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I'm keeping the following on my blog. Here it makes sense; being turned upside down at Livejournal doesn't make it more intelligible.

Sunday, 9 April 2006


I keep quite a detailed diary. Many people refer to this as a blog. For me, blog means:

I get fed up with people calling my diary a blog, so to make it more difficult for them to do so, I've created a blog as well, on Livejournal. It's like pulling teeth. First, I was pretty sure that I had a live journal account called groggy, but that's some bloke in Canada who has presumably decided to squat on my entry. Never mind, I thought: a Livejournal account isn't worth the paper it's printed on. Let's be groogle instead. But the signup menu told me that that was taken too! So were groggle and whostolemyname. Finally I decided that it was really trying to tell me that it wanted non-alphabetic 9r0991e. Doing the setup was also such a pain; why do so few of these web sites offer the option to use a local editor? I ended up entering this text in the journal by first formatting with Emacs and then pasting into the window.

It's not just the editor, of course. Entering my profile terminated prematurely when I pressed Enter instead of Tab, and I couldn't enter my Zip code (I'm not in the USA; what kind of reason is that?). Entering the time zone gave me a behemoth list of all time zone names, some of them renamed (US/CST instead of America/Chicago, for example). And it wasn't in alphabetical order: US comes first, an acknowledgement of the pain it is to select from this kind of list. You won't see many entries in this blog: it's just too painful. I may put in another, though, to see if I can get them in the correct order.

Ah, excellent! What time is my last entry? It turns out to be local South Australian time, at least when I look at it, but it doesn't say that anywhere. Maybe it gives everybody their local time, thus completely obfuscating the circumstances of the entry. But that's another rant, for another day (for some definition of “day”).

This entry obviously comes later than the previous, and in this case it's part of the same entry; the version on Livejournal will presumably come before, thus completely obfuscating the references.

To be fair to Livejournal, however, it doesn't conform with two of the definitions I put in my original list (above). It almost manages not to mutilate the lout—you need to make the text relatively large before it becomes objectionable (about what you'd use for a 4096x3072 monitor). And the eye candy isn't too sickly sweet. But it's still a pain to post to, and it still organizes things backwards, including the US date format, that I can't change. All that seems to be case in concrete. I found a different, “new” “style system” while searching. That lets me add eye candy and illegible backgrounds, but doesn't seem to offer anything useful. Maybe I'm cynical, but the “new style” comes closer to my prejudices against blogs: hard to read colours, and ridiculous dark blue columns left and right, taking up over 50% of the width. I find the rest of it discomforting. Back to the old style.

About comments: feel free to make them. I won't claim that I won't read them, but it's unlikely. Send me mail if you want to get my attention. That's what mail's for.

Something about the previous post: it claims to have been sent at 11:19 am. I wonder if everybody sees it that way.

Oh! And another thing. If you're reading the text above in my diary, it looks correctly formatted. I pasted the same text in the compose window, and it insisted on adding <br> tags at the end of the line. That's the default, and I have to reset it every time. This time I didn't. I don't know why there are such large gaps between the paragraphs in the LJ version, but I can't say I care too much. Still, it seems to be modern to have badly laid-out text. One more reason why I don't blog.

Monday, 10 April 2006


I've decided to use the “new” style after all; clearly it's what Livejournal prefers, and it's a better example of the ugliness of a blog. It also shows the breakage caused by the <br> tags to its best effect.

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