Shiny things for my gearhead peeps

  • Tool – Exchange 2003 SP2 IMF Keyword Manager
    Now I don’t have to edit raw XML and double-check that I didn’t screw it up (open in IE to verify well-formedness, wait/worry for 7513/7514 logged events).
  • Picture – Computer hardware poster
    Reference of over 170 different computer connectors, RAM, CPU sockets, etc.  I put a giant version on my office wall.
  • Article – 10 CSS properties missing in IE6

    1. Rounded or Curved Corners
    2. PNG alpha transparency
    3. Opacity
    4. Fixed Position
    5. Min-width & Max-width
    6. Hover for non anchor elements
    7. Min-height & Max-height
    8. Bicubic scaling for images
    9. Negative text indent for input button
    10. Text shadow

    Good article on what most browsers offer designers these days.  I would just add box-shadow.I happily got to use about half of these features on my most recent site, thanks to some great IE shims:

  • DD_roundies and DD_belatedPNG
    Excellent IE shims for Rounded Corners and PNG Alpha transparency.  There are tons of other IE shims for these, but after much homework, I say these are the best and you want them.  (FYI, I’ve made peace with requiring Javascript for design enhancements, which these are).Now if Drew could port box-shadow to IE, my heart would sing.
  • Article – Universal Internet Explorer 6 CSS
    Article lays out the basic ways to handle IE6 design in 2009, and a fascinating new suggestion.  To wit, not to waste hours in time and a client’s money on lengthy workarounds in an unnecessary attempt at cross-browser perfection.

Hey J-Lo, where did LowSRC go?

Remember the IMG element’s LowSRC attribute?  Unfortunately, no modern browser does!  While the big ones used to offer this for the slower folks among us, they have all dropped support for it.

I need it again, though!  A current project calls for a (just) 320×280 high-color illustration with alpha-transparency – nothing other than a full 32-bit alpha-channel PNG will do that justice.

Out of the editor, it’s 160KB, which is huge for homepage decoration.  A good PNGCrushing got that down to 106KB, which is still 16 seconds on 56K.  Oh, and there’s the rest of the page too…

A pinch of JQuery and classic Javascript later, and LowSRC works again!

$(function() {

  // jLowSRC - Rob Eberhardt (, May 2009
  $("IMG[lowsrc]").each(function() {
    if (this.readyState=='complete' || this.complete==true) { return }

    var lowsrc = $(this).attr('lowsrc');
    this.lowsrcElem = this;
    if ($.browser.msie && $.browser.version <7 && lowsrc.toLowerCase().indexOf('.png') >-1) {	//IE6
      this.lowsrcElem = this.parentNode; = 'block';  = this.offsetWidth; = this.offsetHeight; = "progid:DXImageTransform.Microsoft.AlphaImageLoader(src='" +lowsrc+ "')"; = 'hidden';
    } else { = 'url(' +lowsrc+ ') no-repeat 0 0';

    this.onload = function() { = ''; = ''; = 'visible';



It works in Firefox 3, Chrome, Safari 3, Opera 9, IE 7 and 8.  I also got it handling IE 6 (with a small re-flow jump to the final image), which is the bulk of the code.  (Dear 33% of the world, your web browser is 800 years old and eating our brains.  Broadband isn’t free, but newer browsers are.)

For testing, I simulated modem speeds and “first loads” (disabled cache) with the brilliant Fiddler2.  It’s not just a noticeable improvement, it’s the difference between getting sandwich or sticking around.

Hope it helps someone else!

My fave web / dev news from Mix09

Microsoft has:

  • IE8 final being released at noon today. Hoorah!
    Now if MS would just force-upgrade the IE6 holdouts!
  • SuperPreview for side-by-side (or overlaid!) browser layout testing
    I grabbed SuperPreview the moment it was announced yesterday. Looks great for IE6 & 7, but it didn’t find any of my other installed browsers, or show Safari/Mac like the demo, and I see no way to add those. Hm, maybe they’re still working out kinks…
  • Silverlight 3 beta – big wow for high-performance cross-platform video
    That said, Silverlight is still the “Un-web”.
  • Expression Blend 3 previewSketchflow especially looks awesome for bigger projects
    I’m still not sure I personally can trust a WYSIWYG editor. Frontpage still haunts me.

Google Report a Spam Result

Submitted to

Exact query that shows a problem (copy this from the Google search box):
Technet Plus -vs- Action Pack

Resulting Google page that shows problem (copy the Google URL):

The specific web page or site that is misbehaving: Type(s) of problem (check all that apply):

Type(s) of problem (check all that apply):

Cloaked page

Additional details:
To Firefox or Internet Explorer user-agent strings, shows its registration page.  "View this solution now by starting your 7-day free trial…" at the bottom under Accepted solution.  The real answer content is NOT on the page.

But when I switch my browser’s UA string to Googlebot, it shows the real answer content which was in the Google search results.  This is deceptive to users, dilutes Google’s search relevance, and and violates your Webmaster Guidlines at

NOTE: SOMEtimes DOES show the answer at the bottom, so please test from a variety of IPs and browsers.

Interestingly, it’s no new problem and Google is aware of but ignoring it?  Maybe if more people fill out the form to complain…?

IE6, are you still here?!

It’s August 2008, almost 2 years since Internet Explorer 7 came out.  So why on earth does IE6 still have almost the same market share?

Browser Stats

Fri Feb 1 00:01:02 2008 – Sun Aug 31 23:58:00 2008   213.0 Days

1. MSIE 7.x

15370300 (41%)

2. MSIE 6.x

13493578 (36%)

3. FireFox

6230544 (17%)

4. Safari

1276526 (3%)

5. Opera x.x

306845 (1%)


I was sure the world would be (nearly) free of IE6 a year ago, but adoption has slowed so much that it’s only given 1% to IE7 in the last 7 months.

Microsoft, you’re not pushing hard enough — get that fogey out of here ASAP!


And now back to futzing with transparent PNGs for IE6…


Technorati Tags: Internet Explorer,

Grab the nearest book…

Technorati Tags: general geekery


You will not sleep, if you lie there a thousand years, until you have opened your hand and yielded that which is not yours to give or to withhold.  You may think you are dead, but it will be only a dream;  you may think you have come awake, but it will still be only a dream.  Open your hand, and you will sleep indeed — then wake indeed.

From Lilith, by George MacDonald
Found in The Collected Works of C.S. Lewis, page 123


It’s a book meme.  I did this, you do it too:

  1. Grab the nearest book.
  2. Open the book to page 123.
  3. Find the fifth sentence.
  4. Post the text of the next 3 sentences on your blog along with these instructions.
  5. Don’t you dare dig for that “cool” or “intellectual” book in your closet! I know you were thinking about it! Just pick up whatever is closest.