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This is an archive of some technical issues on my talk page during 2009 and 2010.

Name change[edit]

Y'all have a user Spike, created in 2006. He has no user page and lists no contributions. If this user name is really dormant, may I have it instead of my current user name? --SpikeFromNH 02:29, September 28, 2009 (UTC)

Probably not: if a username is taken, it's taken, even if there are no contribs from that account. Generally speaking, it's best to just get used to your username (look how much mine sucks, for instance) and not worry about it. As there are no active Spikes, people will probably just call you Spike anyway. However, if you really seriously do want to change your account name, the person to talk to is Sannse, as she's staff, and can do that kind of thing. Hope this helps, if you have more questions, my talk page is as good a place as any to ask. --UU - natter UU Manhole.gif 10:41, Oct 1

Sorry, no. You can only take an unused name. "SpiKe"? "Spike!"? "Spiky_Wiky"? -- sannse<staff/> (talk) 00:41, October 2, 2009 (UTC)
Okay, then I'll stick with this. Thanks for the reply. --SpikeFromNH 01:04, October 2, 2009 (UTC)
FYI--Your suggestion on use of capital letters sank in, and yesterday I converted to SPIKE--and got a spiffy signature too, with help of Under user and others. Spıke ¬  14:48, October 5, 2009 (UTC)

Custom signature, and method of including it from a file[edit]

Just got a reply from Sannse, who says that user names are permanent. I'll act out via signature--I sporked yours, but it took a long time to learn the double-brace trick. Spιke|(talk) 01:54, October 2, 2009 (UTC)

PS--Of course, first I searched your user page to see if I had corresponded with you here before, and the first hit was the {Username} trick, above ("I hate that guy") and it took a full 30 seconds to realize the obvious explanation. I'm so defensive!
Pretty much everyone has fallen for {{username}} at one point or another. Me possibly less than some because people so rarely call me Under user - it's the capitalisation as much as anything... Anyway, I figured that would be the case, but that sig should get people calling you Spike anyway. You just need to use it properly now - here's how: go to the "my preferences" tab, and in the signature box put {{SUBST:nosubst|User:SpikeFromNH/nameofpagewhereyoursigcodeiskept}}, then tick the "custom signature" box underneath it. Scroll to the bottom of the page to save your changes, and job's a good one, and you don't put all that code in a page every time you sign it. Like the sig, by the way, minimalism is good! --UU - natter UU Manhole.gif 08:27, Oct 2
I had taken you off my watchlist, but returned here to ask you that exact question! I had already found "My preferences," of course. (I didn't actually sculpt those color boxes into your talk page!) But I did notice that my code was inserted into your page, whereas other users got double-brace syntax that is both more concise and is likely to pick up future changes to their signatures. (Being a veteran of runoff, I assumed the answer was to type 3 or 4 braces.) SUBST had already somehow been added to the filename I typed in Preferences, but nosubst had not. This will be a test. By the way, I found no Help on the My preferences forms--Is this deliberate? Spιke|(talk) 12:04, October 2, 2009 (UTC)
Again, most people have a little fun when they try making their first sig. Looks like your test worked, nice one! As to the Help thing, you probably won't find much help where it would actually be helpful, possibly due to Wikia sucking, possibly not. Anyway, there's UN:HELP, which occasionally has some answers you might find useful. Beyond that, the best way to find something out is to ask someone. You can always ask me - if I can't answer, I'll just go bug someone who can! --UU - natter UU Manhole.gif 12:08, Oct 2
Oh, and there's UN:SIG for general sig related thingies. --UU - natter UU Manhole.gif 12:10, Oct 2
You're right again, the help on signatures (and how not to go crazy with them) is good. I either read the start of Help for Beginners and got to work, or didn't read it at all, thinking my stripes at Wikipedia were sufficient. Thanks. Spιke|(talk) 01:04, October 3, 2009 (UTC)

Inability to specify a background color for TEXTAREA[edit]

Sorry, I thought we'd moved the discussion to Spang's page, and he's a lot more cluey on CSS with wikimedia than I am. The short answer is that I don't know an answer, and if anyone would it would be Spang. Alternatively, have a search through Wikipedia's forums and see if the answer is in there. PuppyOnTheRadio sig.gif                                                 

I don't know if your question got answered or not. I don't claim to know as much about coding as Puppy, but what he said might well work. Commands like "background-color: lightyellow" only work if the program you're using has a command on how to interpret "lightyellow". As Puppy asked, have you tried using something like "background: #123456;"? As it happens, #FFFFCC is a light yellow, and #FFCCFF is a light green. Rabbi Why do I need to provide this?, humble goylem rabbi of the Temple of Narishkayt and rector of The University of Uncyclopedia, Whynersville Rabbi WHY??? (shmuesn)  01:41, January 22, 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for the response. By all means, given CSS's and HTML's tendency to "fail silently," the first thing I would suspect is that I had specified a color incorrectly. Mozilla is pretty good at color names, and when trying something new, I'd just copy something that worked elsewhere. What I've got right now uses colors such as #FCC (a synonym for #FFCCCC). Spang seems to have hit on a solution: I came here from Wikipedia half a year ago and am probably still calling for MODERN.CSS, for which I've done tweaks on the width of the main region and the buttons at the top of the page. Spang seemed to think this was a guarantee that it wouldn't work. Spıke ¬  01:52 22-Jan-10
TEXTAREA { font: normal 10pt/11pt Vga2009 !important;
           background-color: #FCC !important;
                      color: #600 !important }
/* Can't set the background-color of a TEXTAREA or INPUT on Wiki/Uncyc */
INPUT    { font: bold 10pt Spik2009 !important;
           background-color: #CFC !important }

You may well know coding better than I do. I started out programming in HTML by writing the code myself with no teacher and no one to ask for help, which explains why I have huge gaps in my knowledge (I self-taught after I stumbled on the Source function). I remember the first time I found out that a webpage I made that looked just the way I wanted it with one browser looked screwy with another. What a shock. I had naively assumed all computers would display it the same. After that, I largely stopped doing shortcuts, although I'm using some now, cautiously. Rabbi Why do I need to provide this?, humble goylem rabbi of the Temple of Narishkayt and rector of The University of Uncyclopedia, Whynersville Rabbi WHY??? (shmuesn)  22:22, January 22, 2010 (UTC)

All knowledge has gaps. I too write web pages by hand and most of my gimmicks are perfected by imitation. Fifteen years ago, when Internet bandwidth was scarce, I proposed to save postage by e-mailing troff source code to participants at other companies rather than putting manuals in the mailbox, so everyone could build and print their own manual. Disaster; local definitions, macros, fonts, page sizes differed, engineers wasted time duplicating my skills and choices about bookbuilding, and we came to the industry meeting with documents where we could find nothing by page or line number. Today, "we are confused on a much higher level."
PS--The above snippet is not HTML at all; it is CSS, from a file of browser standing-orders called userContent. Spıke ¬  16:07 23-Jan-10