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November 20, 2005

drawing by hand

Filed under: Drawing — see @ 10:00 pm

After a long time I did some drawing again. Just by hand with a pencil. I am actually using 6B pencils exclusively as they allow all type of strokes, tiny and light ones and at the same time broad and heavy ones.

I have a Wacom tablett too in A6 which is just enough for my needs. I still have an old serial A5 one on my old PC but A5 almost seems to large for actually drawing on the computer.
But I prefer using pencil and paper as it is much easier for quick sketches and I can still not get used to map my hand movements to the screen view which is ok for mouse usage and image processing but still quite weird for actual drawing.

Most drawings I do are quite small and I normally did scan them with an old Snapscan which is still sitting around. But this time I was just too lazy to boot that one up and also it seems to scan some random coloured noise sometimes. So I just used a digital camera instead. It’s only a 4 megapixel one but that is enough even for printing, at least for my needs. Although one has to be careful when doing the “photoscan” which gets shaken quite easy but it seems much more convinient than scanning.

Was actually quite fun to do some hand drawing again which enables a much quicker experience than computer drawing still. The only thing I am missing is a go-back function as it is much better than a rubber ;)

Javascript after a long time

Filed under: Web — see @ 1:38 pm

I have not been doing a lot of javascript in the last months apart from a small script here and there. I am still not too fond of doing either as it is almost always a kind of frustating experience as normally nothing works as expected regarding different browsers. The standard experience is that everything you did not test (ok, maybe everything should be tested in an ideal world, but quick and small (not dirty…) javascripts on the web are not very easily tested anyway – I need to look into that a bit more though), anyway, standard behaviour is that only the things you test work. Anything else does not – even obvious “simple” stuff as there seems to be no “simple” in crossbrowser javascript.

Nevertheless for a lot of stuff Javascript just is the only option to build a usable and nice web application or even web presentation. So after normally writing most of my scripts myself – one reason being to be sure where they run and why they run (or not ;) – I used some available libraries. Maybe it is just me but it seems some libraries have a much better meaning simpler API than the ones I used before.

E.g. I used the image transition scripts from Brothercake which are really easy and very nice too. I had build a dynamic caching script to show a couple of images in a king of slideshow (each image was only loaded when needed but actually loaded before display to prevent certain ruptures in display) which only needed a single line of code to be changed to integrate a nice fade effect.

The other thing I am still looking into is a edit widget (remotely Word-like) for the small CMS or better CRUD thing I am working on. Yesterday I tried TinyMCE from which I only need something like the so called simple theme anyway which again was very easily integrated into the app I have now. I might look into Kupu as well which seems to be part of Plone now (maybe for some time but I never tried Plone yet but only read a very positive review in german magazine iX). On first sight actually only looking at the demo it looks very heavy but maybe it is possible to use a simpler stripped version of it too.

I am only looking for a small widget as in my experience most non-technical users can only handle a small widget with a limited amount of functionality anyway.
So e.g. from the simple TinyMCE theme I even removed the underline and strike-through options which just leaves options “bold”, “italic”, a small history and a clean up thing (which may not even be necessary). I might need an option to add a link but the very simplified and hopefully easy to use CRUD system I am building does not need anything more I think. Even things like tables or images are handled with custom stuff as they seem much simpler and also simpler to handle on the backend site and presentations side as well

BTW, I guess I need to look if there is a plugin for this blogs WordPress system which integrates something like TinyMCE or Kupu which is much more comfortable than writing HTML yourself (even for me who is very much accustomed to do so). I would also like to be able to use reStructuredText in WordPress but I think I have looked before and there was only a different kind of wiki-like markup available

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