Shy Guy

LiveJournal's new friends page: or, how *not* to implement infinite scrolling

I've never been a huge fan of the whole 'infinite scrolling' pattern, largely because there are so many ways to implement it wrongly, and so many implementations seem to screw it up.

Consider the following use cases, both of which I've experienced, and the expected behavior that would occur on a normal paginated implementation:

  1. You're on a site with infinite scrolling, and decide to click on a link within a post that's several pages down. The website's maintainers didn't add a 'target' attribute to links so that they'll open in a separate window, so the link you clicked on takes over the window. You have to click your browser's 'back' button to return to the page you were just viewing.

    Expected behavior: When you click 'back', you'll be returned to the post you had just been viewing.

  2. You're using a public Wi-Fi connection that's a bit overloaded by all the other users on the same network. The connection often ends up timing out before web pages finish loading, and it's frequently necessary to reload the page several times until all of the content manages to load.

    Expected behavior: When you reload the page, you'll be returned to the same general set of posts where you had been before reloading.

The question, then, is: if your site uses infinite scrolling, does it produce the expected behavior in these scenarios?

With LiveJournal's new friends page beta, the answer is a resounding NO.

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  • Current Mood
    annoyed annoyed
easily amused

(no subject)

LJ FINALLY FIXED COMMENTING WITH ICONS THAT HAVE MULTIPLE KEYWORDS. long already? (Edit: The new comment system was from December of last year. Sure feels like it's been longer. -_-;;)

When did they actually fix this, anyway? Must have been fairly recently...
thought, contemplation

Apropos of absolutely nothing, but...

After 28 (ah, off-by-one errors, the bane of programmers) 29 years of living in Georgia, I have moved to the Boston metro area for work. (Arlington, specifically.)

And even though I've only been here a few weeks, I still feel pretty confident in saying... it's like a home that I never even knew I had. The 'Camberville' area, especially. So much geekily awesome stuff out there to do!

(One of the few things I do miss from Georgia? Sweet iced tea. Sorry, but it's just not the same if you mix the sugar in after it gets cold...)

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  • Current Mood
    content content
own little world, Osaka, spacey

The annual gift exchange post

Yeah, I know, y'all are wondering what I got and gave for Christmas this year...

My big present wasn't actually delivered at Christmas-- in fact, it wasn't even a physical possession. Neither me nor my girlfriend can drive, and we're no longer even living in the same state (though at least we're in neighboring states, so it could be much worse). So my big present, three weeks ago, was for my dad to drive me up to visit my girlfriend and her family. It was enjoyable, and very much overdue; I hadn't seen her for fifteen months! And we did some gift exchanging there; I gave her several DVDs and a Bluetooth adapter to sync her phone and her computer, and in return, she gave me a huge pile of DVDs, CDs and books. And, of course, there was much cuddling, too. :) Plus, I got to meet her grandma, whom I'd never met before. So yeah, overall, it was a fun trip; I just wish it had lasted more than just a weekend!

The rest of the gifts came, in the usual fashion, on Christmas itself. From my sister, I got iTunes and GameStop gift cards; from my grandmother-in-law, a pair of University of Georgia sandals. My parents got me a new battery for my two-and-a-half-year-old MacBook (also much overdue, as it wasn't even holding two hours' worth of charge), Sonic Colors for Wii, the latest Professor Layton game for DS, and various clothes. (I'd probably have also gotten Donkey Kong Country Returns, but I'd already gotten that on my birthday several weeks ago.)

On the other end of the equation, I got my mom a 500 GB portable hard drive with automatic backup software, my dad a USB turntable to convert all of his old LPs that are sitting in the closet, and my sister and her family a gift certificate to the bowling alley.

My family also got my sister, brother-in-law, niece and nephew a Kinect for their Xbox 360. Having played it over at their house, I now wish I had an Xbox 360. I think that could help impressively with my poor coordination. (Hand-eye coordination? Great, from years of video games with handheld controllers. Rest of the body? Not so much...)

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  • Current Mood
    happy merry
easily amused

A glorious example of NLP gone wrong

I was just checking Zap2it's page on Doctor Who to see if that show was going to be running on anything other than BBC America, which isn't on the cable tier I have... and found out it wasn't going to be, alas. However, I did find this hilarious example of natural language processing gone horribly wrong:

Screenshot from Zap2it's "Doctor Who" show page.

(Description: A screenshot of a listing of Doctor Who-related news, in which the first story is "Elvis Presley's doctor, who was accused after the legendary singer's death of over-prescribing barbiturates, sleeping pills, hormones, narcotics to his famous patient, now says that Elvis died from chronic constipation.")

It took me a while to figure out even how this was relevant, and then I realized it was a naïve keyword-matching algorithm that even ignores punctuation. ::facepalm::

Though I do admit, an episode in which the Doctor and his companion go to visit Elvis could definitely be entertaining!

(Cross-posted from my other blog.)

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thought, contemplation

Random administrative note

Finally switched to an S2 style here because the bug with color schemes on S1 styles was bugging me that much. Besides, I needed to change it; the old template was a table-based mess that was seriously deprecated by now.

(Yeah, you can tell I do web development as a side job, can't you?)
think different, Macintosh

Custom subtitles on Netflix's web player

Netflix users, check out this post on my personal domain regarding how to load custom subtitles into Netflix's web player. Turns out that someone's discovered a hidden feature that allows one to load any W3C Timed Text subtitle file, and with a bit of Python scripting (which, in turn, I've ported from a Windows PowerShell script), it's possible to convert SubRip files from around the 'net into the necessary format.

I may be watching a lot more streaming movies now... ^_^

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think different, Macintosh

There's a present for that

So Christmas has come and gone, I'm back home for the holidays. Which, of course, means the standard gift exchange with my family.

I got my dad an iPod car charger, my mom a gift certificate to Belk's, and my sister's family a gift certificate to the bowling alley. My dad and I also teamed up to get Mom a Nintendo Wii and Wii Fit board of her own-- yes, of course I have one, but I keep it on campus most of the year. I also got my girlfriend some things that she hasn't gotten yet because she hasn't gotten back from visiting her extended family yet, so I won't mention them. :)

And in exchange, I got...

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Hardly equivalent exchange (yes, you can tell I'm a Fullmetal Alchemist fan, can't you?). But then again, I'm a graduate student, with a graduate student's budget, so I suppose it's equivalent in a way...

Oh, yeah, and for my birthday (which was a couple weeks ago), I got New Super Mario Bros. for Wii. Better work on my time management for my dissertation, between all these video games!

But of course, tomorrow (well, technically, today, since it's past midnight) come the gift returns. The charger I bought for dad wasn't fully compatible with his iPhone; neither my nor dad's T-shirts were big enough; and I need to get an HDMI cable so I can actually play Blu-Ray movies in HD.
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    happy happy