Casual Hex

Uncertain about goals, impulsive in online activities.

Google Fonts and Internet Explorer

I've been working on replacing the blogging platform here with Pelican and a new theme for weeks. Yesterday, when I went to test my new site design in different browsers I came across a really freaky, odd issue. My site looked great in Safari, Chrome, Opera, Firefox, and even IE9. However, it was an absolute mess in IE10 and IE11. All text was missing or scrunched up in an ugly mess. I know, I know… Internet Explorer. I may have taken a seven year break from web design and running my own site, but IE issues should never surprise me. I started digging through my style sheets, and to be honest, I was at a complete loss at why it was borked or how to fix it.

I disabled things, removed things, changed things in my stylesheet. I tried modernizr.js. Nothing worked. So I started from the top of my index.html. First thing I tried was to disable the Google Fonts I was using. Tada! Whoa! My site loaded perfectly in IE10 and IE11. Sure, my fonts were defaults, but the site looked great and functioned as it was supposed to, otherwise.

I initally had my fonts loaded something like this:

<script src=""></script>  
            google: {
                families: ['Oswald', 'Anonymous Pro', 'Open Sans']

Then I tried going back to:

<link href='|Open+Sans|Anonymous+Pro' rel='stylesheet' type='text/css'>  

Neither worked in IE10 or IE11. I was stumped, as I have limited knowledge on web fonts in general. So I did some more digging. Turns out some of the fonts that Google hosts don't work right in these two browsers. So while I know little to squat about web fonts, I can share the information I found.

After reading these articles I tried going the @font-face route, serving the fonts myself. I used Font Squirrel to create the web fonts and proper style sheet and all was good. I'd rather not serve my own web fonts, but I have not yet figured out a better way. At the moment I'm trying out Teko, Noto Sans and Anonymous Pro. I rather like the three with the site design. But I've already run through a gamut of fonts already, and may still do so.

On Net Neutrality and Regulation

FCC regulation, or government involvement in "controlling" the internet doesn’t really appeal to me. But the government already does, and has from the very beginning. Net neutrality exists because of laws created by the government, and the issues surfacing over the past few years are that providers have been fighting those laws. FCC regulation of the internet as a utility would hopefully be a Good Thing, stopping the providers from turning net neutrality into a train wreck. That doesn't mean everything will be instantly awesome and right, or that the EFF and other watch groups, will suddenly have nothing to be concerned about.

All I know is that I want true internet freedom. Freedom of choice for customers in providers would be very nice. Isn't it convenient for providers that in most markets customers have little to no choices in which provider to use? That's not open, free market competion. If we had providers competing with each other for customers, maybe a lot of the issues customers complain about wouldn't even exist. This part alone, Libertarians, is my biggest reason for saying "leave it alone, keep the FCC out of it" is hogwash.

I know that internet providers cannot simply spread into new areas overnight. So while they drag their feet in covering new areas to begin competing with each other for customers, it'd be super nice to be free from getting buggered by providers during the process. Maybe some basic, customer respectful rules they have to follow.

Also, freedom from providers injecting tracking and other code into all web page headers, because more providers do this than not and it’s really not cool. When I view a web page it shouldn't be altered in any way by a 3rd party without my permission.

Comcast caps bandwidth for all subscribers, in certain cities, no matter the plan you’re on, like here in Huntsville, AL. My family can’t stay under that cap, I have tried to limit and control what we do to lower our usage and it is just not possible. So our family pays extra every single month. By extra, I mean sometimes 50% above our already expensive bill. That cap1 is way too low with today’s media heavy internet. Comcast charges Netflix for access to Comcast customers then turns around and charges Netflix customers for the bandwidth used to access Netflix. I have no doubt that providers will be doing the same with all media-rich sites and then move on to sites like Facebook, Twitter, any big brand that total bandwidth of all users crosses some X number considered to be enough to charge them for.

Net neutrality is dying, quickly being chipped away by the big internet providers. It’s being replaced by nickel and diming schemes that will make the decades of misery everyone has suffered with cable television look like utopia in comparison. So…

Do I want full on regulation? Heck no. But the way internet providers are allowed to control the market now– that’s not free internet. I'm behind, and in full support, of whatever it takes to get true open market, competitive internet provider choices for everyone.

1. Our cap is 300GB. We have a 100Mbps downstream plan with Comcast. Any guesses how quickly one can hit 300GB at that speed? Comcast is introducing 300Mbps+ plans in some areas. What's the point in signing up for something like that with the bandwidth cap?

Updated My Stuff

I have a My Stuff page linked from my About page that lists some of my favorite software and my hardware setup. I updated it today to add Dash and Workflow. Also added, the 27-inch Retina iMac I upgraded to in November.

Absolutely Dash-ing

Dash icon

I've been using Kapeli's Dash since the first version appeared on the Mac App Store. It's a fantastic programming documentation set manager. At some point a paid option was added that delivered more features, and I gladly purchased the upgrade. Here's the thing though, I knew Dash was awesome with document sets. I depend on it for that purpose all of the time. But somehow I failed to notice one other awesome feature– one that is listed right in the application description:

Dash is an API Documentation Browser and Code Snippet Manager. Dash stores snippets of code and instantly searches offline documentation sets for 150+ APIs (for a full list, see below). You can even generate your own docsets or request docsets to be included.

The emphasis above is my own. I've been using another code snippet manager for a while. But it hasn't been updated in at least a year and it crashes a lot. So this morning I started digging around to find a replacement. The top suggestion to my search was Dash. Huh? What? Yep. I opened Dash and there it all was. It even has shortcuts like TextExpander. I don't know how I never noticed a (now) pretty obvious part of a great application, but now there's even more to love about Dash than before.

Grand Ol' Christmas

We had a wonderful Christmas. The kids couldn't be happier with the gifts that Santa delivered. The two younger kids got their first bicycles and are itching to get out and learn out to ride them. Only two video games in all were received– LEGO: The Lord of The Rings for our son, and three Sims 3 expansions for our daughter. That's some kind of rarity in this household.

The older boys received a bunch of incredibly fun boardgames:

If you're into dice and card games all four of these were a hit in our family.

I'm finally on the mend from whatever illness I have had. The kids and Christina came down with flu-like yuckiness early last week. I did my best to avoid them, but that's hard to do with family, and in the end I got it too. Luckily I didn't have it as rough as them. We were all more than well enough to enjoy Christmas together though. For that, I'm very thankful.

Now that the holidays are winding down, I'll be digging deep into getting my Pelican-based site up and running. One last piece in "How am I going to do this?" with Pelican was solved this afternoon with a lucky Google search. I think I have everything I need now. I just need to tweak the theme I'm working on a bit more before I kill off this Ghost site and make the switch. I am so ready to break away from the confines of a blogging system that is far from as ready for usage as I thought it was.

Happy New Year to all!