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  • An Hour With Bill Buxton MIX10

    After spending a couple of hours with Rowan Simpson yesterday afternoon I found myself continually coming back to some of the things that Bill Buxton talked about in his hour Q&A at MIX10 in Las Vegas. Dont have Silverlight? Download the video in WMV, WMV (High) or MP4 format. At the more theoretical level, Bill discusses technology as a human prosthesis, but he favours metaphors that are as far away from technology as possible. The Seattle Public Library and software building....Did you know that DotNetSlackers also publishes .net articles written by top known .net Authors? We already have over 80 articles in several categories including Silverlight. Take a look: here.

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  • An Hour With Bill Buxton MIX10

    After spending a couple of hours with Rowan Simpson yesterday afternoon I found myself continually coming back to some of the things that Bill Buxton talked about in his hour Q&A at MIX10 in Las Vegas. Dont have Silverlight? Download the video in WMV, WMV (High) or MP4 format. At the more theoretical level, Bill discusses technology as a human prosthesis, but he favours metaphors that are as far away from technology as possible. The Seattle Public Library and software building....Did you know that DotNetSlackers also publishes .net articles written by top known .net Authors? We already have over 80 articles in several categories including Silverlight. Take a look: here.

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  • My Mix10 coup de coeur

    - by guybarrette
    If you ask me what was my Mix10 coup de coeur, I’d have to say Bill Buxton.  I was privileged to spend an hour an a half in a small room with about twelve people and Bill Buxton.  This man has such a incredible background and he is so inspiring.  You could really tell that he is a researcher because as he was talking about something, you could see him thinking about something else and trying at the same time to cross reference that. Here’s a list of videos recorded at Mix.  The first one is the shortest one at 9 minutes. Bytes by MSDN (Interviewed by Tim Huckaby, a legend himself) Mix Day 2 Keynote (Last 1/4) An Hour with Bill Buxton (His Mix session) Bill Buxton & Microsoft Student Insiders at MIX10 Channel 9 Live at MIX10: Bill Buxton & Erik Meijer - Perspectives on Design var addthis_pub="guybarrette";

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  • How to configure apache / php / postfix website emails when using vhosts?

    - by Alistair Buxton
    I have a LAMP webserver configured to serve multiple websites. Each virtual host has various PHP applications, mainly Wordpress. When users sign up to the Wordpress sites, email is sent by PHP through to postfix, and then on to the receiver. The problem is that postfix is identifying itself to the remote server with the contents of /etc/hostname, which is not a fully qualified domain name. Some mail servers reject this and the mail bounces. Additionally, the return path is being set to one of the vitual host domains, seemingly at random. I could set /etc/hostname to one of the website domain names, but then the emails from the other websites would have a wrong server in the headers, and this would not fix the return-path issue. Possibly related, apache2 says "could not determine the server's fully qualified domain name" on startup. How do I fix this so that each website can send email without revealing the other websites hosted on the server?

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  • How to make Xbox joypad work with Bastion?

    - by Alistair Buxton
    I have an XBox joypad: Bus 005 Device 004: ID 045e:0289 Microsoft Corp. Xbox Controller S When I start Bastion from the terminal the following is output: Number of joysticks: 1 Number of buttons for joystick: 0 - 10 Number of axes for joystick: 0 - 6 Number of PovHats for joystick: 0 - 1 When I load up the game it displays a message "press any key" and at this point, if I press a button on the joypad it advances to the main menu. However, the up/down/left/right controls do not work and the button will not operate the menu. When I enter the control configuration, the joypad section is disabled and displays a message "joypad not detected." If I enter the control customization and try to reconfigure one of the controls, noises can be heard when pressing joypad buttons, but the input is otherwise ignored. Further information which may or may not be relevant: My controller is an original Xbox controller, not a 360 controller. XNA games on Windows apparently only work with Xbox360 controllers because they use xinput rather than direct input, see eg here. My controller works (almost) properly with MonoGame trunk samples, but Bastion uses a modified MonoGame and crashes when run against trunk, so I can't add debugging to see where the problem is. Bug can also be reproduced with a Xbox 360 wired controller.

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  • With respect to gnome-session, what is a "component"?

    - by Alistair Buxton
    Under /usr/share/gnome-session/sessions are files which describe the different types of sessions available from gnome-session. In these files is a list of required components, eg for shell: RequiredComponents=gnome-shell;gnome-settings-daemon; or for fallback: RequiredComponents=gnome-panel;gnome-settings-daemon; This appears to be a list of executables, but it is not. If I change gnome-panel to some other type of panel, the session does not start, and I see the following errors in ~/.xsession-errors: gnome-session[2003]: WARNING: Unable to find required component 'xfce4-panel' So my question: What is a component, how are they defined, and where does gnome-session look for them?

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  • How to override the system locale on a single command?

    - by Alistair Buxton
    When helping someone we often ask them to show the output of a command eg: sudo fdisk -l | pastebinit If the user is not using an English locale, the output may be in a foreign language: Disk /dev/sda: 750.2 GB, 750156374016 bytes 255 huvuden, 63 sektorer/spår, 91201 cylindrar, totalt 1465149168 sektor This complicates support. How can one run a command with an override on the system locale to get English output?

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  • Need explanation of hexagonal architecture

    - by Victor Grazi
    I am reading about Alistair Cockburn's Hexagonal Architecture http://alistair.cockburn.us/Hexagonal+architecture with interest. One claim he makes is: "Finally, the automated function regression tests detect any violation of the promise to keep business logic out of the presentation layer. The organization can detect, and then correct, the logic leak." I do not understand this point. Is he saying that because the test is headless, then calls to a ui layer will throw exceptions? That doesn't seem to be a very sound test!

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  • Outlook slow to open attachments

    - by Alistair McMillan
    When a colleague tries to open attachments in her email (Outlook 2003 talking to an Exchange 2007 server) they talk ages to open. The files are relatively small, all less than 1MB. We've tried creating a new Windows profile for the user and tried creating new Outlook profiles, however that hasn't made any difference. And we've tried accessing her account from someone else's PC, and the attachments open immediately there. The only thing that might provide a clue is that Process Monitor shows Outlook on her PC trying to write the file to a folder within the user's "Temporary Internet Files" folder with FAST I/O DISALLOWED errors. Can't find a lot of useful information on that message online though. What causes the FAST I/O DISALLOWED errors? And would that make opening attachments so incredibly slow that opening a < 1MB file can take a matter of minutes? UPDATE: Discovered that this isn't just an issue with Outlook. Other files being accessed over the network show the same FAST I/O DISALLOWED errors in Process Monitor. The problem is just more noticeable with Outlook, because although other applications take a while to open files it isn't a matter of minutes.

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  • How do I improve my incremental-backup performance?

    - by Alistair Bell
    I'm currently using the traditional rsync+cp -al method to create incremental/snapshot backups of our server tree. The backups are going onto a pair of eight-disk towers connected to the backup machine (a Sandy Bridge machine with 16 GB of RAM, running CentOS 5.5) via four eSATA connections (four disks per connection). Each disk is a regular 2 TB disk, so we have 32 TB of disk space connected to the backup machine. We're backing up about 20 TB of data on the servers with this. The problem is that each daily backup is taking more than 24 hours, and the real time-killer isn't the actual rsync, but the time it takes to perform a cp -al of the tree locally on the backup machine. It's taking more than 12 hours just to make the shadow copy of the tree, and as far as I can tell the performance backlog is at the disk (top shows the cp using a lot of RAM but not a lot of CPU and mostly in uninterruptible-sleep state) We have the server data split into four major volumes (and a few minor ones), and each of these backups runs in parallel (with some offsets in the cron to try to get some disks' cp done first). There are two volumes on the backup drive, both striped LVM volumes of 16 TB each. So obviously I need to improve the performance because it's unusable as it stands. The first question is: when CentOS 6 comes out, with support for btrfs, will making snapshots of subvolumes with btrfs substantially increase this performance? The second is: is there a way, with ext3 or something else supported in CentOS 5 or 6, to 'encourage' it to put the directories/inodes in one part of a volume (which could happen to be the part that's on an SSD, via LVM) and the files in another? That would presumably solve the problem, but I don't know of ways to hint ext3 like that.

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  • why use mixed-based replication for mysql

    - by Alistair Prestidge
    I am in the process of configuring MySQL replication and am intending to use row-based-replication but I was also reading up about mixed-based replication. This is where statement-based is the default and then for certain circumstances (http://dev.mysql.com/doc/refman/5.1/en/binary-log-mixed.html) MySQL will switch to row-based. The list is quit vast on when it will switch to row-based. My questions are: Does any one use mixed? If yes why did you chose this over just using one or the other? Thanks in advance

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  • Shared printer hosted by Windows 7 to XP peers [closed]

    - by Alistair Knock
    Possible Duplicate: Add Network Printer drivers in Windows 7/Server 2008 R2? A Canon Pixma ip4600 installed all by itself when connected to a Windows 7-64 bit machine. I then updated it with the add-on Canon provide to give additional functionality. I then wish to share it with a box which is running Windows XP 32-bit. The XP box can see the printer but can't find a driver from the 7 machine, which is fine. I ask the 7 machine to get the x86 drivers, but it can't. I install the 32-bit XP drivers on the XP machine, but unlike previous Canon drivers (which unzip to give an .inf file), they assume a local printer and partially give up. I find the .inf file in the Program files\CanonBJ\... directory. Neither the XP machine, nor the 7 machine when the CanonBJ directory is shared to it, is happy with the .inf file. I attempt to install the 32-bit drivers on the 64-bit 7 machine, which, understandably, fail. Where do we go from here? (I apologise for posting in the first-person, I'm not sure why this was)

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  • How do we keep Active Directory resilient across multiple sites?

    - by Alistair Bell
    I handle much of the IT for a company of around 100 people, spread across about five sites worldwide. We're using Active Directory for authentication, mostly served to Linux (CentOS 5) systems via LDAP. We've been suffering through a spate of events where the IP tunnel between the two major sites goes down and the secondary domain controller at one site can't contact the primary domain controller at the other. It seems that the secondary domain controller starts denying user authentication within minutes of losing connectivity to the primary. How do we make the secondary domain controller more resilient to downtime? Is there a way for it to cache the entire directory and/or at least keep enough information locally to survive a multi-hour disconnection? (We're all in a single organizational unit if that makes any difference.) (The servers here are Windows Server 2003; don't assume that we set this up correctly. I'm a software engineer, not an IT specialist.)

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  • Mapped drives not showing in first run of Windows Explorer

    - by Alistair McMillan
    We have a couple of users whose mapped drives don't always appear in Windows Explorer when they initially log in. "net use" shows the drives are mapped correctly and they can see them in File Open dialogs in other applications. However they don't appear in Windows Explorer. The current workaround we have is to kill Windows Explorer and then immediately start it again, then they do reliably appear. Any ideas?

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  • freebsd does not recognise that php was installed via ports

    - by Alistair Prestidge
    I have php 5.2.12 installed on FreeBSD 8.0-STABLE. It was installed from ports and I am trying to upgrade it to 5.3.2. However for some reason my system is not recognising that php was installed via ports. When I run "pkg_version" the list does not include php it does however include all the extensions that I have installed. I have even tried to do "make deinstall" on "/usr/ports/lang/php5" it told me that the port had been deinstalled but php still appears to be working correctly i.e "php -v" works any ideas on how this port has become de attached from the ports system? and how I can get the ports system to recognise that it installed php?

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  • Is there a quick way to create a Windows shortcut to a file without it validating the path?

    - by Alistair McMillan
    Trying to create a shortcut for someone else. It needs to point to files on one of their mapped drives. Instead of waiting for them to be available and create the shortcut on their PC, I was hoping to just create the shortcut on my PC and then transfer it over to their PC. However Windows tries to validate the path as you create the shortcut and since I don't have access to the same files it is throwing up an error and won't create the shortcut. Is there a way to create a shortcut without the path being validated?

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  • Scanned JPEGs are large and slow to load - can they be optimized losslessly?

    - by Alistair Knock
    I have hundreds of JPEG photographs which were scanned about 5 years ago from negative using a Konica Minolta DiMAGE Scan Dual IV. The dimensions are ~4500x3000, and the filesize is around 12Mb, compared to shots from a DSLR with dimensions of 3000x2300 and filesize of 2-4Mb (actually, these are the output from a RAW convertor). The filesize is obviously quite a big difference, but the issue that's bothering me is that the (perceived) loading time is at least 10 times slower. Is this size/speed discrepancy likely to be because the scanner software saved the JPEGs inefficiently / using an old compression format, or is it simply that the scanned negatives contain much more "detail" (in the form of grain/noise) than the digital images? If the former, is there a way to losslessly optimize them? I've tried re-exporting the scanned files to full size JPEG from my RAW software but the filesize is pretty much the same. Both files will have been saved at 100 quality.

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  • Looking Back at MIX10

    - by WeigeltRo
    It’s the sad truth of my life that even though I’m fascinated by airplanes and flight in general since my childhood days, my body doesn’t like flying. Even the ridiculously short flights inside Germany are taking their toll on me each time. Now combine this with sitting in the cramped space of economy class for many hours on a transatlantic flight from Germany to Las Vegas and back, and factor in some heavy dose of jet lag (especially on my way eastwards), and you get an idea why after coming back home I had this question on my mind: Was it really worth it to attend MIX10? This of course is a question that will also be asked by my boss at Comma Soft (for other reasons, obviously), who decided to send me and my colleague Jens Schaller, to the MIX10 conference. (A note to my German readers: An dieser Stelle der Hinweis, dass Comma Soft noch Silverlight-Entwickler und/oder UI-Designer für den Standort Bonn sucht – aussagekräftige Bewerbungen bitte an [email protected]) Too keep things short: My answer is yes. Before I’ll go into detail, let me ask the heretical questions whether tech conferences in general still make sense. There was a time, where actually being at a tech conference gave you a head-start in regard to learning about new technologies. Nowadays this is no longer true, where every bit of information and every detail is immediately twittered, blogged and whatevered to death. In the case of MIX10 you even can download the video-taped sessions shortly after. So: Does visiting a conference still make sense? It depends on what you expect from a conference. It should be clear to everybody that you’ll neither get exclusive information, nor receive training in a small group. What a conference does offer that sitting in front of your computer does not can be summarized as follows: Focus Being away from work and home will help you to focus on the presented information. Of course there are always the poor guys who are haunted by their work (with mails and short text messages reporting the latest showstopper problem), but in general being out of your office makes a huge difference. Inspiration With the focus comes the emotional involvement. I find it much easier to absorb information if I feel that certain vibe when sitting in a session. This still means that I have put work into reviewing the information later, but it’s a better starting point. And all the impressions collected at a (good) conference combined lead to a higher motivation – be it by the buzz (“this is gonna be sooo cool!”) or by the fear to fall behind (“man, we’ll have work on this, or else…”). People At a conference it’s pretty easy to get into contact with other people during breakfast, lunch and other breaks. This is a good opportunity to get a feel for what other development teams are doing (on a very general level of course, nobody will tell you about their secret formula) and what they are thinking about specific technologies. So MIX10 did offer focus, inspiration and people, but that would have meant nothing without valuable content. When I (being a frontend developer with a strong interest in UI/UX) planned my visit to MIX10, I made the decision to focus on the "soft" topics of design, interaction and user experience. I figured that I would be bombarded with all the technical details about Silverlight 4 anyway in the weeks and months to come. Actually, I would have liked to catch a few technical sessions, but the agenda wasn’t exactly in favor of people interested in any kind of Silverlight and UI/UX/Design topics. That’s one of my few complaints about the conference – I would have liked one more day and/or more sessions per day. Overall, the quality of the workshops and sessions was pretty high. In fact, looking back at my collection of conferences I’ve visited in the past I’d say that MIX10 ranks somewhere near the top spot. Here’s an overview of the workshops/sessions I attended (I’ll leave out the keynotes): Day 0 (Workshops on Sunday) Design Fundamentals for Developers Robby Ingebretsen is the man! Great workshop in three parts with the perfect mix of examples, well-structured definition of terminology and the right dose of humor. Robby was part of the WPF team before founding his own company so he not only has a strong interest in design (and the skillz!) but also the technical background.   Design Tools and Techniques Originally announced to be held by Arturo Toledo, the Rosso brothers from ArcheType filled in for the first two parts, and Corrina Black had a pretty general part about the Windows Phone UI. The first two thirds were a mixed bag; the two guys definitely knew what they were talking about, and the demos were great, but the talk lacked the preparation and polish of a truly great presentation. Corrina was not allowed to go into too much detail before the keynote on Monday, but the session was still very interesting as it showed how much thought went into the Windows Phone UI (and there’s always a lot to learn when people talk about their thought process). Day 1 (Monday) Designing Rich Experiences for Data-Centric Applications I wonder whether there was ever a test-run for this session, but what Ken Azuma and Yoshihiro Saito delivered in the first 15 minutes of a 30-minutes-session made me walk out. A commercial for a product (just great: a video showing a SharePoint plug-in in an all-Japanese UI) combined with the most generic blah blah one could imagine. EPIC FAIL.   Great User Experiences: Seamlessly Blending Technology & Design I switched to this session from the one above but I guess I missed the interesting part – what I did catch was what looked like a “look at the cool stuff we did” without being helpful. Or maybe I was just in a bad mood after the other session.   The Art, Technology and Science of Reading This talk by Kevin Larson was very interesting, but was more a presentation of what Microsoft is doing in research (pretty impressive) and in the end lacked a bit the helpful advice one could have hoped for.   10 Ways to Attack a Design Problem and Come Out Winning Robby Ingebretsen again, and again a great mix of theory and practice. The clean and simple, yet effective, UI of the reader app resulted in a simultaneous “wow” of Jens and me. If you’d watch only one session video, this should be it. Microsoft has to bring Robby back next year! Day 2 (Tuesday) Touch in Public: Multi-touch Interaction Design for Kiosks & Architectural Experiences Very interesting session by Jason Brush, a great inspiration with many details to look out for in the examples. Exactly what I was hoping for – and then some!   Designing Bing: Heart and Science How hard can it be to design the UI for a search engine? An input field and a list of results, that should be it, right? Well, not so fast! The talk by Paul Ray showed the many iterations to finally get it right (up to the choice of a specific blue for the links). And yes, I want an eye-tracking device to play around with!   The Elephant in the Room When Nishant Kothary presented a long list of what his session was not about, I told to myself (not having the description text present) “Am I in the wrong talk? Should I leave?”. Boy, was I wrong. A great talk about human factors in the process of designing stuff.   An Hour with Bill Buxton Having seen Bill Buxton’s presentation in the keynote, I just had to see this man again – even though I didn’t know what to expect. Being more or less unplanned and intended to be more of a conversation, the session didn’t provide a wealth of immediately useful information. Nevertheless Bill Buxton was impressive with his huge knowledge of seemingly everything. But this could/should have been a session some when in the evening and not in parallel to at least two other interesting talks. Day 3 (Wednesday) Design the Ordinary, Like the Fixie This session by DL Byron and Kevin Tamura started really well and brought across the message to keep things simple. But towards the end the talk lost some of its steam. And, as a member of the audience pointed out, they kind of ignored their own advice when they used a fancy presentation software other then PowerPoint that sometimes got in the way of showing things.   Developing Natural User Interfaces Speaking of alternative presentation software, Joshua Blake definitely had the most remarkable alternative to PowerPoint, a self-written program called NaturalShow that was controlled using multi-touch on a touch screen. Not a PowerPoint-killer, but impressive nevertheless. The (excellent) talk itself was kind of eye-opening in regard to what “multi-touch support” on various platforms (WPF, Silverlight, Windows Phone) actually means.   Treat your Content Right The talk by Tiffani Jones Brown wasn’t even on my planned schedule, but somehow I ended up in that session – and it was great. And even for people who don’t necessarily have to write content for websites, some points made by Tiffani are valid in many places, notably wherever you put texts with more than a single word into your UI. Creating Effective Info Viz in Microsoft Silverlight The last session of MIX10 I attended was kind of disappointing. At first things were very promising, with Matthias Shapiro giving a brief but well-structured introduction to info graphics and interactive visualizations. Then the live-coding began and while the result was interesting, too much time was spend on wrestling to get the code working. Ending earlier than planned, the talk was a bit light on actual content, but at least it included a nice list of resources. Conclusion It could be felt all across MIX10, UIs will take a huge leap forward; in fact, there are enough examples that have already. People who both have the technical know-how and at least a basic understanding of design (“literacy” as Bill Buxton called it) are in high demand. The concept of the MIX conference and initiatives like design.toolbox shows that Microsoft understands very well that frontend developers have to acquire new knowledge besides knowing how to hack code and putting buttons on a form. There are extremely exciting times before us, with lots of opportunity for those who are eager to develop their skills, that is for sure.

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  • VBA ActiveX controls grow in size over Remote Desktop Connection

    - by Alistair Knock
    We have an Excel workbook with a number of ActiveX controls, running in Excel 2003 on Windows XP. When connecting using Remote Desktop, the ActiveX controls change font, sometimes font size, and sometimes orientation (in the case of a spinner control). This happens on first connection and also as the workbook is used - some of the controls then enlarge in size, often overlapping other controls and part of the workbook. I read somewhere this may be caused by improper connection management (not closing them) leading to increasing memory usage; are there other reasons why the display is so different over Remote Desktop and are there workarounds? (the properties of each control usually remain the same, so force-resizing them doesn't always have an effect)

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  • Using Google AppEngine app as a OAuth provider

    - by Alistair
    Hi, I'm using the Google AppEngine 1.3.4 SDK which offers to allow your application to act as a OAuth service provider (http://code.google.com/appengine/docs/python/oauth/). Setting up a standard application on my localhost and using the following: Request URL /_ah/OAuthGetRequestToken Authorize URL /_ah/OAuthAuthorizeToken Access Token URL /_ah/OAuthGetAccessToken The client application just gets sent to a page requesting to grant OAuth access even though no user is logged in. Clicking 'Grant access' results in a message saying 'OAuth access granted' with no tokens or anything exchange. Can't see how this could work when it's not even prompting for a login. As this functionality is quite new I can't find much out there. I've created a OAuth provider before in Rails and know that you need a Consumer Key and Secret, something that seems to be lacking in GAE? Any ideas on how to get OAuth working in a sample GAE project are most welcome.

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  • Tuning MySQL to take advantage of a 4GB VPS

    - by alistair.mp
    Hello, We're running a large site at the moment which has a dedicated VPS for it's database server which is running MySQL and nothing else. At the moment all four CPU cores are running at close to 100% all of the time but the memory usage sticks at around 268MB out of an available 4096MB. I'm wondering what we can do to better utilise the memory and reduce the CPU load by tweaking MySQL's settings? Here is what we currently have in my.cnf: http://pastie.org/private/hxeji9o8n3u9up9mvtinbq Thanks

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  • In Haskell, what does it mean if a binding "shadows an existing binding"?

    - by Alistair
    I'm getting a warning from GHC when I compile: Warning: This binding for 'pats' shadows an existing binding in the definition of 'match_ignore_ancs' Here's the function: match_ignore_ancs (TextPat _ c) (Text t) = c t match_ignore_ancs (TextPat _ _) (Element _ _ _) = False match_ignore_ancs (ElemPat _ _ _) (Text t) = False match_ignore_ancs (ElemPat _ c pats) (Element t avs xs) = c t avs && match_pats pats xs Any idea what this means and how I can fix it? Cheers.

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  • Tracking a Flash banner advert using clickTag and Google Analytics

    - by alistair.mp
    Hello. I'm trying to find out if there is a way of using clickTag and Google Analytics to track outgoing banner clicks. clickTag code: on (release) { if (clickTAG.substr(0,5) == "http:") { getURL(clickTAG); } } Maybe someone can tell me whether the following would work: on (release) { if (clickTAG.substr(0,5) == "http:") { getURL("javascript:pageTracker._trackPageview('/somebannerad');"); getURL(clickTAG); } } but I would ideally like a solution that worked with the standard clickTag code and didn't involve changing any code in the flash file. Anyone have any ideas? Thanks

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  • Opacity CSS not working in IE8

    - by Alistair Christie
    I'm using CSS to indicate the trigger text for a jQuery slide-down section: i.e. when you hover over the trigger text the cursor changes to a pointer and the opacity of the trigger text is reduced to indicate that the text has a click action. This works fine in Firefox and Chrome, but in IE8 the opacity doesn't change. I've tried a variety of CSS settings without any success. For example HTML: <h3 class="slidedownTrigger">This is the trigger text</h3> CSS: .slidedownTrigger {     cursor: pointer;     -ms-filter: “progid:DXImageTransform.Microsoft.Alpha(Opacity=75)”;     filter: alpha(opacity=75);     -khtml-opacity: 0.75;     -moz-opacity: 0.75;     opacity: 0.75; } What's stopping IE changing the opacity? Note: I've tried this on a variety of different elements, swapping round the order of the CSS statements, and just using the IE ones on their own. I've also tried using -ms-filter: "alpha(opacity=75)"; but with no success. I've run out of things to try to get opacity modification working in IE8. Any ideas?

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