auto-layout · web

The joys of web development

I don’t consider myself a front-end developer, or even an aspiring front-end developer, even though I do spend a lot of time on web apps and iOS applications. But I do like things not to look too bad, and I do like things to make sense.

Recently I’ve come across a couple of quirky, undesirable, and unignorable things happening in my web applications.

One happened today. I’m putting together a what’s going on with Reddit’ app to play around with d3.js plus the dataset I’ve been scraping for a few months in a more visual way I can share with others. Everything’s going alright, but I’ve got two bugs.

First, this happens in Chrome:


What you are seeing on the left is a word cloud loaded via an iframe (for reasons of laziness until this takes some ‘final’ form where I might cave to the general iframe hatred that abounds. What you see on the  right, appearing afterward, is text that is in the page’s intrinsic HTML. I am laying these out side-by-side with a grid system. Why oh why does the text that’s present in the HTML flash in after the iframe? And why does it only seem to happen on Chrome (though I should say I only test on Chrome and Firefox…because I am not going to put up with the nonsense that is the Internet Explorer way of doing things…I don’t like companies who don’t like developers).

I should also add this is not my first unexplained weirdness with Chrome. A few weeks ago, Chrome decided I didn’t deserve colors on my little d3.js web app. I didn’t get any helpful responses on StackOverflow, and I’m not enough of a front-ender to go past asking the gurus. It’s just irritating, but at at least I know others aren’t seeing it.

So that’s my first heartache of the day. My second heartache is this:


What are you looking at, right? That’s what you’re asking? You’re not looking at anything. That’s the problem. There’s a huge void between two div elements, and I don’t know why. Surely it’s something I did, or something in the css template I downloaded from Pixelarity yonks ago. Either way it’s frustrating and one of these things that tells me I can never be a straight-up front-end development.

Why is there so much variation and why is so much hidden? I agree there’s value in compartmentalizing, and perhaps it’s my love of old-fashioned editors , but why is it so hard, for me anyway, to figure out what the heck is causing that big blob of empty white space? I use Firefox Firefly, but that doesn’t help much with these situations.

Thanks for listening.


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