Tuesday, December 13, 2016


Bye-bye JavaScript

JAVA AND JAVASCRIPT once were billed as the platform-independent answer to programming limitations.

I’m glad I didn’t try to learn it.

Slowly Java and JavaScript are being rejected by the browser makers.

I AM NOT A PROGRAMMER, nor do I want to be a programmer. I “code” my own simple HTML because I hate the overhead -– excess and unnecessary code — HTML editors insist on adding. (I still refer to my Netscape 2 Unleashed “bible” for rarely used HTML coding. I bought the book in 1998 for $4.99.)

ANYWAY, this rant is prompted by the loss of a Java application called TinyURL. I used it for years, but when I replaced a hard drive and reloaded the latest and greatest apps, including Google Chrome (Version 54.0.2840.99 m) — TinyURL wasn’t functioning.

Being a person of average intelligence, I dug around the WWW and discovered that Google — in its Microsoft-like wisdom — elected to eliminate Java extensions; translation: “Goodbye, TinyURL.”

OK. There always is Mozilla Firefox. Not exactly. Mozilla is planning to abandon Java by 2Q17. No sense downloading the still free Firefox browser, trying to auto-transfer all the Google Chrome bookmarks — many of which were trashed in the transfer from Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.

Why do I need — OK, want — TinyURL at my beck and call? Because unlike some bloggers and fake “journalists,” I cite my sources. I developed that habit as a cub reporter back before The Flood.

In order to cite my source, I hide the source location — URL — in an HTML string surrounding the “plain text” source id. As an example,

Trump to nominate ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson for secretary of State

which is coded as

<A HREF=”http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2016/12/12/trump-secretary-state-announcement-tuesday/95359074/” TARGET=”SecState”>Trump to nominate ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson for secretary of State</A>

The same information, using TinyURL instead of the URL shown above would be

<A HREF=”http://tinyurl.com/zdqdo72” TARGET=”SecState”>Trump to nominate ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson for secretary of State</A>

If I wanted to site my source after the title, the TinyURL REALLY comes in handy, e.g.,

Trump to nominate ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson for secretary of State (http://tinyurl.com/zdqdo72)

As with most things, there are work-arounds. Perhaps not as clean as “the real thing,” but functional none-the-less.

I bookmarked the TinyURL page — www.TinyURL.com — and when I have an unwieldy URL — such as the USA Today article — I copy the long URL and paste it into the TinyURL Enter a long URL to make tiny field, click on the Make TinyURL and Matzatee (a/k/a Eureka), the once-long URL is now a considerably shorter TinyURL URL.

About the TARGET=”***” part of the URL: TARGET instructs the browser to open up a new window rather than replacing the existing window; I think this is better for the reader who can look at the referenced site without losing my site.

It’s not enough that some programmer who probably doesn’t use the programs I use decides to change the User Interface (UI) — for no apparent user advantage — or to decide for the user what the user must have. Microsoft has a long history of this; with each new iteration of Office enough is changed — sometimes removed — to make getting up to speed on the newest version painful. Google is aping Microsoft.

People, If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it..

For the record: The angle brackets < and > used in the URLs were coded: &lt; (less than) and &gt; (greater than)

No comments: