I’ve been spending some of my time writing a web application lately. The system itself is in very early stages and chances are that it never gets ready and published, but currently I’m seeing it as a positive challenge and a great opportunity to learn.
The easy way would have been to drop IE support altogether, but it would limit the user base too much and somehow I think it as cheating and blowing the problem to the customer’s face.
So far, I’ve learned the following neat things in various browsers:
- In Internet Explorer, it is really easy to support transparent PNGs in image tags with a simple behavior in CSS file. Check out the original article about PNG Behavior
- The behavior approach can be used, in a limited extent, to support transparent backgrounds with PNG. This technique is explained on Sam Foster’s page.
- Safari’s input boxes have an annoying glow around them when they are selected. This inhibits creating input boxes with other shapes than rectangles. Solution for this issue can be fount at www.bitwalker.nl.
- Browsers render PNG files using different colours. Further, the files created with Photoshop on Mac look different compared to images from Windows Photoshop. I finally got rid of all these by removing gamma chunk from the files using pngcrush.
Hopefully you find these techniques worth considering while creating nifty crossbrowser services.
Colorado Mts. is one of the best tex-mex / cajun / creole (or as they put it, South-West Menu) restaurants in Helsinki. The food is excellent, and the beer flows fast — what else would you need in these restaurants. The service is surprisingly courteous and personal. The flipside of the restaurant is general noisiness and too much smoke especially later in the evening.
You could write a novel about the interiors. It is simultaneously both intriguing and tacky. There are a lot of old posters and plaques on the walls, the tables are made of really sturdy wood and there is an axe ‘hit’ through every table, serving as a chandelier. A small train runs two meters above the bar desk for some reason unfathomable for me.
The restaurant is quite crowded, so reserve a table beforehand to avoid disappointments at the door.
www.coloradomts.com, Unioninkatu 30 (near the market square), Helsinki, Finland, +358 9 622 1622, firstname.lastname@example.org
Villa Studio sells felted wool clothes for everyone in the family. Their full packed store is located on the yellow brick buildings in Fiskars, and it is nice destination for those that are interested in woolen products — especially felted ones.
Besides clothes, they offer also very warm woolen shoes (shown in the picture, by the way) that are really precious in Finland during winter time.
Villa Studio, Antskogintie 30 b, Fiskars, Finland, +358 19 237 222
I was happy for two days with my ShortStat patch that I wrote on Friday. Then the spammers changed the tactics (or I just got hit with new spammers using an alternative method), and inserted the spam words in the path of the URL.
My domain checking code was useless against these, as the domain names were generic, such as aaaaa.com. Fortunately, the same idea could be applied to the path as well.
I inserted yet another test to the same loop that checked for the domain names, and lo — the spammers were gone from the listings.
I’ve currently wondering whether this was a coincidence or are spammers reading my blog? In the latter case I could feel flattered…
Galleria F is small art gallery run by the artist Kristiina Lehtonen herself. The gallery is conveniently located at the central yellow buildings in Fiskars.
I was not very impressed with the artworks, but it was mostly due to my taste for art. For me, the works look a bit childish, but for someone else they probably are uplifting and cheerful. There are a lot of images on the gallery’s website, under link ‘Kuvagalleria’, so check them out by yourself.
The gallery is open every day in the high season (summer months) and only periodically during low season. It’s always best to call or send email before visiting.
www.galleriaf.com, Skuruntie, Fiskars, Finland, +358 40 720 7546
For some odd reason, I get a lot of referer spamming to one of my articles, aptly named New kind of referer spam?.
The frequency of visiting does not bother me, as I still have enough bandwidth available for each month. My only issue was with ShortStat, as the referer spammers polluted my recent referers display. Instead of seeing where people really came from, I saw a lot of domain names related to certain medicines and so forth.
After looking at the issue for a few weeks, I decided to something about it. The easiest solution was to add a filter to the display, and simply not show referers that match the filter.
I took the following steps to weed the list:
- Add a new configuration variable to configuration.php. The variable is an array that contains strings of unwanted referers.
- Edit function SI_getReferers in functions.php:
- Remove the limit in the SQL clause to get as many referers as needed.
- Add a counter to the display loop to check that we have displayed enough referers.
- Add a test loop for each URL. The loop iterates the items in the new configuration variable with strpos. If there is a match, the matching iteration is stopped and that referer is not shown.
- Add incrementing the counter after a referer has been displayed.
- Test the system.
- Write all nasty referers to the configuration variable.
Now, the list is clean once again. I inserted just four names in the configuration and that took care of everything. Hopefully there won’t be more.
The patch is a bit complex and as I’ve heavily tweaked ShortStat, it might not be applicable to a standard ShortStat distribution. Thus, there is no file to be downloaded — but I can provide the stuff for you, if you are interested.
As a sidenote, I’ve been pondering on moving on from ShortStat, as it seems that I’m the only guy developing anything with it anymore… Any suggestions besides Mint?
Osuuskunta Tupapuoti is a collective shop offering crafts from several different people. Most of the items sold there are decorative, and thus the price is reasonable compared to, for example, knive or full-blown chair (available in some other stores in Fiskars).
Personally, I’m not a fan of decorative items, but this shop is a heaven for the decoration aficionados. The items are well made, and there is a lot of variety in the selection. The items are also small, so they make a good present or a memoir of Fiskars village.
The store is open only on weekends during the low season. It’s always best to call beforehand.
Osuuskunta Tupapuoti, Antskogintie, Fiskars, Finland, +358 19 237 090
Nanna Bayer is a distinguished porcelain craftwoman in Finland. She specialises in “neriage” porcelain, a method for making extremely thin, yet durable dishes. All items are lightweight, and a espresso cup weighs far less than the coffee held in the cup. The items look distinctly handmade — yet their quality is high, and thus there is no industrial feel.
Her shop, located in the yellow brick buildings at the very centre of Fiskars village, is also her workshop and you can witness how the dishes get their forms. Please note that the shop is not open every day during low season. It’s always best to call beforehand.
Nanna Bayer, Antskogintie 26 a 2, Fiskars, Finland, +358 19 237 383