Monday, March 31, 2008

Scroll box for putting long URL, large photos, scripts containing long unbroken lines

I have previously published posts regarding scroll box (click BACK button to get back to this page):

How to make a scroll box

Scroll box for images like photos, screen shots, etc

Scroll box for Label List

Scroll box FAQ

I am not sure if this is mentioned in the above posts, but what I have done is to save a Notepad file with different attributes to fit the width of the main column and also, to save me the bother of having to edit the script for the scroll box each time I need one with different height, I just have in the Notepad file with different heights to fit the more frequent occurrences, and inside the scroll box below is the content of the Notepad file I used:


<div style="width: 395px; height: 200px; background-color: ffffff; color: ffffc0; font-family: arial black; font-size: 10px; text-align: left; border: 1px solid 000000; overflow: auto; padding: 4px;"></div>

--------------------------

<div style="width: 395px; height: 400px; background-color: a0ffff; color: 000000; font-family: arial; font-size: 12px; text-align: left; border: 0px solid 00000; overflow: auto; padding: 4px;"></div>

--------------------------

<div style="width: 395px; height: 100px; background-color: a0ffff; color: 000000; font-family: arial; font-size: 12px; text-align: left; border: 0px solid 00000; overflow: auto; padding: 4px;"></div>

<div style="width: 395px; height: 30px; background-color: a0ffff; color: 000000; font-family: arial; font-size: 12px; text-align: left; border: 0px solid 00000; overflow: auto; padding: 4px;"></div>


Note that the width in the above was set to fit the width of the main column (posts) of my main blogs and you will of course have to use different values for different templates. For this, refer to How to find the width of the Header, sidebars and main column (click BACK button to get back to this page).

Now a blogger complained about the background color changing each time she edit a post. Now I am no CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), not being an IT person, but I would hazard a guess that she should look for some pseudo-elements in the template for <div> that may look something like the below:

div:background-color {color:#ff0000;font-size:xx-large}

and change the code for the color to whatever she wants. Note that this is only a guess, and if you happen to get a similar problem and have tried to solve it, your feedback by leaving a comment will be highly appreciated.


Peter Chen's nice graphic signature

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Background graphic for blog


I would be very careful with adding a graphic background to a blog as the photo must be selected carefully, otherwise, something on the blog become very hard to read or may even become invisible. Anyway look at blog with repeating graphic background.

Instructions on how to add a repeating graphic background to a blog

I would first assume you have a graphic or photo that will suit color of the text, hyperlinks, etc. Save it into your computer into a folder where it can be easily found. Now you have a choice of the free Photobucket image host or hosting it by uploading to a post in Blogger. In my case, I have chosen to host the photo at photo of clouds for blog background.

The very first thing you need to do is to get the correct photo URL. In that post, I will click View > Page source (the language may differ a little in different web browsers) in the menu bar at the top of the web browser:

Flock social web browser View Pagesource

Since the title of the post is "Photo of clouds for blog background", I will press ctrl+F and a search box will appear. I copy-paste all or part of the above post title and click "Find Next" to get to the section of the Page Source where the scripts to display the post is. I found:

<img style="display:block; margin:0px auto 10px; text-align:center;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_jizoPL28qCY/R-9sfS_bZdI/AAAAAAAABWw/fmU-eq17I5M/s400/cloud+ktratboy+cropped.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5183480981056349650" />


and after src=" I found the URL of the photo:

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_jizoPL28qCY/R-9sfS_bZdI/AAAAAAAABWw/fmU-eq17I5M/s400/cloud+ktratboy+cropped.jpg


I then go back to blog with repeating graphic background (this is best done in a different tab of a web browser while signed into Blogger like FireFox with tabbed browsing. At the top of that blog, you will see the navbar with your email address, "New Post", "Customize", "Sign out".



Clicking on "Customize will take you to the LAYOUT. Click EDIT HTML and that will open the template editor window. Look for

body {
background:$bgcolor;
margin:0;
color:$textcolor;
font:x-small Georgia Serif;
font-size/* */:/**/small;
font-size: /**/small;
text-align: center;
}



and somewhere after {body

create some space for the script to add the graphic background which should be

background-image:
url('http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_jizoPL28qCY/R-9sfS_bZdI/AAAAAAAABWw/fmU-eq17I5M/s400/cloud+ktratboy+cropped.jpg');
background-repeat: repeat


and then that part of the template will become

body {
background:$bgcolor;

background-image:
url('http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_jizoPL28qCY/R-9sfS_bZdI/AAAAAAAABWw/fmU-eq17I5M/s400/cloud+ktratboy+cropped.jpg');
background-repeat: repeat

margin:0;
color:$textcolor;
font:x-small Georgia Serif;
font-size/* */:/**/small;
font-size: /**/small;
text-align: center;
}



Peter Chen's nice graphic signature

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Why your comments and emails are not getting prompt response: Apologies

Dear blogs readers of this blog and the following blogs:

Blogger for Dummies
Tips and Tricks for Blogger or "Son of Blogger Tips and Tricks"
(slotted for conversion to custom domain taking long time because I want to make sure both URLs, one with www and one without www, goes to same website. Now you don't need to worry. All you need to do is to register for a domain direct from your Google Blogger post editor via Google Apps and that is automatically done for you. I did it for another blog)
Dummies Guide to Google Blogger
(intended "online book" which took long time to get off because I did not have the structure for it)
Testing Blogger Beta (now New Blogger).

Some of you may have left comments or contacted me via email, but have not been getting prompt response. I apologize profusely. I cannot help it. There were various things which kept me very busy.

One of them was my country's recent extraordinary General Election in which the corrupt, unfair and deaf government which ruled our county for decades through divide and rule racial politics, very unfair electoral system with what many considered a biased Election Commission, gerrymandering, unethical election tactics, very tight control over the mainstream mass media, etc. We had to chip in to help bring changes to our country and bloggers, the Internet, NGOs (non-Government Organizations), many citizens' initiative and online independent newspapers played a crucial role. They lost control of many states and only managed to cling on to Federal power by a wafer thin majority of votes. Many think they would have lost that as well if not for stuff like postal votes. My two blogs contributed a tiny part:

Blog for Positive Changes in Malaysia
Digital Candlelight Vigil
(reluctant "protest" blogger)

I also had to help a bit (not as much as I should) in preparation for the election, campaigning and also acted as polling and counting agents on election day itself.

Another reason was I got an unsolicited email from the publisher of "for Dummies" books and was asked if I might be interested in authoring such a book. Of course I was, but I explained my situation and requested for extension of dateline for submission of proposal which was kindly granted. I was advised to purchase some "for Dummies" books to get familiarized with their format. I invested in a Blogging for Dummies book by Brad Hill (that obsolete book was still on sale in book shops and Amazon at time of publishing). I found some inaccuracies and obsolescence and emailed them. I was told I bought an older version and there was a new version, Blogging for Dummies by Susannah Gardner and Shane Birley

I have also other tasks to do, including updating my blogs, responding to comments and emails, etc.

I sacrificed precious time to draft out a proposed Table of Content and just to make sure the format was in the format they wanted, I sent to them as an interim proposed Table of Content hoping for feedback so when I send them the final proposed Table of Content, it would be in the format they wanted. They also asked for statistics for traffic to my blogs which I sent to them in a separate email. Now even before the extended dateline, I was told that they had already selected an author. I requested for reasons, not PR (public relations) and was told my proposed Table of Content was good and in the format they wanted. However, I was rejected because of my correspondence style (too many emails).

Now I have already told them that while I have published research papers, I have never authored a book nor have had contact with any book publishers before. So after investing money in their "for Dummies" books, putting in hard work, sacrificing precious time which I could ill afford, I though they should at least have the decency to wait till the extended dateline plus let me know that they do not want too many emails so I have a chance to correct myself. It was not based on my proposal nor my knowledge or abilities which they said were impressive. Plus if I had bought an obsolete "for Dummies" book, I should have been offered a replacement, but no, none was offered. I obviously felt cheated and unfairly treated.

Anyway, I have long have the opinion that printed books for topics which are frequently changing like Google Blogger, especially after they have upgraded to a much improved blogging platform, are headed in the direction of the dinosaurs and an online book may be a better option as they are easily updated and new chapters added as new features became available. I am thus planning to publish an online version of Blogger for Dummies using the Table of content as the framework. However, just to make sure that is not infringing their "for Dummies" trademark, I have contacted them and am awaiting their response. If I have a chance, I would also like to get some opinion or opinions of intellectual properties professionals.

Whether this online version of Blogger for Dummies gets off the starting block will depend on the above plus also availability of time as I don't expect to get much returns on this effort plus will have to put in much efforts and time to make it a good, easy to follow and understand online book. Anyway, let us see what the future holds

Peter Chen's nice graphic signature

Monday, March 03, 2008

Embed LiveVideo into blog

Embedding LiveVideo into a blog

Previously, if you want a video in your blog post (it is also possible to put it in the sidebar), you will have to upload it to Youtube or Google Video, get the script and paste the script into the post editor window. However, it is not so simple as it sounds because the scripts you get are meant to be displayed with a certain size (width and length) and the width of your main column (or sidebar) may not be able to accommodate the width of the video. It could also be your main width is so wide that you may want the video to occupy the whole width. Either way, you will have to edit the script. For a list of posts related to video, refer to Video and blogs. This post, LiveVideo - testing how to embed video uploaded to LiveVideo, will show how to edit the script so that the video fits into the post (main column) or sidebar without distortion. There is another post that shows how to do that for Youtube video (scripts for embedding Youtube video involves editing 4 items, 2 for width and 2 for height). Will appreciate you help alert me as to which one by leaving a comment as I have no time to check.

Peter Chen's nice graphic signature

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