Slime Update Archive - March 2003

Recent Developments

The Warcraft 3 expansion is a lot of fun. In addition, there’s a Warcraft 3 map contest coming up that I plan on participating in. Those two things plus a reasonably large amount of school work are keeping me from doing any JavaScript, HTML, or raytracing stuff. I’m just having too much fun with this game. =)

I recently changed majors into Computer Science. I’d tell you what I was majoring in before, but it would just take to much explanation, and in the end you wouldn’t care anymore. Ironically, as a result, next semester I have to take some social sciences classes. At least one, depending on whether I can get into a certain Computer Graphics class that I need to bypass a prerequisite for.

Well, back to map editing!

Posted at 3 PM on March 29, 2003

”I serve only the Frozen Throne”

That’s what the Crypt Lord says. I know that because I just got into the Warcraft III Expansion Pack beta. Woohoo! Updates may be few and far between due to this new development. Sorry =)

Posted at 7 PM on March 25, 2003

Good News

I’ve been purposefully avoiding working on my web site for the last week or so in favor of getting more schoolwork done. This has made a tiny increase in the amount of schoolwork that I’m getting done, and a huge increase in how bored I am.

But I have good news! I got a summer job. Well, it’s not official yet, but it will likely be soon. I’ll be writing JavaScript, HTML and CSS, and best of all, I can work from home! Which means I won’t need transportation most of the time, and when I do I can probably borrow my parents’ cars. Don’t tell them that. ;)

Another bit of good news is the Warcraft 3 multiplayer map contest that Blizzard just announced, which makes me happy since I love making multiplayer maps for that game. On the other hand, it contradicts the resolution I mentioned in my first paragraph. Oh well!

Go check out my article, if you haven’t already.

Posted at 1 AM on March 22, 2003


Hello, loyal visitor! I have a treat for you today.

Non-loyal visitors are also welcome to look, I guess.

Oh, and let me know what you think.

Posted at 4 PM on March 17, 2003

Character Encodings and Standards Compliance

If you create web pages as often as I do, you’re undoubtedly familiar with the necesessity of including a correct DOCTYPE on your pages. You may also be familiar with the fact that Internet Explorer 6 for Windows has this little doctype-related bug: the doctype definition must be the very first thing on the page, and can be preceeded only by whitespace. (Let’s all take a moment and thank Microsoft for this.) This isn’t such a big deal when you’re working with HTML 4.01.

However, there’s a little problem that occurs when you start writing XHTML: XHTML, as an XML language, is supposed to have an XML declaration (for instance, <?xml version="1.0"?>). This XML declaration is supposed to be the very first thing on the page. That means that it causes IE6/Win to ignore the page’s doctype definition!

Thankfully, the XML declaration is optional, so the majority of XHTML writers tend to simply leave it out. Unfortunately, it turns out that this is not always allowed. From the XHTML 1.0 Specifications:

An XML declaration is not required in all XML documents; however XHTML document authors are strongly encouraged to use XML declarations in all their documents. Such a declaration is required when the character encoding of the document is other than the default UTF-8 or UTF-16 and no encoding was determined by a higher-level protocol.

As you can see, it turns out that if you’re using a character encoding other than UTF-8 or UTF-16, such as ISO-8859-1 (which is quite common), the XML declaration is, in fact, required. The exception is when an encoding was determined “by a higher-level protocol.” On the Web, this means that the encoding must be sent in the HTTP header, if it is not UTF-8.

What does this mean? It means that, unless you can guarantee that your server is sending the correct HTTP header along with your document, and that your document will not be used except when sent from the server, you should be using UTF-8 to encode it.

Note that if the XML declaration is ommitted, a meta tag should be in the head of the document to specify the character encoding, such as

<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8" />

If you know that your server is sending the correct charset in the HTTP header, then you don’t have to worry about it. But otherwise, make sure that if you’re writing XHTML without the XML declaration, you’re using UTF-8. Unless you’re using some strange characters, this doesn’t require any more effort than using the correct meta tag described above.

I discovered this while working on an XSLT sheet for a new peice of content. Check back for updates.

Posted at 2 PM on March 15, 2003

Spring Break

It begins. Now I can finally get some real work done.

Oh, and guess what? The W3C appears to be bringing back frames into the XHTML 2.0 spec! Good for them! Not that I encourage people to use frames; it’s just that sometimes a site with heavy navigation really needs them.

Posted at 4 PM on March 7, 2003

New Project

Well, I didn’t make it into the Warcraft 3 expansion pack beta. Maybe I’ll get in one of the later phases.

I’ve been working on a new JavaScript project: this time a tilebased game. It’s been a while since I’ve successfully written a game in JavaScript (most of my recent attempts haven’t gotten that far before I got frustrated or bored), but I think I may be able to complete this one. It’ll be sort of like that old DOS banana-throwing game, whatever it was called, only a lot more complex (and with fewer bananas). I’ve worked on the terrain graphics for a few days now, and they’re coming out pretty cool. Check back for updates.

That project, plus a couple of new hour (well, 58 minute)-long DJ mixes that Dan gave me, is the reason I haven’t updated in days.

Posted at 4 PM on March 5, 2003