Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Computing/2009 May 20

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May 20[edit]

Confusion[edit]

I dont Know if i am in the right place but how do you insert a Info Box on a new page you have created!?!? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Colee Andersonn (talkcontribs) 02:46, 20 May 2009 (UTC)


Probably the Wikipedia help desk is the better place. But let's give it a shot anyway. If the info-box already exists (it should be a 'Template:' page) then simply stick its name between doubled curly brackets. eg {{myNavBox}}. If you need to write your own template/NavBox - that can be a fairly daunting task...the best thing to do is to find one you like and copy it into your user-space. Change the parts that you need to change - and when you're happy with it - move it into Template: space. SteveBaker (talk) 03:10, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

Shrinking vector images in inkscape[edit]

I've traced an existing map of Asia in order to paint the various countries a certain color based on predetermined data. I've saved it as an svg image and colored it in. However, whenever I try to shrink the image down to fit a piece of printer paper, the tool only shrinks the outline and leaves the color the same size. How can I shrink both at the same time? I hope I don't have to shrink each individual country in order to do this. --Ghostexorcist (talk) 08:44, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

Did you try select all (Ctrl+A) and then shrink them? If you save your file as normal svg (not Inkscape svg) everything should be in a group already, but won't be if you just saved using the default settings. --antilivedT | C | G 08:53, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
Saving it as a normal svg did the trick. Thanks. --Ghostexorcist (talk) 09:20, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

A language that replaces HTML, XHTML, CSS, Javascript, Apache, PHP, and MySQL?[edit]

It seems I need to learn HTML, XHTML, CSS, Javascript, Apache, PHP, and MySQL to create a website. Is there any reason why someone has not or never will invent one language that can do all the things that these different languages are required for? It may make creating a website more accessable for the average user. 89.242.109.25 (talk) 12:59, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

Would not this superlanguage need to have all the complexities of all the things it replaced? If so, the existing mode is better — you can swap out, for instance, Ruby for PHP or Glassfish for Apache without having to change any of the other things. Sometimes one or more of these is used outside the context of a web page entirely: JavaScript is used in VRML, HTML is a common format for (even local) documentation, and MySQL can serve data to anything, not just a webserver. All these things really do have their own purposes: (X)HTML is content, CSS is style, JavaScript is browser-local computation (which has low latency but is slow and unreliable (as the server sees it)), Apache is the browser's server-side counterpart shared by all pages, PHP is server-side computation (which can access any data on the server efficiently), and MySQL is storage of and access to (potentially) massive datasets.
It's also worth pointing out that it's not quite as bad as you say: HTML and XHTML are not really different things, and you certainly don't need both. CSS, JavaScript, PHP, and MySQL are all optional (although many kinds of site will do well to use all four), and Apache isn't a language you have to learn (unless you're counting .htaccess files). --Tardis (talk) 14:45, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
I'm sure COBOL could be extended fairly easily to do all these things too, sounds the obvious choice to me. ;-) Dmcq (talk) 17:26, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
COBOL doesn't get enough props. It's the only language where PERFORM ORAL_SEX UNTIL ORGASM is a legit line of code. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 18:01, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
Bah! You're just not sufficiently determined. C++ can do it...you just need to stick this at the top of the program someplace.
 #define ORAL_SEX =
 #define ORGASM ;
 int PERFORM ORGASM
 int UNTIL ORAL_SEX 96 ORGASM
Cobol needed to just die already back in 1978 when I had the misfortune to learn it. SteveBaker (talk) 18:44, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
#define??? Jeez, I forgot about those. I do .NET development and MS ripped them from C# years ago. Anyway, coming from a QBasic background, I hated curly brackets so much I once #defined them out of my code with something like this:
 #define endif }
 #define endwhile }
 etc.
Anyway, I've since came to terms with curly brackets mostly but they still annoy me. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 20:39, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
Yes, and it's the same reason why no one has come up with one tool that replaces a screw driver, hammer, saw, pliers and a tape measure. Each one is designed to perform a specific task. As Tardis points out, XHTML and HTML aren't two completely different languages. XHTML is simply a version of HTML that conforms to the more rigorous standards of XML which has to be well-formed in order to be considered valid. HTML isn't required to be well-formed. CSS compliments HTML in that it provides information on presentation (colors, fonts, etc.). MySQL isn't a language, it is a relational database. It does however use SQL which is a language. Apache is a Web server, not a language, although it might use one. I've never used Apache so I can't say and I'm too lazy to look it up. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 17:46, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
To be fair - HTML, XHTML and CSS are markup systems - not programming languages - and HTML/XHTML are essentially different revision levels of the same thing - if you learn XHTML, there is little need to bother with HTML. Apache is an HTTP server - it's not a programming language either. MySQL is a database system - and although there are elements of programming related to it's query language - it's really only borderline "programming". That leaves you with just PHP and JavaScript which are actually programming languages. I agree that it's unfortunate that these are not the same language - but they are VERY similar. The problem is that once you've been programming for a dozen or more years, learning another programming language is really no big deal - I learned PHP over just a few hours while writing a program using it! This is unfortunate for beginners - but if you are that new to the art, trying to put together a web site that uses XHTML, CSS, MySQL and both client and server-side scripting - then you are undertaking something that's well beyond your abilities. Start small. Get Tic-Tac-Toe working in a local directory using just XHTML and JavaScript. When it works, figure out how to install Apache and make it serve to the web. When all of that works, use some CSS style sheets to jazz it up a bit. Then write some simple PHP code to keep scores on the server. Then, install MySQL and figure out how to put those scores into a proper database. But if you're a newbie, this process could easily take you a year to do...it's a major chunk of effort! SteveBaker (talk) 18:44, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
Links (programming language) is a language of this type, and I think there are others. None of them have really caught on, but it seems like a reasonable idea to me. Maybe it's not the right tool for every job, but what is? -- BenRG (talk) 19:26, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
Would that language be worth learning? Could it create a website that does not seem to be done by a beginner? 78.146.198.122 (talk) 22:03, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
Probably not, without at least as much effort as it would take to learn PHP and HTML at beginning-level. Can I also just point out that if you learned this Links language, you'd actually know a lot less than knowing all the component pieces? Because knowing each of those can in itself be useful and lead to further ideas, projects, whatever. As others have pointed out, in any case, really a knowledge of some HTML and PHP could get you pretty far by themselves—they would allow you to sensibly use pre-existing classes and content-management systems (like WordPress) with some confidence. In such an approach you wouldn't have to worry about the raw SQL end of things or the Javascript end of them. If you are trying to do something bigger than what WordPress or a CMS would allow, then you're going to have to make a major time investment anyway, and it's better to learn the component pieces (which all do somewhat differnet things) that learning a single language that then writes the other languages themselves (which puts you perilously far away from understanding your own code). --98.217.14.211 (talk) 00:21, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, I take your point about understanding things in detail allowing the discovery of other possibilities and opportunities. But I'm not intending to become a career programmer, I do other things as well and running my website(s) would just be a sideline. I would like to find the easiest quickest way of creating a website-with-database-of-user-content that does not look as if made by an amatuer. If I used something like KompoZer, would it be possible to add MySQL usage to it, and avoid having to learn all the languages above? I do not mind paying for an editor if that will do what I want. 78.146.67.27 (talk) 10:08, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
KompoZer seems to only be an HTML/CSS editor; neither of those languages is a programming language and (so) neither can talk to a database. (It might help you write JavaScript, but that can't (directly) access a database either.) So, no, sorry. I don't think that another editor is the right answer: if someone were to implement this monolithic website idea, it would surely be as a language like Links and not as an editor like KompoZer. (And once you have the language, there are many editors to choose from…) --Tardis (talk) 16:13, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

last modification on basic network topologies[edit]

hi, my name is kennedy. i used www.en.wikipedia.org as a reference on basic network topologies.

please i need to know about some few important facts: 1.the year of last modification of en.wikipedia.org 2.publisher of en.wikipedia.org

i will be grateful, if i am given an urgent reply. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 202.73.60.12 (talk) 16:17, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

See this page about citing Wikipedia. Matt Deres (talk) 16:29, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
If you are going to cite just Wikipedia as an organisation, the time of last modification be about 1/2 a second ago (my own OR suggests Wikipedia recieves over 100 edits per minutes). If citing a particular page, every page has a "This page was last modified on ..." at the bottom. Astronaut (talk) 15:45, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
You can solve that by clicking on "Permanent link" in the toolbox to the left of the article. That gives you a link to the specific version of the document you are looking at. If you use THAT URL in your citation then you can be sure that anyone who uses your citation will find the exact article you were looking at - without any subsequent changes. Then you have a definite date at which THAT VERSION OF THAT PAGE was last modified. SteveBaker (talk) 17:41, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
Maybe you should take a look at the 'Cite this page' link on articles in the 'toolbox' area' Washii (talk) 20:27, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

AAA--81.77.206.116 (talk) 17:22, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

A question about Twitter[edit]

I'm thinking about getting a Twitter account, and I'm wondering if people are expecting you to update it constantly, or can you update it whenever? Thanks for your time.

Americanfreedom (talk) 17:38, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

From what i understand, You can just update it whenever you want to. – Elliott(Talk|Cont)  18:05, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
What're they gonna do, come to your house and refuse to leave until you update? You can absolutely update as often or as rarely as you want. -- Captain Disdain (talk) 19:36, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
Twitter fanatics may expect you to update frequently; other people are more annoyed by the folks who use it as a shared IM cloud instead of an answer to Twitter's question, "What are you doing?". I used to update frequently and don't quite as much anymore. You may find that you lose followers by updating infrequently, or you may find that you lose followers by updating too much. There's really no rule to it. You'll find yourself sharing and communicating with like-minded people after a while, so I wouldn't worry too much about it. Coreycubed (talk) 21:26, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

can GPS find my stolen mobile phone???[edit]

My smartphone Samsung Finesse was stolen, I downloaded the app. MetroNavigation(gps). Is it possible to locate the phone? If so how? The carrier is Metropcs, and Customer Service Reps haven't been very helpful. The operating system is Symbian, wuld that be an option?Justjeena (talk) 17:50, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

Sorry, but I doubt you're going to get very far with this idea.
My understanding is that a GPS device receives signals and determines where it is - it does not broadcast any signals advertising its location. Unless your phone has an application which explicitly broadcasts / publishes this information somehow (and that application hasn't been disabled by the thief), the fact that your phone knows where it is is no help to you, because you can't ask it.
A standard mobile phone connection obviously is 2-way, and can be used to locate the handset based on which base-stations it is connected to. But for obvious privacy reasons, this is something that the phone company has to do, not you. It's also likely that the thief will attempt to re-program the phone so that it cannot easily be recognised by the phone company as the same phone you reported stolen. - IMSoP (talk) 12:55, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

Can you really know you're blocked using AIM (AOL's instant messaging?)[edit]

Someone told me they were blocked by a few people on AIM - AOL's instant-message system. But, I've looked at the setup, and it looks like you can't see if you're blocked, because you can set the settings so you're invisible to the person you're blocking. In other words, if A blocks B, B can never see if A is online.

So, is this person talking out their hat? It seems really rude for someone to say they're blocking you - and if one would be that mean, I can't imagine numbers of people being that rude. (Then again, this is the Internet.) Or, is it really not possible to make yourself invisible to the person you're blocking, and they can tell you're blocking them? (Or, might the person A block B and just not put on the "iinvsible" cloak.)

Just curious. Thanks.209.244.187.155 (talk) 22:14, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

Often times people will say they're going to block you. But you could probably figure it out. If someone who was on every day suddenly stopped showing up, and you were sure they weren't dead you could assume you've been blocked. In addition you might have a friend who can tell you if person A is online right now, or you might have a second account for that specific purpose. APL (talk) 22:50, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
He probably has a different account that those users did not block so he can still see them log in. They would be shown on the one buddy list but not the other. --Peppagetlk 22:53, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
Right. You can tell if you are blocked by seeing if someone else can see them. This can be done with extra accounts or with the collaboration of a mutual contact. --98.217.14.211 (talk) 00:15, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
On Windows Live Messenger, a person's personal message will not change if they've blocked you. So if you (somehow) find out what that is, you can compare it to the one you have on your contact list. A similar system may exist for other chat programs. Vimescarrot (talk) 10:00, 21 May 2009 (UTC)