The miscellaneous ramblings and thoughts of Dan G. Switzer, II

Jason Radosevich on qForms...

Jason, over at Terminal Fusion, has blogged some comments about qForms. Always keeping an eye out for what people have to say about qForms—good or bad.

Ben Roethlisberger's Blog (and Ricky Williams...)

The Ben Roethlisberger, the first round draft pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers, has created a blog over TypePad.com.

It'll be interesting to see how often he updates his blog. It would be great if he updated at least once or twice until the season starts (or at least until he takes over starting duties.) Of course, I don't always blog that often, so I don't expect him to either. :)

Ricky Williams, RB for the Miami Dolphins, typically stays pretty active on his online journal. I believe he even creates and maintains the site himself (if not, Ricky let me know—I'll help you clean things up a bit—or if you just want help, let me know.) It's pretty interesting when a player wants to stay in touch w/the fans and blogs/online journals are a pretty easy way to do it.

Fix Internet Explorer CSS/Compliance With A Behavior!!!

Ironically enough, I was on Dean Edwards' site a couple of nights ago and completely missed this. Dean Edwards' has put together a neat little behavior for IE which attempt to correct IE's support for CSS2, called IE7.

The idea behind this behavior is that you can use IE's ability to dynamically alter a stylesheet in order to correctly display CSS statement currently not support by IE5+. It does this by changing the CSS statements to styles that IE does support and that will mimic the correct CSS behavior as per the W3C spec. This behavior will also attempt to correct a few other issues IE has with compliancy—such as PNG transparency. Make sure to check out his list of compatibility fixes.

It's a pretty cool idea that could help developers start writing W3C compliant code. I've been developing websites professionally since 1995 and always trying to hack code in order for it display correctly has gotten very old. Anyway, go applaud Dean and his affords.

Future of XForms In Mozilla/Opera...

I was reading the XForms Mailing List this morning and came across a message which pointed to a post on gmane.comp.mozilla.devel.layout newsgroup about the future of XForms and Mozilla.

The author of the newsgroup post, Ian Hickson, also works full time for Opera Software—the maker of the Opera Browser—so I'd imagine Opera shares a similiar path as Mozilla. Here's my favorite quote from the post:

> so I just don't buy that its so complex that that our weary little
> brains will melt.

Many authors I have spoken to disagree. The entire concept that your form controls aren't what gets submitted is very difficult for many people to understand. You have to realise that for many people, even the concept of CSS is hard to understand. People ask "how do I make this text blue", not "how do I make all my headers blue". The former is answered by the WYSIWYG mentality, stick in a <font>. The latter is answered by the semantic/style divide mentality, mark up the text as being a header, then add a rule to your stylesheet that maps headers to a colour.

In XForms the problem is even worse -- "how do I disable this control?" has the answer "you tell your data model that the relevant subtree is no longer relevant, then you bind your subtree to the control". People's brains dont melt -- they just go elsewhere.


Discovering the Java type of a CF variable...

Sean Corfield posted a cool tip on his blog yesterday on how to find out the underlying Java type of any ColdFusion variable. The article covers the fact that the "form" scope is not really struct, even though it acts like one. To find out the Java type of a ColdFusion variable, simply invoke the following methods on the variable: ".getClass().getName()". For example, to see that the ColdFusion "form" scope is indeed not a structure, try the following code:


Thanks to Sean for the great tip!

Mandatory Browser Extensions For All Web Developers

Ok, two blogs in a row—both courtesy of Rob. I was browsing through his archieves and found an entry about a cool extension for Firefox/Mozilla that does all sorts of really cool stuff for Web Developers. I can think of a number of times when a tool like this would have been useful in the past. Unfortunately, there's been an IE tool that's similiar that I never knew about. Geez! Anyway, check out the following tools that should be useful to any web developer.

Firefox/Mozilla Web Developer Extension
Bookmarklets and other useful things for IE's Links bar

Problem w/Mach-II & qForms when debugging...

Rob Brooks-Bilson blogged about an issue he's seen when using qForms with Mach-II. Seems that Mach-II stores all it's generated content in a variable called "Request.content." However, when running in Debug mode, the Request.content code gets outputted a second time, thus causing errors in your template because of the duplicate output.

I'll try playing around w/the code to see if I can stop qForms from throwing a fit, but this is really more of a problem with the debug templates. I normally edit CF's debug templates to make sure that output is wrap in the htmlCodeFortmat() function—that way I see actual value of the string—and not what it's rendering. One of the comments on Rob's blog also mentions this point.

WEFAIL: Views On Flash & Usability...

I was reading Full As A Goog and came across some really interesting stuff at Colin Moock's site from the guys at WEFAIL. They've got some interesting things to say about usability. I think often designers get so carried away with creativity that they lose usability altogether. However, the only way to truly advance, is through new ideas and experimentation. Make sure to check out some of the stuff their doing—very strange and unusual. I do really like what they did with the Bob Schneider site. I suspect that site probably really reflects the artist as well. Here's what Colin had to say:

well, i found the wefail presentation slides from flash in the can.

man do i ever love martin&jordan's wefail work. man...

>> view wefail presentation slides
>> play donkey game
>> view wefail client site: bob schneider music
>> please yourself at wefail home


Joke Of The Day...

I normally don't post jokes to the site and I'll probably see this one a million times in the next year, but my Grandpa sent me this to me and I thought it was pretty funny.

Marty wakes up at home with a huge hangover. He forces himself to open his eyes, and the first thing he sees is a couple of aspirins and a glass of water on the side table. He sits down and sees his clothing in front of him, all clean and pressed. Marty looks around the room and sees that it is in perfect order, spotless clean. So is the rest of the house.

He takes the aspirins and notices a note on the table "Honey, breakfast is on the stove, I left early to go shopping. Love you."

So he goes to the kitchen and sure enough there is a hot breakfast and the morning newspaper. His son is also at the table, eating. Marty asks,"Son, what happened last night?"

His son says, "Well, you came home after 3 A. M., drunk and delirious. Broke some furniture, puked in the hallway, and gave yourself a black eye when you stumbled into the door."

Confused, Marty asks, "So, why is everything in order and so clean, and breakfast is on the table waiting for me?" His son replies, "Oh that! Mom dragged you to the bedroom, and when she tried to take your pants off, you said, "Lady, leave me alone, I'm married!"

A self-induced hangover - $100.00
Broken furniture - $200.00
Hot Breakfast - $10.00
Saying the right thing - priceless.

- Joke, Anonymous

Shyamalan's "The Village" Trailer Now Online...

The trailer for M. Night Shyamalan's new movie The Village is now online. I'm a huge fan of the work he's been doing. He's the closest thing there's been to a modern day Hitchcock. His films all have a distinct personality and are driven by the characters and the story. He doesn't need to scare you with dramatic onscreen visuals, he does that through setting mood through dialog. I'm looking forward to this movie, probably not as much as I did Signs, but this is a film I really want to see. Welp, seems like the trailer's done downloading, I'm off to watch it!

Maxtor 250GB 7200RPM for $160...

If you need more storage space, Office Depot has the Maxtor 250GB 7200 RPM ATA/133 drives on sale for $159.97. Not sure how long this price will last, but you should be able to get the drive for this price either at the local store or from their web site.

I ordered mine yesterday and it got here today—and it's already installed! It's hard to believe how quickly you can eat up 200GBs when you're doing video editing (not too mention archive all your CDs.)

Ben Roethlisberger's Video Press Conference

I found a link to Ben Roethlisberger's press conference after being draft by the Steelers at the 11th spot of the draft:

Ben Roethlisberger Press Conference (Media Player)

Check out the Steelers' 2004 Draft Day page for more audio clips and transcripts of conference calls with the newest members of the team.

Steelers Fill Needs In Day Two...

Well, it's the day after the NFL draft and I've been contemplated the Steelers picks. Overall, I really liked the picks on day one. I think giving up our 4th round pick was still unneccesary, but you never know if another team would have grabbed Colclough is he was there. I just hope he works out to be a stud, like Darrell Green thinks he can be. The lack of a 4th could end up hurting us, because there were still a lot of value left on the board at that time—players like Cotchery, Allen, Dorsey and possibly could have given up one of our 6th round picks to move up a couple of spots to take Isaac Sopoaga—who I've been really impressed with every since his NFL combine results.

Anyway, the second day of the draft is always the hardest to grade because there's more risk involved and a lot more guess work. We haven't drafted well in the later rounds since Colbert's been Director of Personel, so I'm hoping this year turns out a little different. Here's what the NFL site has to say about our draft picks:

Nathaniel Adibi, OLB, Virginia Tech [5th Round]
An outstanding defensive end who has experience at both defensive end positions... Won the President's Award for outstanding leadership at the conclusion of 2002 spring practice and shared the award with center Jake Grove in 2003... A hard worker in the weight room and on the practice field who has shown steady progress during his time at Tech... He combines size with excellent strength and speed and is both intelligent and physical... In 48 games, he started 44 contests, recording 186 tackles (107 solos) with 20½ sacks for minus-143 yards, 33 stops for losses of 171 yards, 55 quarterback pressures, a pair of fumble recoveries, four forced fumbles, 10 pass deflections and two blocked kicks.

Bo Lacy, LT/G, Arkansas [6th Round]
Two-year starter at the demanding left offensive tackle position, playing a key role in the success of the Razorbacks running game the last two seasons... Has a tireless work ethic and shows the ability to be very capable of filling in at several offensive line slots... His lateral agility and foot speed could see him shift to guard at the pro level.

Matt Kranchick, TE, Penn State [6th Round]
Late bloomer who saw limited action during his first four seasons before emerging as a clutch short-area target for the passing game as a senior... Product of Penn State's weight room, adding over 45 pounds of muscle to his frame since arriving on campus as a wide receiver during his freshman campaign... Also excelled in the class room, attaining a 3.2 grade point average, as he graduated after only 3½ years at Penn State (December, 2002)... In 23 games, he caught 24 passes for 352 yards (14.7 avg.) and a touchdown.

Drew Caylor, LS/C/G/DL, Stanford [6th Round]
Intriguing prospect who has yet to tap his impressive athletic potential... Spent three seasons as a defensive lineman before moving to the opposite side of the ball as a senior... Split time between center and offensive tackle the first four games of the 2003 campaign before taking over starting chores in the middle of the line for the team's final seven contests... Also performed well as the team's deep snapper for his final three seasons... Possesses great speed for a down lineman.

Eric Taylor, DE/NT, Memphis [6th Round]
Rising star who came into his own as a senior... Collegiate defensive end, whose size, power and run-stuffing skills could see him shift to defensive tackle at the pro level... Saw limited action as a freshman before becoming an important part of the defensive line rotation in 2001... Received the team's Glenn Jones "12th Man" Award as a junior and garnered All-Conference USA honors as a senior... Started 24 of 39 games for the Tigers, recording 150 tackles (89 solos) with six sacks for minus-45 yards, 21 stops for losses of 85 yards, five quarterback pressures, two fumble recoveries, three forced fumbles, a 52-yard interception return for a touchdown and 12 pass deflections.


Steelers First Day Draft A Success!!!

Well, the Steelers have used their first three picks of the draft fairly wisely, and unless something unexpected happens, are done drafting until tomorrow. Overall, I give the draft an A-, the only knock being that I think they could have kept the 4th round draft pick they used to trade up in the 2nd. My gut feeling is that Colclough (pronounced COKE-lee) would have been there #44—I don't think they needed to jump up to the #38 spot to get him. Overall I'd give this draft a grade of A- so far—the minus coming from the giving away one of our 4th round picks. Anyway, here's the first day picks:

Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Miami University (Ohio) [1st Round]
Three-year starter who is regarded among the elite of college football... Blessed with the size of a linebacker and the mobility of a tailback, this excellent field leader has drawn comparisons to former Buffalo Bills great Jim Kelly for his ability to remain cool under pressure and strike from anywhere on the field... In 38 games, he rewrote virtually every school game, season and career passing records... Completed 854 of 1,304 passes (65.5 percent) for 10,829 yards, 84 touchdowns and 34 interceptions, topping the previous all-time records of 903 pass attempts, 6,524 yards and 49 scores by Mike Bath (1997-2000), 484 pass completions by Sam Ricketts (1994-97), 27 interceptions by Larry Fortner (1975-78) and 61.6 pass-completion percentage by Terry Morris (1985-86)... Added 246 yards and seven scores on 269 carries (0.9 avg.)... Set another RedHawks career record with 11,075 yards in total offense, surpassing the old mark of 7,010 yards by Bath... Became only the third player in Mid-American Conference history to throw for over 3,000 yards in three seasons and was the 10th passer in conference annals to throw for over 10,000 yards in a career... Became only the eighth player in school history to earn All-America honors... Can also handle punting chores, kicking 24 times for 963 yards (40.1 avg.), with 17 attempts downed inside the 20-yard line.

Ricardo Colclough, CB, Tusculum [2nd Round]
Small college standout with outstanding natural talent... Dominating shutdown pass defender who did not allow a reception in 11 of the 20 games he played in for the Pioneers... Heavily recruited coming out of high school, Colclough enrolled at Kilgore (Texas) Junior College to improve his academic standing... In just two seasons at Tusculum, he set school career records with 15 interceptions (138 yards in returns) and 38 passes defended (13 thefts, 25 breakups), topping the previous marks of 11 pass thefts by Jermaine Mack (1994-97) and 35 passes defended by Greg Rush (1999-2002)... Recorded 106 tackles (60 solos) with seven stops behind the line of scrimmage... Added 345 yards and two touchdowns on 24 punt returns (14.4 avg.) and 659 yards with a pair of scores on 23 kickoff returns (28.7 avg.)... His punt return average of 14.4 yards set a school all-time record, topping the previous mark of 12.1 yards by Donald Amaker (2000-03)... His kickoff return average of 28.7 yards surpassed the old school career record of 27.4 yards by Larry Crosby (1991-93).

Max Starks, OT, Florida [3rd Round]
Highly regarded prospect coming out of high school who provided stellar play for the Gators at a variety of positions during his three years as a starter... Competed as a left offensive tackle and right guard as a senior after playing left tackle as a junior and right tackle during his sophomore campaign... Was elected a University of Florida Student Senator during his freshman year... Comes from a family rich in football tradition, as six relatives played in the National Football League, including his father, Ross Browner, who was a two-time (1976, 1977) All-American defensive lineman at Notre Dame and was the recipient of the 1976 Outland Trophy and the 1977 Lombardi Trophy. Browner also placed fifth in the 1977 Heisman Trophy balloting and was a first-round selection in the 1978 NFL Draft by Cincinnati... Heavily involved in the community, including serving as a tutor and working with Kids Against Drugs, Alcohol and Tobacco... Stared 36 of 43 games during his career, participating in 2,698 plays.

You can find more information about the Steelers draft picks, including audio interview with the players themselves and with the Steelers personnel, at the Official Pittsburgh Steelers 2004 Draft page.

Ex-NFL Player, Pat Tillman, Killed Defending His Country...

I really hope this news in inaccurate. Tillman really impressed me w/his on the field ability and his patriotism. I remember reading an article about him several years ago that talked about all these other highly paid players showing up to practice in their luxury vehichles, while Tillman would ride his bike to practice everyday. He also had a strong desire to serve his country—strong enough to turn down millions of dollars to defend his country. It's a very sad day if this story is true. God bless the Tillman family and all his friends.

Former NFL defensive back Pat Tillman was killed in action while serving as an Army Ranger in Afghanistan, ABCNEWS reported Friday.

He was 27.

Tillman was killed in direct action during a firefight in Afghanistan, Pentagon sources told ABCNEWS. No other details were yet available.

Tillman played four seasons for the NFL's Arizona Cardinals as a safety after starring at Arizona State University.

In May of 2002, Tillman announced his intentions to join the Army, turning down a $3.6 million contract offer in the process. Tillman and his brother Kevin decided to enroll in the U.S. Army Rangers after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks.


In 2001, Pat Tillman turned down a $9 million, five-year offer from the St. Louis Rams to remain with the Cardinals for less money.


Also, it's important to note that the Rams would have been considered SuperBowl contenders, where the Cardinals were not highly tauted.

He had also asked the media not cover his time in the military—he did not want serving for his country to become a media story. He tried to keep a low profile. I have a lot of respect for the man.