Posts Tagged ‘search’

FurFinding: Restoring a Piece of Furry History: The Furnpike

As mentioned in my last FurFinding article, I’ve been cleaning up the furry sites database at Yiffy International in preparation for the re-launch of FurFinder. Along the way I found The Furnpike, what was once the largest furry site directory on the web. The Furnpike started around 2000 and helped inspire the idea of the site review section on YI many years ago. Unfortunately, by now it had been defunct for some time.

Having already created the code for a category-based site directory in 2008 – not unlike what The Furnpike was offering at the time – I realized this might be an opportunity to both revitalize an old furry landmark and put work to use that would never otherwise have seen the day. I sent my proposal to The Furnpike’s founder who very graciously accepted and transferred the domain to us. Even before the domain had finished transferring I had completed porting the site directory code to run on its own and was already working on cosmetics.

When the site directory code was initially made I had categorized over a thousand sites, but since the collapse of Furnation and Furtopia hosting services only around 500 site-to-category associations remained. A few hours over the next two nights were spent categorizing the over 600 sites that had never been added to the directory using an interface that would be flattered if called half-arsed:

The end result is a brand new Furnpike with three times as many sites in its directory than during its peak. Admittedly, I sort of rushed through the categorization of the new sites and some of the categories will have to be re-thought. In time, and hopefully with some volunteer help, we’ll be able to improve the category associations.

As an added bonus, links on The Furnpike are now routed through FurStumbler, a long-running YI feature which allows a user to input details about the kind of sites they are looking for then navigate backward, forward or randomly.

FurFinding: Neat Stuff I Found While Cleaning up the Furry Sites Database

I’ve been going through the furry sites database at http://yiffy.tk/review.php lately to keep dead sites out of the new FurFinder index and categorize those not already in The Furnpike. Here’s some of the neat things I’ve found:

@Silvermanes, home of Greycats and the “Furr Friends”:

A classic frames-and-autoplaying-music site. Better, the autoplaying music is the theme from Friends, which the Furr Friends are supposedly some sort of furry take on. If you could distill the 90s from this site and put it into a jar you might stand to make a mint.

Hackles:

Hackles may end up in the running for most durable webcomic ever one day. The titular character is a UNIX geeky dog it started in 2001. By 2004, the creators had split up and the comic ended – but as of today the domain is registered until 2021.

Infurmation Technology:

Another webcomic from the stone age, Infurmation Technology’s last post is dated Thursday September 13, 2001. The latest “comic” is a photo of the rubble at ground zero. It’s like someone stuffed it in a ziploc bag and forgot it at the back of the freezer for 12 years.

Molotov Cocktail:

This comic ends in 2007 on a humorously naive note. Not only would the place of conservatives and liberals be switched by most outside observers but it would appear the liberal “aganda” [sic] wasn’t in such bad shape after all if it would lead to two democratic terms not a year later. Furry Republicans: the denial is as thick as pudding here.

Foxee.net:

Talk about a blast from the past:

System Requirements For This Website
Intel® Pentium 166 or compatible microprocessor or higher
32MB Random Access Memory (RAM) or higher
VGA or higher resolution video adapter
Microsoft Windows 95, 98, NT 4.0, Me, 2000, XP, or Vista
Microsoft Internet Explorer 4 or Later
Windows-compatible sound card
Headphones or Speakers
Administrator privileges on your computer

Disable Form Autocomplete

Disabling a visitor’s browser’s built-in form autocomplete feature sounds like it should be a simple enough task, but like many seemingly mundane things in web design it’s a bit asinine. I have personally never had to do this until yesterday when I made an AJAX-based autocompleting search field and realized it didn’t do much good hiding behind the browser’s. It could also be useful to avert the visitor’s autocomplete where the data shouldn’t be remembered by the browser (like credit card numbers) or re-entered for verification (like e-mail addresses).

The easiest method (and the one with which I went) is to add the

autocomplete="off"

attribute to your <form> or individual <input> tags. According to Mozilla Developer Network’s How to Turn Off Form Autocompletion:

This form attribute was first introduced in Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 5. Netscape introduced it in version 6.2 — in prior versions, this attribute is ignored. The autocomplete attribute was added at the insistance of banks and card issuers, but prior to HTML5 was never part of an official standard.

In practical terms this means the autocomplete attribute is perfectly valid and there is no good reason you shouldn’t use it. In ideological terms, unless you are using it in an HTML5 document, the attribute is not valid HTML and will fail a validation test.

Sometimes it’s OK to be a rebel. Sometimes there’s a cheat code, though. It’s possible to set this attribute in JavaScript and produce flawless HTML. There is only one drawback: those with JavaScript disabled (no one) will not be affected:

var q = document.getElementById('query');
q.autocomplete = 'off';

An alternative I thought of but rejected on the grounds that it would make untidy URLs is the use of hidden <input>s and the onchange event handler. It could work well for POSTed forms, however:

<input type="hidden" name="query" id="query">
<input type="text" name="<?php echo md5(time()); ?>" onchange="document.getElementById('query').value = this.value;">
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