The Quest to Improve Nuketown’s Core Web Vitals

A graph depicting Nuketown's progress with Core Web Vitals, going from red (poor) in September to Green (good) in December

I started publishing Nuketown in 1996. I started using Google Analytics with Nuketown in 2006. In those early days of the site, Nuketown would get hundreds of page views a day, sometimes hitting a thousand. Over time, traffic declined significantly, partly because I posted less (ok, a lot less), and partly because the rules of … Read more

Nuketown Reignited

A nuclear mushroom cloud rises through the atmosphere, glowing yellow against the orange sky.

The redesigned Nuketown is here. After months of work — nearly a year if I’m honest — the latest iteration of the ol’thermonuclear burg is online. It features a host of new content, including: New episodes of the Nuketown Radio Active podcast. Game Day columns on topics like ending campaigns, Savage Worlds-powered Stargate, high level games in D&D, … Read more

Web 2.x: The Scratchpad

I’m giving a brownbag presentation on what’s new on the Web at work tomorrow, looking at the best of what’s come out since this time last year. What follows are the rough draft of my notes. I’ve persnally used about half of these sites; the rest were suggested by the Tribe on Twitter. I’m still … Read more

Snoopy’s RSS Hell

I’ve been fighting the good fight against RSS bugs in Moodle 1.8.2. The problem isn’t actually with Moodle, but with Snoopy, the PHP class that emulates as a web browser and which Magpie RSS library uses to fetch the feeds.

It seems that the current version of Snoopy has some issues with redirected URLs. It has trouble following 302 Page Moved messages and has an annoying habit of putting the port number into redirected URLs. While it’s not technically wrong to do this, not every web server thinks that the urls and are the same (strange but true).

Case in point: The Wall Street Journal. The following feeds involve redirects (apparently served through FeedBurner, so I’m betting any feed using FeedBurner would have the same issue):

CSS vs. Table Layouts

While surfing for information about styling tables using CSS, I came across “css vs. tables”, on which one very anti-CSS layout web designer argues in favor of using tables to control page layout. I’m sympathetic to his argument … up to a point. When I re-designed Nuketown last year, I went to a CSS-only layout … Read more

Mourning the Websafe Color Palette

The Websafe Color Palette (expertly rendered here) — also known as the Browsersafe Color Palette — came about when Web designers tried to figure out exactly what colors could be counted on to render properly on older computers that could only handle 256 colors (8 bit color). Because of the mathematics of computer rendering and … Read more

My CSS War

I’m in the process of redesigning my work Web site (and probably the sites for Nuketown and the GriffCrier as well). This time around my goal is to avoid cheating with my code, which basically means I want to avoid using any of the hacks or tricks that Web designers typically use to create a … Read more

Adventures in Plone!

“Plone!” screamed the Tick as he attempted to hack his way through the wilderness of Content Management Software. “Plone!” he shouted, as he finally found a solution that looked like it would work. “… plone…” he whimpered, as he realized just how freaking complicated process of customizing an open source CMS would be. Of course, … Read more

Lessons Learned in My War with Perl

It’s a battle between Man and Machine … and while the Man’s not winning, I’m not doing all that badly. My first encounter with trying to get my Perl scripts to execute on any Unix box was a brutal massacre that left bits of my geeky ego scattered across my desktop. Like any good general … Read more

Fighting with Perl

I expected learning Perl to be challenging, but I never expected to have to work so hard to get a simple “Hello World” script running. Perl’s a server-side programming language, normally found on Unix servers, which is extremely useful for writing all sorts of programs, especially those involving text manipulation. I know some Perl, just … Read more