Notes on a web journey

posted on: 29 March 2008 make over

filed under: @ 14:06:02

I finally completed the new layout and published it. I made some radical changes in colors and site structure. Everything is reachable from the home page. While before it was possible to read the latest five posts, now only one post is fully readable, the previous four posts are included only as title , category and tags. There is an archive page for all posts, while before the archives were part of the home page. The photos and studies pages are gone (but external links to photos or studies are not broken), now there is a flickr badge for the photos and all the links to the studies also on the home page. The links page is just not there anymore, that was something needed before Delicious came along...

The change in structure has simplified the use of the site, giving access to all the posts, pictures and studies from one place. I also decided on a major color change. During the testing of the new layout I found,as I knew I would, some things that needed to be fixed and others that could be made nicer. I moved the comments link from the bottom of the post to the top and substituted the text with an icon (still courtesy of, for example.

I had some problems with the flickr badge because it comes with a Javascript call incapsulated between <table> and <tr> tags which does not validate since a row (<tr>) is supposed to have cells (<td>) inside. The Javascript does that but it's unreadable by the validator. Apparently, though, if the Javascript call is just inside <div> tags it produces a series of images (<img>) wrapped in anchors (<a>) that link to the photo on flickr, no <td>s. It's then possible to apply CSS to the div and img. It's not the best solution but it validates.

All in all I'm pretty happy with the result, I felt that a change in appearance was long overdue and that, after using the site as it was for more then two years, the structure could be improved.


posted on: 24 March 2008

Poverty facts and stats

filed under: @ 15:48:02

Half the world - nearly three billion people - live on less than two dollars a day. More than 80 percent of the world's population lives in countries where income differentials are widening. The poorest 40 percent of the world's population accounts for 5 percent of global income. The richest 20 percent accounts for three-quarters of world income.

Poverty Facts and Stats

As long s the indifference is as big as the difference there is little hope for a fairer world. I believe it could be much better then it is now, if the awareness of people, especially in the developed Countries, could raise to the challenge.


posted on: 20 March 2008

Typography explanations

filed under: @ 09:36:04

Via AceJet170:

Numerals (or figures) can take various forms. The figure style you choose ought to be appropriate to the project you are working on. Readability is key. But which style is best for which purpose?

Oldstyle/Lining/Tabular figures explained

Like most punctuation, the paragraph mark (or pilcrow) has an exotic history. It's tempting to recognize the symbol as a “P for paragraph” though the resemblance is incidental: in its original form, the mark was an open C crossed by a vertical line or two, a scribal abbreviation for capitulum, the Latin word for chapter.

Pilcrow & Capitulum


posted on: 15 March 2008

Maimed by the Mob

filed under: @ 13:52:04

No one will win next month's elections in Italy, especially not the nation's citizens. For all the campaign rhetoric about change and reform, everyone seems dead set on ignoring the country's fundamental problem: organized crime, or what we might call our criminal economy. Talk of this corruption crisis never goes beyond expressions of solidarity with the victims, praise for the valiant police, and generic appeals to morality. All of which leads nowhere. Last year, a report by the Italian business association Confesercenti estimated that the Mob in Italy generated more than $125 billion of annual revenue, a figure equal to 7% of the country's gross domestic product. That's more than double the annual income of Italy's entire agricultural sector.

Maimed by the Mob an article by Roberto Saviano

What leaves me speechless (I'm Italian) is that many people in Italy know all of that but the same politicians keep getting elected and then come up with unbelievable laws that help the organized crime to make more money and stay in control. To anyone that uses his own brain for a fraction of a second all that should be clear; evidently in Italy we are not able to think.


posted on: 14 March 2008

World Military Spending

filed under: @ 12:08:03

Global military expenditure and arms trade form the largest spending in the world at over one trillion dollars in annual expenditure and has been rising in recent years.

World Military Spending

World hunger and health problems could benefit immensely from even just half of such a huge amount of money. Instead, it is used to increase those same problems, in many instances actually being the direct cause.


posted on: 11 March 2008

Getting the World Healthier

filed under: @ 18:51:02

..the 30 rich countries that compose the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) account for 90% of the planet's health spending, even though they comprise only 20% of the world population. The rich countries on average spend USD 3170 per capita on medical care, while poor countries spend USD 36 a year. Considering the abysmal health status of the poor (both inside and outside of the rich countries), one might expect in a fair world that expenditures might be reversed, with the lion's share going to those in more dire medical need... The WHO estimates that wealthy countries would have to double their current foreign aid contributions to poor countries. This would mean distributing USD 120 billion annually to support basic health care for the poor worldwide. This is not a lot of money. There are so many comparisons I could offer, but consider just one. The United States is now spending USD 12.5 billion a month on the Iraq war. Ten months of the US Iraq war bill would pay for the whole world annual cost. In real terms, our share would surely be no more than our proportion of 22% of the total funding of the United Nations...

Mosquito Nets, Malaria, and Getting the World Healthy

There are so many things that should and could be done better. Articles like this are very important to raise people awareness to a real possibility of change in the world. I think we are still acting in a very ancient way and it's time to evolve!


posted on: 05 March 2008

Graphic design poster competition

filed under: @ 16:35:04

..just found out about it..

This is the post that started it:

What is Graphic Design?

It became a competition:

What is Graphic Design Poster Competition

The entries on Flickr:

What is Graphic Design Poster Competition posts

And the winners are:

Winners of the What is Graphic design poster competition

Very nice initiative


posted on: 05 March 2008

Design is in the details

filed under: @ 15:24:25

An article on A List Apart:

Stop worrying about how good a designer you are, and start worrying about the myriad tiny details that can elevate your work from passable to near-perfect.

Design is in the Details


posted on: 05 March 2008

Javascript Date Object

filed under: @ 15:19:05

An article on Digital Web Magazine:

Extending The JavaScript Date Object with User Defined Methods


posted on: 04 March 2008

Images of a changing world

filed under: @ 19:31:41

Fragile Earth, views of a changing world:

Fragile Earth

Fragile Earth


posted on: 02 March 2008

Sex, religion and conservatives

filed under: @ 15:03:51

An article in the Comment is free.. section of the Guardian:

In their attempt to oppose laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation (that is, laws supporting gay rights) while supporting other such laws, conservatives have long tied themselves in knots. You shouldn't compare antigay discrimination to racial discrimination, they said, because race is an immutable characteristic, while homosexuality is a chosen behavior...But wait a minute, I used to say to conservatives. It's obvious to thinking people that sexual orientation isn't chosen - it may be genetic or environmental, but it certainly isn't chosen. As far as the individual is concerned, it's an innate or immutable characteristic. So if that's your standard, then discrimination against gays is just as unreasonable as discrimination against blacks.

Sex, religion and conservatives

What makes me wonder is that in the year 2008 there is still the necessity to discuss these issues. I may like someone more or less based on his honesty and sincerity but not on his sex, religion or skin color. I know many people that think exactly like me, fortunately. I think fear is usually the reason why some people tend to be suspicious and unable to accept the differences that make humanity what it is. The solution is to keep always an open mind and to be willing to learn.


CSS,Javascript and Php studies

Anti spam email
A solution to writing an anti spam email contact link
filed under: Javascript
Background image
A background image randomizer that I used in the second version of this site.
filed under: Javascript/CSS
Javascript menu
A menu that uses Javascript and session cookies.
filed under: Javascript/CSS
Experimenting with CSS and Javascript.A simple but, in my opinion, nice navigation “system”. The MiniSite is a one page site.
filed under: Javascript/CSS
Photo display
Protect copyrighted photos: a simple but effective solution.
filed under: Javascript/CSS
Photo gallery
A photo gallery made for a friend
filed under: Javascript
PHP menu
A PHP menu that can be updated without having to re-publish all the pages is on.
filed under: PHP
Pop-up menu
A very simple pop up menu powered by Javascript. It works also if Javascript is disabled.
filed under: Javascript/CSS
RSS feed
How to write and use an RSS feed
filed under: rss-xml
Tag replacer
The Tag replacer explained and a link to it.
filed under: PHP
Tags search
A search form build and powered using Javascript and the DOM
filed under: Javascript