Thu, 27 Feb 2014

No Comment Kitteh

— SjG @ 9:45 pm

No Comment Kitteh

Wed, 26 Feb 2014

Monarch Butterfly Pictures

— SjG @ 10:39 pm

For kicks, I wrote a little twitterbot. Every other day, it posts a picture I’ve taken of monarch butterflies, their caterpillars, and the like.

Visit the twitterstream at

Mon, 27 Jan 2014


— SjG @ 9:25 am

Coffee shop, West Los Angeles.

Angry Guy: You can’t pass a law to take away people’s guns and claim it’s to make things safer. The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

Other Angry Guy: Yes, that’s why we’re passing a law to only take away the bad guys’ guns.

AG: How do you know who the bad guys are? It’s not that simple!

OAG: Exactly! So let’s discuss the topic like adults, and drop the kindergartener’s vocabulary of good guys and bad guys.

AG: Don’t insult me, you arrogant son of a bitch!

OAG: Then raise the fucking discourse to an adult level.

AG: I’m not going to sit here and argue with a goddamn communist!

Fri, 10 Jan 2014

Page loading twice … but why?

— SjG @ 11:15 am

Oh, what a journey of discovery, and what a diet of red herring.

I’m developing some pages in Yii, and noticed that — in Firefox — pages containing CGridViews were actually loading twice. The pages seemed to flicker on load, and in my server logs, I’d see two requests. I went down a lot of dark and twisty alleys trying to figure out what was wrong with my Ajax calls, to no avail. Turning off Javascript did solve the problem, so, of course, I was focused on finding a Javascript bug.

When searching for others experiencing the same problem, I found this posting. “Curious,” thought I.

I tried re-arranging the HTML layout, and damn me twice if putting the character encoding declaration earlier in the file doesn’t fix the problem.

The CGridView red herring comes from more Javascript includes being injected in the header on pages that use CGridViews. So that makes sense.

I’m still puzzled why disabling Javascript in the browser makes any difference. It does not change the location of the character encoding declaration in the file. Maybe it’s a Firefox- or Firebug- specific “feature.”

I have to admit being surprised that the spec dictates the encoding be declared in the first 1024 bytes (or 512 bytes before the 2011 version of the HTML 5 spec). I’m even more surprised that a browser would actually re-submit the request to load the page in the case where the page was out of spec. Redraw? Sure! Reload? That’s just crazy.

Wed, 18 Dec 2013

Angular.js and IE8 Problem

— SjG @ 10:00 pm

I was just finishing up a Angular.js application. It was then time to test it under Internet Explorer 8 — not for purely masochistic reasons, mind you, but because it’s still the standard browser for some people, including the people for whom this particular app was written.

I’d already tested under Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and IE10, so I wasn’t expecting any problems. There you go. I’ve put it in writing. I’m an idiot.

So IE8 didn’t render the app at all. No error messages. I switched to IE9 to test, and it worked there, unless I put it into “IE8 Standards Mode” when it would silently fail again.

Now, this may not be news to some people, but IE8 really is pretty crappy. I spent several hours tracing through things, which is not easy with Angular.js due to the asynchronous way that most apps are built. This app has services that create Ajax promises and controllers that rely on services. Figuring out what’s supposed to be happening when can be challenging.

To make a long story short, this turned out to be a case of IE8’s non-crappiness. One of the views that was being included had a spurious close div in it. All of the other browsers happily rendered things the way I expected and didn’t even bother to warn me that the HTML was malformed. Only IE8 stuck to the standard and refused to participate in the charade. Yes, you read that right. IE8 was being a stickler for standards. I just don’t even know how to process that fact.

For what it’s worth, it can be hard to find this kind of error. When you have partial views that get included dynamically, and/or they’re ng-templates, it’s hard to see your completed HTML document, much less validate it. I even tried things like the Web Developer plugin’s “View Generated Source” and then submitting it to the W3C Validator to no avail. The way I ended up diagnosing it was the “fire the canon and see what dies” approach of commenting out different chunks of the code until I could isolate the section. From there, it was manual analysis. Yuck.