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89 Articles


9 months Ago

Earthli gets OpenGraph and Twitter metadata

Published by marco on

Most tools that scrape web pages use the OpenGraph metadata embedded in web pages. Some fall back to using the more general and older metadata tags, like description or the <title> element, but this leads to a rather limited embedding. Almost no-one extracts pictures from pages unless explicitly requested to do so by metadata.

Until recently, earthli didn’t include this metadata, leading to somewhat substandard rendering of any links pasted to social media.

Sample Metadata

As an example, the... [More]

5 years Ago

Earthli is now 100% responsive

Published by marco on

Go ahead. Open on a small-screen device. Get out your phone. I’ll wait.

Pretty cool, right?

I mean, it’s not rocket science, but it involves no small amount of work to come up with a design that works at both very wide and very narrow screens. Sure, I could have used Bootstrap, but then my site would look exactly like everyone else’s. Also, earthli’s stylesheets and components are much simpler and easy to use than Bootstrap.

Not only that, but with the redesign and the continued... [More]

Earthli is now 100% HTTPS

Published by marco on

With the help of Letsencrypt, all of is now accessible only via HTTPS.

What does that mean?

  • For your day-to-day use of the site, nothing. Any data you send to or from earthli is now hidden from prying eyes.
  • All traffic is end-to-end encrypted between your browser and the earthli server. This includes your password, when you log in.
  • Although almost everything on earthli is still open to the public, encryption now truly protects areas that have restricted access.
  • It means your... [More]

WebCore 3.5: new form styles

Published by marco on

This is an old post that I never finished when I released earthli WebCore 3.5 almost a year ago. The design analysis is still pretty relevant, as are the conclusions about flexbox.

We released version 3.4 of the earthli WebCore over a year ago, in June 2013. That release introduced a new overall style that was both looked more modern and also conformed to recent design/development standards. See that article for more information about what would turn out to have been stage one of two stages of... [More]

17 years Ago

New Quake battles!

Published by marco on

I dug up some long-lost game logs from games nights here at Opus and generated some stats for Quake3 and Urban Terror. Unfortunately there are no dates in the logs, so there was no way to separate individual evenings. Still, it shows just how pathetic dur is when there’s strategy involved (check out that UT rank!).

New earthli home page

Published by marco on

The earthli home page has gotten a professional makeover and should be more usable now. The poll has also finally been updated, but it asks a rather obvious question.

earthli upgraded

Published by marco on

The entire web-site, though it may look exactly the same, is chugging along on a new engine (earthli WebCore 2.6). It’ll be in a beta stage for a bit, but most of the wrinkles should be smoothed out soon enough.

There are more upgrades and changes planned for the near future — that will change the look of the site a bit, but first, we’ve got to nail down the foundation.

If you see any warnings or errors, please send them to me and I’ll take care of them right away.

Team earthli

Uploading pictures in earthli Albums

Published by marco on

Here are a few tips for uploading pictures to the earthli server.

Now that everybody’s got a great digital camera that takes super hi-res pictures in super high quality, we’ve got pictures that are too big to display and take too long to upload and download.

The problem

Your camera will typically take a picture at 1600 × 1200 with a JPEG compression of 90-95% (if you’ve set high quality).

That results in pictures that are anywhere from 500KB to 700KB. My camera takes them even bigger and... [More]

earthli Software gets a facelift

Published by marco on

The JavaScript Calendar page looked too nice and was putting earthli Software to shame. No longer! The summaries are small News articles, which means that software is now dynamic and searchable. There are only four entries so far, but more are coming. So far, the earthli Browser Detector has gotten an update. The code will be updated with the next WebCore release, but the algorithm description is much clearer now.

18 years Ago

earthli moves again

Published by marco on

earthli was down for a few hours recently because the server has moved to a new home, a move of only a few km. earthli’s generous hosting company, Opus AG has moved into fresh new quarters, which means earthli shouldn’t move again in the near future. Current bandwidth is 1MB upload capacity.

New logo and upgrade

Published by marco on

 Earthli, less than a year after it’s last logo change, has once again updated its logo. This one really feels like the one that will stick, as it’s unique and looks nice. It also lends itself much better to a smaller, more recognizable page icon (if you’re using a browser other than IE, you should see the icon in your page tabs or bookmarks). It also doesn’t remind people of IE (like the last one, with the ‘e’ in it) and doesn’t steal the look of Mac OS X with the ‘aqua’ rendering.

The logo... [More]

New themes & home page

Published by marco on

Earthli has a new default style — based on OS X backgrounds and colors. Also, for all you IE users stuck in the dark ages, there is now automatic support for using GIFs instead of PNGs so you’ll get to see all the icons correctly.

Earthli has been upgraded to the latest version of the WebCore. All applications have been upgraded, but only Projects really has new functionality. The entire site benefits from upgraded styles and theme handling.


earthli finally has the home it deserves!

Published by marco on

earthli has been upgraded to a 2.4GHz IBM rack server with scads of memory. Tests indicate that application pages (like those in Albums, News, Projects or Recipes) are loading from 10-15 times faster than before. This is due in part to the move to a faster server, but also because the server is now Debian Linux and can use the APC PHP cache, which gives a 50-200% speed boost as well (again, based on testing). Enjoy.

earthli Browser Detector released!

Published by marco on

The first small portion of the WebCore is documented and released as a taste of what’s to come in the full library. The browser detector can be used as-is and implements an algorithm that is not at all PHP-specific (though the implementation is in PHP). There is full developer and public documentation included (also a taste of what the full WebCore documentation will look like). Check out earthli Software for more details.

Klosters and Langfurren albums updated

Published by marco on

Marco and Kathy have been busy and there are several new pictures in the Langfurren album showing off their newly furnished apartment. There is also a new album showing their first overnight ski-weekend in Klosters, Switzerland.

19 years Ago

Quake III Feats

Published by oz on

dur has been playing around with Quake again recently and took a few screenshots of his handiwork. It’s just bot play, but it’s on the Hardcore level and has some neat stats.

Oz’s First Impressions

Published by oz on

Ozzie has some new pictures up, documenting his experiences so far in Switzerland. He’s got a journal entry, Kicked out of the States (and poor) and he’s got some pictures from
December 6th, 2002 (Sami Claus day) and some pictures from December 1st, 2002 (one of the few sunny days in the last 8 weeks). Check ‘em out to see how the Oz-man’s doing.

earthli Moves to Switzerland

Published by marco on

 Swiss earthli Logo

If you’re seeing this article, then you’re browsing the Swiss version of The site (along with it’s proprietor) has moved to Switzerland. As you can see, the logo has been updated to reflect this status :-). If you find anything that is broken, be sure to let me know, as it could be a configuration problem as a result of the move.

New earthli logo

Published by marco on

After long months of focus-group testing and careful deliberation, earthli has a new logo. This logo is only rendered in alpha-transparent PNG, so will look extra bad on all Windows IE incarnations, but those are the breaks. It’s worth it just to have one logo for all themes now. The new logo also makes a nicer and more distinct icon, as you can see in the icon to the left. With the decision to leave all non-alpha-transparent-PNG rendering browsers behind, the logo can make full use of the... [More]

Webcam is Back

Published by marco on

For the dismantling of the apartment, prior to earthli’s move to Switzerland, the Webcam has been re-enabled. As usual, service will be intermittent, but you should be able to see the living room change…and maybe we’ll move the camera as we move to different rooms.

Last Day at Logicat

Published by marco on will soon be leaving its home at Logicat, where it’s been housed for almost 3 years. I’m leaving Logicat and moving to Switzerland, so soon earthli will be served from there (hosted at Opus, my new employer). I’ve updated my resume (PDF) with my last work at Logicat.

earthli is on WebCore 2.0

Published by marco on

The earthli WebCore is now at version 2.0.0 and the entire web site has been converted to take advantage of it. The functionality hasn’t changed, but the site is much more flexible for future projects. If you want to start working with the WebCore, there is some documentation available.

Hochzeit Invitations Shipped!

Published by marco on

The invitations to Marco and Kathy’s wedding have been sent on schedule. The Hochzeit site has been improved and a new theme “Hochzeit” has been added (and selected as the default for that part of the site).

Bass Harbor album is ready

Published by marco on

Check out the Bass Harbor, Maine 2002 album. Gary hasn’t contributed his pictures yet, but I wanted get an album for a vacation finished in less than a week from the end of the trip itself. I’m sure he’ll have pictures to contribute later, but these are my pictures (and journals) for now. As always, there’s a calendar for easy browsing and a Print Preview if you just want to look at the whole album (just click the print button in the bottom right on the screen that comes up).

Wedding Site is ready

Published by marco on

Kath and Marco’s wedding will of course be enhanced by online functionality. There’s an online guest list, with real-time updates of registered guests (whether yea or nay). You can search that list, or use the handy search tool to find people and R.S.V.P. yourself. The hand-crafted (digitally) invitations are also online for you to look at.

Switzerland 2002 album is online

Published by marco on

There are 68 pictures and 15 journal entries detailing our journey to Switzerland almost a month ago. If you just want a massive overview, then check out the new print feature here [print] (just click print at the bottom right, after selecting options).

Southwest 2002 is finished

Published by marco on

Weighing in at 16 journal entries and 157 pictures, the Southwest 2002 is finally finished. It includes over 70 pictures from Gary’s collection as well. The Print Preview alone is over 40 pages and is the best way to check it out offline. However, I highly recommend to browse through the Calendar if you’re looking for something specific.

Photo Albums are printable

Published by marco on

A long-lost feature from version 1.x has finally been restored to the modern photo albums. Printing is back and enhanced from the original version. Any journal entry can be printed, either by itself or in a hand-selected group from the explorer. Additionally, the entire album can be one-click printed from the album’s home page. Print options include all standard options plus the ability to include thumbnails from that journal day.

Fritz Photo Album Started

Published by marco on

Kath and Marco’s car, ‘Fritz’, now has his very own earthli Album, called Fritz, strangely enough. So far, there are just basic outside pictures, but after a good washing and cleaning, more interior pictures should be available.

Southwest 2002 Journal Added

Published by marco on

The Southwest 2002 Journal from the Van Evera family trip to Arizona (and Las Vegas) is available, but hasn’t been proofread or edited yet (just entered by mvonballmo).