Friday, July 7 2006
The neighbor kids from up the street, the children of the family that rented out part of their house to the Tillsons back when I called them the Meat Locker People (since they were actually living in a former meat locker) were walking past today with a number of friends and their two dogs. Predictably, I suppose, Eleanor came running out all barky as usual, and also predictably, the girls in the entourage began screaming like, well, little girls. What I couldn't have been predicted was what happened next. Their big sheep dog Kate and Eleanor were suddenly fighting, I mean, really fighting, and Kate seemed to be getting the best of Eleanor. It only lasted a few seconds and it was over and Eleanor, now limping, came back to the house. Though Kate and Eleanor know each other fairly well, I suppose that Kate had been alarmed by Eleanor's aggressive barking and had felt the need to protect the kids and the new dog in the family (which is still something of a puppy). I didn't know what to say except to scold Eleanor while the fight was actually ongoing. It all happened so fast. In the end Eleanor was okay and I might not have even mentioned any of this except that it was the beginning of a day marred by Eleanor's behavior.
Later in the day I was up on the Solar Deck painting all those little hard-to-reach nooks and crannies a deep chocolate brown and I heard Eleanor giving chase to another exhausted cyclist just arriving at the top of Dug Hill Road in front of our house. But this guy was having none of hit. "Hehhh!" he shouted both aggressively and wordlessly. "Hehhh!" Eventually Eleanor gave up her chase and came back down the road to our driveway, but that wasn't good enough for the beleaguered cyclist. He came back after her, and suddenly she was in full retreat. All her usual bluster had evaporated; evidently this wasn't the cyclist behavior she was expecting. "Hehhh!" the cyclist continued shouting. "Hehhh!" Now it was obvious that he was trying to raise a human from Eleanor's house. At first I'd tried to disappear in the balusters and diagonals of the solar deck, but the guy knew I was up there. So I came out and he proceeded to berate me about my dog, that she's been attacking him for two years now and that it's not safe, someone could be chased into a car or something. At first I thought he was retarded or something but then I gradually came to the realization that his malformed vowels were those of a perfectly-respectable upper-class British accent. What he was saying was absolutely correct, of course, and if his goal was to shame me he did a brilliant job of it. "We tried a shock collar on her," I volunteered. But that wasn't good enough for him. "You need to beat her on her fuckin' ahss!" he said. After a few such exchanges I told him I agreed with him, that it was unfair to let my dog chase cyclists. He nodded his head, turned his bike 'round, climbed on, and continued northward up Dug Hill Road.
I found myself thinking of ideas for how to constrain Eleanor. I couldn't close the pet door and lock her in the house; five other animals use that door. Maybe I needed to get one of those invisible fence installations. But then when I went to price them I saw they were in the ballpark of $250. I felt bad, but not quite that bad. I decided not to leave Eleanor unsupervised until I figure out a solution.
After some intensive Google searches I found what the problem was. There's apparently a bug in Internet Explorer's implementation of the getElementById method such that it returns elements whether the id attribute or the name attribute is set to the value being searched. The names, as you know from reading yesterday's entry, are impossible to change under Internet Explorer's implementation of the DOM.
I despaired for a little while and then figured out and implemented a solution: I appended the letters "id" at the beginning of all the dynamically-set ID attributes in the HTML. This forced Internet Explorer to grab an actual ID whenever it went looking for one using getElementById. I'm not proud of what I had to do to my code because of this bug, but in the end I got it working perfectly. It turns out, by the way, that dynamically-altered form element names are renamed even in Internet Explorer, but the renaming applies only after the form is submitted. If this hadn't been the case, I don't know what I would have had to do to get my editor to work in Internet Explorer.
How many hours of my life did those two Internet Explorer bugs steal from me?
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