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The Merchant of Venice

I'm not a big fan of adaptations to the big screen of Shakespearean plays, but this one caught my eye, despite not having the slightest idea of what the story was about – well, i knew it was in Venice. :)


Bassanio: Do all men kill the things they do not love?

Shylock: Hates any man the thing he would not kill?

What can I say about this movie? It has one of the most impressive scenic performances, by an actor, that i've ever seen. Al Pacino has distinguished himself ages ago among the myriads of other actors who strive for recognition. It's amazing that after all this time he can still surprise us with intelligently chosen roles and matching performances. Recently, he took by breath away in Mike Nichol's Angels in America as a dying man.

read on about: The Merchant of Venice

My first steps in AJAX

First Steps in AjaxI had to start sometime, given my past experiences with Javascript, but i had to get some stuff out of the way first – namely, this website – so that i could dedicate an evening messing around with this new technique – not technology – without other stuff in my head.

It wasn't hard to pick up and i was a bit surprised by the simplicity of it all. I had some issues putting it to work, but that was mostly due to the fact i was working on a computer without access to the internet, thus no google for me. I figured it out in the end, and put together a very simple page which basically asks for an XML file through AJAX, handles it and displays it on the page – i still need to check if XSLT works in this environment.

read on about: My first steps in AJAX

Free comments for everyone

(há uma versão portuguesa desta entrada.)

I've noticed there are some people that come on the website, read the posts, but don't comment.

So i was left wondering whether the fact of forcing the users to register (which only takes, 30seconds, at the most). The only way of knowing that is enabling comments from unregistered visitors. I've written a couple more lines, and now it's done.

Free commentsYou can now comment without being registered, but i still strongly suggest you to register. Why? Well, you will loose your navigation preferences every time you close your browser. If you have an account created, you can choose to auto-login which will load your preferences from your profile, including the site language, language filter, number of quickcomments, number of posts per page and your timezone.

Also, your comments will receive a label, saying unregistered user, which is very uncool. ;) Cool people register. hehe

I will leave this up for a while, and if the number of comments rise, i'll leave it. If not, i'll remove it, because I prefer the other way. It's better for identification purposes as well as safety – namely comment spam.

On the other hand, the low number of comments might have something to do with the lack of interesting posts... hmmmm... that could be it...

If you detect any bugs, i would appreciate if you reported them on the feedback page.

Postcrossing.com

Postcrossing.com
Postcrossing.com


This is a fairly recent website / project based on a very interesting idea which was born out of a love for receiving Postcards. This was how Paulo Magalhães came up with the idea, he just liked to receive postcards.

Basically, it's a website for Postcard Crossing. People register on the site and then receive addresses to which they can send actual paper Postcards – don't want you to think it's just another e-card website – via snail mail.

Even though they've only started a bit over a month ago, they already have 1598 users from 53 countries, 993 postcards have been received and 2817 are on their way!! Seems like great statistics, if you ask me.

There is one aspect that – kind of – concerns me and it's that some people will have access to my address, but since it's based on a random system, the odds of getting a stalker are quite slim. And not every stalkers are bad, mind you. ;)

It's pretty easy. You register on the website and you can request an address right away, which will be e-mailed to you. You then mail the postcard and when the person receives it, they go on the website and register that postcard. That way they'll keep track of how many postcards are sent, are received and how many are still traveling.

Some people have said it works, but i need to see for myself. :)

Take it for a spin, if you'd like. Let me know if you get any postcards. ;)

RSS Feeds don't have to be ugly

Why is it that 95% of the feeds i come across are unstyled? Is there a logical reason for this? Unstyled feeds are ugly and unappealing, but on top of that are repelling to the common user, who will dismiss the page thinking an error just occured.

If a user clicked on the feed, it's because there is an interest in that particular feed. Now, what do you prefer? That he/she will go away frustrated due to their ignorance, or guide them as well as you can to how they can use the feed? I'm pretty sure you prefer the later.


Comparison between Unstyled Feed and Styled Feed

read on about: RSS Feeds don't have to be ugly

A Love Song for Bobby Long

Movie Cover - detailI had some expectations about this movie, since i saw it on Leno a couple weeks ago and the clip left me mouth-watering. It didn't seem to have that much of a story at first, but the performances of the actors were pretty outstanding in the clip – as well as in the trailer – so i was left a bit curious about the whole deal.

It could turn out to be an utter and complete flop...

read on about: A Love Song for Bobby Long

Microformats used around here

Building the website I had the concern of figuring out which – if any – microformats would apply, and with the fantastic help of microformats.org I came up with only a few. Obviously, since i have tags i would need to have rel-tag implemented. Also, I was going to have links to other blogs, so XFN seemed like a must.

But before i went ahead and implemented these, I had a question.

read on about: Microformats used around here

The thank you speech

I'd like to thank the Academy, my family... errr... ops! Wrong speech... i'll save this for another occasion. ;) *gently folds paper back into the pocket*

I do want to thank a couple of people who helped me out putting this project together. From the smallest tip based on user experience to the more educated suggestion about something in the code, everything was very important to make some critical decisions.

My brother, Bruno (morph), was always very helpful giving me feedback from the user POV, and I do apologize for being so demanding, but i needed that and you were always at hand. :) Ines (Isilwen) also helped me a lot with the language aspects, and so did Rita. What point is there in designing a website if you're going to fill it with errors after that? None. So thank you both.

João Craveiro was another one who helped me in lots of technical aspects which certainly helped me out throughout the project. Oh, my good friend Marco was actually the very first person to have access to the testing versions and he gave me very important feedback - as did my dad - which allowed me to correct many errors, bugs, misbehaviors, etc. Henrique and Billy were also important tippers. ;)

I have to mention the folks over at the livejournal communities php, webdesign and webdev. They were all very helpful every time I posted a question, so thank you guys.

As you can see, I bugged a lot of people in the process, but since i can't afford to have anonymous users testing the site, i had to resort to friends, family and colleagues.

Last but not least, i have to thank my girlfriend for all the input she gave throughout these last months and for the patience of putting up with me all this time. :)

And just like any thank you speech, i'm sure i forgot some of you, but i'm sure you know I valued your help as well.

Thank you all.

Hello World!

First of all, I'd like to welcome all of you to my brand new personal website.

In this first post, i'm going to explain what it's all about and also why did I make the choice of building a blog from scratch instead of using one of the many well known CMSes out there.

read on about: Hello World!

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