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Round Up


December 17 2011

In today's blog entry, I discuss SOPA, a bug in MaraDNS, revising my web design for older IE releases, and a css3pie issue.

My thoughts on SOPA

I have been seeing a lot of noise on the Internet about the problems with the proposed Stop Onine Piracy Act (SOPA). I have to question the motives of a lot of people who are against this act.

For anyone reading this blog who is against SOPA, let me ask you this: Do you feel piracy is stealing?

Personally, I don't think piracy is stealing under all circumstances. For example, if one has the CDs to an older game, and the game isn't available to purchase in a version that doesn't require the CD, I think it is fair for someone to download a version of the game to play it on their computer without a CD drive, as long as they buy the game when and if it becomes legally available in a no-CD version.

There can very well be first amendment issues with the SOPA as it is currently worded. But, I wonder if such issues are being blown out of proportion by people who really just want to continue downloading digital media without compensating the content creators for their hard work.

A bug in MaraDNS

Deadwood, MaraDNS' recursive resolver, has a bug where it will take too much time to process a large configuration file with a lot of entries.

The issue is in DwDict.c. In technical detail, dwd_nextkey() does not use the hash function dwh_hash_compress() (in DwHash.c) to find the right hash bucket, but instead performs a slow traversal of the hash buckets.

Revising the design for older IE releases

Even though Internet Explorer 6 (IE6) holdouts only account for 2.5% or so of visitors to my web site, I went to a lot of trouble last night making sure that IE6 users will see the pretty clouds and my face at the top of my web pages instead of the grey background they were getting.

To pull it off, I had to make another version of the image at the top. There are now three versions of this image:

  • A version of the image with the clouds, the "Sam Trenholme's page" text, and my picture in the corner for IE6 users.
  • A version of the image with just the clouds and my picture for IE7 and IE8 users. The "Sam Trenholme's page" text is another image.
  • A version of the image with just the clouds for IE9 and other modern browsers with current CSS support. My picture and the "Sam Trenholme's page" text are separate images.
I will probably continue to support IE6 in my web page designs until early 2014, when Microsoft finally pulls the plug on Windows XP.

css3pie issues

I mentioned yesterday the one issue css3pie has is that it slows down page loading on netbooks. Another issue is that it does not correctly zoom background images.

I was able to kill two birds with one stone: My workaround is to not use css3pie for the background image of the clouds at the top; this is where the slowdown was most visible and where css3pie's zoom bug was an issue. Instead, the top of the page has square corners and uses the IE7 version of the top image.

I also made the gradient background for the link bar a tileable version for IE8 so it doesn't look too bad when zoomed while having the css3pie curved corners.

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