of bloggers who dream of being considered like great journalists and seeing their article titles quoted everywhere on the web?

The title of your entry does not necessarily have to appear on your weblog; it is required, however, for sorting and display purposes in Movable Type itself

That’s just perfect. “We understand you may not want to write titles for your posts, but you’ll have to, because that’s the way we coded it.

Some days I think I’m quite right in always wanting to hand-code everything myself. But it gets tiresome reinventing the wheel every time. I just wanted to create a tiny little blog on the web.

Corollary question, for the Movable Type users who read me: does MT allow you to create two posts, the same day, with the same title? If it does, I could replace the title field with a fixed-value <input type=”hidden”>.

29 March

ArtRage. Would be good if it didn’t work full-screen over my two monitors.

30 March

Oops! I didn’t know GSM phones without subscription attached had become affordable; I was stuck to the unimaginable prices of my youth.

The lowest Nokia model costs 100 €. With luck, I may be able to find something a cheap camera phone that lets me get the pictures back to the computer — forget about wifi, I don’t expect to find that.

31 March

Samsung SGH-V200: 200€ without contract, and according to reviews its picture quality is quite good (although most talk of 640x480 pixels when Samsung’s site says 352x288). Anyone here have something to say about it?

If I do end up buying a phone, I’ll have to call my provider’s hotline first in order to confirm I’m not entitled to a cheap phone upgrade. It’s unfair — yes, I have a special contract with free, unlimited talk time on nights and week-ends, but I’m hardly using my phone at all, so I won’t push them to bankruptcy.

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