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my JQuery Character and Word counter plugin

Hey folks! After much procrastination, I finally updated my jQuery Character and Word counter plugin! Joyeeeee!.

Oh yeah, I also got a new domain name. Some fuckface took qwertypants.com (I had it in the past, it got scooped up by a shithead), so I settled for qwertypants.me.

I’ll be moving this blog over there in time. Anywho, enjoy the plugin!

Check it out here: http://qwertypants.me/counter/

Can you unplug forever?

The other day I was thinking (which is normally dangerous) about the Internet and how dependent we are on it. Then  I thought “could I ever unplug from the Internet, forever?”.

Now I don’t mean literally unplugging, I mean figuratively (if you haven’t figured that out yet).

I’m talking about no Facebook/Twitter/Google +/<insert social media here>. No email either. Nothing that connects you, the human, to the entity we call the Internet.

In my scenario, you can still use the Internet for searching and browsing. You can have a phone and make phone calls.  I’m talking about your online identity.

Is it possible? Can someone this day in age survive without their precious online-egos?

Want a new job? Sure, email them your resume first. Oh, wait – no email.

Hmmm. How about shopping online? Can’t do that, it would require a personal account tied to an email address.

It then occurred to me. You can’t really function in today’s world without being connected in some way to… THE CLOUD.

It’s a bit creepy to think about that. Imagine yourself today, completely disconnecting entirely from any online association. Can you function properly in our society?

Sure, you say “the Internet wasn’t always there, we did get by without it.” And you’d be right. Which is why I’m specifically talking about today.

You might also say “there are people across the world without access to clean water, let alone the Internet”. No shit. I’m talking about you, the one reading this.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not sure if I could. Unless of course I was planning to live an Amish lifestyle somewhere in middle America, which in that case I’d just rather run into traffic.

Retweeting on twitter

I love twitter. I wasn’t always a fan, but I caved. It’s a great source (for me specifically) to keep up with all the goodness that involves programming and JavaScript nonsense. In my short lived life on twitter, I’ve noticed that there are several ways that people retweet a tweet (or as I call them, twats). I’ve categorized them in a neat list so you don’t have to.

Old School
Keep it real, yo. Just use the “retweet” button that the twitter interface already offers. It’s simple and to the point. It doesn’t require any extra typing or thinking. Just hit that magic button and it’s done. This will simply put the original person’s tweet on your followers timeline. It’s indicated as a retweet by including a retweet icon next to the sources name, followed by the name of the person your following (the retweeter).

RT
This is when someone who wants to retweet something and provide their own commentary. For example, if @chickenFace (not real.. yet) tweets:

“I just had the best #chicken in life. I almost shat my pants it was so delicious.”

Someone following @chickenFace would retweet their twat by prepending “RT” and perhaps append it with their own comment like so:

RT “I just had the best #chicken in life. I almost shat my pants it was so delicious.” -@chickenFace I just shat my pants too! #coincidence

This form of retweeting is good for commentary by the retweeter and provides a small level of interaction within a single tweet.

Via
This is similar to RT with the exception that the retweeter gives a shout out to the person who tweeted it. For example, @chickenFace writes:

“If I had another asshole, I would eat more than I already do. Here is my double-ass demo: http://bit.ly/iTNieP

A follower of @chickenFace would then retweet like so:

“Ass http://bit.ly/iTNieP via @chickenFace”

I like this one. It reminds me of when I had to write bibliographies in my papers for school. You can instantly give credit to the original source by simply saying who wrote it.

Link whore
Then finally you have the link whore. It’s perfectly OK to keep track of links clicked. It’s good for business and egos. The only problem is that when it comes to twitter, there are more link whores then crack whores on Times Square in the 80’s.

These are the people who see a link on their timeline and say “Hey, I’m a douche bag who loves clicks! I’ll take this awesome link that I didn’t find myself, then create another link to redirect to that same link. I’m a genius!”. This enables the retwatter to take full credit for a link they didn’t find. It’s like twitter plagiarism. I call it twittergism. (you heard it here first, folks).

Here’s an example from @chickenFace:

“So apparently the chicken came first, it’s true. Check it: http://on.msnbc.com/klAXXZ

Someone following @chickenFace would then be a link whore and do this:

“ZOMG! The chicken came first: http://5z8.info/enriched-uranium-supply_t1h5ax_startdownload

The shitbag above just wants you to click on their link so they can track it and feel great about themselves.

Conclusion
Twitter is fun, don’t be a whore. If you’re gonna retweet, give credit where credit is due.

You are good enough

continous improvementKaizen. It’s a word that  I learned a long time ago. One that I have tried to apply every single day.

“Japanese for “improvement” or “change for the better”, refers to philosophy or practices that focus upon continuous improvement of processes in manufacturing, engineering, supporting business processes, and management” – Wikipedia

With regard to programming, continuous improvement is the name of the game. There are tons of libraries coming out that for me, can get a bit overwhelming. It can sometimes feel that if you don’t know about X library/framework, you will fall off into the blackest hole of the universe and have “everyone” ahead of you. It’s especially painful when you are doing your best and some eight year old is developing software you only wish you could.

It’s ok, you are good enough and will only get better (if you want to).

If you do any form of programming development, kudos to you. This field is not easy. There are some incredible minds out there that continue to blow my mind with what they put out. This does not dissuade me from crafting my art, it only inspires the limitless opportunities of what is possible – what I can make possible.

We are all students. There is always an opportunity for to learn something new and/or strengthen our current abilities. For me, having the student mentality keeps me on my toes and allows me to be humble. Sure, there are “experts” out there that everyone respects. They’re “internet famous”, have tons of followers and are considered the top in their field. I have much respect for their accomplishments. That being said, they were once also considered a “novice”.

We all start out sucking (literally). Then we get better. Then some of us are satisfied just to get a paycheck.

Then there are those who want to improve, no matter what level they are in their field.

That’s where I am, and that’s where I think all developers should be. Keep your mind fresh and your head high. The world is at your fingertips.

Nicholas Zakas recently posted his slides from this past weekend’s jQuery conference. Among the great information provided, one slide (#74) really made an impact on me. It basically sums of the fact that browsers vendors, like televisions sets, are consumption devices. Much like TV’s, the producers (web developers) of shows (websites) create a product to be served to all kinds of devices.

Here’s the difference: television producers don’t give a damn what television you are using when watching their program.

Whether you have an old school TV that weighs 300lbs or an HD TV that weighs 50lbs, you’re still watching the same show. Sure, the quality is different, but it’s still broadcasting the same exact way (albeit HD is a higher quality). If it were only that easy as a web developer…

From IE6 to Firefox4 and everything in between, we have to make sure web pages look semi-decent for our users. But dowebsitesneedtolookexactlythesameineverybrowser.com.

No. Hell to the NO. A resounding no effing way.

Yet still we try our best to accommodate for such nonsense. From conditional styling via clever commenting to JavaScript browser sniffing, developers are trying their best to make web content look, and in some cases preform consistently.

“Don’t worry, HTML5 will fix that”.

No. It won’t.

Why? Do I really have to go there? OK, fine..

  • It’s not fully supported on all browsers and won’t be until after the apocalypse.

There. That’s why.

And even when the spec is actually finished, all vendors still need to get it together and comply with the new rules.

Until then, what do we do? We sit at our desks and punch keys all day in order to accommodate for the dinosaurs that are still using IE6. And it’s not only IE that’s the pain in the ass, every browser has their quirks.

Is there a solution to this never ending quest of consistency? Hmmm…

  1. One world browser: That’s right, have only 1 web browser that EVERYONE MUST USE.
    No, that won’t work. It didn’t (or did it..) work for the New World Order, and it won’t work for browsers.
  2. EVERYONE uses the same operating system.
    Nope. Microsoft tried that, look how well it worked out.
  3. Turn off the Internet.
    Yes we can!

With the wide variety of available devices that are able to render an HTML page, it can be overwhelming to think of all the possibilities of how crappy your website will look. I’m convinced that no matter how hard you try, there is a browser out there that will make your webpage look like it was designed by Helen Keller. Hell, just ask your Quality Assurance (QA) team.

Which brings me to my point –  different browser, different experience – get over it. Your QA team needs something to do. What better avenue then to bring up minor discrepancies between browsers.

QA: “This element should have 1px margin more on the left, but only in IE6/7. Other browsers need 2 more pixels. And don’t get me started on how it renders on the iPhone… and Android… and Nook… and Kindle… and <your browser here>”

WTF. Really? How about I take a pen and jam it directly into both of my eyes.

I demand that we (developers) get access to what percentage of users are using specific browsers. I, like many web developers, have spent countless hours on debugging outdated browsers for the most trivial bugs in imaginable.

If less than 5% of your users are using a browser that you spend more than 10% of your time debugging, IT’S NOT WORTH IT.

But hey, if they want to keep paying developers to waste time on such nonsense, show me the money.

I want to be a ninjaThere was a contest that some of the members of the jQuery team were holding to win tickets to the 2nd annual jQuery Summit. Here is the submission that got me in the door!!

 

I’ll post a full review after the event!! I’m sooooo excited!!

Congrats to everyone else who won. Check out their submissions here: http://ajpiano.com/2010/youre-are-going-to-the-summat/

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