Friday, July 2, 2010

v37.5: The Big Clean

Howdy folks,

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It is Friday and I'm working from home.  I'm glad I have the option to work from home when needed.  There are only so many vacation and sick days one can take in a given year and "wasting" those on days where there are doctor appointments makes me annoyed.  The flexibility  at work makes the work that much more bearable.

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I have started the painful task of combing over my posts with a fine toothed comb (figuratively of course).  I've subscribed my site to various other sites to perform checks on the code, spelling and various other things to determine where I need focus.  Obviously there are a lot of spelling mistakes as I typically write early in the mornings and randomly do spell checks.  I'm also lazy and rely on Mozilla's dictionary addon to highlight spelling mistakes for me as I type which does not work some of the time.  Also, there are obvious grammatical mistakes where I began typing a thought and then switched that thought mid sentence, resulting in a thought that makes little to no sense.  This little "project" is going to take me weeks to complete as I go over every single post on this site and cleaning them up.  I don't want to take away from the messages and I don't want to change my musings after they've been published, I simply want to make them easier to read and correct a lot of mistakes I've made over the last 5+ years.

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What are some of the sites I'm using?  There are two in particular which are really useful:

  1. Free web site spell checker - This site allows me to enter the URL of the site I want to check and an email address to mail the results to.  This site assumes you are the site owner and verifies the email address you've entered is from the same domain as the URL you've entered.  It does a full scan of all the pages it can find on your site and then generates a report of all the spelling mistakes it finds.  It isn't perfect and there are a lot of false results, but it does a real nice job of finding the major ones and creates a nice link to the document and highlights the word on the page for you.  I will be using this site quite a bit in the coming weeks to clean up all the spelling mistakes I can.

  2. Nibbler - This is an interesting site I found this week.  It does a complete analysis of your site and reports back things like:



    • Accessibility

    • User Experience

    • Marketing

    • Technology



    This application will rate your site based on the thousands of other web sites it has in it's database and provide you with tips or suggestions to improve your web site overall.

Just thinking about going through all this work is making me tired, I could sure use an editor :)

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So what is the point?  Why am I bothering to go through this exercise and creating more work for myself in my already too busy day?  The primary reason is because this site represents me.  I'm not perfect, but I want to ensure my content is as perfect as possible by removing errors and cleaning up code, I hope to create a much nicer experience for new and old visitors alike.  A lot of the time I type things as they come off the top of my head and while it makes sense in my head as I'm typing it, going back and reading it afterwards really points out the flaws and mistakes.  This is why I should proof read all my posts before publishing them but I rarely seem to have the time to write, never mind proof reading.  Another reason I want to do this is for potential publication of my musings into a book.  I don't expect anyone to buy it but for myself, having my work published in hard copy is something I've always wanted and even if I'm the only one to have a copy of it, I'd be happy.  Seeing something I've written in published print is something that will make me feel that much closer to my dream of being a writer; it also may look good on a writing resume as works I've published.

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Anyway folks, there is work to be done and things to get done.  I hope everyone has a safe and happy weekend.  To my friends to the South, have a great July 4th!

Cheers,

Al