Potential tech stumbles. Surprisingly far into Web Design, but still a beginner.

EDIT: I’ve just removed all the angle brackets and hypertext transfer protocol encoding from this post in order to de-confuse WordPress; apologies for any confusion.

I’ve just learned about a security gap which I was heretofore unaware of. It has to do with the rel=”noopener” tag which I’ve seen be inserted into links when I view the raw HTML of entries (both here and elsewhere) in which I’ve entered a target=”_blank” specification.

target=”_blank”, when placed within an “a” (link) tag, causes the specified link to open in a new tab. What I didn’t know before tonight is that…from what I can see, it appears that if target=”_blank” is placed within the “a” tag, so as to open the target link within a new tab…if not paired with a rel=”noopener” tag, this creates a security vulnerability where the opening tab can take over the original tab.

Thus, the marginally safer way to insert a link which opens in a new tab is to add rel=”noopener” within the “a” statement.

At least that’s what it sounds like, given what is said on GitHub. I’m going to not link to the page I want to link to, because I don’t know if it’s safe (I haven’t checked out all the source code, nor clicked on the test links); and if I recall correctly, WordPress has a bit of their User Agreement that prohibits WordPress blogs from linking to sites which might have malicious code.

Searching rel=noopener will likely bring it up…unless Google just knows that I’ve searched for tech stuff before and is directing me to more advanced sources.

Since I’ve been considering going into Web Design after this…it was just a surprise to find this security vulnerability which has been right in front of me this whole time (that no one told me about, pretty much ever). I should check my links elsewhere to make sure they’re okay, though I can’t remember having hard-coded anything (that I deleted information from) in recent memory.

I also started looking at Wacom drawing tablets, again. If I’m going into Web Design, it would help, whether I’m working with Photoshop and Illustrator (I would likely need to subscribe to Creative Cloud, which brings its own problems), or GNU Image Manipulation Program.

It looks like if I got a Wacom Intuos Pro (eventually), it would be a good balance between functionality and price. I initially started searching for the Cintiqs to see if the prices had come down.

No. No, they have not.

I still have an Intuos (the plastic on which is degrading), but I don’t think it’s been installed on any computer I regularly use, due to age: and my suspicion that its driver could be incompatible with the current version of Windows.

The deal with Cintiqs is that they’re essentially drawing tablets that display what you’re drawing on the screen, as you draw it. By that I mean you’re physically drawing on the screen. They start at around $1000, from what I recall, which is the price of a good computer. Intuos and Bamboo tablets, however — you’re essentially drawing blind. The image shows up on your monitor…but there is no display on the tablet. Of course, that makes them a whole lot cheaper. About 1/3 as much.

The good thing about the Intuos is that it’s reliable — I used mine in the Multimedia Arts program which I had been thinking about going back to (in the Web Design and Production certification), but there are two caveats. One is that the Web Design specialization isn’t really a specialization there, anymore. I just checked out the Graphic Arts program at a different place, and what I could learn there, too, that I don’t know — is minimal.

I need a class in typography (or despite it all, just to learn typography), and to work on my own sense of composition, plus working at digital photography, if I want to do Web Design (and not use stock photos). The latter may require me to get a Digital SLR camera. Which I am not particularly…hot on, but digital photography might be a bit easier for me, once I can do it, than trying to compose images totally from imagination.

I’m really surprised that there isn’t much to draw me to those Community Colleges, anymore. But I did surpass the upper limit of what I could take and still have priority registration…


Too much time in school. I need to be using and honing these skills.

And I’ve found that when the verbal part of my brain stops working, the visual part is often unaffected. I should make note of this…


Taking some time out for art.

Today, I took 40 minutes of my lunch hour, and just drew.  For the first time, in a long, long time.

I haven’t taken photos of it, because how well it turned out isn’t the point.  The point is that I took some time out for myself, and I drew.  This was helped along by being frustrated enough by work and school to take my pencil kit with me, this morning, instead of a class reading.  (Of course, I only ended up using one pencil, this being a trusty 5″ long [now] 2B.)  I also took a cheap sketch pad filled with paper which I don’t expect to last — this frees me up to do work that doesn’t have to be worthy of the price of the paper.

(It did come out relatively cool, by the way.)

(Do people still say “cool?”)

The other reason I’m not showing it is that I did all of my drawing from imagination, without photo reference.  This means that I have some imaginary flowers which are kind of reverse of what they actually look like in reality–!

I was going for daffodil and alstroemeria.  Both of these have six petals, in roughly a star shape.  I guess you could say that I was jumping off of the floral block print I did earlier this year.  Daffodils are kind of fun, but I forgot that they only have one flower to a stem.  And there is the entire perspective thing to think about, where the central tubular petal is usually viewed on an angle (making it into a rough ellipse)…not to mention the planes of the outer petals.

Then I remembered that alstroemeria have three flowers to a stem, and started playing around with that — but I forgot that the inner petals are not the wide ones (there are three narrow inner petals with stripes on them, sometimes, and then an outer group of what look like petals but may not be).  I also reversed the concave/convex forms of the outer edges of the curves of the petals.

It’s easier to show you than to tell you, but I want to work on updated versions of these now that I’ve seen what I was trying to remember.  It would probably be best if I could post before-and-after scans.  🙂  And maybe some in-between ones which are mashed up from the “after” concepts with the former ideas…after all, I doubt all varieties of alstroemeria look the same…

And yeah, even though I didn’t remember the flowers exactly perfectly, the images I made still calmed me, and it was fun to draw them.  Even better was the fact that I was doing something for myself…

…and I was relatively good at what I was doing.  It’s always a shock when I get to demonstrate my skill to myself (not to cheer myself on too much, but).

I’ve got to keep in mind illustration (and writing, not to mention design), if I find that the Library & Information Science thing doesn’t work out.  Visual art is something I’m basically driven to do when the medications aren’t inhibiting me…the problem there is harnessing that drive.