Yet More Tidbits: OBJECT tag, Google link searches, LEMURs, Homestar Runner

Wednesday, 2003-09-17; 08:27:00

Tidbits that include more about my proposed INCLUDE tag, Google searching for pages that link to a specific page, bots that play music, and a hilarious Flash site.

Look! My proposed INCLUDE tag actually exists in the HTML spec, but it's instead named the OBJECT tag. It does everything I ever wanted -- it simply embeds a specified image, web page, or applet right into the page itself. Here's an example:

Pretty neat, eh? Obviously, that's my webpage embedded in the page. :) You can also use something called an inline frame (IFRAME tag), which is very similar to a frame with one notable exception: you don't need to use a FRAMESET tag, and they are fully customizable via CSS. That means that you can position them and do all the cool stuff with CSS that you can with other elements, but you can't (as far as I know) do that with regular frames. That's a big plus.

The downside? Safari has issues with the OBJECT tag. When you use more than one OBJECT tag on the same page, it likes to put the exact same page inside both OBJECT tags, instead of using the specified pages. Arg. Safari does better with IFRAMEs, but it takes a while to get a page that works well in all three Macintosh webpage rendering engines: Gecko (Mozilla, Netscape, Chimera, Firebird), KHTML (Safari, OmniWeb), and Internet Explorer. I was trying to put together a mockup of the website I made for the SMBXAS group up at SSRL this summer, and I finally tweaked it well enough so that it worked perfectly in Gecko and KHTML, and fairly well in IE.

But then I put it into WinIE, and it didn't work at all. *ROAR*

So, obviously, the OBJECT tag is a relatively new development, and it's not to the point where it's ubiquitous enough to actually use and expect it to work across all of the latest versions of the web browsers out there. Wah. :(


Hey, look, Google includes a really cool feature where you can search what pages are linking to yours. It's pretty sweet. Simply go to Google, and type in "", and initiate the search. Then you'll get a list of all the websites on the web that link to my company's webpage (for some reason it doesn't work if you add in the trailing slash).

Well, that's interesting. But how about my blog? :) Search for "" (the trailing slash matters needs to be present this time). Basically it just lists pages on my blog other than the index page, pages on Dave Hyatt's weblog's comment system (since sometimes I comment there and leave my blog's URL), and articles from John Gruber's Daring Fireball blog (since I've linked to his articles, and he has a script make a list of recent referrers at the bottom page).

Big whoop. So I got innovative, and thought -- perhaps people are linking to my products' VersionTracker and MacUpdate product pages. :) BINGO! I found a few obscure blogs that mentioned Safari Bookmark Exporter. :) One blogger even was astute to notice that I was "running" for governor, and posted an update on his blog page! And I thought all trace of that on the web was gone. Aw, shucks!

All this just goes to show that Google rocks! ;)


Bryce mentioned in his blog about LEMURs. They're these cool little robots that play music or make noise. :) GuitarBot really is pretty cool (as Bryce mentions), but the little slide doesn't move fast enough (as Bryce also mentions), and it's timing is sometimes a bit off. GuitarBot as a whole also sounds a bit sharp, but that's probably just me. Definitely check out the videos (and let me know if you can get the Emergency Bot composition to completely load -- the movie seems to stop loading halfway through).


Last but not least, if you haven't checked out before, you definitely should. It's a hilarious little site -- it's completely made up of Flash content, and is probably the only other legitimate reason for using Flash outside of Orisinal. ;) The humor takes a while to get used to, and is definitely juvenile a lot of the time, but I find it really funny. YMMV.

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