Safari crash cause found?

Though the Panther update has been mostly great, I have had consistent problems with Safari crashes, mostly right after using the ctrl-click menu. (Safari was very stable for me until Panther.) Recently I started to notice that a few other programs were crashing in the same situation; it’s just that I use the menu in Safari much more often, so it seemed like a Safari-specific problem at first. Well, I finally looked closely at the crash log, and what I saw there indicated that the problem might be with the version of Circus Ponies Notebook I installed a few months ago for testing. I checked the Circus Ponies discussion forum, and sure enough….

Since I was only running a demo version, and it had expired, I hadn’t updated to the newer version that fixes the problem. So this gave me incentive to remove all remnants of Notebook from my Macs. We’ll see if it works.

Regarding Notebook, it actually looks like a great program and I think it’s worth trying out; it just didn’t do what I was looking for at the time, which is why I didn’t upgrade to a paid version.

Impulsive? Me? Never!

Well, I did it. I played around with WordPress for a couple of days, and liked it so much that I just said “what the heck,” and switched over. This means the iBlog posts since September 29 are partially missing, but I will gradually put them into the WP blog. (In the meantime the old files still exist.)

Special note to those of you reading the RSS feed: Since I changed blog software, you might get some repeating posts. I really hope not and I apologize if it happens. One of the reasons I changed software is so that this kind of thing wouldn’t happen as much as it did with iBlog.

There’s a new design as well. If you liked the old one better, don’t worry — I’m going to set up the page so that you can click to choose which look you prefer, the new starry night design or the old rusty stripes one. Or maybe some others as well. :)

Anyway, do try it out, leave comments, etc. This should be better for us in lots of ways.

WordPress or iBlog?

Though iBlog is a nifty little program, some of its limitations have been driving me nuts. The inflexibility, invalid XHTML, not-quite-valid RSS, large size of the blog (since all pages are static) and the basic fact that it’s a client-side app and hence not able to do some of the things server-side apps can do. I’ve been able to add comments via Haloscan, and sometimes I manually Trackback my posts, but it’s frustrating. Apparently I might be more of a power user than iBlog’s intended userbase. :) We have our own web server, so the only reason not to use a server-side blog program is that Jason hasn’t been enthusiastic about installing one. But that doesn’t mean I can’t…

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“Taking the labor movement open source”

Cyberlodge, “the first open source labor organization” (i.e. union), is open for membership. “Consider us SourceForge.net for the labor movement,” they say, but can they convince notoriously non-union IT workers to organize? (And does that jargon really mean anything in this context?) WashTech has a five year head start on them, but still hasn’t managed to make many too inroads into tech companies, though they’ve still accomplished quite a bit. This might change, if the current rapid loss of tech jobs to offshore workers becomes the issue that turns techies into union supporters.

An iBlog introduction

More for the iBloggers (sorry for the rest of you; the frequency of iBlog-related posts here ought to slow down eventually): Murray Todd Williams, who discovered the iBlog security problem I discussed in a post a few weeks ago, has written an article/tutorial on using iBlog. It doesn’t cover absolutely everything that an iBlog newbie might want to know, but it’s a pretty good start. iBlog is sort of lacking good tutorials and guides for getting started, so this is going to be very useful to make up for that.

Making iBlog behave

Alex Hung has discovered a way to make iBlog stop putting FONT tags in blog posts (iBlog supposedly writes XHTML, but FONT is deprecated in XHTML so it shouldn’t be used). If this works, iBlog will be one step closer to “the blog program I want” instead of “the blog program I use because it’s ok.”

Now, if I could just get it to use proper paragraph tags and emphasis tags. I don’t suppose there is another poorly-labeled preference that would affect that, is there?

New iBlog version is out

I’ve just installed a new version of iBlog (1.3.2) and now I’m going to find out if it still works. One of my comments earlier was addressed in this upgrade: “Preview preferences are now moved to the Add/Edit Blog sheet. See the ‘Display Attributes’ tab.” That’s good. I wonder if any changes have been made to the XHTML and RSS so they will validate now?

Panther’s here!

I have my copy of Panther (Mac OS 10.3) installed. So far, all is well. Cross your fingers that it stays that way.

I haven’t had much time to play with it yet, but I will say that the Expose feature ROCKS. Wow. That in itself might be worth the upgrade price. (Well, the educational upgrade price. Maybe not full retail. :) )

More random iBlog comments

More on iBlog: apparently there are some security issues involving the private blog feature on iBlog. If you aren’t publishing a private blog, however, this won’t affect you.

Another issue I have with iBlog, that I forgot to put in the previous entry, is that the interface could use some improvements in consistency. For example: some visual aspects of the site are controlled within iBlog>Preferences>General. Others are controlled in Resources>Manage Stylesheets. (And let me add here that I really like the ability to manage stylesheets this way — for those who don’t know CSS or want to deal with code, it’s lovely.) This is confusing; the editing of the blog’s visual styles should be done in one place.

The way my brain works, I expect to see the Navigation Editor in the same menu as Manage Stylesheets and Manage Templates. They seem related. But that might just be me.

There is something odd about the RSS feed as displayed in LiveJournal’s syndication (this blog is syndicated there as slumberland_org). There are weird line breaks that aren’t in the original content (here’s an example). I have noticed that the line breaks will specifically appear next to italic text, but that is not the only time they pop up. When they appear, they also appear wherever there is a line break in the code — which is interesting, of course, since HTML ignores line breaks. Also — it doesn’t happen on every single entry, only for some of them. I have looked in the RSS file sometimes and didn’t see the cause for this (but currently none of the posts in the RSS feed show this behavior, so I can’t check it now) so the problem may be on LiveJournal’s side. I don’t know. It’s awfully strange.

The Preview pane in Preferences is odd — I don’t understand why that section is called Preview. It doesn’t seem to have anything to do with the act of previewing. The choices made there specifically affect the configuration of the blog and there’s no reason why that pane should be called Preview.

(Comment deleted here because I was confused and criticized something that doesn’t actually happen.)

More comments when I think of them. I may get a whole list together to submit to iBlog’s author.

Geek cake

I made Jason this cake for his birthday. (Could you tell he uses Linux?) I have done a better job decorating cakes in the past but I guess it turned out OK. At least Tux is recognizable. See more pics here.

We weren’t able to celebrate his birthday on the actual date (last Saturday) because I had a class reunion to attend, so this week he is the birthday boy. Happy birthday, Jason!