Sunday, January 29, 2012

Minty Blue Minimalism #13 (2012/01/29)

Maybe we should call it "Minty Blue Minimalism #12b" for all you Triskaidekaphobia sufferers?

I just spotted a small but significant bug in my MBM Stylish. Gasp!

But, unlike some people I might mention, if I make a mistake with MY code, I'll put my hand up and admit to it!

It came to my attention that, by hiding the "li.checkerLightBG" element from the bottom of all MS pages (one more ugly grey box that just HAD to go!), I'd accidentally removed the UPLOAD button from both the "My Videos" and "My Photos" pages! Whoops-a-daisy!

I only spotted it myself last night when - you guessed it! - I tried to upload a video and found that I had to turn off the Stylish before I could see the blue button.

Now we could ponder at depth over why MySpace, in their infinite wisdom, chose to give two completely disparate features the same name... but, to be honest, I'd rather go and make a cup of coffee and then watch another episode of "Twin Peaks".

There is a SIMPLE FIX... Delete the line "li.checkerLightBG {display:none!important;}" from the GENERAL section of the MBM script (it's there under the bit labelled ###FOOTER REMOVAL etc###). Back will come the buttons.

If you still want to hide the grey box at the foot of your homepage (and I just KNOW you do!), then you can re-insert that "li.checkerLightBG {display:none!important;}" line in the HOMEPAGE section of the script only, so that it doesn't affect any of the other pages. I put mine in with the bit that hides the F***book pop-ups.

Both published MBM scripts on USERSTYLES.ORG have now been updated with this fix

STOP PRESS...

I don't know why I didn't spot this one before! If, like me, you crave TOTAL ANNIHILATION of the MySpace page footer, then replace "div.pageFooter" with "#pageFooter" in the aforementioned "###FOOTER REMOVAL etc###" part of the script - I think perhaps that "div.pageFooter" was a mistake or a throwback to an earlier version of the script.

I don't recall ever clicking on ANY of the items on those footer lists (except maybe out of curiosity when they first appeared). THEY ARE FOR SOMEONE ELSE. Populated as it is with names that mean precisely nothing to me, I certainly would never regret that footer not being there. Removing it altogether tidies up the page even further. So there.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Minty Blue Minimalism #12 (2012/01/16)

First published... HERE!
The MySpace homepage just got a little bit BLUER!

- I'm happy to report that the latest FIREFOX updates (Version 9.0 already?!) have not presented any compatibility problems with my existing plug-ins, especially STYLISH. Firefox 9 also has some spiffy new features which I'll leave you to discover for yourselves.

- I'm ALSO happy to report that I haven't yet been forced by MySpace into a situation where I have to "upgrade" to using the new 'MBM 3.0' version of the STYLISH script. I'm staying with the 'classic' homepage layout as long as we are given a choice! Therefore I'm still on the 'old' version 2 of the MBM script, as are a number of my English compatriots. Today's little tweaks would (probably) also apply to the new version however, so this is for all of you. As ever, feedback welcome!

A NEW YEAR, A NEW BACKGROUND... As you can see, the Minty Blue Minimalism has now become a shade EVEN BLUER.

I've finally succeeded in turning that dull black menu bar into a nice shade of navy blue (just like it USED to be - remember that, eh kids?). The other new feature I've introduced is to add an OPACITY value to the main body of the page, so that the nice watery texture shows through slightly in a "reflections in a swimming pool" sort of way.

Here's the URL for the 'swimming pool' background:-
http://1-background.com/images/water-1/water-blue-water-tile.jpg

...and here's the new bits of code to paste in - somewhere near the top of the @-moz-document url-prefix('http://www.myspace.com/home') section:-

div.wrap {opacity:.85!important;}
#globalHeader {background:rgba(30,30,120,50)!important; box-shadow:0 0 12px rgba(0,0,34,1)!important;}

FIRST OF ALL THAT MENU BAR... For some strange quirk of a reason, I had previously been unable to colour in the "Global Header" using my customary hexadecimal RGB values (you know - all that {background-color:#000080!important;} stuff!). I've stumbled over the fact that you CAN re-colour it if you use the four-channel, 256-increment RGBA color space code instead. RGBA stands for RED/GREEN/BLUE/ALPHA, where the 'Alpha' channel is usually a value for colour depth or transparency/opacity. I have no idea why this would work on MySpace when the 'old' method didn't, but there you are. That's MySpace for you...

#globalHeader {background:rgba(30,30,120,50)!important; box-shadow:0 0 12px rgba(0,0,34,1)!important;}

So, rather than the R, G and B having values from 00 to FF (1 to 16 (x 16) = Hexadecimal - geddit?), each colour now has a number from 0 to 255 (because there are 256 possible values for each). They are separated by a comma.

You will also notice there that I've added a line to let you control the depth of the box shadow, so you get a nice bit of shade under (and a third dimension to) the menu bar. It was always there on the MySpace CSS, but I've made it a bit darker than it was with that little 'override'.

div.wrap {opacity:.85!important;}

The Opacity... Usually, when we include a value for object opacity on a conventional Cascading Style Sheet, it is necessary to do three or four different versions of the code to suit all them different browsers. You have a general one which works for most things, a specific one for Internet Explorer, a Mozilla one for older Firefoxes, a 'Webkit' one for mobiles and so on. Well, we don't have to do that with STYLISH, because it only needs to work with Mozilla-compatibles anyway. Just one will do. The div.wrap (actually, 'div.layout' does just as well) refers to everything on the page in front of the background tiling, so what we are doing is making the whole thing slightly see-through so that the texture shows. This affects the entire contents of the page, so don't make it TOO light or you won't be able to see anything! I found that about 85% opacity suited me. As I mentioned earlier, I wanted a subtle effect, like the page was reflecting the ripples of a swimming pool (hmmm, nice!).

The lower the number, the more see-through it is. How well this works for YOU will depend on YOUR background! Have fun experimenting!

Here's a useful HEXADECIMAL COLO(U)R CONVERTER, so that you can match your existing colour scheme using "the new language":-
http://www.yellowpipe.com/yis/tools/hex-to-rgb/color-converter.php

EXTRA EXTRA! I've tested these modifications on the "MBM 3.0" as well now, so they should be fine for all versions of the MySpace homepage. I will shortly be adding these new tweaks to the published script at USERSTYLES.ORG, so that you can install/update the script of your choice to match.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Minty Blue Minimalism #11 (2011/12/20)

First published on MySpace blog - 20/12/11
In which our hero presents the MySpace-using public with a delightful festive gift...

###### ANNOUNCING MBM 3.0 ######

It had to be done... If you have recently had a new version of the homepage thrust upon you, you will have realised by now that the famous* MINTY BLUE MINIMALISM Stylish script will no longer do! If your homepage now looks like this...



...or this...



...then applying the MINTY BLUE script as-is will produce the following undesirable mess...



It's all over the place! Clearly, there was need for some tweaking. The old script did not address such issues as that superfluous extra comments board that we have here, or the pointless list of other people's choice of music that you have there, or the fact that a powerful lens was now necessary to read some of the text. So...

Ta-da!!! MBM 3.0!



If you should find this in any way appealing and would prefer this to the homepage that you have now, then proceed immediately to USERSTYLES.ORG and install the new version of the script in your STYLISHly-enhanced FIREFOX or CHROME!!

Feel free to adapt/adopt the script and to change the colour scheme to suit your own tastes and requirements. Post screen shots of your efforts if they are particularly delightful.

Thanks to KITTY for allowing me to examine the new US version of the homepage first hand and to LORI, PETER, DRUDE and SEB for continuing feedback.

* Version 1 of the script had 84 installs, version 2 received 46 and counting. Thanks!

Additional: A number of people are telling me that "it doesn't work". Well, it clearly does work because I've presented photographic evidence to prove it! But if you follow these step-by-step instructions, you can't go wrong. Really. Trust me.

______________________________
A FULL SET OF INSTRUCTIONS
______________________________

for FIREFOX


1) Update FIREFOX to version 8 (Go to HELP menu > ABOUT FIREFOX > CHECK FOR UPDATES)

2) Install the STYLISH plug-in by going to https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/stylish/. It is a good idea to put the Stylish shortcut on your Firefox's TOOL BAR so that you can switch it on and off from there.

3) Install the MBM 3.0 script by going to http://userstyles.org/styles/58200/myspace-homepage-2011-mbm-3-0 and clicking on INSTALL WITH STYLISH.

4) Enable the script by going to the ADD-ON MANAGER of Firefox (TOOLS menu > ADD-ONS > USER STYLES). Click on ENABLE for the MBM 3.0 script. Remember to DISABLE any others which affect MySpace.

5) Open up your MySpace homepage and refresh.

for CHROME

1) Update your CHROME to the latest version.

2) Install the STYLISH plug-in by going to https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/fjnbnpbmkenffdnngjfgmeleoegfcffe . You may also add a Stylish shortcut to the toolbar.

3) Install the MBM 3.0 script by going to http://userstyles.org/styles/58200/myspace-homepage-2011-mbm-3-0 and clicking on INSTALL WITH STYLISH. With Chrome, you also have the option of installing it as a stand-alone script, but I haven't tested this option as yet!

4) Enable the script by going to the 'wrench' icon in the top left corner and selecting TOOLS then EXTENSIONS from the dropdown menus. You will see STYLISH on the list of extensions. Click on OPTIONS to see your scripts. Click on the ENABLE button for the MBM 3.0 script and DISABLE any others that apply to MySpace.

5) Open up your MySpace homepage and refresh.


"COMMENTS FROM LAST TIME"

Mlle Kitty La Morte... I like the MBM but until I upgrade to 3.0 (hahaha), it probably will still give me problems with MS's idiotic layout (ie. not being able to post comments on the stream, or update my status due to the button not working where it is).  I know you explained it to me but it still is what it is with MS.  Or it could just be me, hahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!  Duh.
PP...  No, don't panic... I don't think the problem with comments and statuses is yours alone. There are times of the day when the "buttons don't work" for me either.
Mlle Kitty La Morte... Minty, it works, it's beautiful!!!  The MBM, I mean...no more BS on my homepage & I LOVE the color, the way the comments pop out, it's just Purrfect!!!  Thank you!!!! xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxooxxoxo
PP... Another satisfied customer! xoxoxox

Minty Blue Minimalism #10 (2011/12/14)

First published on MySpace blog - 14/12/11
In which our hero admits to an awful lot of guesswork regarding the new American version(s) of the MySpace homepage, but decides it's worth having a crack at it anyway, what the hey...

This really belongs in a STATUS UPDATE. I have indeed posted a message to this general effect thereupon, but we all know what THOSE are like nowadays (now you see it, now you don't...), no longer a functioning line of communication.

I DO NOT KNOW IF THIS WILL WORK.

I've made a couple of wee updates to the published version of the MINTY BLUE MINIMALISM Stylish script, to reflect the issues some of you have been having with the FONT SIZE on this week's version of the MySpace homepage. Now this is all just guesswork, as I've NOT encountered those changes for myself, but it seems they may have either (a) changed the font itself, and/or (b) changed the names of some of the page modules, so that my existing script does not address this anymore (You'll have noticed if you've been paying attention, that there was already a line or two in there to specify the font size on the "commentContainer" as a more legible 12px, after they shrunk it the last time).

So... what I have done now is to specify not only the SIZE of the font, but also the 'font-family' itself, so that if, for example, they've changed it to something daft like 8pt Verdana all of a sudden, then this SHOULD (heavy emphasis) change everything in the stream to a sensible 12pt Arial again.

NB - This also give you scope to change the font to anything YOU like (GOOD TASTE allowing) by substituting your own font name within the brackets. Remember that ONLY YOU see the styling in YOUR browser on YOUR computer, so it's probably not subject to the restrictions of having to use 'system' fonts only. But don't make me have to look at it, I get very upset in the presence of bad typography. ;-)

Now it may be the case (again, I'm guessing, can't see for myself... etc. etc.), that the changes to your new homepage no longer make MINTY BLUE MINIMALISM a viable option. Certainly, when I 'tried out' the new UK/ARTISTS homepage, it didn't work properly anymore. I created the MINTY GREEN COMPROMISE script to deal with that one, during that horrible month when I was forced to use it.

You CAN install BOTH scripts, so that you can see for yourself which one works for you and, if you are feeling brave, tweak them accordingly to fit.

1) Update your MINTY BLUE MINIMALISM by clicking on the update link on the UserStyles page.

2) In your 'Fox's TOOLS menu, click on ADD-ONS, then USER STYLES (where you see the Stylish logo).

3) Click on WRITE NEW STYLE.

4) Copy the script from this blog - into the edit window.

5) Give it a name like "LATEST HOMEPAGE MESS" and SAVE.

6) Refresh your homepage.

7) Via your ADD-ONS MANAGER, you can enable one script, then the other to see which one suits. Remember to DISABLE the one you're NOT using.

8) Have fun!

http://userstyles.org/styles/54952/myspace-homepage-minty-blue-minimalism?r=1318589636

Comments & stuff
- Once again, I would welcome feedback as to whether this has proved useful or not (It might be efficacious to do this in a message rather than as a comment).

- PETER KELLY tells me that this DIDN'T work for him (ah well...). But he has reminded me that there is another temporary solution to the miniscule fonts problem. Go to your 'Foxie's 'VIEW' menu, scroll down to 'ZOOM', then tick the item that says 'ZOOM TEXT ONLY'. When you hold down the 'CONTROL' [Ctrl] and the 'PLUS' [+] keys together, it will make ALL the text as big as you like (hence 'ZOOM'). When you've finished in MySpace, hit the 'RESET' in the 'VIEW>ZOOM' menu [or CTRL+0] to change it back to normal.

- Using the CTRL+ +/- keys will also work with Chrome, but I don't see an option there just to 'zoom' the text. You enlarge everything on the screen. Comments welcome from Chromeheads to this effect.


"COMMENTS FROM LAST TIME"
Mlle Kitty La Morte... HELP!!!!!!!! 
PP... The consensus so far is that the famous "MINTY BLUE MINIMALISM" stylish script no longer works with all these 'new' versions of the homepage that they've given you. As I'm still seeing the world the MBM way here, it might be time for someone else who DOES have the new pages (on the other side of the pond and beyond) to take up the baton. Skimming through the entries on Userstyles.org, I see that no one else has "HAD A GO" at the MySpace homepage since early 2010...???

Taking Back Your Homepage

First published on MySpace blog - 05/12/11

A brief recap about what brought me to this situation. As you must have realised by now, I'm an inquisitive little fellow. Having created a STYLISH script to overcome all the shortcomings of the standard MySpace homepage (This one, of course), I was keen to see what could be done to STYLISHize the new version as well. Whenever I had a spare five minutes, I would click on that "Try It Out" button on that ugly yellow bar (having turned off STYLISH first, so that it was revealed unto me) and see what could be done to make it a bit more ergonomic, secretly wishing I would never have to use it. Imagine my chagrin when, one day after doing this, I found the "Change It Back" button no longer CHANGED IT BACK! I was doomed to spend eternity in the NEW MySpace homepage... (Serves me right, some might say!)

Luckily my new script made things a little bit more palatable, but I still don't like it. Then, one day, I find myself searching through the HTML source in search of a solution to something else that was niggling me... and it struck me... what if I click that 'href' there?

Well, long story short... I've got my "MINTY BLUE MINIMALISM" back, while "MINTY GREEN COMPROMISE" has been resigned to the substitute bench.

Here, in graphic form so that you can see the HTML bits, is how I did it. Remember, this is mainly for those stuck with the UK "Artists" homepage. I have no way of knowing if this will work with other versions of the homepage, or even if the HTML looks in anyway similar on your version. Please do let me know!


Now remember... Never be tempted to click on that "TRY IT OUT" button again. You'll have learned your lesson...

Minty Green Compromise

First published on MySpace blog - 14/11/11

Well, they finally did it, the crazy fools. Cue scream of anguish like the moment when Charlie Heston found the Statue of Liberty sticking out of the beach. They've f***ed up the MySpace homepage yet again and there's no turning back.



This is what greets me when I first log in. Yummy! At least the Ad-BlockPlus is still doing an admirable job!

In a rather underhand and sleazy manner, the method that MySpace has chosen to "persuade" we UK artists to "upgrade" to the new homepage is... to DISABLE THE "CHANGE IT BACK" BUTTON.

I have tried the "new" page several times previously and had decided against it. No notifications module; only two comments on each stream posting; the page defaults to the useless "stats" display instead of the stream; you have to go through two or three clickings just to see your own stream; the fact that the page is even more jam-packed with useless "Other Peoples Stuff"; ...and who the hell needs a profile comments box on their homepage? I could go on (and probably will!)



Several clicks of the mouse and you eventually get to where you want to be. Notice the taunting "Change it back" button.

So any attempt to "FIX" the mess with our old friend STYLISH is, at the moment, a compromise at best. My code is a little cobbled together at the last minute (from previous projects and versions) and somewhat inelegant. But it kinda works... I would imagine it could be modified to work with the "new" civilians page that they've given to our US friends, as the layouts are similar.



Away with the comments... away with all that guff in your face. If you really want to see list of your own stuff then click on a menu, for gawd's sake!

Here's the code as she is writ...

As usual, we start with the W3 compliance bit and the bit that says what pages your script applies to. This first section applies "general" settings across the whole MySpace domain - all the stuff to remove advertising space, the extra rubbish that they put on your blogs and the ugly black footer. It's pretty much unchanged from the published "Minty Blue Minimalism" script:-

@namespace url(http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml);
@-moz-document domain(www.myspace.com)
{

ul.streamViews {display: none !important;}
ul.footertools {display: none !important;}
.commentContainer {font-size:12px!important; color:#000000!important;}
article.RecommendationsModule {display: none !important;}
article.bestOfTheFixModule {display: none !important;}
article.bulletinsModule {display: none !important;}
article.manageMyStuffModule {display: none !important;}
article.myVisitorsModule {display: none !important;}
article.bandArtistDashboardModule {display: none !important;}
article.upcomingShowsModule {display: none !important;}
article.friendSpaceModule {display: none !important;}

div.labeled_ad, ad_container.medrec2, ad_container.adspecial1 {display: none !important;}
div#tkn_leaderboard, article.googleAdSenseModule {display: none !important;}
div.module.module3.columnModule1.even.RecommendationsModule.draggable {display: none !important;}
div.marketing {display: none !important;}

div.linksColumn {display: none !important;}
article#module-2.module.module2.columnModule0.odd.InfoGraphicModule {display: none !important;}
div.infographic {display: none !important;}
div.splashMedia {display: none !important;}
div.footershim {display: none !important;}
div.musicColumn {display: none !important;}
div.splashSignUp {display: none !important;}
article#module-3.module.module3.columnModule0.odd.SignUpV2Module.draggable {display: none !important;}
div.curatorsColumn {display: none !important;}
div.topicsColumn {display: none !important;}
section#col2_0.column.column0.columnPath2_0.columnDepth1.firstColumn.lastColumn.allowDrop {display: none !important;}
div.layout.group {background: transparent!important;}

li.checkerLightBG {display: none !important;}
div.alertsRequests {display: none !important;}
div.pageFooter {display: none !important;}
div.moduleFooter {display: none !important;}
div.gracefulinjection {display: none !important;}
nav.gearLinks {float:left!important;}
div.shareButtonControl {display: none !important;}

div.module.module4.columnModule1.even.RecommendationsModule.draggable {display: none !important;}
div.userActions {float:right!important;}
.msProfileTextLink {font-weight:bold!important;}
}


The second section applies changes just to the homepage:-

@-moz-document url-prefix('http://www.myspace.com/home')
{


First of all, a nice background tile or picture:

.userHome {background: url("http://a2.ec-images.myspacecdn.com/images02/104/657cde92f2d848ab8acbc3b423871218/m.gif")!important;}


We start to chuck away some of the stuff that doesn't really work anymore:

.streamTabs {display:none!important;}
div.sysMessage {display:none!important;}
div.thread {display:none!important;}
.column.column2.columnPath1_2.columnDepth1.lastColumn.allowDrop {display:none!important;}


Then we can start to size and colour in the more useful stuff:

h3.moduleHead {color:#008080!important; font-size:20px!important;}
div.layout, div.wrap, content.moduleBody {background-color:#ffffff!important; border:none!important; box-shadow:none!important;}


Hides all those useless list of your own stuff on the "stats" screen:

div.playitem {display:none!important;}
div.ms-accordion-container {background-color:#ddeeee!important; border-radius:0px!important;}

.column.column1.columnPath1_1.columnDepth1.allowDrop {width:700px!important; background-color:#ffffff!important; border:none!important; box-shadow:none!important;}

span.msProfileLink {background-color:#f8f8f8!important; border-radius:0px!important; padding-top:20px!important; padding-bottom:10px!important; box-shadow:none!important;}
div.wrapper {padding:6px!important;}


This hides that yellow thing for swapping between versions of the homepage. We all know THAT doesn't work!

#promoView {display:none!important;}


You've been on MySpace for how long? Then why do you need a stupid "To Do" list?

div.todohead, ul.todolist {display:none!important;}


Colouring in some boxes and adding a spiffy 3D shadow effect to the stream...

div.minimized, div.expanded, textarea.status, div.inputs {background-color:#ffffff!important; border-radius:0px!important;}
.activityStreamModule {background-color:#ddeeee!important; padding:20px!important; border-radius:0px!important; box-shadow:0 0 6px rgba(0,0,34,0.5)!important;}
div.group {background-color:#ddeeee!important;}
.commentContainer {width:620px!important; padding:10px!important; background-color:#bbcccc!important; border-radius:0px!important; box-shadow:0 0 6px rgba(0,0,34,0.5)!important;}
div.comment.expanded {background-color:#bbcccc!important;}
div.streamCategories {font-size:10px!important; color:#ffffff!important; background-color:#008080!important; border-radius:0px!important; position:relative!important; left:610px!important;}


No more F***book nags and adverts (this is a throwback from an earlier script. It might not apply anymore, but if there's a chance that it's still keeping F***book off my homepage, I'm holding on to it just in case!):

div.glue-dialog.FBMP.large {display:none!important;}
div.glue-overlay {display:none!important;}
article.module.module6.columnModule2.odd.AdContainerModule.draggable {display:none!important;}
article#module-6.module.module1.columnModule0.odd.adFbPromoModule.draggable {display:none!important;}
li.recent {display: none !important;}


Finally a little something to colour the hyperlinks to match your scheme of things:

a,a:link,a:visited {text-decoration:none!important; color:#008080!important;}
a:hover,a:active {color:#000000!important; outline:0!important; text-decoration:underline!important;}
}


(Don't forget the final closing bracket!)
________________________________________________



Minty Green Sparseness. I just happened to pick those colours, because they match the profile page itself. Note the familiar bootprints as page background. Note too the snazzy 3D effect on the stream comments container.


I dare say I will be honing and tidying up the code a little more in the ensuing weeks... but for now, let's see what you can make of that, kids!

"COMMENTS FROM LAST TIME"

Peter Kelly... OMG - so far so good for me - I am still the old page. 

PP... What ever you do, Peter, don't be tempted to press that button and "try" the new one!

Minty Blue Minimalism #9 (2011/10/25)

First published on MySpace blog - 25/10/11
In which our hero fixes problems only for them to be unfixed almost the instant this blog was published... hmm, I'm starting to see a pattern emerging

First of all, credit where it's due - MySpace appear to have fixed those silly miniProfileFlyouts that would annoyingly disappear before you were able to hit the buttons thereupon. The new ones are a lot more 'solid' and functional. Why, you can actually use them to 'message' your friends again! It's saved me a whole lot of mucking about, I can tell you!

There have also been some slight design changes to the horizontal stream menu and the "StreamCategories" dropdown menu. Some of the divs and modules have had a name change, so parts of my old script no longer applied (keeps me on my toes :-)). Again, a definite improvement from a functional point of view, but it has left the dropdown menu in a rather strange 'ABSOLUTE' position, which, on my browser makes it appear right on top of and obscuring a couple of the horizontal menu categories! I have fixed this by giving it a 'RELATIVE' position value, so that it is once again on the right hand side of the stream container where it surely belongs.

div.streamCategories {font-size:10px!important; color:#0077dd!important; background-color:#bbddff!important; border-radius:0px!important; position:relative!important; left:685px!important;}

If your stream container is narrower than mine (because you still have other modules down the right hand side), then you may have to experiment with changing the number in the left:685px!important; segment, until the button stays where you want it to be. My stream container is over 700px wide, so a shift of 685px was just the ticket for me. But you will no doubt have other results.

I've also done a little colour-fixing on the horizontal menu, restoring the white background behind the menu items, which in turn are now highlighted in one of my shades of blue.

.horizontalMenu {background-color:#ffffff!important; width: 780px !important;}
.horizontalMenu>.selected,.horizontalMenu>li:hover>a,.horizontalMenu>.selected>a {background:#bbddff!important; border-radius:0px!important; text-decoration:none!important;}

That's it for this week. All these tweaks have been added to the published script at USERSTYLES.COM, so that the 'slightly befuddled' may install these changes in a relatively painless way! Have fun!

"COMMENTS FROM LAST TIME"
PP... Looks like I spoke too soon. Those "miniProfileFlyouts" are once again "OBTUSELY ELUSIVE" in their functionality this evening.
CC... The new "music" profile has been implemented here in the States, Minty! It's awful! :(
PP... I'm sure between us, we can CRACK THE CODE! I will experiment with that 'new' one we have here - some of the changes might apply to yours as well... otherwise I will have to wait for the worst before I can be properly "HANDS ON".

Minty Blue Minimalism #8 (2011/10/11)

First published on MySpace blog - 11/10/11
In which our hero adds one more level of sophistimocation to the Stylish script, in the form of some customized hyperlink colours.

A recent 'inquiry' from a friend (Hi Peter!) prompted me to add this script to allow you to customize the colours of your hyperlinks...

I mean to say, you've gone to all that trouble of decorating your homepage with EXACTLY the shades of green or brown that your little heart desires, but you're still stuck with all those default blue hyperlinks, right?

Well, if you add the following to your homepage STYLISH, then you can regain control over the colour of your links:-

a,a:link,a:visited {text-decoration:none!important; color:#0077dd!important;}
a:hover,a:active {color:#000000!important; outline:0!important; text-decoration:underline!important;}

Of course, mine ARE still blue, to fit my colour scheme... but YOU may substitute any RGB colour you like, wherever you see that little tick-tack-toe board (#------).

I've included these lines in the homepage section of the script only, but you COULD apply the changes to the rest of MySpace as well, by putting it in the 'general' section somewhere. Bear in mind though, this affects EVERY hyperlink on EVERY page (see here how the links on the menu bar are affected as well?), so you might end up with some eyewateringly ugly colour combinations when you look at other people's pages! You could, however, create another additional section so that the changes ONLY apply to (for example) your own blog pages.

Just to reiterate, here's the latest version of my entire script now. It's changed beyond all recognition since I started this, so I may be publishing this on userstyles.com as a 'new' project, laying the previous "MySpace Homepage 2011" script to rest. Stay tuned, I will post the details on a comment below when it's done...

@namespace url(http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml);
@-moz-document domain(www.myspace.com)
{
.commentContainer {
font-size:12px!important; color:#000000!important;
}
div.layout.group {
background: transparent!important;
}
nav.gearLinks {
float:left!important;
}
ul.streamViews,
ul.footertools,
article.RecommendationsModule,
article.bestOfTheFixModule,
article.bulletinsModule,
article.manageMyStuffModule,
article.myVisitorsModule,
article.bandArtistDashboardModule,
article.upcomingShowsModule,
article.friendSpaceModule
div.labeled_ad,
ad_container.medrec2,
ad_container.adspecial1,
div#tkn_leaderboard,
article.googleAdSenseModule,
div.module.module3.columnModule1.even.RecommendationsModule.draggable,
div.marketing,
div.linksColumn,
article#module-2.module.module2.columnModule0.odd.InfoGraphicModule,
div.infographic,
div.splashMedia,
div.footershim,
div.musicColumn,
div.splashSignUp,
article#module-3.module.module3.columnModule0.odd.SignUpV2Module.draggable,
div.curatorsColumn,
div.topicsColumn,
section#col2_0.column.column0.columnPath2_0.columnDepth1.firstColumn.lastColumn.allowDrop,
li.checkerLightBG,
div.alertsRequests,
div.pageFooter,
div.moduleFooter,
div.gracefulinjection,
div.shareButtonControl,
div.module.module4.columnModule1.even.RecommendationsModule.draggable {
display: none !important;
}
div.userActions {
float:right!important;
}
.msProfileTextLink {
font-weight:bold!important;
}
}

@-moz-document url-prefix('http://www.myspace.com/home')
{
.userHome {
background: url("http://graphicssoft.about.com/library/free/tiles/agsst135.jpg")!important;
}
.streamTabs {
display:none!important;
}
div.sysMessage {
background-color:#bbddff!important;
}
article.NotificationsModule {
background-color:#bbddff!important;
border-radius:0px!important;
width:150px!important;
float:right!important;
}
span.indicator {
color:#bbddff!important;
background-color:#ffffff!important;
}
li.notification.Online {
background-color:#bbddff!important;
border-radius:0px!important;
border-color:#ffffff!important;
}
li.notification.Mail {
background-color:#bbddff!important;
border-radius:0px!important;
border-color:#ffffff!important;
}
li.notification.Birthdays.secondLast {
background-color:#bbddff!important;
border-radius:0px!important;
border-color:#ffffff!important;
}
li.notification.Events {
background-color:#bbddff!important;
border-radius:0px!important;
border-color:#ffffff!important;
}
span.MSIcon.userCircleIconDarkWhite,
span.MSIcon.birthdayCircleIconDarkWhite,
span.MSIcon.mailCircleIconDarkWhite,
span.MSIcon.eventCircleIconDarkWhite {
display: none !important;
}
.superShareContainer {
background-color:#ffffff!important;
width:780px!important;
}
button.submitBtn.glue.large.primary {
background-color:#bbddff!important;
border-color:#ffffff!important;
color:#444444!important;
text-shadow:none!important;
}
div.minimized {
background-color:#ddeeff!important;
border-color:#ffffff!important;
}
.profilePicContainer {
display: none !important;
}
.dropdownFriendCategories {
background-color:#bbddff!important;
border-color:#ffffff!important;
float:right!important;
}
.dropdown li:hover a {
background:#bbddff!important;
}
.container {
background: transparent!important;
}
.horizontalMenu {
background-color:#ffffff!important;
width: 780px !important;
}
.horizontalMenu>.selected,
.horizontalMenu>li:hover>a,
.horizontalMenu>.selected>a {
background:#bbddff!important;
border-radius:0px!important;
text-decoration:none!important;
}
.activityStreamModule {
background-color:#ddeeff!important;
width:780px!important;
font-size:12px!important;
color:#000000!important;
}
.commentContainer {
background-color:#bbddff!important;
font-size:12px!important;
color:#000000!important;
box-shadow:0 0 12px rgba(0,0,34,0.5)!important;
}
.msProfileLink.miniProfile {
padding-right:2px!important;
padding-left:2px!important;
background:transparent!important;
}
div.glue-dialog.FBMP.large,
div.glue-overlay,
article.module.module6.columnModule2.odd.AdContainerModule.draggable,
article#module-6.module.module1.columnModule0.odd.adFbPromoModule.draggable,
li.recent {
display: none !important;
}
a,a:link,
a:visited {
text-decoration:none!important;
color:#0077dd!important;
}
a:hover,a:active {
color:#000000!important;
outline:0!important;
text-decoration:underline!important;
}
}


"COMMENTS FROM LAST TIME"
PP... http://userstyles.org/styles/54952/myspace-homepage-minty-blue-minimalism?r=1318589636
This script is now installable via USERSTYLES, under the new name "MySpace Homepage - Minty Blue Minimalism"
Peter Kelly... Thanks Minty I am going to try to install it. I'm not very good at this. ha ha
PP... Thanks Peter, it sounds like the sample script I sent you works! It just occurred to me that you don't actually need that 'webkit' line, 'cos that's for non-Mozilla browsers! As I mention within the blog, bear in mind that, if you put those lines in the 'general' section, this will affect EVERY hyperlink on EVERY page, so beware of frightful colour combinations! If you ONLY want to see those link colours on YOUR blog page then create a new section after the last wiggly bracket  } 
@-moz-document url-prefix('http://www.myspace.com/wpeterkell/blog')
{
a,a:link,a:visited {text-decoration:none!important; color:#FF0000!important;}
a:hover,a:active {color:#800080!important; outline:0!important; text-decoration:underline!important;}
Peter Kelly... I added and it only shows on blogs (links)

Minty Blue Minimalism #7 (2011/10/05)

First published on MySpace blog - 05/10/11
In which our hero once again addresses the problems of the ongoing tinkering on the MySpace homepage.



A few choice tweaks to our old friend the STYLISH homepage, reflecting yet MORE changes on the part of the MySpace 'designers'. I've a feeling I'll posting these updates a lot more regularly now, so stay tuned. This week, the "SuperShareContainer" has been changed for the second time in a fortnight. It now defaults to its expanded appearance (you can still minimize it, but it doesn't stay that way!). I've therefore restored the full "Notifications Module" to balance it up, turned the outlines between the sections to white instead of "MySpace Dark Grey". Widths have also been adjusted to line things up again.

Here's the section for the "SuperShareContainer". The background colour is white, but I've shaded the entry box in a tint of blue to match the stream container and made the border invisible by colouring that in white as well. I've still chosen to leave off the profile pic, for reasons stated in the earlier blog, but you could choose to use your profile pic as the background tile as before (The experiment didn't work for me, so I've gone back to a blue texture fill again!)

.superShareContainer {background-color:#ffffff!important; width:780px!important;}
button.submitBtn.glue.large.primary {background-color:#bbddff!important; border-color:#ffffff!important; color:#444444!important; text-shadow:none!important;}
div.minimized {background-color:#ddeeff!important; border-color:#ffffff!important;}
.profilePicContainer {display: none !important;}

The code for the "NotificationsModule" now looks like this. The width has been optimized so that the text doesn't run to two lines (which messes up the depth of the boxes). The "DarkWhite" icons have been removed (they serve no purpose and they don't fit my colour scheme!)

article.NotificationsModule {background-color:#bbddff!important; border-radius:0px!important; width:150px !important; float:right!important;}
span.indicator {color:#bbddff!important; background-color:#ffffff!important;}
li.notification.Mail {border-color:#ffffff!important;}
li.notification.Birthdays.secondLast {border-color:#ffffff!important;}
li.notification.Events {border-color:#ffffff!important;}
span.MSIcon.userCircleIconDarkWhite, span.MSIcon.birthdayCircleIconDarkWhite, span.MSIcon.mailCircleIconDarkWhite, span.MSIcon.eventCircleIconDarkWhite {display: none !important;}

Away from the Homepage for a moment, I've also introduced some more lines to the 'general' section, fixing the position of the "Manage Blog" link on the Blogs page. It should no longer be WAY OVER THERE (and hard to find) on the right hand side of the page, but alongside the other link buttons. This positioning will also apply to similar linked text on your other profile pages ("Manage Photos" etc). And I could be wrong, but I don't think that "Share" button over there actually does anything anymore, so it might as well go!

nav.gearLinks {float:left!important;}
div.shareButtonControl {display: none !important;}

Watch this space for more to come (I shouldn't be at all surprised!). Meanwhile, just for the record, here is my complete script as it looks now. Have fun playing with it - You should know your way around it by now! :-D

@namespace url(http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml);
@-moz-document domain(www.myspace.com)
{
div.commentContainer {
font-size:12px!important;color:#000000!important;
}
div.layout.group {
background: transparent!important;
}
nav.gearLinks {
float:left!important;
}
ul.streamViews,
ul.footertools,
article.RecommendationsModule,
article.bestOfTheFixModule,
article.bulletinsModule,
article.manageMyStuffModule,
article.myVisitorsModule,
article.bandArtistDashboardModule,
article.upcomingShowsModule,
article.friendSpaceModule,
div.labeled_ad,
ad_container.medrec2,
ad_container.adspecial1,
div#tkn_leaderboard,
article.googleAdSenseModule,
div.module.module3.columnModule1.even.RecommendationsModule.draggable,
div.marketing,
div.linksColumn,
article#module-2.module.module2.columnModule0.odd.InfoGraphicModule,
div.infographic,
div.splashMedia,
div.footershim,
div.musicColumn,
div.splashSignUp,
article#module-3.module.module3.columnModule0.odd.SignUpV2Module.draggable,
div.curatorsColumn,
div.topicsColumn,
section#col2_0.column.column0.columnPath2_0.columnDepth1.firstColumn.lastColumn.allowDrop,
li.checkerLightBG,
div.alertsRequests,
div.pageFooter,
div.moduleFooter,
div.gracefulinjection,
div.shareButtonControl,
div.module.module4.columnModule1.even.RecommendationsModule.draggable {
display: none !important;
}
div.userActions {
float:right!important;
}
.msProfileTextLink {
font-weight:bold!important;
}
}

@-moz-document url-prefix('http://www.myspace.com/home')
{
.userHome {
background: url('http://graphicssoft.about.com/library/free/tiles/agsst135.jpg')!important;
}
.streamTabs {
display:none!important;
}
div.sysMessage {
background-color:#bbddff!important;
}
article.NotificationsModule {
background-color:#bbddff!important;
border-radius:0px!important;
width:150px !important;
float:right!important;
}
span.indicator {
color:#bbddff!important;
background-color:#ffffff!important;
}
li.notification.Mail {
border-color:#ffffff!important;
}
li.notification.Birthdays.secondLast {
border-color:#ffffff!important;
}
li.notification.Events {
border-color:#ffffff!important;
}
span.MSIcon.userCircleIconDarkWhite,
span.MSIcon.birthdayCircleIconDarkWhite,
span.MSIcon.mailCircleIconDarkWhite,
span.MSIcon.eventCircleIconDarkWhite {
display: none !important;
}
.superShareContainer {
background-color:#ffffff!important;
width:780px!important;
}
button.submitBtn.glue.large.primary {
background-color:#bbddff!important;
border-color:#ffffff!important;
color:#444444!important;
text-shadow:none!important;
}
div.minimized {
background-color:#ddeeff!important;
border-color:#ffffff!important;
}
.profilePicContainer {
display: none !important;
}
.dropdownFriendCategories {
background-color:#bbddff!important;
border-color:#ffffff!important;
float:right!important;
}
li.recent {
display: none !important;
}
.container {
background: transparent!important;
}
.horizontalMenu {
background-color:#ffffff!important;
width: 940px !important;
}
.activityStreamModule {
background-color:#ddeeff!important;
width:940px!important;
font-size:12px!important;
color:#000000!important;
}
.commentContainer {
background-color:#bbddff!important;
font-size:12px!important;
color:#000000!important;
}
.homeSwitch,
.span.new {
display: none !important;
}
.msProfileLink.miniProfile {
padding-right:2px!important;
padding-left:2px!important;
background:transparent!important;
}
div.glue-dialog.FBMP.large,
div.glue-overlay,
article.module.module6.columnModule2.odd.AdContainerModule.draggable,
article#module-6.module.module1.columnModule0.odd.adFbPromoModule.draggable {
display:none!important;
}
}


"COMMENTS FROM LAST TIME"

Peter Kelly... I like it but haven't got a clue really..............ha ha

PP... (I'll let you into a secret... I'm just making all this stuff up... hahaha)

Technology Old and New

First published on MySpace blog - 25/03/10

...and here's one for all you technological fashion victims!
Please don't blame me for the naughty words (or the adverts!!!)
http://media.theonion.com

First published on MySpace blog - 05/08/10

Finally... some technology you can trust?
www.myspace.com/blamedfornothing

First published on MySpace blog - 26/10/10

You have to understand the rules in order to break them...

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Meet The New Boss (you know the rest...)

First published on MySpace blog - 03/10/11

One day we will all look back on that fondly as THE SUMMER OF SHOVE" (as in "when push comes to..."). There were a few brief, shining, magical weeks from the end of June 2011, when Sean Percival announced his final day, to the middle of September, when MySpace's new[est] owners made an announcement to say that they would soon be making an announcement.

It appeared that things were looking up. Although its "APPEAL HAD BECOME MORE SELECTIVE", the site showed signs that it was working again. Sure, there were still technical problems left behind by the old regime, but the days of NEEDLESS TAMPERING seemed to be behind us. There were, at least, no new problems being added to the old. In short, THEY LEFT IT WELL ALONE for once. That was nice. We can learn to cope with a status quo, even a damaged one.

But now... THEY'RE BAAA-AAAACK! A new development team appears to have moved in to take up where the old one left off, promising another Golden Age of MySpace Malfunction...
- laggy interactive screens that aren't interactive
- buttons that don't press
- data-entry fields that don't allow data entry
- activity streams that don't display all of your posted activities
- photo managers that display blank spaces instead of photos...
Clearly, the concept of COGNITIVE REASONING is lost on these people. The ability to acquire knowledge, reflect and then learn from one's own and other people's mistakes is, or so I'd believed, a basic human instinct. But not, it would seem, in certain Geekish Realms where, you'd think, some grasp of logic would be a job requirement.

MySpace was dying a slow death because they employed designers who couldn't design and technical staff who seemed incapable of fixing problems when they occurred. This accumulative incompetence frustrated long-term users, driving them away to other networks. MySpace made the mistake of not realising exactly who used their service and tried to turn it into something different.

Except that turned out to be an Edsel.

ORDINARY FOLKS (those without a nerdy fibre in their body, the kind that wouldn't even give this blog the time of day) want a machine that works properly 'STRAIGHT FROM THE BOX', not one that requires them to be able to fix problems themselves in order for it to work. They don't expect "DIY".

Those ordinary folks, like the happy little consumers that they are, saw something which was broken and which was missing its instruction manual, and so decided to get a new one instead.

The 'new' MySpace owners have still to make that announcement that they made the announcement about, so we still don't really know what they've got in mind for THE BIG PICTURE.

But as for the finer details, it looks like nothing much has changed after that lovely summer break...

(NB. This blog would probably be tagged 'MySpace', 'Technical & HTML' or maybe 'News'. But you'll have to take my word for it because, as you will see, the 'category' button doesn't work either!)

"COMMENTS FROM LAST TIME"

Peter Kelly... So it all seems !! I had to delete that add-on that improved my home page - everything just turned so slow !!
PP... Odd that, Peter... What browser & operating system are you using?
Peter Kelly... I tried both Firefox and Google Chrome. I will try it again to see if it is OK and the problem was something else.
PP... I've noticed it's faster at some times of the day than others. A number of people have noticed that their pictures (particularly profile thumbnails) aren't being loaded and are replaced with just "ALT" text instead.
Seb... Seems to work fine for me... 

CC... You really are a great writer, Minty! A little birdie just informed me a couple of days ago that Chrome allows you to set the "tags" for blogs. So while I still use Firefox for everything after I post the blog in Firefox, I open up Chrome later and then add the "tag". I prefer how my blog looks in Firefox, though, so I always compose it there.
PP... You're right, the blog's "category" dropdown DOES work on Chrome. Several of the other buttons that I mentioned don't, however and the Photo Manager is still being silly. There is still that annoying necessity to refresh the homepage now and again in order to make your Stylish mods "stick" - it keeps slipping into raw "MySpace-As-She-Really-Is" mode! It also works in Safari. But the other 'broken' stuff doesn't work there either... and Safari's a lot slower now, I couldn't possibly use it as my default browser for MySpace anymore. Besides, as that blog 'CATEGORY' button doesn't post anything to the page anymore, it's one more thing to add to the "POTENTIALLY USEFUL FEATURE THAT'S NO LONGER OF ANY USE" folder.
Oh, I'm not a 'great writer' at all. I'm an 'okay journalist' at best, hahaha.

It's MySpace And I'll Cry If I Want To

First published on MySpace blog - 08/04/2011

I see myself returning to a situation like we had about a year ago, where I have one default browser for general use and another one which I keep by JUST to use for MySpace

I've been beta-testing version 4 of Firefox. All in all, I've been delighted with it; pages load faster, the plugins are that much more efficient - even MySpace showed a marked improvement for a while (with the exception of the new Threads page, which still takes an age to load. That's another issue).

Now I realise that, as a browser, it's not going to suit everyone. As I never tire of pointing out, everyone's system is different and no one solution works for everybody. Some have reported that using hardware acceleration with 'Fox4 has caused their machines to crash while watching YouTube videos. But I'd personally encountered no major problems, until now...

This week, MySpace announced that it is "launching a revision to our navigation", which, upon arrival, completely screwed up my home page. Several of the modules which should have been in the right-hand narrow column, suddenly appeared in a broken state at the bottom of the page. The menu bar for the stream was broken, with white stripes where there should have been grey and vice versa. A number of the buttons didn't function properly. The whole thing looked like an example of very bad java programming gone horribly wrong.

Now when I come across anomalies like this, the first thing I do (after swearing at the screen for a few minutes) is turn off my Stylish scripts to see if the mess is one of my own making.

I will usually also curse the retarded state of my internet connection at this point. If that fails to provide enlightenment, then I look at the page on a completely different browser (or five), and see if there is any difference. And lo! using one or other of "the leading internet browsers", the homepage appeared (probably) as MySpace intended, with the various modules where they should be and the menus looking like they
HAD been designed and not thrown together by a five-year old.

The highly knowledgeable and vociferous Seb asked, "What? How could MySpace be expected to have made itself compatible with a browser that didn't exist at the time?". I repeat, the homepage was fine with the changes they made a few weeks ago. It was when they changed it again THIS week that the problems started!

So, long story short, rather than COMPLETELY change my internet browser YET again just to please MySpace, I have 'rolled back' to the latest version of Firefox 3 instead [3.6.16, to be precise] - Luckily, I'd had the forethought to install 4Beta in a separate location, so that I could switch back to 'old' Firefox should the need arise...

I submitted my feedback to those awfully nice folks at Mozilla (with their rainforests and cute red pandas and all that), informing them that, although I have personally been delighted with their nice new browser, I will have to stop using it for a while, because it makes MySpace physically sick.

Using Firefox 3, everything is fine and dandy... until, of course MySpace
move the goalposts yet again with their danged 'improvements'... I've a feeling we've been here before.

http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/MySpace_loses_over_ten_million_users_in_one_month

"COMMENTS FROM LAST TIME"

Red... I love reading your blogs. You are very witty, informative, and intelligent. I've given up on my____ and have chosen the path of the dark side... facebook. I load up my____ every now and then to play an app or listen to my playlist, but other than that, I don't do much else on my____ anymore. They keep making too many changes too often. I keep thinking they'll straighten things out, but the hope of that looks very grim. If they did get it functional they'd just mess it up again... which vaguely reminds me of our government. There are too many idiots in the house. 

Seb... FF 3.6.16 is a hunk o' junk too - have you thought seriously about Chrome? Chrome rocks and MySpace is optimized for it!
PP... @Seb - I have personally been enjoying a smooth ride with 3.6.16 - but it might be a time for a reappraisal, if there is nowhere else to go next but version 4. I have liked using Chrome before now... And Opera... And Safari... But I gather from various message boards that there have been issues with MySpace on Chrome as well (erroneous text entry; having to press buttons several times before they do anything). As I have hammered home elsewhere, different browsers all work differently on different machines. Maybe I'll switch over to Chrome for a few days and see how it goes. My main concern was with the Chrome version of Stylish. It's a bit strange and my scripts didn't always work properly. I can always switch back again...

Brand Loyalty (or Browsers vs MySpace)


First published on MySpace blog - 26/10/2010


It has occured to me (yet again) that the SpaceMonkeys' ongoing policy of ALWAYS CHANGING THINGS discourages any sort of brand loyalty. I'm talking about finding the internet browser that suits you and sticking with it. In an ideal world, that is what we would do. But nothing is 'ideal' in HTMLand.

I long ago decided that M****soft's flagship internet browser was not for me. I've not used Internet Explorer since first dipping a toe in the Windoze waters about fifteen years ago. In them days, sonny, we wuz using Windoze 95 (or even earlier models) and I think IE had got up to about version 4. It was slow and ugly. But nobody knew any better.

Then a lot of people started using Netscape Navigator, because the AOL browser was based on it. It wasn't quite so slow to work, but then we only had dial-up connections, and webpages looked ugly anyway, so who knew any better?

The trouble was that HTML written with one browser in mind worked differently on the other. It was like two different regional dialects of a common language. A 'good' web designer had to check his work on both browsers. Certain Dynamic HTML features were a no-no, if you wanted everyone to see your webpage in the same way. It sure put a damper on your creativity, I can tell you!

Not to mention all those non-Windoze computers out there, who had their own ideas. If you ever saw the version of IE that was supposed work on Apple's System 7 and OS8... well... No wonder Apple quickly came up with a browser of its own!

Things moved on and other flavours of browser came along, most of them coded around a small handful of different 'engines'. There were a number of them which acted as a more user-friendly portal into IE. Netscape kind of mutated into Opera, which used to be covered in adverts to help pay for it. The Mozilla engine yielded Firefox - Hooray!

As soon as I was able to own a computer of my very own, it had Firefox installed on it. And it's been there ever since, in various versions. But I have most of the OTHER browsers installed as well, because, for my sins, I design web pages. Although everyone is supposed to comply to a WorldWideWeb standard, laid down in an HTML 4 document THIS thick, there are still differences. So I 'check my work' on them all before I go public with my websites...

...and now there's HTML 5 and "WEB 2.0"... sigh...

The trouble with high-end developers who BETA TEST their sites in public, is that things don't always work universally, and the public are expected to make do with all the quirks while they 'sort things out'. Once upon a time, when all computers were much of a muchness, a developer would design his apps to fit the hardware. Nowadays, the consumer is expected to update his hardware, otherwise it won't run the latest software.

That is why I find myself switching my internet browser allegiance every five minutes. Just when I settle on one that I love, the Spacemonkeys will move the goalposts and I find that things don't run so smoothly anymore. It is now common for me to use one browser for MySpace and a more favoured one for 'everything else'. As I said, I've long been a Firefox man. I also used Opera, because of its unfeasibly fast downloads. But with every 'update' comes another problem with compatibility.

Not so long ago, I 'tested' MySpace on all of my browsers and I found Apple Safari to be the best all-rounder, so I happily switched. And raved about it to all.

Now I find that MySpace doesn't suit Safari anymore, so I've gone back to using Firefox for working within The Space. I have no doubt that I will have to change again before long.

MySpace has now started advertising the latest M****soft Explorer 9 on its pages (well, not on mine,'cause I've got the AdBlockers, tee hee hee). You need Windoze 7 and a 64-bit system for it to run at anything like its best.

It wasn't that long ago the Spacemonkeys were recommending Google Chrome! But that one wasn't 'fashionable' for very long. Thus proving that cyberspace is run by (and for) a bunch of fickle kids with short attention spans. As you always suspected.

"COMMENTS FROM LAST TIME"

The Glass Virgins... Rebranding means work, work means money, money means profit, profit facilitates rebranding. We are all shafted by a continual reinvention of the wheel. Nothing really improves. Rant over...
PP... "and BEAUTY is a French phonetic corruption of a short cloth neck ornament currently in resurgence..." They pay people to tinker with it; The people who get paid have to be occupied with some kind of tinkering; So that they can justify paying them; So they tinker. Continuously.

Essential Ad-Blocking

First published on MySpace blog - 09/10/2010
In which our hero points out that if you don't like all those adverts festooned over your pages, well, you've only yourself to blame...

For many weeks now, I've been enthusing at anyone who will listen about the wisdom of installing an AD-BLOCKING PLUG-IN on the internet browser of one's choice... [...especially now that the Spacemonkeys have discovered fiendish new ways of selling advertising space on 'YOUR' profile, whilst somehow making YOU feel smug about it! Yes, yes, I KNOW that it is advertising that allows them to make it all "FREE" to the user. But I don't have to like it.]

I'm particularly keen on the one called AD-BLOCK
that resides on my Safari For Windoze.[Yep, I believe there is a version for Firefox and Chrome as well.]

It works a treat! "End browsing misery today..." etc etc. No more people desperately trying to sell you things you don't want, while you go about your daily cyberlife. TAKE BACK THE INTERNET!

- Those annoying Flash production numbers, advertising the latest Hollywood blockbuster or Xbox game (both the same thing really), that take up half the MySpace homepage and slow you down while you're trying to log in? GONE!

- The irrelevant and immoveable Thing that exists in the top right-hand corner of 'your' profile page? PFFFT! GONE! replaced by an empty space. At least YOU don't have to look at it again, even if everyone else does.

- Even those distracting small-ads of dubious relevance that appear on EVERY google search page can be banished from sight if you want. ALIKAZAM!

But the other day, I noticed a small quirk that showed me that AD-BLOCK is a little too good at its job. I'm in the process on dragging some of our/my pages screaming into the 21st Century with this new Profile 3.0 lark. I created a banner ad to go on the various pages, to advertise the "TALES FROM THE WINGED EYEBALL" downloads on my Bandcamp site. Having built a nice little graphic in trusty old CorelDraw, I saved it under the name "advert.jpg". Then I noticed something peculiar. As soon as I'd uploaded the graphic to my Photobucket folder, the thumbnail disappeared from the screen. I embedded the link in an HTML box, but no graphic appeared on the page itself. Then I twigged... The AD-BLOCK plug-in was so thorough that it spotted that file called 'advert' and treated it as one!

Just to be sure, I turned off the blocking by adding MySpace and Photobucket to the 'Exceptions' list. Reload the pages and LO! the graphic and its thumbnail appear on the screen. [...along with all those other things that clutter up the Photobucket site. Yeah, yeah, I KNOW! See comments above].

So now the graphic is there on the page, because I re-saved the file under a less specifically-descriptive name. I can remove the commercials from ALL websites again. Thanks to that awfully clever Michael Gundlach, I don't have to look at any of that cak anymore. Until 'they' find a way to BLOCK the BLOCKERS, of course...

The moral of this story: if you don't want YOUR adverts to vanish from YOUR pages, then don't call them adverts in the first place!

AD-BLOCK by MICHAEL GUNDLACH (Safari/Windows version)


ADditional!
The latest FIREFOX version of AdBlock Plus can be installed here
The version for GOOGLE CHROME can be obtained here 



Profile 3.0 Flashback

First published on MySpace blog - 12/08/2010

Okay, so I've tried out the 'new' MySpace profile editor on a couple of my/our pages. And I wasn't keen... I'll qualify that... I'm a 'DIY enthusiast' where HTML is concerned. Over the years, I've spent a great deal of effort getting my profile page neat and tidy, and I've fine-tuned things until they're exactly how I want them to be. DESIGN, in other words... Using the new editor, it felt like I wasn't creating a page of my own, but using someone else's. Someone else's fonts. Someone else's choice of colours. Heck, you can even use someone else's background art if you want. What's happened to the "My" in MySpace? As anyone who has used WYSIWYG word processors, web design or other page-layout applications will know, using the ready-made templates is all fine 'n' dandy up to a point, but eventually you'll want to create something of your own. So, having tried the new doobry, I concluded thus:-
- If you are prepared to scrap your existing profile altogether and create a new one from scratch, then pleasing results can be achieved.
- If you are a MySpace 'fidget' - you know who you are! - who regularly gets fed up with his own page and likes to change and move things around and doesn't know that much about HTML anyway, then the new profile editor might be a boon.
But if you just want to adapt your existing profile to the new layouts, then forget it, it looks terrible! You'll end up having to rewrite the whole thing anyway. Stick with the old one while you can. This has been a public service announcement... please stay in the shelters...

First published on MySpace blog - 12/09/2010

Well, I still stand by what I said in a previous posting - The 'new' Beta profile layout has its flaws! But I'm beginning to come around... I also mentioned in that blog that I thought it was worth persisting with, PROVIDING YOU ARE PREPARED TO START FROM SCRATCH. Any attempts to merely import your old settings and codings into the new editor resulted in a page that was ugly at best. Scrap the lot and start again, I suggested. I was right. I haven't [yet] tried building one COMPLETELY from scratch. In this case, I've used one of the ready-made templates and adapted it to my own devious ends. I might try building one from the ground up, on one of our 'other' sites sometime.

Likes:
- The new method of placing and embedding HTML elements on the page. Much better than having all your code mixed up in the 'about' boxes.

Likes:
- The fact that you can decide NOT to fill the page with empty boxes, should you not have any gigs to advertise or videos to show. The modules can all individually be removed and moved around to where you want them. Everything can now be accessed from the menu, (more like a 'real' website) so there's no need to cram everything onto the front page.

Dislikes:
- The locked-in-place advertisement. Let's not kid ourselves, the whole reason the SpaceMonkeys are doing this is so that they can sell advertising space on 'YOUR' profile. You can't delete this 'module'. I would have liked to have had some control over where it goes though. If you have an AdBlock-type plugin installed on your browser (The one on Apple Safari is the biz), then you can make the ads go away, but there's still an empty space where they would be.

Dislikes:
- I reset my 'Top Friends' to show sixteen chums. Only the top four appeared on the page. I'm working on a way of showing a list of 'top friends' without using the 'friends' module itself, then the 'Friend Space' can either be turned off, or randomized like I had it before.

Minty's Top Tip:
- If you CAN create your own 'biog' modules by adding HTML boxes, it's better than using the MySpace-provided ones. As far as I can see, that's the only way of including hyperlinks within your text. The main details box at the top of the page (with it's dropdown 'more' panel, containing an unformatted text biography) is one of the ugliest features of the lot. Scrap it. Your main details will appear anyway when someone hovers their mouse over your profile picture. Create a new HTML box for your biographical details to go in. It's a work in progress... I'm sure other things will occur to me (it usually happens in the middle of the night!) as I go along.

"COMMENTS FROM LAST TIME"

QUIRKOUT... i could not agree more

Minty Blue Minimalism #6 (2011/09/28)

First published on MySpace blog - 28/09/11

In which our intrepid hero continues to keep on top of all the inexplicable changes being made to the MySpace homepage...


No sooner do we find a solution to what we scientists call the MySpace Ugliness Quandary... then they go and do something else silly! This week, it's the turn of the "SuperShareContainer" and the Notifications module to get needlessly changed for the worse. Take a look at the screenshot above, of my homepage as it looks without any of its customary STYLISHness. Not exactly a Salute To Symmetry, is it now? And don't you just love that ugly great black bar that still lurks at the bottom of the screen?

I'd sort of settled into a snug state of smug with my existing Stylish script. You know the one, right? You've been reading these blogs? You've installed it via USERSTYLES.ORG and then customized it to suit your own devious means? Yeah, that one!

Well, this latest batch of changes found me reappraising the page layout in a big way. The Notifications Module has once again been stripped down to a subtle "Online Friends" indicator and nothing else. The Share Container in its unused state is now a narrow little form. It only expands when you start to type into it. It also tended to run below the Profile Pic, leaving a lot of useless white space above (which STAYS white no matter what you try to do with your colour pallet). So I took the radical step of removing the Profile Pic! Whaaaaat??? Ah, but wait! Now I've used that profile pic as the background fill, so all is not lost! Admittedly some pics will make better 'tiles' than others!

(NB: the published script at USERSTYLES.ORG doesn't yet reflect these latest changes)



Remember, there really no need to have all that other stuff IN YER FACE and on the page. That's what menus are for. It's all still accessible, but tidied away in neat cupboards until you need it. The code for all this now reads as so:-


@namespace url(http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml);
@-moz-document domain(www.myspace.com)
{
div.commentContainer {
font-size:12px!important;
color:#000000!important;
}
div.layout.group {
background: transparent!important;
}
ul.streamViews,
ul.footertools,
article.RecommendationsModule,
div.labeled_ad,
ad_container.medrec2,
ad_container.adspecial1,
div#tkn_leaderboard,
article.googleAdSenseModule,
div.module.module3.columnModule1.even.RecommendationsModule.draggable,
div.linksColumn,
article#module-2.module.module2.columnModule0.odd.InfoGraphicModule,
div.infographic,
div.splashMedia,
div.footershim,
div.musicColumn,
div.splashSignUp,
article#module-3.module.module3.columnModule0.odd.SignUpV2Module.draggable,
div.curatorsColumn,
div.topicsColumn,
section#col2_0.column.column0.columnPath2_0.columnDepth1.firstColumn.lastColumn.allowDrop,
li.checkerLightBG,
div.alertsRequests,
div.moduleFooter,
div.gracefulinjection,
div.module.module4.columnModule1.even.RecommendationsModule.draggable {
display:none!important;
}
div.userActions {
float:right!important;
}
.msProfileTextLink {
font-weight:bold!important;
}
}

@-moz-document url-prefix('http://www.myspace.com/home')
{
.userHome {
background: url("____INSERT YOUR IMAGE URL HERE____")!important;
}
article.bestOfTheFixModule,
article.bulletinsModule,
article.manageMyStuffModule,
article.myVisitorsModule,
article.bandArtistDashboardModule,
article.upcomingShowsModule,
article.friendSpaceModule,
.streamTabs {
display:none!important;
}
div.sysMessage {
background-color:#bbddff!important;
}
article.NotificationsModule {
background-color:#ddeeff!important;
border-radius:0px!important;
width: 120px !important;
float:right!important;
}
span.indicator {
color:#bbddff!important;
background-color:#ffffff!important;
}
li.notification.Mail,
li.notification.Birthdays.secondLast,
li.notification.Events,
span.MSIcon.userCircleIconDarkWhite,
span.MSIcon.birthdayCircleIconDarkWhite,
span.MSIcon.mailCircleIconDarkWhite,
span.MSIcon.eventCircleIconDarkWhite {
display: none !important;
}
.superShareContainer {
background-color:#ffffff!important;
width:818px!important;
}
.submitBtn.glue.large.primary {
background-color:#bbddff!important;
border-color:#ffffff!important;
color:#444444!important;
text-shadow:none!important;
}
.profilePicContainer {
display: none !important;
}
.dropdownFriendCategories {
background-color:#bbddff!important;
float:right!important;
}
.container {
background: transparent!important;
}
.horizontalMenu {
background-color:#ffffff!important;
width: 815px !important;
}
.activityStreamModule {
background-color:#ddeeff!important;
width:815px!important;
font-size:12px!important;
color:#000000!important;
}
.commentContainer {
background-color:#bbddff!important;
font-size:12px!important;
color:#000000!important;
}
.msProfileLink.miniProfile {
padding-right:2px!important;
padding-left:2px!important;
background:transparent!important;
}
.homeSwitch,
.span.new,
li.recent,
div.glue-dialog.FBMP.large,
div.glue-overlay,
article.module.module6.columnModule2.odd.AdContainerModule.draggable,
article#module-6.module.module1.columnModule0.odd.adFbPromoModule.draggable {
display:none!important;
}
}


"COMMENTS FROM LAST TIME"

CC... Hahaha Minty, you are a mad genius! Tiling the whole background with your profile pic. Haha... The SuperShare container does look awful now, doesn't it? And it's less FUNctional... I like typing in my moods... I was always coming up with different syllogisms or other modes of word construction (& sometimes deconstruction). I like having my top friends profile pictures on my homepage, though. You are all so cute! Which means I would have to narrow the stream by 100 pixels & add other stuff in that second column to balance out the top friends pics which I might do... & of course, I would change the colors of everything to green & cream... I'm a green kinda gal! :) <3333
Plus, how DARE they make my profile pic so small.... Gosh! I love me! I can't get enough of me! I want to see me in 2000 x 3000 px. Hahaha
PP... As I point out, I think it would work better with some profile pics than others! Yep, no 'moods', no smileys... no scope for syllogisms, neologisms or even glassprisms. If you're really clever (and I KNOW you are!), you should be able to cut 'n' paste just the new changes into your existing script (thus retaining all your old sizes and colours). That's how I started it anyway... then I tidied up after myself once I'd established that it was working. Look forward to seeing some screen shots of your lovely green & cream things! <3 By the way, I had to post those screen shots on Flickr, because the MySpace photo manager is also auf der fritz.
CC... Figures!
PP... The first time, I uploaded pictures directly to my "Stylish Projects" album. As you would expect. The upload process appeared to work, but then the Photo Manager didn't display any thumbnails, only empty spaces. Same thing happened when I used the "Upload New Picture" from within the blog editor. To get those pictures into the "Stylish Projects" album, I had to first upload the pictures to a newly-created "temp" folder, name 'em and tag 'em, and THEN "move" them to the proper folder from there. By then though, I'd already posted the pics to my Flickr account and embedded them in the blog using HTML. But it seems to working today. Oh... Did I mention I've removed every trace of CELEBRITY GUFF from the log-in screen too? (Using a combination of STYLISH and a few custom filters for ADBLOCK PLUS)
CC... Minty, you are brilliant!!! I haven't worked on mine yet, but when I do, I promise to upload pics! I have tons of pics to upload from my vacation as well, but with Photo Albums acting so strangely I haven't.
PP... I don't care what anyone else claims - It is self-evident that once you wipe out ALL the memory-hogging adverts and flashy stuff, then MySpace pages load MUCH faster...