Notes of a technical nature, for those interested in using modern machines to create wonderful things.

Optimizing and Publishing Images

In my quest to make my website directly translateable into a print book, I’ve had to think about how to handle images. On a website you want to keep image files small and light, so the reader can download them quickly. But when printing a book you want images to be of the highest quality possible — the size of the image file is no constraint. Here I share some code I plonked together to automate creating and managing two copies of any images I use: a high-quality original (for later use in print), and a smaller, optimized version for use on the web.

Judicious Change

· 2 Notes

There’s been some more noise among web writers and bloggers about the threats faced by the open web. One of these writers says “I’m intrigued to hear what, more specifically, would push things in the other direction.” I’m glad someone is finally asking that question! Because ‘judicious hope’ needs to be validated with specific courses of action. I have some ideas.

Vulgar Markdown

· 1 Notes

Ten years ago, John Gruber made a thing called Markdown and promptly abandoned it. Now he’s furious — literally furious — that Atwood and co. have named their spec’ed variant “Standard Markdown”. Some quick but careful examination reveals this attitude to be boorish and obnoxious, in both legal and ethical senses.

Money and the Web Redux

Ethan Zuckerman, writing for The Atlantic, says that “that advertising is the original sin of the web” and wonders aloud how to fix it. Once again I drag my proposed solutions out of the closet.

Server Exodus

I have a quick reference for server migrations which I polished up from my scattered notes last night. If, like much of the TextDrive diaspora, you still need to pack and move, hopefully it will be of use to you in the next ten days.

Markdown Comments in Textpattern

On avoiding security risks when switching the formatting syntax in the comment processor from Textile to Markdown.

A Better Audio Embed for Textpattern

· 2 Notes

I hacked my own code for the audio embeds on this site and my Howell Creek Radio podcast site, allowing the audio to work anywhere: on mobile devices and nearly all desktop browsers. A few of you have asked if I could share my solution, so here it is.

The Voodoo Veil

· 1 Notes

I taught myself to program computers out of library books in my early teens, and to design websites by age twenty. Yet I decided not to pursue a computer-related career. I still wonder if that was a smart decision. But the main reason was inscrutability.

Publishing a Podcast

Some notes on publishing a podcast that others may find helpful.