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css notes: fixed middle fluid outer column

Also known as: I'm a blithering idiot.

I spent way too long overthinking this problem and only finding solutions with floats (I have very specific cases where I'll use floats for layout, also I could have missed anything that didn't use floats for layout as I was stupidly staying up way too late when working on this). The way to do it is actually embarrassingly easy. I'll be using it for the header and footer (after I've installed Sassy, prepro and phpsass).

header showing divs for 3 col layout for a fixed width middle and fluid outer columns

The above image is a screenshot of the header image on my local as seen in Opera (because it was the only one that showed the outlines regardless of the z-index).  The middle columns are 950px wide (specifically set in the footer due to it being a background image, not set in the header as the image isn't backgrounded and the div sizes itself to it).

What I specifically needed was for the continuation images to start from the edges of the middle div (the left continuation image of the header and both footer continuations are uneven) and stretch to the edges of the container (which is the same width as the browser window, however wide that may be).


theAbysmal Calendar Drupal module

I think it's done now.

  • fixed an issue where the years weren't being calculated properly (?!)
  • I may be slightly out of sync with the official documentation, at least according to the tests I've done on my local so far.  This year should match up, and so will key dates (New Year Day and Leap Day).  I've shifted leap years to fall on multiples of 4 so calculating would be a simple case of if mod 4 is 0, it's a leap year, if mod 128 is 0, it's not a leap year, so some of my years will be a day or two out

name = theAbysmal Calendar description = Converts Gregorian date to theAbysmal date core = 7.x package = Date/Time



Musings on The Cloud


clouds (Photo credit: Extra Medium)

And Zemanta gives me pretty cloud pictures like this one.

I'm actually talking about that cloud computing "fad" (seen the term tossed around to describe it, wonder if it's a fad like Facebook and the internet in general is a fad).


Not on track. Don't panic.

The scripts are still done (it's been months and I still haven't changed/edited).

I don't know if I'm on track to be able to start animating by the end of the year.  Just thought about the amount of work involved, there's sound and voice actors and...I have a low level panic attack happening in the back of my brain somewhere which is making me think about hyperventilating but up here on the surface I'm calm and all is well and I just keep plugging and thinking about writing reviews for Lightwave 11 (I got a free upgrade because I bought 10 a couple of months ago which I thought was very awesome of NewTek) and gIMP.


Playing catchup

I am all over the joint! So what else is new.

Now according to the provider the backup malarky was caused by me having a duplicate account on another server, probably from when I got my ssl certificate and needed to be moved to a server that could handle that.  The duplicate has been removed and miscellaneous fallout resulting from that dealt with.  Unfortunately it means November posts and users from here, Red Planet and WANLN are now completely gone.  I can repair the blog thanks to the Artician feed, can't do anything about lost blog comments or the other two and that makes me very sad.

I have however been assured that the problem shouldn't occur again so that's something at least.


Family themed photos and miscellaneous ramblings

Yesterday, we went out for a drive.  Christmas Island isn't the biggest island in the world, if you point the car's nose down the road and drive without stopping along any major track you'll end up back where you started in about half an hour.

We went out in an exploratory mood and took many photos.  Of course all the photos Josh took while we were out and about were with Kerchunk and nothing on Snap so there's nothing I can post.  We'll just have to go out again and take more when the battery charger arrives.

I'm rather annoyed with myself that it didn't occur to me to take a photo of at least one of the egg laden robber crabs that we skirted around in our trek.  Not doing so had something to do with rain and being in the middle of the jungle and swarms of mosquitoes.  Yeh I know, excuses, excuses :)

swarm of mosquitoes

stock photo from LindaMarieB


Backup malarky and prelimary theAbysmal scripts

If this post disappears, it's entirely my fault as I told the provider that this site could just be rolled back to the last backup (assuming the last backup he had was more recent than the one I had).

What happened with the backups? It's a long and sordid story.

Actually it's not that long, just slightly confusing.  See the provider does scheduled backups as all decent providers should.  But last month and earlier this month something very strange happened.  Three of my sites (this one, Red Planet and WANLN) lost a month's worth of posts.   It's entirely possible the other ones rolled back as well but these ones were the most noticable as they get updated constantly.

The backups were supposed to have been done about the time the rollbacks happened so my current hypothesis is that either the backup is happening and then it's restoring from a backup for some bizarre reason, or it's restoring from backup instead of backing up, or restoring from backup and then backing up.  Hopefully not either of the last two as if that's the case the stuff is gone for good and I'm hoping the lost posts can be merged back in from the backups into the current.  Will see how we go.  I'm really hoping it gets resolved sooner rather than later as my internet access is going to be sloooowwwwww from Christmas Island.


What to do when .gitignore doesn't

So.  At work we've switched from using svn to git (and GitHub).

Difference: decentralised, therefore "commit" commits it to the local repo rather than the remote/centralised one, and you have to "commit" then "push" to the remote.

Problem: .gitignore was not gitignoring some files (settings.php and .htaccess which I had to change to make it work on my local) which it was supposed to be gitignoring.

Solution as per


git status

which should spit up a list of modified files since lasy commit/sync/something (shut up I'm still working git out ;)


git update-index --assume-unchanged path/to/file

Yay, can now sync!

And for a listing of what's --assume-unchanged:


Thoughts on DiSo

I've had several.

Simultaneously, I've had several thoughts on which way this post was going to go.  Originally I was going to go along the vein of a blog post from Zauber Paracelsus (which outlines the "nymwars" debacle to the date of that post, people embarking on "Project DeGooglefy" and alternatives to Google services).

Then I was going to do something or other about G+ and Facebook and problems with centralised social networks.

Somewhere in there I wanted to write about the DiSo project (which appears to have died), and projects such as Diaspora and Friendika, and how I'm wanting to attempt to help with everything, and where I'm going to expend most of my efforts.

Then I started wondering what all those people that aren't me want.  Build it and they will come maybe, but "they" still need to have a use for it and be able to use it.


Drupal 7 notes: unsetting formatting tips

Following on from hiding unwanted elements in comment forms, I found this tip on one of the many threads in Drupal of people trying to hide the pesky formatting guidelines and came up with:


<?php function [theme_name]_form_comment_form_alter(&$form, &$form_state, $form_id) { $form['comment_body']['#after_build'][] = 'remove_tips'; } function remove_tips(&$form) { unset($form['und'][0]['format']['guidelines']); unset($form['und'][0]['format']['help']); return $form; } ?>

That gets rid of everything but the fieldset container and for the roles that can use multiple text formats, the select box (the "Text format" label can be easily removed with $form['und'][0]['format']['format']['#title'] = ''; in the comment_form_alter).