unicode

it's all gone unicode, even the poems.

Over the last few weeks I've been gradually converting; my local copy of this site is now entirely unicode, and everything else is following suit. This is something I'm proud of. It also explains why I haven't uploaded the±wire 0.9.1 yet; hopefully, some time this week, when I can mark a couple of hours aside, I'll be uploading the whole lot.

UTF-8 has become my standard document type in BBEdit, TextPad, everywhere! I am now offended if I receive plain ASCII. it's like, are you American or something? that's right, unicode is all about the "international" issue, you know, the brotherhood of man and all that. Beyond that, in fact, it can even handle Klingon, you name it!

I had imagined this converting job would be a hassle, but it turned out to be quite the opposite, even solved a few long-running technical issues I'd been having. it's a great feeling knowing that you can represent any character on the planet in one text document, and that that document can be universally rendered and understood.

It was the "±" in the±wire that did it. If it hadn't been for that, I don't think I would have noticed this whole text encoding issue, like most folk, I would have carried on regardless, which is fine for most folk, but certainly not for anyone developing software, or web pages. I feel richer for the experience, certainly, and everything from corzblog to the±wire, to this very site has improved because of it.

Ahh, that's another thing in need of a repack and upload, corzblog; there have been a few wee improvements since I last put out the source, improves as I go along, probably because I use it every day myself. That new pop-up of symbols, for instance, pretty much grows as I need a particular symbol. Gotta find a smarter way to do the php transformations though, and don't talk to me about PHP's support for Unicode, there isn't any. (yeah I saw those two convert functions. pffff)

Webmasters, did you know that if you add the line

.htaccess or apache.conf addition:
AddDefaultCharset UTF-8

you can have Apache add a nice content header to every document it serves? Well, you do now. don't know what a content header is? Here, I prepared one earlier..

<meta http-equiv="content-type" content="text/html;charset=UTF-8">


Anyway, now I know exactly why I get emails from ?????? ?????? all about ????? ?????????? ??????????. Yeah sure, it's spam, but that's not the point; even spam should be properly encoded.

I feel a mission coming on.

for now..

;o) Cor

is this tuesday still?

it's just after seven am. I've been home two hours. This is normal. Bed sounds appealing, but it's Q1, and Q1 spare time means coding, specifically, coding the±wire. And the coffee is really good just now. I stay up a while..

I confess, I've been real anxious about the CPU usage on windows, not that it was a lot, at least by system measurements, but somehow, some way, it just bogged the system down, everything on the machine took longer to happen when the±wire was running. It was frustrating.

My wee test lappy - an uber-reliable Toshiba 133, with 16MB ram running Win98; If software runs on that, it'll pretty much run on anything. Shit, even bottom-feeder charities are up to those ancient 166MMX ex-biz cast-offs; in other words; it's a perfect floor-level test machine, and aye, a trusty friend! - wouldn't run it at all!

I remember early builds like sludge, and recent ones just nada. OS X is my main bag, for sure, but "cross-platform" is more than just a buzz-word for me, I want the±wire to run EVERYWHERE! I wrote somewhere else that I was considering a "lite" version for older, slower machines. I was serious.

NO NEED!

It was a hunch. See, I'm lazy, if something gets the job done, code-wise, I'm happy enough. I don't always require elegance, though I do en-joy creating elegant code. It was the windows themselves. I was just hiding them see; two of them; the prefs window, and the login window. Means I could poll them directly for strings and variable, your nickname, for instance, is the value of the login field. it's lazy, I know, and now that all the cute functions I wanted for the new version of the±wire are well in place and working I thought I'd make a wee effort to clean-up a bit, throw out dead variables, that sort of thing.

So I'm closing the windows, stuff that isn't actually being used now, putting these strings and variables in more permanent places, freeing up some memory. RB makes this infuriatingly difficult, and will "open" a window even if you so much as ask if the window is open. madness.

Closing up the prefs window made no difference at all, not that I'd realistically hoped this operation would fix anything, especially the windoze sludge problem; that I attributed to RB5's new compiler, and sighed. I thought I might get a few KB of memory was all, maybe a snappier launch. The lite version would be a cinch to throw together, problem solved, sorta. damned annoying though.

it's invisible on windows, but on OS X you can see quite clearly, in the login window, the address field focus ring shimmers, as if being activated and deactivated very very quickly, it's quite a pleasing effect, in fact. I didn't code it, it just happens.

Closing up the login window changed everything on windoze. the±wire bursts into action on the wee 133 now, dns, zener an all! Let's call it 0.7.6.

It was the shimmer I reckon.

for now..

;o) Cor

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