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b.log2 revisions

Hey there.

If you are a regular visitor to my b.log (all three of you... ☺), there have been a few changes today. Nothing as startling as YouTube's, thank goodness, just hopefully extra nicities in the way you can access this rubbish that passes (in my mind, at least) as coherent thought.

  • Internally, a lot of the code has been rewritten and optimised. You won't notice this, as it is designed to behave just like it always has, only without the bugs. There were a number of bizarre quirks that happened in very specific conditions (like a summary of a single-digit month sometimes omitted the leading zero; well, it is more involved than that but the principle holds).
    It means, also, the server load should be a little less.
  • Sorry Mick, I am still going to shun cookies - for now. What he said (cookie to record the last entry viewed for 'resuming') makes some sense, though it could be "interesting" to implement as if no date is given, it will revert to the most recent entry. How should we know if this is intended behaviour, or unintended. What if the user decides to read the entries backwards from the most recent auto-shown one? I can see this getting quite complex to handle the various possibilities.
    Would it not be easier just to bookmark where you are, and come back by way of that bookmark at a later time?
  • The right-bar has been reorganised. As the search facility is practically never used, I have moved it down and more out of the way. Likewise the "back to site index" has been moved down under the "last five entries". The explanation text on how to use the calendar has been removed, as, well, it ought to be fairly self-evident.
  • So what's been added? Well, in the calendar display, any podcastable entries are marked with the text [audio available] in the pop-up message.
    For those who prefer the summary, this stuff is marked with a little speaker icon like Audio available.
  • Speaking of the summary, there is now an option to easily list every entry ever written. It's a link under the most recent five, or programatically by setting the entire date to be zeros, i.e. "?diary=00000000".
    At the moment, there are 175 entries, from 2008/06/21 to now. Nearly two years.
  • Here's a question for you, dear reader: Is five "most recent entries" a good number? Would three be a better number? Or six? Let me know...
  • My b.log may contain useful information. Somewhere. When you find that information, you may want to print it to save having to find it all over again.
    Therefore, the b.log has been optimised for printing.
    When printing, the following happens:
    • The ID box (You are w.x.y.z, pleased to meet you!) is omitted; and the title is rendered as black text with no background (unless it's the Japanese version, hit refresh in that case...).
    • The entire right panel is thrown away. Repeat, no right panel AT ALL.
    • For commenting, the "explanation" and the enter-comment form are not included; but all the comments ARE.
    Try it - hit Print Preview and see what it looks like. I think it is a cleaner, nicer design suitable for printing, where you're more interested in the content than the navigational tools. The iPad might be all that, but you can't click on paper!


YouTube - You Fail!

As if it can't get worse, it appears that giving a video the stupid thumbs up will automatically add it to your favourites.
What sort of fool thought that up?
Can't you like a video without making it a favourite?

Here are two people random who feel pretty much as I do. I'd be inclined to add my own voice to this, only, what's the point? There's enough people commenting on the new look, and I don't see stuff changing in a hurry.


There's a campaign of sorts to boycott YouTube between the 5th and the 20th of this month (about two weeks). I'm not sure if I will entirely stay away, but I won't "wander YouTube" when I have nothing better to do, at least note for the next two weeks...

All we're asking for is to have a retro option. A clicky button that, for us, will do it "the old way". It would be nice if they integrated the new features into the old styling, but I rather suspect the hope is we'll get over the shock, get used to it, and this will all blow over. But:

  • Rating: You like or you dislike. Too dumbed down. Five stars was better.
  • Rating: Why can't you see a video's rating without rating it yourself? If you are the sort of person that thinks "this rates well, I'd better rate it well" then you're a penis... rate it as you feel, not as others felt. And, again, five stars gives you choice. I mean, three stars "it's pretty good", four stars "it's awesome", and five stars "my bladder just failed, I'm in love, marry me, etc". Gives much more granularity than like/dislike.
  • Rating: If you dislike, is this a negative vote?
  • Rating: Auto-adds to favourites, you bloody morons.
  • Subscriptions: Oh yeah, we can see THAT button stuffed there up the top of the screen.
  • Video information: Underneath the video - FAIL! FAIL! FAIL! FAIL! FAIL! FAIL! FAIL! FAIL! FAIL! FAIL! FAIL!
  • Comments: What's with popular comments listed first and out of sequence? Yuck.
  • Comments: What's with the mouse-over information appearing. In order to know who wrote what when, I need to mouse over every bloody comment...
  • Comments: ...speaking of which, the "View all comments" is no longer. I'm sure active people who respond to their comments are loving this click-fest.
  • Layout: Crap. All white, all samey, no separation. Trying to aim for style over substance and really really missing. This is YouTube is Apple gave it a makeover. Actually, that's unfair on Apple, they could do a better job.
  • Layout: WTFingF is all that crap down the right? I have on-screen as I write this is the girl in the lower embedded clip, and the first thing on the right? Radiohead - Scotch Mist running to 52:32. Yeah, that is relevant...


Your comments:

Please note that while I check this page every so often, I am not able to control what users write; therefore I disclaim all liability for unpleasant and/or infringing and/or defamatory material. Undesired content will be removed as soon as it is noticed. By leaving a comment, you agree not to post material that is illegal or in bad taste, and you should be aware that the time and your IP address are both recorded, should it be necessary to find out who you are. Oh, and don't bother trying to inline HTML. I'm not that stupid! ☺ ADDING COMMENTS DOES NOT WORK IF READING TRANSLATED VERSIONS.
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Rob, 5th April 2010, 12:19
Yep, still agree re YouTube. Mind you, most of my youtube browsing is done via the Symbian App on my mobile, when I'm trying to get to sleep, so I don't get to see much other than the videos anyway! Always fun browsing "Most recent", you get to see some totally random stuff. 
Your "little speaker icon" just 404s... But it's worth it to see the image on the 404 page again!
Rick, 8th April 2010, 01:57
A further small modification is that underneath the copyright message (at the bottom) is a marker giving the URL from where this document was retrieved (currently it lists the actual URL, I'll make it list the absolute URL (i.e. always with a date) maybe tomorrow). 
Oh, don't look now. It is magical. It only appears when you print this! ☺
Rob, 8th April 2010, 11:08
Of course the big blank spaces where the embedded video should be look good on the printed version.. :-p Maybe you need a print-as-PDF, after all, they support all those things you wouldn't expect to be printable on dead trees.
Rick, 8th April 2010, 11:58
Very good point there, Rob. I'll look to masking out the YouTube links tonight. Will need to think, I don't want to entirely get rid of it, in case that leaves a topic with no content below... Mmmm, ideas?

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