|Typical web developer|
I learned something very valuable about website building over the last two days working on my website. It’s something that I have heard from “web developers” over the years but never paid much attention to because, well, we all know those kinds of guys. You know, I.T. guys, a.k.a., nerds, geeks and D&D players. Why would I pay attention to them?
But, now I AM them. Yes, the D&D part already happened back in 1979, but the web developer part was only a maybe, a possibility, even though I’d begun trying to build my own site. But now it’s official. I am one of them. Here’s why:
I HATE MICROSOFT INTERNET EXPLORER.
Now, you may be asking yourself:
1) Why does he hate I.E.?
2) What does that have to do with being a “web developer” and all that other stuff?
The answer to number 2 is number 1. Every web developer I know hates Internet Explorer. But I did not hate it, and therefore I could not be considered a web developer. But they hate it. All of them. And I never knew why. I used to hear them rail against it, talk about how awful it is, but to me it always just sounded like they were just being little butt-hurt whiners. “It works fine for me,” I would say to them when they tried to get me to switch from I.E. to Firefox or Chrome. “I don’t need to learn new stuff. I can open any website just fine with I.E.” And I could.
But they always insisted it sucks anyway. Argued against the logic of my own perception. Now I know why. Internet Explorer DOESN’T work with everything. And while it might open pretty close to 100% of the websites you try to visit, it sucks serious ass if you are trying to DEVELOP A WEBSITE.
So here’s what happened. I was trying to get the Facebook “Like” button to work on my web page. Everyone has that button on their site, so, being the sheep that I am, I want one on my site too.
Well, I couldn’t make it work. I tried. Lots of stuff. Several times. I went and got these things called “plug ins.” Not the stupid ones that gullible people buy to “deodorize” their homes. No, I mean the plug ins you can stick into a website (the Romulan part of it nobody understands) that will then make the website do stuff, or at least, that’s what they are supposed to do. They call them “plug ins” because of how easy it sounds to do, you know? Plug in. How hard is it to just “plug in” something, right? A monkey can do it.
Where was a monkey when I needed one?
Needless to say, I had to do it myself. I went through a bunch of these plug ins trying to get one that worked. I searched online. I did my research, read lots of boring-ass crap I hate. Found a “good” one. Watched the torturous “how to” videos for it. Went and dug out my passwords to all my various Internet gates and control panels that give me access to stuff they really shouldn’t actually let me mess with, and, after a lot of time and frustration… nothing. It didn’t work. So I tried another. Still failed. So I tried a third.
One of them put a big giant ass button on some of the pages, but that was all sideways and jacked up, jutting into the sidebar conspicuously. Nothing I could do fixed it, and despite searching for forty-five minutes, I couldn’t find any help on any forums anywhere.
Another one that I tried seemed to work. It looked funny, not like I wanted, but at least it was on there, so I almost thought I was okay. But when I tried to test it, to do a “share” on Facebook so you all could see the rapturous wit of my test post… I got gobbledygook on my actual Facebook wall. It didn’t share the post; it shared some funky chunks of code with margin settings and weird numbers. Pretty awesome, eh? Don’t you want to see scrolls of HTML numbers and Romulan language on your Facebook every time I post a new blog article? I know you do. (I can hear all the “unlike” clicks now.)
So anyway, I tried others that didn’t work too. It was annoying and pissed me off. I actually quit trying for three weeks. I tried to beg one of the guys from work to go look, a real Romulan, but Romulans are a snippy bunch, and they don’t like humans trying to mess with their secrets, so everyone blew me off. Bastards. (Yes, that means you Tomalak J. Stevens!!!)
|Tomalak J. Stevens|
But I showed them. I figured out why nothing was working. They spilled the secret themselves unknowingly, and it turns out that Internet Explorer is like Romulan kryptonite. And, actually, I have this blog to thank in part for the discovery.
A number of you (along with me too) have complained that you can’t post comments to this blog sometimes as “yourself” using the Google account—you get forced into a log-in screen that doesn’t work, and you end up using “anonymous” instead of your actual Google user profile. I know I had that problem, and I could never respond as “me.” At least not from home. I thought maybe it was because I had logged in from work and not officially “logged out” when I shut down my computer. So I tried logging out from work the next day, came home and tried again. Nothing. That’s when I realized, I use Firefox at work (because that’s what the work Romulans tell you to do). So, I tried posting again, this time on Firefox, and it worked. WOOT, problem solved.
In fact, switching to Firefox also fixed some problems I’ve been having with the “reply” button not working for Cris Ortega’s emails. I had been assuming it had something to do with her Spanish email client clashing with my American one or something. But when I tried it with Firefox, it worked just fine.
SO, realizing that I.E. is giving me trouble on so many fronts,, I decided to try one of those Like button plug ins that wasn’t working for me again, this time in Firefox. Poof, it worked. Where on I.E. I couldn’t get the second and third tabs to open in the plug in console, with Firefox, they all opened just fine. Click. Click. And the next thing you know, I had a Facebook Like button on my stuff.
So, now you know. If you want to build a website without hate, violence or weeping, don’t try to do any of it using I.E.
(website is at www.daultonbooks.com if you didn't know. Be patient though, if you go, it's still a work in progress.)