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.

Monday, July 20, 2020

We're a long way from the halcyon days of ASCII-only text

Rendering text, how hard could it be? As it turns out, incredibly hard! To my knowledge, literally no system renders text "perfectly". It's all best-effort, although some efforts are more important than others.

Text Rendering Hates You

I don't know if I'm glad or sad I didn't read this article before rendering HTML into different formats. On the one hand, it might have completely discouraged me from even starting. On the other hand, I don't use the full span of Unicode characters in my blog posts (which I'm very thankful for, after doing all this work). But on the gripping hand, Lynx was doing a horrible job at formatting HTML into text, and what I have now is much better looking.

So let's see … we now have three hard things in Computer Science:

  1. cache invalidation;
  2. naming things;
  3. text rendering;
  4. and “off-by-one” errors.

Yup, that seems about right.

Obligatory Picture

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

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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