Archive for the ‘Design’ Category

05Nov

“Huh. So UML is actually useful?”

Posted by Elf Sternberg as chat, Design

Since I’m generally opposed to giving Hacker News oxygen, I refuse to comment there on a recent question, Do You Still Use UML? As I’ve made clear, I have both anxiety and confidence about being an older developer in this world of high-tech startups and high-speed, high-burnout “only twentysomethings can do anything” world. Bloomberg the […]

14Oct

PacMan doesn’t need AI

Posted by Elf Sternberg as Design, programming

The other day, I was reading through the course syllabus for a second-year AI class, as one does, when I noticed that the assignment for the sixth week was to turn in a working version of PacMan. Which is kind of weird, because the actual algorithm for PacMan involves more or less zero AI. It […]

20Apr

An “Ah-hah!” moment

Posted by Elf Sternberg as chat, database, Design, PHP, web development

There are moments when the lightbulb goes off in your head with the power of a thousand white-hot suns.  For me, it happened while I was reading the WordPress Database Schema back to back with Henri Bergius’s highly influentials (well, it was a Hell of an influence on me, at any rate) Decoupling Content Management. Take a close […]

28Nov

I should stop reading magazines.

Posted by Elf Sternberg as chat, css, Design, javascript

I have to say that I’m really disappointed with .net magazine this month. .Net is a popular magazine for web designer and developers, and frequently has great articles and tutorials. For someone in my class of developer it’s not always that useful, but there’s always one or two tutorials worth perusing– and reading the tutorials […]

17Sep

Why careful system design matters!

Posted by Elf Sternberg as Design

I read today about a recall of birth control pills. The detail that caught my attention was this: Blister packs of the birth control pills were rotated 180 degrees, which reverses the weekly tablet distribution. This packaging error could cause women to take pills in the incorrect order and could lead to unintended pregnancy. I suspect this […]

16Sep

Lifestreams and Gamification

Posted by Elf Sternberg as Design, programming

I was having a discussion the other day with a PHP developer, helping him architect a gamification layer for a website he owned.  He had this ridiculously broad table of everything the user could earn, and I winced and said, “What if you want to add a new badge?”  He hemmed and hawed and allowed […]

One of the things I like to use with CSS is percentages. Often, this goes a bit over the top; right now, I have a two column layout that looks something like this: .leftcolumn { float: left; width: 22.340425%; margin-right: 1.06382%; overflow: hidden; } .rightcolumn { float: left; width: 76.59574%; margin-right: 0; } Which is […]

I love LessCSS, because it allows me to write CSS as code, with consistent thinking throughout. Today, I’m going to show you how to have button-shaped anchors with consistent gradients throughout your page, using the color scheme you’ve initially chosen. LessCSS allows you to have parameterized mixins, small blocks of CSS that you can easily […]

27Oct

Test From Home Under Load

Posted by Elf Sternberg as Design, web development

I learned an important lesson today: never put on hold a book from the library that’s already listed on the shelves. Just go get it. If it’s on hold, they’ll take it off the shelves and put it “into the system,” which means you won’t actually be able to get it for 24 hours. I […]

13Oct

Django-Zipdistance

Posted by Elf Sternberg as Design, programming, python

Recently, I had the pleasure of attending another of those Seattle Django meet-ups.  This one was a potpourri event, just people talking about what they knew and how they knew it.   I revealed that I’d written my first aggregator, and that seemed to be an impressive statement.  Apparently Django Aggregators (database conditionals that perform sub-selected summarizing or […]


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