October 19, 2019
Some notable links from around the traps. Because blog rolls aren't a thing any more.
- Some of the boring technology – that makes making meaningful things on the web possible.
- Gunther Burstyn – was on the cutting edge too early for it even to be called the cutting edge. He invented the tank in 1911, but nobody took any notice.
- Let a Hundred Flowers Bloom – more App Store downside, this time with life or death consequences. "…making life easier not for the developer or customer, but for the platform runner, and certainly for illegitimate, repressive regimes like the one holding a sixth of the world’s population hostage."
- Meetup, Meetup, Meetup – Meetup shoots the goose that lays the golden egg, then chops it up and jumps up and down on its remains for good measure. Die goose, die. Here are some open source alternatives.
September 28, 2019
A new season, a new typeface for the headings on this site.
It's Fedoro, a to my eye rather pleasingly Art Deco looking thing that I found lying in bed with the flu listening to podcasts. Dana Gould's podcast in particular, the latest one in which he talks with Pleasant Gehman. Naturally I wandered over to her site & that's where I fell in love with Fedoro.
The title of this post is a nod to another of my disjointed interests. I used to use a bit of software to play at designing ships, called Springstyle. It wasn't until years later that I learned where its name came from. The US Navy in the early Twentieth Century called its annual collection of ship designs "after the term for ladies' fashion catalogs" (thank you Wikipedia).
So typefaces, Deco, the LA punk scene in the 70s on a podcast I mostly listen to for the old Hollywood bits, a bit of nautical engineering trivia, and of course ladies' fashion. Life, in all its diversity.
Deleting files in Drupal
August 28, 2019
I wrote a Drupal module to help users more easily delete files.
It's available now on the Drupal site. Drupal, a PHP CMS. Long time readers and avid scrollers will know I’ve had something of a hate-hate relationship with PHP. That's still true. PHP's got better over the years, sure, but not by much. There are some good, even great things built with it, yes, and Drupal’s almost one of those. Almost, but not quite.
This post was originally going to be called "Ten things I hate about Drupal, and how to fix them". I might still write that post, but it mostly boils down to the one thing really: gatekeeping. One of my great tech bugbears.
Drupal’s rough edges are old school rough. No casual blogger's even going to be able to update the thing, and mostly that's on purpose - all through its design decisions have been made that exclude people. Users can't possibly know enough to be allowed to delete files, so let's keep that at arm's length from them. Rinse, repeat.
So here's one step back towards giving users control. You want to delete some out of date PDFs? It's your site, do it. You don't need to hope the reference counts in the managed file table aren't askew, or that cron runs, or your developers have the time. Tick some checkboxes & hit the big friendly button that says send these files to hell, & you're done. (OK, it says 'Delete selected files', but same same.)