Brian Micklethwait's Blog
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6000 Miles from Civilisation
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This and that
Category archive: Expression Engine
Only just discovered a new function in Expression Engine which has been staring me in the face for nearly a decade.
Instructions: If the title won’t fit in the Title field or you want to italicise some part of it use this. You will still have to put something in the Title field though. It’s an EE thing.
The italics thing is particularly useful, for book titles that I want in the title. Wish I’d cottoned onto this a lot earlier.
Testing for real will be needed, though. So there may be oddities.
And, it does not work. The “Long Title” has not become a title. The “Long Title” appears as line one of my text, in the dry run, but not in the final version. The final version has the regular Title as its title, not the Long Title. So, how the f*** do I get those italics working in the actual title? Time for some googling. Bear with me.
And I am none the wiser. Lots of information about Expression Engine. Not the one bit I am looking for, or not that I could see.
This is a technical first for me:
That’s because I used my blogging software to resize the picture, rather than my clone photoshop. Necessity was the mother of discovery, because I only started asking if I could do this after discovering that I couldn’t do this any other way from Jesus, Jesus’s photo-editing software being such a nightmare. (My way of discovering this was to go round to Michael J’s and see if he could do it, and he couldn’t, or if he could it was a prolonged shambles of impossible-to-remember commands.) Resizing with Expression Engine is really easy, and has been staring me in the face for years, but not needing it I didn’t see it.
The bigger question behind all this is that I need to be able to post photos using only Jesus. If I can do that, then it will be worth me getting a ten-quid-a-month internet connection for Jesus, which Michael J has already shown me how to do. If I can’t post photos, then this is a waste of money. Now, it would seem, I can.
As for the mere picture, this is a headshot of the statue of Field Marshall Slim that I took yesterday, outside the Ministry of Defence in Whitehall. I find photo-ing statues hard, but this has come out quite well I think. See also the photo of this same Slim statue here.
I don’t have any trouble doing italics in the text of postings. Who does? But, in Expression Engine, I can’t do italics in titles. She can. Why can’t I? Is it because Expression Engine is stupid, or because I am? Sometimes, like when mentioning a book title in a posting title for example, you really, really want them.
Patrick uses EE same as me. I can’t find any italics in titles near the top there. Is that choice, or necessity?
I’m sure there’s a perfectly rational explanation for it, that is to say for why it can’t help happening despite its absurdity, but I am getting seriously sick of blogs which, because of the omission of one symbol in one posting, become entirely italicised. At present my esteemed friend Adriana is suffering from this disease, but it can happen to us all.
My point is, I don’t blame Adriana. I blame the blogging software. It is (as of now) Adriana’s fault that all the text below the second quote in this posting is in italics. She should have stopped the italics at the end of that quote. (By the time you read this she may well have.) But it is the fault of ... ... ... ah, here we are, at the bottom, and in italics naturally ... WordPress, that every subsequent posting is also in italics, heading, text, gubbins at the bottom, everything. Recent postings ought not to to be able to pollute earlier postings like this.
As you can probably see, I’m doing a little experiment of my own, to see whether Expression Engine behaves in a similarly silly fashion.
And Expression Engine does. Everything below this, as far as the eye could see, was italicised, simply because I “forgot” to de-italicise after “is” in the above paragraph but one.
Is there a sane explanation for this apparent insanity? If so, I’d love to hear it.
One of my minor objections to Expression Engine is that there seems to be some kind of size limit to headlines. So, for instance, the headline of this posting should really have read more like: Billions Monkeys break into a house in Austin Texas and steal stuff and take photos of themselves but then leave the camera behind with all the pictures of themselves in it!:
Police say pictures documented a party and crime in which $5,000 worth of expensive alcohol, including $800 bottles of wine and high-dollar scotch, were stolen.
The self-surveillance society.
Does Alice in Austin know about this entertaining circumstance? I’m hoping not, but that she reads about it here. I love the way you learn about things in your own back yard by reading a blog written in Hawaii or some such place. I hope I do that to people myself, sometimes, with things like Russian bridges, and to Alice about this.
(I think I found out about this at either engadget or Gizmodo. But it was yesterday that I saw it, and the day before yesterday (I think) that it was posted, so the posting is long gone from the gadget blog radar.)
During the last week or so, or two, my Substitute Blog Ruins (I’m thinking of restarting the Education one, Real Soon Now) have been spam link and spam comment attacked, I think. About half way through this, I worked out how to switch the links and comments for my Substitute Blog Ruins off. Meanwhile, it was quite easy to delete links and comments all in one operation, in Movable Type. Which was why it took me a day or two to bother to work out that “fuck off you mad robots” option.
Why aren’t the mad robots attacking this blog? Don’t they know about it? Worse, do they know about it, but not respect it? If they did attack here, my life would probably end at once, because Sod’s Law decrees that Expression Engine probably doesn’t allow mass deletion of comments and links. Each one would have to be deleted with six keystrokes followed by six creeping “yes yes I’m doing it but please remember I’m only a computer I’m not as quick as you humans are at doing things” lines of green rectangles inching slowly from left to right. Meaning that deleting a comment would actually takes longer than writing it, even if it’s a real comment rather than a robotic one. Or, I’d have to suppress the tiny trickle of (greatly appreciated) comments here.
The weird bit is that the mad robots have carried right on attacking, like moths madly smacking themselves against a closed window. That’s the only explanation I can think of for the mass of completely blank emails I now keep receiving, from nobody, saying nothing. Deleting them is very easy. As is deleting all the emails from robots saying that the robotic mass email shots from robots pretending to be colleagues of mine, i.e. with the same second half of my email. My Computer Guru told me not long ago that apparently about eighty percent of email in the whole world is mad robot crap.
Please, no helpful suggestions about how to turn my life upside down by having entirely different programmes, entirely differently run. This is like people who want to solve your problems by you learning Esperanto, or French, or something. My present arrangements work.
But now, when I load up this blog, some of the pictures have been replaced by tiny little red crosses. Why? I hate that. Have I been overdoing the pictures? Have I run out of space, bandwidth, etc.? More pestering of My Computer Guru, I fear. I’ve left a message with Him. But now, all the pictures are back! No little red crosses to be seen. So what was that about? Bloody Internet.
So here’s another photograph, to see if photographs still work:
We’re looking across Vincent Square, where they play football and cricket, right here in London SW1, with the Wheel in the background. This is all about two minutes walk from my front door. Walk along the road there and you can see Big Ben. Ain’t London pretty?
I’ve talked with My Computer Guru. He reckons the little red crosses are caused by my service provider being troubled, and are not a domestic problem for me to worry about. I hope He’s right. He usually seems to be.
That’s right. And if the people at Expression Engine are in the habit of googling for Expression Engine, to see what people are saying about them, and even googling “Expression Engine bug”, to find out if there are any, or if people think there are any, then good for them, and they will actually get to read this. Good.
It’s not a major bug. Not a bug that makes me regret using Expression Engine. The Dissident Frogman has been deciding recently which software to use, and he seems to have decided to use Expression Engine. Nothing that follows makes me think that his decision to use Expression Engine in wrong. Expression Engine works pretty well, I think.
But there is one thing about Expression Engine which you do have to watch out for.
Basically, when you type stuff directly in to the input box for a posting, watch out that the text continues to go where you have put the cursor, and not at the beginning of the title of the posting.
This is so weird that I will have to repeat the above paragraph in a different way, so that you believe what you know I just told you.
This morning, when adding my appreciative UPDATE to the previous post but one, the one about the hard-to-read links at Blognor Regis, I tried to insert the words “if so” at the beginning of the words in the brackets, to turn “it wouldn’t be for the first time” into “if so it wouldn’t be for the first time”. Eventually I succeeded. But there was a weird interlude when the words “if so” instead appeared at the start of the title of the posting. I thought I had typed these two words in the right place, and saved everything, before realising that Expression Engine thought it knew better than me about where I wanted the text added. The bracketed text remained as before, but the title then read “if soVery readable blog but rather unreadable links”. If you type too fast, the cursor panics, loses all track of where it is supposed to be, and does a leap to the beginning of its territory, which is the start of the title.
This surely should not happen. I don’t know why it happens, but it does. I hope they find out why it happens, and fix things so that it doesn’t.
Unlike my previous Expression Engine panic (which turned out to be nothing to do with Expression Engine), I think this complaint, though minor, is genuine.