Vistered Little revisited

After having added some wallpapers to Vistered Little, I learnt that they will all be downloaded, regardless whether they are actually shown or not. That sums up quite a bit… The reason is, that the background selection does not display real thumbnails, but just tiny squares taken from the center of the wallpaper images instead.

That was easy – I thought. Thus I modified Vistered Little so that the menu would fetch its images from a separate directory (wallpapers/thumbs) and then prepared real tiny thumbnails (20×20 px). All and everything appeared to be great, even my Nokia E61 now showed the site without a glitch (it used to choke on the multi megabytes before), but… IE 6 would no longer refresh its background on a selection change 😦

The problem only occurs with Internet Explorer 6. IE 7 is ok, as is Firefox. I’m currently working on this bug… In the meantime, press F5 to refresh.

It appears as though programming real world browsers is a preview of living hell. IE 6 completely refuses to load images when requested by setting, but happilly displays them if – by chance –  they have been loaded at least once before. Changing the background image within the onload event of an Image object did not work with Firefox 1.5, but works as advertised with both IE 6 & 7.

So here’s a code snippet that appears to work for FireFox (1.5), IE (6&7) and the Nokia E61 alike – the background is set both, immediately and within the onload event, if required 🙂

function setBackgroundWP(bgNumber,bgUrl) {
  var im = new Image();
  im.bgSty = "url('" + bgUrl + "') top center fixed";
  im.setBackgroundWPOnLoad = function() {
    if ( != this.bgSty) { = this.bgSty;
  im.onload = im.setBackgroundWPOnLoad;
  im.src = bgUrl; = im.bgSty;

Disabling JavaScript reveals a tiny bug within Vistered Little: The initial background style refers to the wrong directory within functions.php.spitOutWallpaperCSS() :

// nono print "/images/" . $wallpaper . "') top center fixed; }n";
print "/wallpapers/" . $wallpaper . "') top center fixed; }n";

About Reiner

Born 1954 in Ratisbon (Bavaria, Germany), in 1976 punched cards at Berlin Technical University, caught hacking one of its mainframes by Horst Zuse (son of Konrad Zuse), started studying computer science and soon was offered a job whithin their computer department doing systems programming for IBM VM/370. While studying, jobbed around Germany at various places doing all sorts of things, then returned to Berlin to work at SRZ (computer aided typesetting). Never finished my master degree, but chose to take up self-employed work (which didn't turn me rich nor famous). Now working for a mid-sized software company within a very promising department as head of server software development.
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