The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

No, I'm not kidding

<html xmlns:v="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:vml"
xmlns:o="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office"
xmlns:b="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:publisher"
xmlns="http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40">

<head>
<meta http-equiv=Content-Type content="text/html; charset=windows-1252">
<meta name=ProgId content=Publisher.Document>
<meta name=Generator content="Microsoft Publisher 10">
<link rel=File-List
href="faq1_files/filelist.xml">

If the above means nothing to you, consider yourself lucky.

The above is but a mere snippit from a page I had to help Smirk modify.

The above is the supposedly HTML output from Microsoft Publisher, which was used by the customer to render the web page. The fact that it only renders correctly (if it could be said to render correctly at all) under Internet Explorer is irrelevant to the customer—everyone uses Internet Explorer, right?

Right?

Forget trying to actually modify the Microsoftian HTML by hand—I spent perhaps an hour trying to locate a portion of the file that generated the content for one particular area of the page and couldn't pin it down fully. Add a large red border for this bit, okay, that's a bounding box for this bit of text. Move up a bit and add a large red border to this bit, and that's a bounding box for the bounding box for this bit of text. Move up a bit more, add a large red border and why is the border around that on the other side of the page that has nothing to do with what I'm trying to find.

Stuff like that.

This is the HTML equivalent of having a GOTO following every statement in a program.

Gave up on trying to modify 200,000 bytes of HTML (I'm not kidding—five files, all 40k in size) and redid the page (the task was to merge the five pages into one) in 1,322 bytes (a very simple <TABLE> based layout, which is what it took Microsoft 192,000 bytes to describe).

And as a side affect, it renders correctly in more than just Internet Explorer, and for that, I have to apologize. I just couldn't help myself (even if the design caused Spring to gouge out her eyeballs with a dull grapefruit spoon).

Obligatory Picture

[It's the most wonderful time of the year!]

Obligatory Contact Info

Obligatory Feeds

Obligatory Links

Obligatory Miscellaneous

You have my permission to link freely to any entry here. Go ahead, I won't bite. I promise.

The dates are the permanent links to that day's entries (or entry, if there is only one entry). The titles are the permanent links to that entry only. The format for the links are simple: Start with the base link for this site: http://boston.conman.org/, then add the date you are interested in, say 2000/08/01, so that would make the final URL:

http://boston.conman.org/2000/08/01

You can also specify the entire month by leaving off the day portion. You can even select an arbitrary portion of time.

You may also note subtle shading of the links and that's intentional: the “closer” the link is (relative to the page) the “brighter” it appears. It's an experiment in using color shading to denote the distance a link is from here. If you don't notice it, don't worry; it's not all that important.

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