gmail_logo_nobeta_mediumIf you create a Quick Link in Gmail with a long name, it looks like you can’t remove it. A web search result made me think that the only way around this was to inspect the element in web developer tools and find the ‘x’ that removes the link. However, upon closer inspection, I see that the ‘x’ was always visible on top of the text of the Quick Link.

e.g.: A Quick Link to gaming related emails in my inbox …

20150317_101153-0500_Gmail Quick Links

A Quick Link with a long name.

20150317_103304-0500_Gmail Quick Links 'x' zoomed in

Zoomed-in, you can see that the ‘x’ is there on top of ‘%3A’ which represents the colon in the name.


htaccess: Removing Extensions from URLs

If you want your site to have clean and consistent URLs, you might want to drop the file extensions like .php or .html.  Judging by the number of “solutions” I found while trying to figure it out myself, I’d guess that it’s a pretty common request, but I wasn’t able to find an answer that worked for me all in one place.

Continue reading htaccess: Removing Extensions from URLs

What is SEO?

I recently attended my first Google Business Groups meetup and I heard something surprising: “For Google, SEO is illegal”.  This was part of the answer to a question about repeating keywords in web page code.  I nearly jumped out of my seat to question this statement and I wanted to discuss the topic further, but I let it drop rather than interrupt the talk.

I had never heard the term SEO used within a negative context before, and I realized for the first time that some abusive techniques are also considered to be part of SEO.

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is not illegal, immoral, or otherwise questionable.  It benefits users, content creators, and search engine makers.  I’m not by any measure an expert, but I’ll try to explain a little about what SEO is and where this confusion comes from.

Continue reading What is SEO?

This guy…

This guy… I gotta tell you about him…  He won an award for his web site… He helped to create the RSS standard… He authored the RDF standard… but that’s just while he was a teenager.  He also fought for the free culture movement.  He founded Infogami, which still supports OpenLibrary and later merged with Reddit.  He was an editor at Wikipedia.  He founded Demand Progress to fight against abusive laws and for our rights.  These are just some of his many accomplishments.

He was Einstein, Superman, and Robin Hood, all rolled into one.  He made our world better.

Then he killed himself.

His name was Aaron Swartz and I never knew him myself, but I wish I did.  I didn’t even know his name before he died… but I miss him.

Featured image: Tragedy designed by Karl Turner from The Noun Project

Does Klout Matter?

As a blogger and freelance developer, sometimes I have to pay attention to things that aren’t strictly related to the work.  I wish I could just focus on the code, but I also have to spend time on other things such as marketing, monetization, and, perhaps the most important, social networking.

I got an email recently from Klout telling me that my Facebook connection had been deactivated.  This wasn’t a surprise; I recently revoked permissions from a number of Facebook apps that I don’t use, but I did stop and think.  Klout hasn’t faded away like most social startups banking on Facebook’s momentum and I’ve heard it mentioned a number of times in podcasts and other tech news over the last couple of years.  So, I did some googling.

Continue reading Does Klout Matter?

Could I get a “real” education online?

When I wrote Starting Over, I began re-training myself in order to improve my proficiency as a Web Developer, but I didn’t really know how to go about it.  My usual method of searching the web and reading a lot isn’t good enough.  It can be effective, but it’s slow and disorganized.  So, I’ve been considering alternatives including online education.

Here’s the question.  Have online education providers devised a system that is both recognized by employers and up to date?

Continue reading Could I get a “real” education online?


Cascading Style Sheets, or CSS, is the language that defines how your web pages look.  Color, font, size, space, shape, and even animation of any page element can be defined in CSS.  As I mentioned in my previous article, HTML only defines the content of a web page, not how it looks.  So, CSS completes the visual experience of a web page.  Put another way, everything you see on a web page is the combination of HTML and CSS.  Even if you don’t use CSS in your code, the browser’s default style sheets use CSS to define how basic page elements are displayed.

Continue reading CSS

Are You Whitelisting?

Adblock Plus Icon

As he grew rich he grew greedy; and thinking to get at once all the gold the Goose could give, he killed it and opened it only to find nothing.

Greed oft o’er reaches itself.

— The Goose With the Golden Eggs by Aesop

Long ago, when the users of the World Wide Web and site owners were just getting to know each other, there was chaos.  Advertising on the Web was new and site owners, enticed by dreams of vast riches, used every trick they could think of to subject us to their advertisers.  There were pop-ups, pop-unders, windows that wouldn’t close, and ads that pretended to be something else.

The times have changed…

Continue reading Are You Whitelisting?