Programming Note

I’ve put in a new anti-spam layer in the comments. It’s supposed to nip spam in the bud before it even reaches the spam-catcher I already have in place. Almost no spam has been getting through to your eyes, but behind the scenes the comments have been building up, and this should simplify administration of the site. In addition the new spam layer helps prevent robots from scraping email addresses off the site and other antisocial behavior (not that I will depend on that stuff). The name of the Plugin is “Bad Behavior”, for those who might want to try it out.

The system uses a variety of techniques that are supposed to be completely invisible to you, but please let me know if you have any trouble leaving comments. My email address is addy

17 thoughts on “Programming Note

  1. Speaking of programming notes: Does the duck still exist? I haven’t seen it in months on multiple machines: my laptop with Windows Vista and Firefox, both on dialup at home and on wi-fi at work and at the library (don’t worry, I mute the sound there); Pat’s desktop at home with Windows XP and Firefox, on dialup; desktops at work with Windows NT, both with Internet Explorer and with Firefox; on the desktop computer at the vacation place with Windows 2000 and Firefox, over dialup; and Cornhusker’s computer with Windows XP and Internet Explorer, over DSL. Except for Cornhusker’s computer, all the above listed computers have a fairly recent version on Java, and most of the ones with Firefox are using the absolutely latest version.

    I’m wondering whether recent versions of Firefox and/or Java may contain changes that prevent the duck from coming through.

    I know that the computer security settings at work are set as high as they can go, so that might be why the duck doesn’t show up there. However, I keep the security settings lower on the computers I have control over.

    Or is the duck on hiatus?

  2. There’s no actual java in the duck, just javascript to make it move. In any case, the duck works on all machines I have access to, in all browsers, including Firefox. I’ll double-check on the local Windows machine when it’s available. The duck has not changed since it was freed from the header.

    It may be that you’re not staying on a single page long enough to see it, but I’d think that some of the longer posts would require that much time.

    You do have to have Flash installed to see it, but then again you need Flash to see the header. The duck and Shatner may require a more recent version of the Flash plugin, however. Not sure.

  3. The duck disappeared when you freed it from the header, and I haven’t seen it since on anything other than a Mac. I did try Opera once, shortly after the duck disappeared — no luck there. All the computers I’m using have a less-than-one-month old version of Flashplayer.

  4. I tested the duck on all available Windows browsers when I did it, but clearly something has happened since then. As of this moment, the duck functions correctly in Internet Explorer 7 or 8, and while I was fiddling around tweaking values for the overlay on Firefox it suddenly started working, sort of. Nothing that gets me closer to an actual solution, however. Someday when I have nothing better to do I’ll dig into it further.

    • I also see no duck, and am not blessed by Shatner..although that might not be bad… If I leave the page up and jump to other tabs, when I come back I don’t even see the header.

  5. I always see the duck. And shatty baby.
    Running firefox 3.0.10 on linux.
    I thought about self learning java at one point and in the introduction learned of the unfortunate coincidence in names of java and javascript. Apparently they have nothing to do with each other. A bad homonym? malhomonym?; illhomonym?

    • I’d go with malhomonym, since there was malice in the hearts of the people who named javascript. They wanted to piggyback off the huge marketing Sun Microsystems was pumping into Java, and they wanted to point out that the syntax they used was very similar.

    • The whole thing works just fine on all browsers on mac. On windows both Firefox and Opera are very slow at compositing the transparent flash animations with the background. This is most apparent when the poems fade in and out. I’m not sure, but that really slow performance might be part of the problem.

      • I think slowness might be part of the issue, especially if being on a dial-up connection compounds the problem. The newest version of Firefox is noticeably faster than the old, but maybe it’s still not fast enough, even when I run it through a high-speed connection at work. I’ll have to see what happens with IE.

        • OK, Jer, you’ve created a monster. It doesn’t work perfectly in IE, but it at least sort of works. I actually heard Shatner twice before I saw anything over a very slow (26.4K) dial-up connection. Once the page loaded enough to see things, I have seen the duck a couple of times, sometimes with sound, and I have heard but not seen Shatner several more times.

          I know the duck is supposed to quack only about half the time. Wait, it just quacked for me while invisible! Wait again, this time Shatner appeared at the bottom of the window instead of remaining invisible!

          To what extent have you made the pictures and sounds independent of each other?

          • Meanwhile, IE seems to have chosen not to allow me to change the size of the comment window.

            Has anybody checked how this site works with Safari?

          • No luck. Over glacially slow rural dial-up, Safari is the worst so far. No duck, no Shatner, no header even — and all of my other browsers at least render the header and the poems.

            Returning to Firefox for the time being, with occasional forays into IE.

          • I have turned off the popup comment window. I don’t think I can make it work correctly without hacking core WordPress code, which could possibly be broken every time I update the software. If I figure out differently, you’ll notice.

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