The Weblog is Dead, Long Live the Web Log

Hi, remember me? I haven't posted here since February. What's new? We have a dual-tuner Tivo, which is quite nice, a huge upgrade over the craptastic Comcast DVR, and my wife Karen and I have started a weblog called Fiendish Master Plan.

The first substantial posting is one in which we expose the so-called "Santa Fe Salsa", complete with pictures and everything.

In case it's not obvious, I've run out of steam for Zen Haiku itself. I plan to post any usability or photography entries on Fiendish Master Plan.

Take a look.

Posted by Chad Lundgren on Wednesday, October 4, 2006 (Link)

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Building a better RSS Feed

Like most people, I rarely actually visit blogs any more. I just go visit my bloglines. Well, recently I noticed the feed for this web site was insufficiently cool. The text had no paragrahs, no images, it was just terrible.

Thus I waded into the mine field of RSS formats. I read Mark Pilgrim, so I should have known it would be frustrating. I think I have an RSS 2.0 format that works: at least the Updated dates seems to make sense (ie, they are today) and I have paragraphs now. Frustratingly, there was no way I could make Bloglines go get a fresh copy, so I just had to wait. (I'm still working on the RSS 1.0 feed.) Suggestions on the format are more than welcome.

Then I discovered that if I wanted to prove to the technorati folks that I existed, I had to add javascript to my site and then ping them. Which this post will do, now that I've added them to my ping list.

Posted by Chad Lundgren on Wednesday, July 7, 2004 (Link)

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New hosting

I've switched over to a new, better host. It's faster than the old one, and more reliable. It will also let me add my own subdomains like "".

If you're seeing this, you're hooking up to the new site.

Posted by Chad Lundgren on Friday, November 7, 2003 (Link)

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New Site Design

It's in the process of being implemented. It's a little rough around the edges, but it's pulling together slowly but surely.

Posted by Chad Lundgren on Saturday, September 13, 2003 (Link)

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Movable Type Upgrading

I always wait a while to upgrade Movable Type (the software I use to publish this site). The wisdom of this approach was borne out when a security fix had to be re-issued because the first fix didn't.

So I am now moved up to Movable Type 2.63. Now that I've heard things about security, I am allowing HTML in comments: only the basic formatting ones and links.

One annoyance that due to my tired state this evening I may not be thinking about right: I installed the SimpleComments plugin. So for instance, when Joshua Kaufman referenced [Or not: his archives have all gone the the way of the 410 error - link removed 03/25/2004] my entry about on his post, that is now included in the Comments section, not in the separate TrackBack section.

However, it is not on my most recent comments section on my home page. I'd like it to be, but it's not cooperating.

Also, I fixed a usability annoyance: the Comment Previewing page now remembers your name and such.

And now, apropos of nothing, I'll end on this Onion story: Bush Offers Taxpayers Another $300 If We Go To War

Posted by Chad Lundgren on Tuesday, March 4, 2003 (Link)

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Joshua Kaufman & Anitra Pavka: Keeping me (More) Honest

In the past, I've improved Zen Haiku based Joshua Kaufman's postings on his web log or comments on mine. I may even be dragged kicking and screaming into using <cite> for citations and the <abbr> tag for abbreviations like CSS. I'm not clear why I'm a big fan of structural markup when it comes to headlines but not abbreviations.

So just now it occurred to me on reading Joshua Kaufman's mention [03/25/2004 - link removed] of a CHI-WEB posting by Cindy Lu about required form fields that I did not indicate which fields commenters must fill out. I like the Movable Type default of requiring Name and Comment and either Email or URL.

So now I am indicating which fields are required for a comment to be allowed. I like the word "required" more than the "*" marking.

I wonder how many usability web loggers have bothered to run usability tests on their own web logs. I know I haven't. Now that I have a search on the site it could be fun.

Switching gears slightly from usability to accessibility (that word is hard to spell right), Anitra Pavka is the accessibility site I visit the most. She linked to the Wave 3.0 alpha accessibility tool just as I started making Zen Haiku more accessible.

Posted by Chad Lundgren on Monday, January 13, 2003 (Link)

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Movable type tweaks

Iindividual entry archives are now using names. All the old numeric names still work, but I wouldn't mind if people changed their links to the new version. (Just clicking on the old link will show the new URL since I have set up redirects.)

I'm also working on making the site more accessible. As far as I can tell, having the content on the right side means I don't need any of the skip navigation business that sites with left side navigation need. I've modified the search form to use labels and fieldsets. The fact that the search form now looks better is just instant karma in my opinion.

Posted by Chad Lundgren on Friday, December 6, 2002 (Link)

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Zen Haiku Upgraded

I'm now using Movable Type 2.5. What does that mean?

I have turned on the search. It's available over on the right sidebar. Feedback welcome. I plan to take a look at the comments search next.

Automatic trackbacking [Link to Joshua Kaufman's site removed, since he's apparently into the whole 410 thing now 03/25/2004] is turned on, which is great because I think it will get a lot more use when people don't have to go out of their way to do it. It automatically sees if it can ping any of the sites that are linked to.

Posted by Chad Lundgren on Friday, October 11, 2002 (Link)

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Site changes

I've made some changes. One that I just saw what someone was talking about involves the text in the top getting cut off. It appears to be working in IE6.

The other involves a horizontal scroll bar that was showing up unneeded in both IE6 and Netscape 6/Mozilla 1.

(START Web geek speak: I added a comment for the IE6 issue and a width: auto for the Netscape issue. This got IE6 most of the way there, but in in the standards mode the IE6 invokes, there was a little extra space. Some pounding on google found a cached page, all of which was unreadable Asian characters except for 3 lines of CSS, the relevant one of which was: body {overflow: hidden !important} which I took and applied to the top area div. In other words, since IE6 thinks there's extra, make it not show it. END web geek Speak)

In a slightly less geeky vein, last but certainly not least, I've upgraded to Movable Type 2.21 and switched to using MySQL. This would have been less grim if I hadn't commented out the old database location, which meant nothing got transferred over, including my username. Fortunately, my hosting company has a decent web interface to look at the database, and I saw it was empty, and realized what had happened, blew away the empty tables, and re-did the switchover.

Now, I'm going to see if I can get this TrackBack thing to work....

Posted by Chad Lundgren on Tuesday, September 24, 2002 (Link)

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Design change

I've changed the background of the top area. I wanted it more zen, and more Albuquerquean. Or New Mexican. And less gradial.

Oh, and before I hear from a web geek smart ass, the "http//:" in the graphic is intentional. It emphasizes how usability was not designed into the web initially. The idea came from a picture of a sign at a trade show.

Heck, I used to find "http://" hard to say. Now I just reel it off my tongue like it's poetry. We should hold a competition to see how many times web geeks can say "H - T - T - P - COLON - SLASH - SLASH" in five seconds. I'd be a contender, I'm telling you.

Posted by Chad Lundgren on Wednesday, August 14, 2002 (Link)

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Comment URLs clickable

I've ranted about sites showing but not linking URLs, and I was not having URLs auto-linked on Zen Haiku.

Now they are.

Posted by Chad Lundgren on Thursday, August 1, 2002 (Link)

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