General stuff
Designing this site

General stuff

What's the point of this page?
To sort out some random questions people (might) have asked me.
What happened to Thrice Shy?
I took it down. Mostly because I have this server to host my webpages now, but also because I don't have the time to maintain Thrice Shy.
How old are you?
Younger than you (I believe :-)). You can see for yourself whether this is true.
If you could turn back time, how far would you?
1997. Definitely one of the happiest years I remember. Innocence has since then spilled away too soon, too quickly, too much…. Having said that, I do believe in living in the present, and I don't dwell too much on what happened, or could have, except maybe during the odd nostalgic fit.
I heard that you're not straight…?
Anyone who's looked at the shape of my body will likely realise that it has no semblence to a straight edge. Also, I don't know about you, but my spine isn't straight either.
Are you normal?
What, do I look to you like a bell curve? (No, my spine doesn't have a bell curve to it either.)
What's this ‘beloved amber’ thing?
For ‘old times' sakes’ I use a colour scheme that resembles that of ye olde amber terminals. I brought it up in an IRC conversation once, and for that someone called me ‘a vastly bigger geek’ than they were. I shall construe that as a compliment. :-)
Which religion did you pick in the New Zealand Census?
For a long time, I've been swaying between being Discordian and having no religion. In 2001, a chain mail has been doing the rounds asking people to fill in ‘Jedi’. While fun, it would not have been the most honest answer I could have used. I wrote down ‘Discordian’ in the end.
Is there an abbreviation for ‘frequently unasked questions’?
Yes, it rhymes with ‘duck’. :-)

Designing this site

How do you write your webpages?
I use vi(1), a popular Unix text editor. The particular implementation I use is called nvi, which is the version used in 4.4BSD.
My browser can't show your stuff properly!
I use standard XHTML 1.0 and CSS2 in writing the site. Unfortunately I can't help you if your browser is deficient—I wrote the site with conformity (to standards) rather than compatibility (with broken browsers) in mind. In particular:
I use the strict DTD, which means most of the formatting comes from the style sheet (see below). The main thing to note is the use of character entities (see below).
Character entities
I use only entities defined in the XHTML 1.0 specification. Ones I use most often are —, ‘, and ’, representing a long dash, left single quotes, and right single quotes respectively. This saves me from having to use TeX-dependent representation of such.
My style sheet uses some CSS2 features now (such as the use of inherit, and setting the cursor for the ‘smiley’ class), though it's still primarily CSS1. Some browsers don't handle small caps, and some browsers display bordered inline elements as block elements.
Having said all the above, if there are simple workarounds for a browser bug that does not affect the correctness of the page (with respect to the specifications), I'll be happy to consider them.
Which browsers do you test your pages with?
I use Firefox and Opera in my daily web browsing, so they are what I use to test pages; I also use Lynx to see that the pages still look decent without CSS support. In addition, I run all my pages through the W3C HTML validation service. In theory, however, they should be viewable by any conforming browser.
The date shown at the bottom of the page seems wrong!
The date is generated using ‘gmstrftime("%e %B %Y", date)’. In short, UTC is used.
What's that weird directory listing format you're using on your indices?
It's called EPLF (Easily Parsed LIST Format), designed by Daniel J. Bernstein. It's made to be easy for computers to parse, while still be readable by humans. I took the liberty of putting anchors in so that readers can just ‘point and click’ but otherwise my script follows the specification.

What's a ‘cloud9’?
It was named after a Bryan Adams song called Cloud Number Nine, the lyrics to which are available online. It's also quite funny when I get to say things like ‘I'll be putting those files on cloud9 tonight’.
What's a ‘hedgee’?
Back in the bad old days when I frequented Undernet, a certain Vegie called me Hedgie (my IRC nickname being Hedgeling at that time). was taken, so I got instead. This wasn't for historical reasons; I just wanted a nice short name and my first choices like and were all taken.
What's a ‘com’?
You must have lived in a cave for the last 5 years (or more!), if you haven't heard of the dot-com bandwagon that everyone seems to be jumping on (or seems to have been jumping on—and right now jumping off just as quickly).

Spelling issues

Some people spell certain words in ways that I disagree with. I'll attempt to justify why I do it the way I do.

However, if you find a spelling that is clearly wrong, I will fix it if you notify me; thanks in advance. I go by British spelling in general, using The Reader's Digest Oxford Complete Wordfinder as my primary resource, and falling back on The New Zealand Pocket Oxford Dictionary for obscure New Zealand usages.

Chris's vs Chris'
To the best of my knowledge, the name Chris is not a plural; hence I consider Chris's the correct possessive usage. My pronunciation of that word would rhyme with ‘kisses’. I have been told that it's another US usage issue.