Excel custom formatting and the hazards of cut and paste

Was assembling a project tracking spreadsheet in Excel with plenty of custom formatting rules to categorize and tracks those things that need to be categorized or tracked. It is not something I had done in a while, since I am used to being in Mac shops, but here Numbers was not an option.

So I set up my rules for each column and then started inserting new rows and cutting and pasting things into them all over the place.

Went to go change one of my rules for a column and discovered it now had not the original six custom formatting rules, but something closer to sixty. So what happened?

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Canaries, legends, and heights

Have been working on a site and all of a sudden, this morning, it was broken. 

AAAAHH!!!! Run around in a panick.

Then I noticed it was only broken in Chrome Canary (their dev browser) and the break was very specific: <legend> tags were having a height applied to them, perhaps inherited from their parent <fieldset> tag? The numbers didn’t add up, so it was hard to tell. Also, it only caused obvious display problems if the legends were being displayed as their own block instead of part of the field set border, but on inspection the blocks were still sized incorrectly behind the scenes.

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Why tech speak is not a natural language

Why tech speak is not a natural language:

The required attribute is a boolean attribute. When specified, the element is required.

Constraint validation: If the element is required, and its value IDL attribute applies and is in the mode value, and the element is mutable, and the element’s value is the empty string, then the element is suffering from being missing.

For starters, I am pretty sure code cannot in and of itself “suffer,” though those of us that must deal with it are  different story.

From Common input element attributes courtesy of the W3C.

Filtering a CFML array of structures

For some reason I don’t fully understand, I am now working in a ColdFusion shop. I mean, it is not like it’s a SharePoint shop, but still.

Anyway, I am busy building an assessment tool to assess how people do in courses, almost all of which are bespoke, and I have a nice simple pattern for building questions that involves an array of question structures.

So good so far, but when I want to generate a page with just the questions for that page, I need some way to say which questions to grab. Simple enough, right? Just grab every element in the array that says, “Put me on page X!” Of course, I am still learning CFML, so this simple task involves lots of Googling.

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Who, nine to five, must scramble for a living,
drinking too much coffee, sitting in a cube?
And who gets to work with antiquated systems
that sometimes maybe even work?

State workers! State workers! Tradition!
State workers! State workers! Tradition!

Who can push a paper so it goes nowhere,
with an inbox here, an outbox there?
Who can turn a process into a nightmare
of endless waiting on the paperwork?

State workers! State workers! Tradition!
State workers! State workers! Tradition!

Grade 6 I got my benefits, Grade 1o I got a raise,
I’m taking the promotional exam. I hope it’s easy.

State workers! State workers! Tradition!
State workers! State workers! Tradition!

[Due to contractual disputes with the union, the last verse is currently in litigation and cannot yet be posted.]

State workers! State workers! Tradition!
State workers! State workers! Tradition!

Is atom.io fighting you? Package manager timeouts.

I mostly like atom.io as an editor.

Highly configurable, lots of toys, is built on that evil creature whose initials are JS. Though it was a tough choice between that, Brackets, and Sublime Text. And i really did have to finally move away from jEdit.

But I work in a place with a really big site, so Brackets is out because we run right over its file cap.

And there are many fingers in the pie, some more technologically literate than others, so I need something I can show anyone how to set up and use, especially with how to edit files remotely via FTP. Atom is friendlier than Sublime Text on both those counts.

Which is not to say it doesn’t have its quirks.

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Thinking inside the box

In spite of this trope having played itself out long ago, there are still many people who insist on thinking outside the box.

The problem with claiming to think outside the box is that thinking outside the box persists in using the box as a referent, a magicians slight of hand to get people to look at the box as being over there somewhere and never notice the extension cord connecting it to the new, firmly outside of the box idea being presented. If you are placing the new in relation to the box, you have not escaped the box. You are still trapped firmly within the context of the box.

Besides, thinking too far outside the box is as apt to get you medicated as wealthy. And the commitment involved in the former is probably much more manageable for most people.

Here at MoosePlum we make no pretense of thinking outside the box. Instead we dedicatedly and aggressively think firmly inside the box. In this we join many noble personages.

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Little Synchroidiocies

A funny thought hit me while I was reading the details on a position I was applying for last week.

You see, I had to look up the term object relational mapping, which was listed in the experiential requirements bit of the job posting. Boringly, it just means moving data to and from objects in the code and relational databases.

This kicked around in the back of my head for a bit, then I had a little giggle fit that only someone who has spent their adult life stuck in IT could have.

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