Your leaking thatched hut during the restoration of a pre-Enlightenment state.


Hello, my name is Judas Gutenberg and this is my blaag (pronounced as you would the vomit noise "hyroop-bleuach").


decay & ruin
Biosphere II
dead malls
Irving housing

got that wrong

appropriate tech
Arduino μcontrollers
Backwoods Home
Fractal antenna

fun social media stuff

(nobody does!)

Like my brownhouse:
   like communicating with someone in Chinese
Monday, February 9 2015
I like web development (and other sorts of programming) because solving an engineering challenge is like solving a puzzle, but unlike the crossword puzzles that Gretchen throws into the woodstove upon completion, a program or a website is a concrete, possibly-permanent creation. Sometimes it's even a step towards something bigger. (In reality, of course, all computer programs are basically sand paintings, quickly discarded for all sorts of reasons, many of them capricious and arbitrary.)
While I enjoy building out databases and responsive Javascript-based frontends, I have little or no patience for translating graphical designs into web pages. I consider most designs arbitrary, and the insistence among designers that I adhere strictly to their designs seems narcissistic. Part of the problem is my brain; sometimes I feel like I can't even see a distinction that a designer finds important. But occasionally it's my fate to do such work, and that was how I spent my afternoon today. I fucking hated every minute of it, particularly tracking down where in the CSS (Cascading Style Sheet) unwanted attributes were coming from. But I also hated cutting up things in Photoshop and then wondering why strange unwanted halos were appearing after I set parts of .png images to transparent.
When I wasn't doing that sort of work, I was doing another, very different sort of work that I also despise: getting an .htaccess file to correctly do things like append a "www." to the front of a site's URL or to redirect to the secure version of the site for certain pages. The directives in an .htaccess file (RewriteRules and RewriteConds) look like strings of random characters, yet somehow they control the process. It's all written in regular expressions interspersed with non-regular expressions that are as hard to read as the regular expressions, with no indication where one unreadable language stops and the other unreadable language begins. The best I can do when doing this sort of work is look up recipes online, copy and paste them, and then see if they work. It's like communicating with someone in Chinese using Google Translate. As with the fussy techniques of design, it all lies outside my expertise. I don't have room or desire in my brain to learn, and yet there is nobody else on this project available to do it.

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