Friday, February 3, 2012

Be careful out there...

A word of warning...

I now realise that I have been guilty of OVER-ZEALOUSNESS in my approach to ELEMENT BLOCKING.

In my determination to rid [my view of] MySpace of all UGLY GREY BOXES full of "celebrities" that I've never heard of, I've become aware of something.

Twice in the last week or so, I've been quick to blame MySpace or Mozilla Firefox for something that has gone awry. First there were no upload buttons on my VIDEOS page. Later I made a hullabaloo when the profile pages lost most of their content and there was no status update box with which to complain about it. I turned off the STYLISH to make sure. I rolled back Firefox to an earlier version yet again. I switched to another browser entirely...

...only to find out that IT WAS ALL MY FAULT!

MySpace has a peculiarly archaic, some might say lazy, approach to how it names the DIVs and SECTIONS and ELEMENTS of its page layouts. When we go about the task of beautifying our own 'Space with judicious and crafty use of a Cascading Style Sheet or two, we have to take into consideration that the original code that we are "hacking" is NOT THAT PRETTY in the first place. Shortcuts have been made. It might make things easier for them, but we have to watch our step.

The grey background behind that huge great list of irrelevance at the foot of the page? The box that contains the UPLOAD button on both the 'My Photos' and 'My Videos' pages?


The big rectangular box on the log-in page that contains all the adverts and 'SLEB' GOSSIP? The box that contains your "What's Happening...?" interactive form on the homepage? The container that holds most of the content on your PROFILE page?


So next time you (i.e. ME!) remove something ugly from your (i.e. MY!) page, with a nifty "{display:none!important;}" line of script, or even by clicking on the HIDE ELEMENT button in AdBlock Plus, MAKE DOUBLY SURE that the element you are hiding DOESN'T share a marital name with something else on a completely DIFFERENT page. The chances are, you will only spot the anomaly when you try to do something, and the thing you are trying to do isn't there anymore!

Usually when this happens, you find yourself (i.e MYSELF!) in a sort of reverse "CRY WOLF" situation. "DYSFUNCTIONAL" has become such a normal situation on MySpace that we immediately think it must be THEM MONKEYING ABOUT again. We might forget to CHECK OUR OWN WORK first.

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