December 4th, 2016

Tall ships (porthole)

Advent 2016, day 4

Today's random surprise was lighting the Advent candle at church - today's the 2nd Sunday of Advent. Normally they let one of the children do it, but on the 1st Sunday of the month they're all over at Messy Church in the hall so the leader suggested that "perhaps someone who's a child at heart" could do it and I was volunteered as being one of the youngest present! Although not quite the youngest as it turned out - it turned out that it was someone else's "8th anniversary of their 21st birthday" (which struck me as a fun way to celebrate a birthday without seeming to be that old).

Anyway, Advent Calendars!

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Today's Star Wars construction is another starfighter-thing. I'm not sure which way round this one flies - whether the green sticks are engine exhausts or laser beams.

Tall ships (porthole)

Random outing

Today's random outing was to Portchester Castle, to have a play with the Nikon F-301 before the sun disappeared. Despite the late hour there was still plenty of light and there should be some good photos in there, though as always with film you'll have to wait until I scan them.

Speaking of randomness, today's random "small world" event was with one of the English Heritage staff there. She had to unlock the main door to the castle grounds to let myself and another chap out (because the folks at the church in the grounds had gone home early and locked up!), and while doing so we ended up chatting for a few moments and I mentioned how at Pendennis Castle when staying there you get a key to the main door. At which point it turned out that she used to live in Falmouth! It's odd how I end up bumping into people with local connections - probably the most surprising one was on the ferry to Dublin, when I visited my aunt in Bangor way back in 2006.

Moroccan Mint Tea - interesting. A nice brew to have on a cold evening.
Tall ships (porthole)

Red 7351: Portugal in 2000ish!

Speaking of film, I scanned a much older negative the other day (Red 7351). This one is from a family holiday in Portugal, many years ago! Around the turn of the millennium my grandparents sold their house in Falmouth and spent a few years gallivanting around the world (as one does). For a time they were staying in Portugal (somewhere in the Algarve region) in a friends/relatives villa and so we went over to visit. This would have been probably in 2000ish - they left Cornwall in 1999, and this would have been before I started university in 2004. In fact, I'm fairly certain it was 1999 or 2000 as it was before the Spanish holiday and on that one myself and elemnar had recently got Pokémon Gold/Silver which came out in 2001 (I remember the pair of us passing time in the airport by sending Mystery Gift messages to each other). That's got to be one of the more unusual ways of dating photos!

This film is a Kodak Gold 400-6. Being ISO 400 there's a fair amount of grain... and with a basic point-and-shoot camera it was generally very overexposed to boot (I looked up the specs of the Canon Snappy LX-II - shutter speed ranges from 1/45 to 1/180 with a f/4.5 lens. Correct exposure on a sunny day with ISO 400 would be more like 1/2000). Fortunately colour negatives are fairly forgiving of this, though it did mean all the dynamic range was squished into one end of the raw scan. I also experimented some more with white balance as I was having problems with colour casts with the White Balance setting - trying to lock it on an unexposed portion of the film didn't work well (because of the dynamic range issue mentioned), so in the end I went with the theory that colour negatives are balanced for daylight and set VueScan to Auto Levels (which preserves the colour balance of the original scan). This generally worked well.

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Tall ships (porthole)

LiveJournal Likes?

Okay, how do likes work on LiveJournal? All I get is an email saying:

"1 user(s) likes this -"

As best as I can tell that's it. I can't see how many likes I have on an entry (for that matter I don't even have a like button), and the like statistics page is empty.

The FAQ does say that this needs the new design and one of the new styles - but I still don't see like buttons even after switching to the new site design (which I'd prefer not to use as it's fallen into the trap of assuming that everything has to be designed for mobile - Vertigo is a far more useful scheme with the left-hand link bar and the smaller journal banner) and previewing my journal in the Air style.

Oh, wait, but if I try the Expressive style then it does appear (so much for that FAQ claiming that Air supports this). Interesting. It seems like there's an entirely new function to generate the likes button:

var int likus_journal_id = $.journal.userid;
var int likus_post_id = $.itemid;
var string likus_url = $.permalink_url;

print get_lj_entry_likus("li", "asset-meta-likus item", $likus_journal_id, $likus_post_id, $likus_url);

And that looks is implemented in the base layer as:

function get_lj_entry_likus(string tag, string class, int journal_id, int post_id, string post_uri) : string {

    # LJSUP-24066
    if( not is_likes_display() ) {
        return "";

    # for js LJSUP-18559
    return """<""" + $tag + """ class="$class" lj-likus lj-likus-journal="$journal_id" lj-likus-item="$post_id" lj-likus-uri="$post_uri"></""" + $tag + """>""";


Hmm... I wonder if I can hack it into my S2 style? All this does is add a placeholder HTML element so it would seem the actual like button is generated with Javascript - which is a bit annoying as that makes it hard to customise. I might be able to do something with suitably crazy CSS hackery.

Not that such a feature should need a new journal style anyway. S2 is designed to cope with new features without needing all styles to be redesigned - for example, the way the per-entry links work ("Edit Entry", "Add to Memories", "Share" and so on) is that the S2 engine provides a list of actions and a function to generate each link. So adding a new one is straightforward, and unless the style writer has gone for an entirely custom layout ignoring this list then it will Just Work.

Sigh. It does annoy me that the current trend in, well, everything computing-related is to remove open-ended customisability because maintaining it requires effort, and that sounds too much like actual work compared to rewriting everything in the latest shiny framework.
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