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database project, advicenators, lunch

A good day for our hero...

1) Did presentation on rather self-motivated project for Big Important People at work (the ones who wear ties) and they loved it! Got go ahead and permission to discuss plans with necessary people who handle cash.

2) Publicly launched the following website, done entirely by yours truly in PHP:

advicenators

(would love comments, if you have them)

3) Had great pasta for lunch.

If everyone in the world had at least one day this good, it would be so much more wonderful than we could ever imagine it.

Comments

( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
missniceness
Oct. 16th, 2003 04:56 pm (UTC)
Advicenators!
I love it! I'm addicted already!
zonk
Oct. 16th, 2003 05:26 pm (UTC)
Nice. I have been told Coldfusion is easier to lean than PHP. Judging from the pile of manuals on my desk, I am not sure.
spacefem
Oct. 16th, 2003 06:26 pm (UTC)
oh crap, now you tell me!
tiwonge
Oct. 16th, 2003 05:43 pm (UTC)
Oh, man, is it ever. I think I've gotten 28 e-mails saying an question has been answered in the last 3 hours.

That's what I get for posting so many questions during the testing phase. (Including, as I go over it now, the two questions that have garnered the most responses, and one of the three questions that have garnered the third most responses.)

Lotsa fun.
loden
Oct. 16th, 2003 05:47 pm (UTC)
That's so cool! I'm going to sign up right away.
tiwonge
Oct. 16th, 2003 06:51 pm (UTC)
Error message:
session error occured in FORM tags.

I think I know what happened, though. Opera crashed on me, and when I re-started it, I chose to start where I left off browsing. So I viewed the same page with a different session ID, maybe.
spacefem
Oct. 16th, 2003 08:34 pm (UTC)
That's interesting. Know what page you were on? It must have been one of the post pages; I'll double-check them.
abbylee
Oct. 16th, 2003 07:00 pm (UTC)
What a great idea! I'm definitely passing this on to people on a forum I help run. I love that you even give us options to specifically change our own page colours; I'm a control freak.

For the advice columns, if nothing's been entered, it says:
Last Update: December 31, 1969
Maybe store it as the registered date, or a NULL instead?
abbylee
Oct. 16th, 2003 07:06 pm (UTC)
Oh, more suggestions. I'm posting a reply to a question, and I wish I could preview what it will look like. Does html show up?

That's a bit harder for you to add, but I felt it was worth mentioning.
tiwonge
Oct. 16th, 2003 08:25 pm (UTC)
HTML shows up. Line breaks also show up, without a break tag.
abbylee
Oct. 16th, 2003 08:31 pm (UTC)
Thanks :D

I should have clarified: I know that it works like that, having looked at others' posts, as well as my own, but I want to be able to see what it's going to look like before I post, especially if I'm using html. What if I'm making a long response and accidentally mess up a closing tag?
spacefem
Oct. 16th, 2003 08:32 pm (UTC)
ah... okay, I'll work on a preview box.

Good catch on the "updated in 1969" thing, I fixed that! Glad you like the site :)
belgand
Oct. 18th, 2003 02:09 am (UTC)
Hmm... reminds me a lot of the classic Usenet Oracle except, well, not funny.
spacefem
Oct. 18th, 2003 07:03 am (UTC)
not as geeky either... the oracle is cool, yes, but the average internet user might not "get it".
belgand
Oct. 18th, 2003 11:49 pm (UTC)
What's to get? You send off a question, quite often as a basis for humor and get back an amusing reply. The best of the week are collected.
spacefem
Oct. 19th, 2003 08:59 am (UTC)
I bet if you survey 100 people between the ages of 13 and 30, 80% will not understand or just will not like that web page. Seriously. It's an e-mail digest for one thing, which is so 1994 it's not even funny. There's no quick "click here to know what to do" page, just weird help files. I'm not saying we should cater to idiots with no attention spans, but this is the age of the worldwide internet and successful sites that grow fast need to have universal appeal. You like the oracle, but you're a geek, and therefore in the minority on the internet. It wasn't always like that but we can't cling to the past.
belgand
Oct. 19th, 2003 03:44 pm (UTC)
Huh? It's an e-mail digest now? Amazing. I haven't been active in a long time, but the last I recall was when it was Usenet. Y'know, back when Usenet was still usable and people knew that the Web != the Internet. Besides, life doesn't have a "click here" link. It's not appropriate to have to dumb everything down to the lowest common denominator, that's why public schools are such a fucking joke. If you don't find it funny, alright, that's a personal preference and I can deal with that, but your logic essentially is the kind that says that USA Today is the best newspaper because it's colorful, uncomplicated, and easy to read.

Saying that e-mail or even that mailing lists are outdated is just insane. At least 50% of my classes use mailing lists in some way (face it, BBS-style message boards don't really cut it for a lot of things) and I subscribe to a number of other ones for personal use. E-mail isn't dead by a long shot, although it seems that proper, non-HTML crap e-mail is going that way to be replaced by preview panes and Microsoft crap. Sorry, I'm doing an inventory of new mailers, Thunderbird is ok, but flawed, Pegasus is still rather nice, but for the moment I think I maybe sticking with Eudora. Anyhow, I digress. Yeah, some people might not get it, geeks are being slowly pushed down on the internet by the vast unwashed masses (but we DO spend more time online and we DON'T hang out in the same crap coporate sites that the lusers do), but that doesn't mean that something is bad because it's a bit older or because it takes some time to use.

Hell, you're a Linux user, you should understand this. You even used to be a geek.
spacefem
Oct. 19th, 2003 06:03 pm (UTC)
I'm not saying we should dumb everything down, I'm just saying that if we want a product to carry universal appeal, we need to make it usable and even a little obvious. I didn't have to go through any extra trouble to make my website fun for the kids.

My hope is that I can retain my personal geekiness while making websites that are attractive to everyone, so they'll stick around and maybe want to be geeky too. Although it's true that life doesn't come with a "click here" button, there's no reason to hide the ones that are there just to avoid having someone without the confidence required to be a full-fledged programmer visiting a site or joining a list.

and hey, I totally agree that e-mail should never be in HTML. I'm still geek. I'm just... the people's geek.
belgand
Oct. 19th, 2003 11:29 pm (UTC)
Hey, I'm not knocking your site. It's well done and a combines the right amount of good advice along with healthy mocking of idiots. I'm just saying that I think you're unfairly criticising something. Ok, a little background, I was reading the recent article from EGM where they have 11 and 12 year-old kids today play classic videogames and comment on them. They're all insane. Not just because the kids are completely idiotic pricks (which they are) but because they're... well... hmm... I don't rightly know. Totally out of touch? Anyhow, hearing a kid bash Tetris for not having explosions, bombs, and power-ups or being unable to grasp how to play it (is that even possible? How can you NOT know how to play it?) is just amazing to me. So coming into this like that when you mention how the Oracle is terribly outdated and that we should just all get with the times and make really popular stuff that's pathetically simple it kinda struck a nerve.

They're totally different things so it wasn't me saying that the Oracle was better... it was just the first thing I thought of when I saw your site.

It's just that it's not a complicated thing and you seemingly made it out to be that way. The sort of thing that you'd need to spend an evening reading manpages to figure out when all it is is an e-mail bot and associated newsgroup(s).

As for the geek thing. Well... you seem to be changing a lot. Going more heavily into the workplace mode, the "adult" Kim. Hard to explain, but it seems like you're losing your roots at times and not so much a geek as an engineer for a reasonably largish company just like so many other people. Maybe it's just me, but it all sort of hit at the same time.

Anyhow, nice site. I plan on telling stupid middle-school kids that they're idiots and need to just face life... at least until I get bored.
belgand
Oct. 19th, 2003 11:35 pm (UTC)
Sexual health!?!? Sounds like a trip to the gynecologist. How about a section devoted to just plain, out and out sex. You know... fucking.

A few more sections might really help this to be more than the pathetic problems of middle school kids with less sense than conventional RAM in a 286-based system and open it up. Make things interesting. Besides, I've always wanted to write a sex column. Especially since Dan Savage is such a goddamn fuckwit.
spacefem
Oct. 20th, 2003 05:04 am (UTC)
I'd love to hear whatever suggestions you think are missing. The reason there's no sex category is that I wasn't sure if I should somehow filter it to the over 18 crowd or not... these days I'm thinking not, since the whole site is over 13, I think we're all old enough to learn about some sex, yes? Maybe I'll add it.
belgand
Oct. 20th, 2003 09:33 pm (UTC)
If you're 13 and don't know about sex there's probably something wrong with you. Mainly going from what's already on the site I think it has the chance to devolve too quickly into nothing but questions from middle school kids, most of whom just want to know how to get some guy to ask them out, but without actually showing any interest in them. A category like this might help bring in more people 16+ to the site.

If you do filter it to 18 and up you're doing a lot of people a great disservice. People under 18 have sex, lots of it, and they need just as much advice as anyone else. If a 15 year-old wants to ask me about anal fisting I don't have a problem with it and think they should be fully informed first. If do want to do it, they will, if they want to do it well (oh, and without hurting themself or anyone else or getting into something that might not be a good idea) they should be allowed to ask questions.
( 22 comments — Leave a comment )

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