Women in tech

Let me share this with you:

'It's not my fault if I'm not any good at things like that.'

'I'll differ there, ' Coker told her. 'It's not only your fault - it's a self-created fault. Moreover, it's an affectation to consider yourself too spiritual to understand anything mechanical. It is a petty, and a very silly form of vanity. Everyone starts by knowing nothing about anything, but God gives him - and even her - brains to find out with. Failure to sue them is not a virtue to be praised: even in women it is a gap to be deplored.'

She looked understandably annoyed. Coker himself had been looking annoyed from the time she came in. She said:

'That's all very well, but different people's mind work on different lines. Men understand how machines and electricity work. Women just aren't much interested in that kind of thing as a rule.'

'Don't hand me a mess of myth and affectation; I'm not taking it,' said Coker. 'You know perfectly well that women can and do - or rather did- handle the most complicated and delicate machines when they took the trouble to understand them. What generally happens is that they're too lazy to take the trouble unless they have to. Why should they bother when the tradition of appealing helplessness can be rationalized as a womanly virtue - and the job just shoved off on to somebody else? Ordinarily it's a pose that it's not worth anyone's while to debunk. In fact, it has been fostered. Men have played up to it by stoutly repairing the poor darling's vacuum cleaner, and capably replacing the blown fuse. The whole charade has been acceptable to both parties. Tough practicality complements spiritual delicacy and charming dependence - and he is the mug who gets his hands dirty.'

He lunged on, well started now:

'Hitherto we have been able to afford to amuse ourselves with that kind of mental laziness and parasitism. In spite of generations of talk about the equality of the sexes there has been much too great a vested interest in dependence for women to dream of dropping it. They have made a minimum of necessary modifications to changing conditions, but they have always been minimum - and grudged, at that.' He paused.

'You doubt that? Well, consider the fact that both the pert chit and the intellectual woman worked the higher-sensibility gag in their different ways - but when a war came and brought with it a social obligation and sanction both could be trained into competent engineers.'

'They weren't good engineers,' she remarked. 'Everybody says that.'

'Ah, the defensive mechanism in action. Let me point out that it was in nearly everybody's interest to say so. All the same,' he admitted, 'to some extent that was true. And why? Because nearly all of them not only had to learn hurriedly and without proper groundwork, but they had also to unlearn the habits carefully fostered for years of thinking such interests alien to them, and too gross for their delicate natures.'

'I don't see why you have to come and pitch on me with all this,' she said. 'I'm not the only one who didn't start the wretched engine.'

Coker grinned.

'You're quite right. It's unfair. It was simply finding the engine there ready to work and nobody doing a thing about it that started me off. Dumb futility gets me that way.'

'Then I think you might have said all that to Miss Durrant instead of to me.

'Don't worry, I shall. But it isn't just her affair. It's yours - and everyone else's. I mean that, you know. Times have changed rather radically. You can't any longer say: "Oh, dear, I don't understand this kind of thing," and leave it to someone else to do for you. Nobody is going to be muddle-headed enough to confuse ignorance with innocence now - it's too important. Nor is ignorance going to be cute or funny any more. It is going to be dangerous, very dangerous. Unless all of us get around as soon as we can to understanding a lot of thing in which we had no previous interest, neither we nor those who depend on us are going to get through this lot.'

'I don't see why you need to pour all your contempt for women on to me - just because of one dirty old engine,' she said, peevishly.

Coker raised his eyes.

'Great God! And here have I been explaining that women have all the capacities if they only take the trouble to use them.'

Why did I share this? Because I think I'm gonna take the trouble.

This is a snipet from the book 'The Day of the Triffids' by John Wyndham. Lovely snipet.
No RSS no cry

Haha, half a month after I announced my fancy RSS option on this site, I'm announcing that I hate to update the XML manually, and especially, that I won't. If there is anyone here reading this (with or without RSS), then I'm telling you, come and check the site out regularly instead of relying on the feed notification. In the meanwhile, I'm working on my brain to understand PHP and all I need to create an automatic, but still self-managed website.

Coming out

No, I'm not gay. I would rather just announce that this blog now has RSS!

The coming out part of it is that I must admit, I started to use RSS and feed readers this year. As I was reading about this topic, it's turned out that RSS exist since 2000. Well, it's not easy to convince me. I couldn't see any point using it until I got my first smart phone. Since then I'm in it, deeply, and I want my botched up blog to be available for everyone, everywhere. And here is how it's happened.

Looking for sources

Everything which requires more knowledge than a (very) simple HTML seems space technology for me, and this is what I felt with RSS as well. But I'm very adventurous, and dug a bit deeper. As the first step - as always - I asked (web)Master Bucó if he thinks I'm able to do this. The answer was a link: RSS 2.0 specification. According to him, if I understand this text, I'll manage to have RSS for my site.

I scanned the document in a few seconds (I'm no patient) and decided that it's only an XML with few mandatory elements, so I should be able to handle it. But...how will I get my shiny site in an xml form? No way I'm gonna write this manually. (I'm writing this whole site manually...)

Searching for 'How to add RSS to my site' I got loads of results how to add RSS feed to a website, but that's not what I need. (I immediately felt my mission very serious and advanced.) From the few options I got (on the first Google search result page) I decided to try a tool called FeedForAll. It's not free, but have a 30 days trial. Have to say, at this point I still had no idea what's gonna happen and what it will do and how will I got that onto my site and how will that update regularly and so on.

Open the tool carefully

So I installed and opened FeedForAll suspiciously and filled out all the necessery details. That's not too much. You need a title, description and link to your site, and the same attributes for each of the items you'll add. Hah. This item stuff was not clear at the beginning either, I kind of thought that every new post must get a new xml. Idiot.
Anyway, I figured out that I need one feed (called my blog) and need to add all my posts as a separate item. Good.
Since my site is quite elementary (yet), I don't have a separate html site for each of my posts, they can only be seen all on one page. I don't think it's a problem, though, as soon as everyone opens a feed before I add a new post.

FeedForAll screenshot

Slowly I got familiar with the interface as well, explored that it's much better to copy the description into the HTML editor than into the main window, because the editor will keep the spaces between the paragraphs. I found it strange that in the HTML editor you get WYSIWYG, and you can add HTML tags in the main window only. So why is it HTML editor then?
I copied the full post into the description area, as I, myself, hate when I'm not able to read the full post in my feed reader. This is London, there is no network in the tube and I can't finish the story. Well, I can, because I got rid of all the feeds that don't let me read everything in one place.

Looking around in this program I was hovering over the buttons, and found one that said: 'Publish'. It was exposed in a pale purple light as I realized, I need to make this stuff online. I didn't even try to use their option, simply uploaded via FTP into a newly created RSS folder.

Enjoy your feed

I'm using Google Reader and I was practising on that. I would assume that if I click on 'Refresh', then it works like a website refresh and gives me the results immediately. Not really. I know it's slow on my phone, but getting slow results on a computer is unacceptable. So after a few minutes of hopelessness (Where are they? Everything is correct, it should work, where the fuck is my new post?) I magically got all of them loaded. That. Is. The. Joy.

In this process the little puzzles slowly got together and it turned out to be a pretty easy thing to do. I know it's not a perfect solution (and will develop), but it's functioning (?) and it's mine. My first RSS.

I borrowed the image and the little RSS girl from matt. Thanks, matt!
Turning 960

I'm over my first operation regarding the layout. Most probably you can't spot too many changes, but the site is now 'using' 960 gs. I'm saying this like I know what the heck that is.

My web (and motorbike) Master, Bucó suggested to have a look and apply this framework, and according to my 100% trust (in web and bike issues only) I had a look and tried to implement this into my very complex code. It all started with him giving one and a half million links which I should read before I start.
I like to exaggerate, so I can simply list those links here:

  1. Web Culture: Grid-based Layout Designs on Webdesigner Depot
  2. Grids: Consistency & Unity on About.com
  3. 960.gs, the official 960 Grid System website
  4. Fight Div-itis and Class-itis With the Grid System on Webdesigner Depot again
  5. Prototyping With The Grid 960 CSS Framework on Net Tuts+

I found the last two the most helpful, and following them and the blog that Buco generated I could successfully (?) build these into here. I was drooling a bit on those pretty examples that 960.gs features on the main site, but I already decided to go easy and simple.

My original plan was to put the 'Archive' sidebar outside of those 960 pixels (it was 800 before the grid system), but I soon became friends with that Archive part being under the roof. (I'm lazy.) This was also the most difficult (i.e annoying) bit, because I spent 'some' time 'wondering' why isn't the SIDEbar on the side. After that undefined time period I realized, that putting the 3 grid sidebar inside the 8 grid content area won't really help. Solved.

But the most difficult challenge was to realize afterwards, that I didn't actually got the idea of this system. I was thinking why it is called 'framework' when all I'm doing is classifying some divs and styling them in the css. Haha. I remember skipping this little sentence here: "Don’t forget to include the stylsheets included in the Grid 960 package." Anyway, now I have the 960.css included so it should be proper. Proper job.

I was playing with the idea to archive all phases of this site to follow the changes, but in spite of all my efforts, I forgot to save the original CSS. Fortunately, because this update also helped me to clear that short, but amazingly messy CSS that I managed to put together at first, and I don't want to see that again. (Sniffle, I wanted to.)

My secret aim is to build my own CMS in the background (and that's why I started from scratch), but I don't even dare to think how much time that'll take. I'll start with minor things which are visible, and in the meanwhile I'll read O'Reilly's book about PHP and MySQL.
I was very happy with my simplified 'design' at the beginning, but now I feel sick after looking at it for a few hours. I need to dig out my creativity and give birth to something more...serious?