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November 23, 2006

Casino Royale (and action movie scenes)

Filed under: Film — see @ 1:32 am

Today I saw the Casino Royale preview which will be officially released tomorrow  (saw the  original audio version, not dubbed which is sadly still the standard in Germany).

I did not except anything. I did not expect anything when I first saw Pierce Brosnan and James Bond in Goldeneye and at the time I thought it was ok (saw it again a few month ago and realized it was awful, PB is IMHO the worst bond of all).

But today I was surprised, I guess Casino Royale is the best Bond since Moonraker (on a totally different level of course).

Moonraker was the last Bond I did not watch in the cinema (first one I was allowed to was “For Your Eyes Only”…). All the Bonds in the 80s and 90s were at first ok (the later Roger Moore ones), not completely bad (Timothy Dalton ones) to getting sillier and sillier (Pierce Brosnan ones). When I later (I guess middle of 80s) saw all Bonds from Dr. No on I realized these were the films that built and hold to James Bond’s reputation, the later ones merely marketing vehicles.

Casino Royale has the best (let’s say hard) Bond since Sean Connery (Roger Moore is a different league, I like both approaches). Even the story is good, a bit convoluted and contrived but nevertheless quite exciting and with interesting and new villains. Mads Mikkelsen role is not the classic Bond bad guy but one who has problems himself (BTW a good and sympathetic actor). A bit long but I guess the quite complex story needs it.

Just one point which is not specific to this “action movie” though. For some time I noticed in “modern action movies” the actual action is hardly to grasp. Maybe I am too old for the “style” but I have problems getting what is actually happening during action screnes. To me it seems more empahsis is given to explosions, faster and faster action through even quicker cuts etc. The actual action is shown so fragmented that it is sometimes impossible to get what happens, who is fighting who. Only thing seen are that some guys get killed and the hero lives in the end (mostly by destroying every bad guy, machine, surrounding and whatever). I try to explain this to myself that some film makers forget to actually choreograph the action scenes properly but just need to spend money for explosions.
Notable exception are films like matrix in which action scenes are not “probable” but are actually (mostly) comprehensible (even the extreme slow motion scenes beside).

Anyway, Casino Royale surprised me and is a worthy new Bond movie, I hope they can keep up with the next one(s)…

November 12, 2006

IE and apos character entity

Filed under: Markup,Web,XML — see @ 8:08 pm

I never thought about the character entity references too much. For XML I assumed at least the 5 predefined ones for character & <> ” and ‘. Naively I assumed this for HTML as well (plus the usual other ones used for years like entities for german umlauts etc).

But it seems I was wrong. ' which is the character entity for ‘ is only defined for XML but not HTML. It is used so seldom that it never struck me until I did some tests on IE 7 today. On my GIVE-A-WORD feature on my personal site I needed to escape ‘ as it is used in Javascript parts in element attributes which use ” as delimiter. So I had escaped ‘ with &apos; for quite some time now. It seems though that IE does not know this char ref and simple outputs the complete string… serving the exact same thing as application/xml does tickle IE into XML mode which then knows the ref. Really strange and unnecessary too. Solution would be to use a numeric reference, might do that or simple ignore this case which will happen rather seldom anyway.
For more details see e.g.


Not easy to write this post in WordPress BTW, the HTML editor keeps changing the entities or does weird things with them…

updated CSS tests

Filed under: CSS,Web — see @ 1:02 am

Today I had some spare time and reworked some pages on this very site. I did complete the xbrowsertests with findings in Internet Explorer 7 final. Only really strange thing (apart from CSS shortcomings e.g. selectors which were expected though) is that the minimum popup window you are able to open has a size of 250×100 px. Most browsers do something near 100×100 px but IE7 needs 250…

I also redid the contact form which did generate loads of spam (for me) and I hope that will go down a bit now.

November 9, 2006

JQuery and IE7

Filed under: Javascript — see @ 10:50 pm

Seems JQuery is IE7 compatible. I have a few glitches in IE7 on my private site for which I had no time to fix yet. I also wanted to try out JQuery for some time now, again a lack of time. At work I had a chance to do some tryouts for a projects and also found this great documentation for JQuery. So I started adjusting the scripts on my personal site to use JQuery. At least for the first problem I tackled it was easy and fixed the problem.

I actually have quite a lot of self-written scripts on my site for some years now which could have been build into a library I guess but I never came around actually doing it. I think I was more interested in other things (XML, Python) in the last years and ignored Javascript for the time. But in hindsight the stuff is not really that bad, e.g. I have a kind of effects lib for opening popups (sliding, moving, centered etc). This could be transferred to a JQuery plugin or at least application I guess.

Anyway, first I need to redo all scripts with JQuery, which does seem to simplify and shorten scripts quite a lot…


I fixed all bug I knew with a few tweaks in my scripts using JQuery methods, mostly its excellent “dimensions.js” plugin which gives access to browser information like document or window height, width etc. I had a build a few methods myself for these kind of information but IE7 broke a few. IE6 was annoying enough I remember now as it handles even standards and quirks mode different in its DOM information. So much easier to use a lib like JQuery instead of hacking around in a script that actually hinders one doing the nice stuff…

November 8, 2006

IE7 CSS bug cutting off content when using font-style

Filed under: CSS,Web — see @ 7:34 pm

I noticed a somehow familiar bug on one of my websites. The image on the left side (the drawing on white) is cut off just after about 5mm. I tried all kind of hacks, using display: inline-block etc. but no luck
Then I noticed if I do not style the main headline (a h2) as font-style: italic IE7 does actually shows the complete picture.

Really weired bug and my almost bright view on IE7 is darkening already. I guess this is a bug other people have but I have not found anything via google yet. There is quite a few things going on with floating which tends to draw bugs but this did not even happen in IE 5, 5.5 or 6.

very upsetting… I am not sure if I should try fix it, ignore it or wait for an explaining fix. I guess I hack a bit myself…


Setting display: inline-block; on the adjescent h2 does solve the problem as inline-block seems to be the golden IE7 bugsquisher tool. Still very uncomforting. And I know I still seem to have a peek-a-boo bug in IE6 in there now, but I have to go so that one has to wait (and is not as annoying as the other)

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