Localisation and PHP

A discussion on localization caught my eye, and fleshes out the issues involved. It took me back to a project I did with Bernard on 2001 where we had to translate a portal system for 13 country’s in Europe, each with multiple languages each.

Since I’ve been keeping translation in the back on my mind while developing ComPort i had a look around to see what’s out there for PHP:

One day ComPort will be in Japanese…(one day)…

Ugly UK

There sure are some ugly people in England

There must have been some serious in breading going on in England. I have found some evidence in support of this:

Story of my life

Odd Todd (cureently unemployed)

Odd Todds Laid-Off series is seems to hit close to the mark with me. A little too close…

There has to be a name for this type of Flash animation. Amateur productions doing funny stuff outside the main stream. I guess some net guru will come up for a name for it. God bless em anyway. Power to the masses I say.

p.s. at an internet cafe and the guy next to me… well he stinks.

Cross browser html editor

Seems cross browser HTML editors you can embed in a web page are everywhere

For content management systems (CMS) that you want to allow users to mark up their posts here are some cross browser solutions.

  • Cross-Browser Rich Text Editor was the first one brought to my attention by Coach Jason. Simple and does the basic job.
  • FCKEditor which I’ve implemented in an online help system manager for Cable and Wireless. Quite feature rich: multi language, skins, right click context menu etc. Had some problems with version 2Beta:
    • Can’t handle complex code generated by some other editor i.e. MSWord
    • Image insert not finished (but looking promising).
    • Needs more documentation as its a huge API.
  • Another one I haven’t really looked at yet.

Boy George (again)

Bitches on the mic and the George laying down the tracks.

Young Richy coaxed me to go out last night with a few of the lads and one of Erika’s flat mates Kat. We went just around the corner from where Eir/Richy is staying, The Hoxton Bar. Richy used to work behind the bar and thus half price drinks all night. It happened to be Gay Night at the Hoxron Bar and the next thing I know I’m standing 2 feet from Boy George (who was fat, dressed in Black and had a black top hat. With sequins). He was going to DJ, but not before ’10 minutes with my dad’ did a short number.
'Ten minutes with my dad' flyer

‘10 minutes with my dad’ are a pair of young skimpy chicks with massive blond wigs on, teased to the point that they defy gravity and wearing bikinis and leather jackets and Zoro type eye band masks. The ‘act’ consists of them tearing/wrestling with each other while screaming lyrics, in early Beasty Boys style, about their apparent nymphomania and sexual preference for there fathers. They ended up on the ground in the middle of the crowd with most of the little they had on hanging from them. But I’ve seen them before. YAWN.

Boy George on the other hand was a freak. I saw him when he came out to Australia in the 80’s and I was dumb struck to be close to fame like that. OK he’s looking sad and pathetic but I was fascinated by the spectacle of fame, the idea of it, as I’ve never had much occasion to ogle at it. His DJing wasn’t too bad (I wouldn’t travel for it but it grindy house seem to fit the mood, which was some male stripper flashing it Jon Doe around a bit on the podium) but no he didn’t play any of the old classics so if I was till a fan I’d be disappointed.

Just an average Sunday in Hoxton

Drop-Down Menus = CSS HELL

Seems there is a bit of a hoo-har about making nice dropdown menus since most recent article on ALA which has got Zeldman started on about how he hates drop downs anyway but supports the right to rant about them. There does seem to be some empirical evidence to support the idea that dropdowns are bad UI design, but try telling that to a designer.

This is all fine and dandy since I woke up this morning and decided to solve all my CSS dropdown problems once and for all. So I’ve been researching and this is what I’ve found:

  • There’s mention of some Dutch dude who has a pair but bugger me if I can read Dutch. Works in everything except IE/Mac (bain-of-my-facking-exsistence). So no good :(
  • There are better suckerfish menu’s avalable now, which I originaly gave up on because of IE/Mac problems. Still no work in IE/Mac but offers a dubious solution.
  • Whatever I come up with, I’d like to intergrate it with the sexy sliding menus. Pitty they don’t use CSS for positioning.
  • Finaly there is the XHTML/CSS/DHTML Semantically Correct Drop-Down Menu v1.1 which I have been using thus far but have done something to the CSS that makes it wig out on Safari 1.2 and quite frankly I’m over it.

Wide World of Alex

So its time for an update on the amazing adventures of Alex. If you have a heart condition or are on any kind of medication you shouldn’t drink with please stop reading now. You’ve been warned.

So I got to London
I did dilly dally in Indonesia for 5 days and got a bit of sun and diesel exhaust in one of the most densely populated regions of the world (Java duh). That put me in the mood for arriving in London. It did take me 16 hours of pure ‘knees-firmly-rammed-into-the-seat-in-font-of-me hell’ and a bribe at the airport (which I was too dumb to figure out I was supposed to be giving) to check my over weight luggage though to London, and not pass Amsterdam and pay $648 us for the excess. I remind myself it wasn’t in the bottom of a galleon for 6 months with scurvy standing up in my own fasces so humanity has made progress get form Sydney to London, it only takes 16 hours to achieve the same feeling. But nothing new here.

At first euphoria…
The first week I was here the sun was out every day and I was working on my tan. White (white!) English body’s littered the parks and birds were singing. Eir has landed a pad a block for a spate of Vietnamese restaurants so even the food situation isn’t so bad. Eir had already hooked me up with a room in a share house 10 minute free bus ride up the road from her in Dalston, a very happening area with open markets every day for fruit and veg.

Sebastion came down form oxford the first weekend I was here and we went to a Mudhoneys gig at the Astoria. Mudhoneys are an old 80’s indie band and we moshed around for an hour or two. Heaps of fun. We ended up walking 5km home to Shortditch and catching Erika at her bar as they where packing up. Seb got stuck into the kitchen and we were eating ice cream with ladle spoons.

Week two was more like the London I remembered it. Money was (is) very tight since paying bond and rent for the first month. So I start looking for a job, only the mobile phone I brought with me doesn’t work much (thanks B) and no landline at home so it’s hard to hunt for a job. The final kick to the ribs was my laptop going down once more talking the last 2-3 weeks worth of work I’d done on it with it.

My pills where running out so I had to spend most of the week doing battle with the NHS just to get a prescription written. This I managed to do despite being told ‘impossible’ repeatedly by six different women behind reception desks. Alex one, NHS zero!

Living in the ghettoooo
I moved into my new place, with Erika’s help, that first weekend and was given my first impression of Dalston. We were walking along the main drag near Dalton junction, which is predominantly a black area with a smattering of Turk, and I pushed passed this guy as the street was very crowded. This guy then proceeded to behave like what can only be described as a pro wrester: He attempted to spit on my back, but missed and got Erikas back. We were both a little dazed by it and he started swearing and waving his finger in my face in a threatening manor chanting “I wanted you, you! YOU!”. He was short but had three buddies and dressed like Mr T. I asked him what the big deal was but he kept reminding me that I’d bumped into him, which I now take as a bad custom here, even in a crowd.

I was tempted to pursue a more aggressive line with little ‘Snoop Doggy’ but I remembered that less than a week before hand, the friend of this girl that Erika works with was stabbed in the throat with a broken beer bottle coming out of a cub in Dalston. He be dead now. For a time I was scared to go home from Eirs on the bus because I’d seen another violent incident where this guy started hitting this woman he didn’t know and insinuation she wasn’t a woman. I can’t remember ever being around so much hostility before.

There is a lot of poverty in Dalston and it seems to foster hatred. After having dealt with the NHS and seen the way they make everything such a struggle I could see why they might hate the society that doesn’t want them and is openly hostile to them every step of he way.

There is also an up surgeons of nationalism in England at the moment, ether due to the Euro Cup or the issue of England adopting the European Union constitution. White flags with the red cross hang everywhere. I have noticed that there are many, many cultures in London but none of them are represented in the media. No community radio or alternative media. I’m thinking that maybe if there is a representation of the poorer sectors here, an outlet, then maybe there would be less hate and more love going round.

It was pointed out to me that England has never had a modern revolution. Its laws are ancient and have been setup but rich land holder and its all seems to work in their favor here. The common people are entrenched in bureaucracy. No one seems to question the rules. They just take it. I think that’s why they always lose at football: no fighting spirit.

Where theres a Whill..
I’ve been hanging out with young master Richard and his crew of trendy young homies. He’s working in a Bar in Soho called ‘Two Levels’. Eir is also working at a trendy bar in Shoreditch in the Truman bury called ‘the Peacock’ and between the two of them there is much free beer going round. I’ve started playing basketball with richy on one of the underused public courts. Still got the moves ;)

Joes BBQ: Richy, Eir, Marie, Brian

Shortditch being what it is, the whole are is full of arty end of year shows for students of St. Martins Collage and I’ve seen a lot of the young talent from around the world strut their stuff.

Eir and Richy are encrusted in a tight little group of fashion/publicity crowd and there is much wild partying going on at all times of the week. Since its summer time and it doesn’t get dark till after 10:30pm midnight seems to leap upon you unawares.

Art of party, Richy, Eir & Nico

I visited Sebastian in Oxford, who is doing philosophy there, for the weekend and spent he night in the Holywell Manor, a lovely group of sandstone buildings with an enchanting little private courtyard. Oxford seems to be full of lots of private areas that we spend much of the day trying to intrude. The architecture is exactly as you would imagine it, in fact they filmed Harry Potter in one of the grander looking buildings.

Because the weather was so fantastic we spent the better part of the day on the river bank in the sun watching the punters punt by. There was also a carnival, similar to the Surry hills festival, on when I was there and wondered around a bit enjoying the festivity. The food was nasty but there was a hint of some local musical talent, but nothing gripping.

He introduced me to the many types of nerds that are reared in Oxford. Anime society, ‘Speculative science’ (sci-fi) society, Dr Who group, etc. You get the picture. I ended up at a pub on the ‘town’ side of… town where ‘robes’ (students) hang out and they have free monkey nuts and good ale, which is quite a nice drink. There’s a bit of a ‘town’ verse ‘robe’ thing happening in Oxford.

Oxford is only an hour and a half bus ride from central London so I think I’ll be heading back there soon.

So all in all I’m having a crusy time hanging in the park with the homies sucking back European beers and enjoying the sun despite being poor and hungry. Still looking for a job but have a few prospects cooking. I’ve meet heaps of interesting people and it looks like my time here this time will be of a completely different flavor form the last time.