Arnt Richard Johansen's home page takes to the sea

Summer has begun, and I'm fed up with the old look of my home page. Not only is black-on-white sooo 2004, but the CSS was a shoddy cut-and-paste job from a how-to web site that cared way too much about supporting bugs in legacy browsers, and way too little about liquid layout, simplicity, and portability.

So I sat down with some new tutorials, and redid the style sheet with beautiful floating boxes in as simple CSS code as I could manage. At the suggestion of Taliesin, the creator of the excellent CALS site, I used Colorhunter as an aid to select the colour scheme.

I had imagined a particular kind of steely blue sea in the header, so I typed “stormy sea” into Flickr's advanced search page, filtering for pictures licenced under Creative Commons. In less than five minutes, I had found a perfect fit — the photo by Anne Ruthmann that you see above — cropped and resized it in Gimp, and set it as the background for the H1 element. Salty!

The new layout should work in any browser, and you should be able to look at it in a maximized window on a screen width of up to 1600 pixels before the header starts to look funny. If you have Firefox or Safari, you will even see the rounded corners on the boxes, which is a preview of the border-radius feature that is slated for inclusion in CSS3. Please let me know if something looks wrong.

I have two more posts in the works, and both have to do with digital audio. After that, I may or may not go on blogging hiatus again. Until then: stay subscribed. :-)

[Friday, Jun 27, 2008 @ 23:35] | [] | # | G

Migrating from GreyMatter to Pyblosxom

The transition from GreyMatter to Pyblosxom was not entirely painless, though much easier than I had expected. CGI installation was a breeze (although it took me a while to figure out that even though the installation doc did not say anything about moving other files than pyblosxom.cgi and into the CGI directory, Pyblosxom actually consists of a small suite of scripts whose path has to be specified in

Then came the whole business with URL rewriting. Having URLs like looks ugly, and I'm not sure it is even compliant with the relevant URI standards to have pyblosxom.cgi as anything else than a directory in this case. So I wanted to redirect to the pyblosxom script, but only if it does not exist as a regular file.

The solution I found (after reading up on mod_rewrite a while, and various swear words) was adding the following to my top level (but not sitewide) .htaccess:

RewriteEngine on

# If the requested file or directory does not exist
# Try serving it through Pyblosxom
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ /pyblosxom.cgi/$0 [L]

# Replace index.html with Pyblosxom
RewriteRule ^$ /pyblosxom.cgi [L]

Porting the visual layout was not very difficult, either. The "templates" in GreyMatter are quite similar to those in Pyblosxom, so I only had to retrieve them from the web interface and paste them together into Pyblosxom flavour files. Besides, most of the work was done in standalone CSS files anyway.

I opted not to write an import script, since I only had 8 entries in my old blog. Instead, I downloaded the source from the web interface, and inserted <p> and </p> where necessary. Non-Western text in Unicode was troubling, however. GreyMatter stores such characters in a puzzling internal format. After having given up typing the Russian word язык in on emacs, Yudit and KEdit, I pasted it from the web browser to Yudit.

[Tuesday, Dec 21, 2004 @ 17:34] | [] | # | G

Welcome to the World Wide Web. Anything you say, can and will be used against you.

Google indexes a lot of web pages. Probably all the ones you've ever produced, and most of those who mention your name.

*Roots through ~/www/ to find and remove things he wouldn't want his future employers to find out about, before the Internet Archive gets hold of it*

[Monday, Sep 15, 2003 @ 20:38] | [] | # | G

Front page makeover

OK, I admit it. What you are reading now, is technically a 'blog', also known as a weblog. I'm not very fond of neither the word nor the concept. I just wanted an easy way to add some short writings to my front page, and have it fall off when it got too old. Apparently, Greymatter can do this, and more too! I'm still trying to find out how to disable comment posting...

I apologize if you are trying to find any of the links that were on my old front page, and can't find them in the sidebar on the left (or at the bottom, if you can't/won't use style sheets.

I also apologize if you miss the old colour scheme (the one with the fractal ant background). You can still use that in Mozilla if you go to View -> Use style -> Classic. Or you could just visit my old home page over at FIX, until they HTTP redirect it here.

[Tuesday, Mar 18, 2003 @ 01:48] | [] | # | G