The Pants Awards archive

The Pants Awards were satirical (and snarky) 'awards' I gave to bloggers and webmasters between 2006-2011, typically because they gave out bad code advice that was dangerous to fellow webmasters. The vast majority of the recipients were not happy about receiving a Pants Award but most have since admitted that they needed it.

In hindsight, a 'carrot' rather than 'stick' approach probably would have worked better.

Pants: Inked By Erin

To help soothe the disappointment of my lost Pantsing opportunity, I went to rev.iew.me and did eenie meenie on the websites page. Lo, my cursor fell on Inked By Erin, which is quite a nice coincidence given our history. Fancy that.

Erin is currently sporting a layout with some chick I recognise from Alice in Wonderland which, incidentally, is quite a weird film. I have read the book, but not for a loooooooong time (since I was like, 7?) but vaguely remember it was quite large and featured a lot more on riddles and things than Tim Burton’s version. Anyway, what? This is a Pants Award Jem, not a movie review.

So what about Erin’s site is deserving of a Pants Award? It wasn’t the blatant misuse of a celebrity image (and I’m not even talking about copyright; what’s the relevance of the Hathaway girl? (Woot, I remembered her name!)) and nor was it the weird/slightly boring About page which leaves me wanting to slit my wrists in emo solidarity… no, it was (surprise surprise) the Tutorials.

When I saw Erin’s CSS tutorials, I thought maybe I’d been too harsh on her. Her Multiple Columns tutorial, while lacking any real depth, uses advanced CSS3 techniques which I would typically assume to be beyond teenyboppers. (Ouch.) Something struck me about the text though… this line in particular:

Multiple columns are a major face of laying out text – newspapers have used them for decades.

I just didn’t get how something can be a major face of something else. One Googleage later and I discover that actually, multiple columns are a major facet of laying out text. To be honest, the sentence is still fairly clumsy, but hey, at least it makes sense now.

Of course now we have a dilemma. Which is more worthy of a Pants Award, stealing code and copy from an article and distributing it on your site, or changing said copy because you don’t understand what the word “facet” means?

30 seconds later and we can easily see where some of those other CSS tutorials came from: the same CSS3 series from Design Shack. I don’t know how she gets away with it to be honest, especially when you compare the quality of writing between the two. This line from one of Erin’s WordPress tutorials says all that needs to be said there:

Get the coding form you previous layout & look at in in you code editor.

Sigh.

I was hoping to be able to chuck a review of a review in her for your viewing pleasure, but unfortunately she’s not actually reviewed any websites yet. No surprise, given that one of her requirements is:

You must link me on every page of your website until the review is completed. I want to see my link on your website before you submit the application. I will check on this and deny any applications that do not have my link up.

I didn’t even require a link back on a single page when I was reviewing, let alone across an entire website. What has the WPR world come to?!

Should I point out the hypocrisy of reviewing HTML/CSS validation when her own website doesn’t validate, and indeed contains newbie mistakes like nesting header tags inside a paragraph? Oops, just did.

So. Erin, for being so lame as to steal someone else’s work; for writing shitty pointless tutorials of your own; for being an ignorant numpty when it comes to infant feeding; and ultimately, for trolling me all those months ago … have a pants award!

16th Pants Award

(Yes, this is the same pants as last time. Yes, I’ve run out of pictures of pants. Send me some!)

Pants: i D A R R Y L’ [d0t] NET

I received an e-mail just after New Year, nominating today’s Pants Award recipient. I still haven’t decided what I’m actually going to do with the Pants series, so I was tempted to just delete the e-mail… and then I opened the website.

i D A R R Y L’ [d0t] NET is… startling. I mean, not just the fact the owner obviously thinks he looks cool giving everyone the finger, but it’s such a jumble of different styles and colours. The “layout” is actually a huge, slow-loading png and believe it or not, the sidebar/content offset is intentional! (C.R.A.P – the A stands for Alignment for a reason.)

The welcome message proudly states:

I Think You Should Know That My Site Get Over 50-100 Unique Hits Daily

…but I’m not entirely sure why — 50-100 isn’t a high number. Kudos and all, but everyone knows that if you’re going to brag about something, you should at least make sure it’s worth bragging about first. Maybe when there’s a few more zeros on that figure I’ll be impressed.

The entire site is Typed Like This; I find it tedious to read for more than a few seconds at a time. I lost count of the amount of spelling errors I saw before even leaving the front page… “Resgister”, “Alot”, “exists” (exits), “Walpapers”. Underlined, bold and italic text are all randomly styled and I quickly gave up on finding links by scanning through — I was left having to hover over every piece of coloured and underlined text to double-check.

In the text under the title “WebMaster” I read with interest that the owner’s mum is a lawyer and his dad a judge. It begs the question, then, why he feels he can get away with distributing music and videos via his “imusic” subdomain — blatant copyright infringement. For a talented boy (his words) that’s a pretty stupid decision.

The “content” is just as bad as the layout. Typical “HTML Help”: textareas, deprecated tags and inline styles. Badly edited celebrity photographs for which credit is demanded. The About page is littered in egotistical bullshit — enough to put my tagline to shame — and contadicts other text on the site (“Im Straight And Single” -> “currenlty taken by someone of 2 years“)

The coding is littered with font tags, <center> and <u>; header tags are used but for text that couldn’t even be remotely classed as a header; 4-5 pointless JavaScript snippets adding to the bulk; constant repeated properties in the CSS (what happened to the cascade part of CSS?); two body tags; and unnecessary absolute positioning.

Darryl: you seem like a sweet boy, but this “gangster”/”cool dude” attitude makes you look like a plonker. You’re bragging about content that everyone else has already done better, and a design that really doesn’t do your so-called 3 years experience credit. If you’re going to offer resources to your visitors, you owe it to them to do it properly. For not even trying, you get the 15th Pants Award:

15th Pants Award

Stop listening to your kiss-ass commenters and sort your site out.

Pants: Digital Sugar Designs

When you tell the world that you have “7 years of experience in the field“, it helps if you show that so-called experience off. And no, blurring a few dodgy photographs so that the subject looks like they’re being melted under a 500W halogen lamp does not count as experience in the field. Only in your imagination does that even begin to look professional.

When you tell the world that you “can create beautiful CSS for your website and make it look vibrant and professional“, I expect the most elegant and wonderfully presented CSS document of all time; tabs or 4-space indentation for preference. I don’t expect to discover that you’re actually referring to the website as being visually vibrant, because the misuse of ‘CSS’ makes me very angry.

When you tell the world that you can install Cutenews, because “[it] is a powerful and easy to use news management system” and you don’t end that sentence with “that will ultimately result in your website being hacked by a 9 year old script kiddie from Russia” I have to question your competence as a user of the Internet, never mind as someone who claims to have “coded in PHP”.

Amarilys, your “design site” is the 14th winner of the highly coveted (hahaha) Pants Award. Do the world a favour and finish your design schooling before you con anyone else out of hard earned cash; distributing Dreamweaver bloat in place of a real website is not the way to do it.

pants award

Feel free to direct link :)

Pants: Ticking Timebomb

I was hoping that I could start this Pants Award with my very own review from Ticking Timebomb. It’s one of those tweeny review sites that pop-up from time to time, but ultimately disappear because the standard of reviewing is piss poor and nobody actually reads them [the reviews]. Unfortunately, she refused to review me so you’ll have to make do with my witty commentary on the state of the site alone :(

The site was brought to my attention by Vera, who has recently decided to take over the Jem fanlisting and is therefore automatically a superior human being to everybody. Except me.

I reckon that if you’re going to offer reviewing as a service you have to have some sort of talent or knowledge about the area in which you’re reviewing. While a person’s taste are subjective and everyone is entitled to an opinion, it takes a special something to be able to articulate that into an objective review that will benefit the recipient. Offering reviews about something which you lack any experience in is akin to driving a car without any lessons: a little bit dangerous.

Ashley, the owner of Timebomb reviews is a little bit dangerous. Not in a “I’m going to stab you to death” kind of way, but in a “little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing” kinda way. Oh, and she’s got a personal domain with “wind” in the URL (heartlesswind.com) which made the child in me giggle like an idiot.

timebomb screenshotAnyway, erm.. reviews. Yes. As I’m sure you’ve all noticed by now there’s a bit of an odd design thing going on with Ticking Timebomb. I am not entirely sure what the desired effect was with the layout but it’s kinda 1960s grandma wallpaper meets pixelfx. On a bad day. And, for some reason — quite likely because Ashley’s screen res is 1280 pixels wide — the whole thing sits to the right when I’ve got my browser width set to 1024. The centering cheat must have passed this one by…

The content is served through a nasty <iframe>, styled with a line-height equal to that of the text size which gives that illegible “smooshed” text look. I am not sure why that ever became trendy, you’d think even tweens would want other tweens to read their text?

In the latest update we’re held to ransom by a pity party, all because the site is not receiving any submissions. This is funny for two reasons: 1) in my reviewing hayday the only thing I could complain about was too many submissions; and 2) she rejected my submission! Apparently it’s all Vera’s fault, and because I criticised her submit form but we’ll get to that shortly.

Much like my my last Pants Award, I almost skipped right over the navigation — despite the fact that it’s about 4 inches high — because its not clearly distinguished from the layout. Either I need my eyes testing or this girl needs a lesson on usability. Maybe both?

The inner pages are styled identically to the front — I was hoping for some line-height here — and are littered with errors. Grammar, punctuation and spelling checks only happen to other people.

The Criteria page lists Enter Page as a rateable component of each review… and there was me thinking splash pages had finally gone out of fashion. Under First Impressions we’re rated for the first impression a reviewer has of the “enter page” which surely renders the first part redundant? Those “unlucky” enough to have no visitor content lose 15 points which is a tad selfish, but who am I to question the notions of our piczo expert Ashley? The idea of being rated for Spelling and Grammar had me doubled-up with laughter, but no more so than Website Name; I’d love to know how ‘jemjabella’ would score there! :lol:

The Submit Form (and this is where my dilemma began earlier) has had 4 fields: Name, E-mail Address, What is Your Site Name? and Anything Else? These fields are fair enough for me — I could put in my actual site name and you’d easily be able to find the URL — but if someone’s site is called “chocolate bananas” and their URL is “ilikefarting.com” there’s no obvious connection. Like the ever-helpful web ninja that I am, I suggested changing this (for the sake of usability if nothing else) when I posted my submission. However, apparently if I really wanted a review I wouldn’t have criticised the form:

I’m sorry I do not what to review your site. You are only signing up for a review because of Vera and I do not appreciate that.
Secondly, if you wanted a review you wouldn’t be critising the form and kept your mouth shut. So no. Go find someone else to start drama with.

…and thus why I got rejected. Not before the form was changed to “Site URL:”, mind.

Incidentally, the form is one of those freebie ones hosted externally, but it relies on some JavaScript. No note of this was made on the form page so NoScript worked its magic and I thought my original submission hadn’t gone through so I retried with JS turned on. Unfortunately, this considerate move wasn’t appreciated and I got told off :(

Secondly. Theres no need to send the form more than once.
Reading your mess twice, was twice as annoying.

(and reading her second e-mail was in no way annoying?)

The few reviews that are posted on the site by Ashley all have one thing in common: they’re all crap. I did like the invention of a new word here though: “so people know how often you are on the site approximently.” (emphasis my own). Unfortunately, they’re not long enough to give a real critique but I have composed a handy-dandy list:

Why Ashley’s Reviews Are Crap

  • She recommends coloured scrollbars for those still using IE.
    Reason why this is bad: people shouldn’t still be using the devil browser. More realistically (because I can’t force everyone off IE) this is a no-no because web pages shouldn’t interfere with a person’s computer or browser. Oh, and they’re invalid, but that’s obviously something Ashley doesn’t concern herself with.
  • She recommends colouring italic, bold and underline tags differently.
    Reason why this is bad: everyone should be avoiding <i>/<b>/<u> anyway. Use CSS for pretty effects and if you actually want to emphasise text, use <strong> or <em>.
  • She’s 19, and uses “could of”
    Reason why this is bad: could’ve — the contraction that has led to a generation of muppets into thinking “could of” is OK — is actually short for could have. Ironically this mistake was found next to “A few grammar problems though.
  • Inconsistent reviews
    Reason why this is bad: telling one person that a page of links to other pages “needs more information”, and then telling someone else that they should split up their pages into lots linked from one page is giving mixed messages to readers. Decide on one approach and stick to it.

There doesn’t seem to be anything here to save the day for Ticking Timebomb. The layout is bland and the contrast shockingly bad on the eyes; the reviews are sub-standard, badly composed and lacking substance; the coding of the site — which I didn’t even touch upon in detail — demonstrates Ashley’s total lack of experience in web design/developing and I am confused as to why the stylesheet has a .html extension.

Ashley: for thinking you have the right to critique someone when your own websites are a state, I award you 0 points! Oh, and a Pants Award:

pants award

Feel free to direct link :)

Pants: Killinginthename.com

Warning: Killinginthename is infected with a Trojan. Please ensure your virus software is up to date if you choose to visit that website. Note that the trojan seems to be referenced via JavaScript, therefore any NoScript Firefox extension users can safely browse the site.

It’s been a while since I’ve done a review or proper Pants Award so bear with me, I’m rusty. That said, I don’t hold out much hope for this one… we’re quite openly told on the front page of the site in question: “I must warn you again, all the stealing stuff is gone” and “Everything on this website right now was made by me“. Hmph. What would a Pants Award be without criticism of blatant copyright infringement? Oh well, I’ll struggle on.

Today’s lucky winner is one Killinginthename (link removed because of trojan). I was made vaguely aware of this website last year, when the owner was accused of stealing brushes and other tacky graphics crap from people like Jessica (swimchick). I don’t understand the whole brushes lark — they all look the same to me anyway — so I didn’t get involved. However, I was brought smack bang into the middle of it all when the owner (Jordan) left a comment on my blog telling me to get involved:

Hi, I read your blog about swimchick.net that you wrote in 06, and I think you should make another one.

This time, you should write about when she doesn’t get her way, she writes blogs about people ‘stealing’ because someone made a graphic similar to hers.

I had made a few brush sets with inspiration from hers, and I guess that just wasn’t ok. So she finally decided to contact my host, and lie, and say I stole a bunch of graphics (which is funny, because shes the only one actually stealing. she even sold layouts with stolen images, and used my brushes in one of them when I said no commercial use) therefor having my site terminated.

Before it was terminated, i got over 100 comments of hateful things, just because of her blog. She is an immature 18 year old, that only knows how to be a smart as. I recommend you write another inspiring blog about her.

Unfortunately, I don’t think he quite banked on the fact that I’d use it against him. If there’s one thing I despise it’s being told what to do. Add that to the fact that he is known for stealing and redistributing other people’s content? Not really a good combination.

Anyway, back to the website. There’s nothing particularly shocking about the layout, nor does it contain any of your typical “celebs”. The font is a bit small for my liking but that’s nothing that Firefox can’t fix for me. I missed the top navigation for a good 10 minutes because my eyes scanned over it as part of the layout, but as the main content is available through the sidebar it wasn’t a massive problem.

What I do find a problem (before I even get to the content) is that the blog has the nice little note about how all of the “stealing stuff” is gone, but the Terms of Use page states “All photography belongs to their rightful owners.“. Doesn’t sound like everything on this website really was made by Jordan to me. Of course, must not be too hasty — the TOS could simply be out of date, right? Only one way to find out…

Ooh look, is that Mr Wentworth Miller I see? He’s a stern looking chap. I think Jordan was pretty lucky to have the opportunity to meet and photograph him. Likely? No, I didn’t think so. So much for “Everything on this website right now was made by me“. Let’s not dwell on it though, what’s a few celebrity photographs between “friends”?

The tutorials are typically crap; the same ridiculously unhelpful tripe that every other webmaster has. Why strive for originality when conformity is so much more fun? As per usual, the code is displayed in a teeny tiny textarea when <code> would be more appropriate. Some are inaccurate (“CSS Shortcut” is not a shortcut) and others plain lacking in any information (“Favicon” doesn’t cover saving the icon, transparency issues, lack of IE support, etc). “Hit Counter” fails to credit the code to its source, and doesn’t mention the JavaScript reliance. “PHP Includes” doesn’t mention anything about PHP support, what an include actually is or the fact that using URL includes only works if allow_url_fopen() is enabled.

Apparently, sticking a few colours in an 11×11 box and putting them on your website constitutes a copyrightable graphic these days. Who knew? Can someone explain to me what a “Color Box” is?

The “Icons” are all made from unoriginal materials, the same goes for “Blends” and the same goes for “Stocks/Scans”. I wonder what planet Jordan was on when he decided that his content was no longer stolen, and that it any way warranted his copyright notice at the bottom.

Yawn. Yet another boring, predictable attempt at a graphics/resource site. Dodgy/stolen content, CSS bloated beyond belief, and a mix of HTML and XHTML with no doctype to serve it all. Well done Jordan, you’re pretty darned pants.

Pants Award

Feel free to direct link :3

Pants: so-juicy.net

It is almost predictable that I’d give my next Pants Award to Lana of so-juicy.net. I’d already briefly touched upon the fact that she is redistributing my skinning code from tutorialtastic without permission (that means stealing, boys and girls) except with all the stuff going on at the moment I didn’t have time to follow it up. Consider this my follow up…

As well as the stolen material offered under a LOLerific copyright notice:

Everything on SO-JUICY.net was made by me and is copyright to me unless otherwise stated. If you take something from SO-JUICY.net then you must credit SO-JUICY.net with a corresponding link. Failure to do so will lead to legal action.

..and the generic derivative works from celebrity photographs masquerading as a Portfolio, there’s also several pages of forms via which we’re supposed to fill. You know, I’d consider it an ingenious method of increasing keyword placement and content if the pages hadn’t populated by tweens with a collective IQ of approximately 8. There’s also the small matter of the forms being powered by aMAILzing: one of the worst mail forms I’ve reviewed. Anyone wanting to attempt to exploit the vulnerabilities (for educational purposes, of course) should experiment with variations of “bcc:” or “cc:”

A lame attempt at making a profit is made via the Premades section, backed up by some sort of disclaimer about giving credit where it’s due. Funny, I don’t see her giving any sort of credit to the photographer whose pictures she’s stolen, and is selling on. Hold on, isn’t that illegal?

More celebrities in the Avatars, fonts being redistributed without their relevant README files, “Pixels” made from trademarked characters, celebrity PSDs.. for crying out loud, does this girl have even one piece of original content?!

The tutorials are very pixelfx-esque. It’s almost like a standard, I swear. We should award pixelfx a lifetime achievement award just for being the most copied from or something. Anyway, deviating… font tags recommended, textareas being used to show code? Remember how I used the word predictable in the first sentence? Well, that’s how best to describe so-juicy. Predictable. Predictably crap, predictably full of illegally gained material, predictably lacks any effort or thought given to produce a site worth browsing in this century.

Here’s your Pants Award, Lana:

pants award

..now excuse me while I go and wash my hands — I typed the word celebrity far too many times in this entry.

Pants: FARK OATH . COM

I almost feel like this entry should be extra special as it’s my 10th Pants Award, but as I’m too cold to surf I’m settling for mediocrity.

FARK OATH . COM was mentioned to me because of Waks Ask & Answer. You know it by now, the terminally shite ask and answer script that I’m slowly campaigning to have removed from the Internet. Of course, as per usual it was something else — something small — that actually caught my attention; I quote:

I really hate it when site owners leave bitchy, critical message’s on your site. Fair enough if they know what their talking about, but not if they dont.

Ignoring the misplaced apostrophe in “message’s” that would be better suited to “dont” and their instead of “they’re” it was the underlying message in this entry that made me smirk. Dan, the site owner, believes that you shouldn’t criticise people unless you know what you’re talking about. This sounds perfectly reasonable but begs the question why she then goes on to criticise another webmaster? Her own grasp of English leaves a lot to be desired and her code wouldn’t be out of place on the piczo sites she flippantly belittles elsewhere on the site.

Apparently she’s called the “computer girl” at school. If she’s at a level that is considered above and beyond the norm for her age it makes me wonder what kind of crap they’re being taught to put the other kids below her. Heyho, international levels of education is not my beef here.

Under “NOOBS” (my favourite section of the site) we’re told that Dan is “Doing [her] best to help out the people in which need helping“… If I in which need helping, who’s going to in which help me? Will it be Dan with her in which helpful tutorials? Oddly written sentences aside, it’s here we find the shoddily written tutorials for shoddily written scripts: a CSS “nav” tutorial identical to the one on swimshit/retro-freak.org/every other wank personal site with tutorials; a redistributed Waks A&A; a tutorial on stopping Waks hackers that in no way fixes the massive hole caused by the lack of sanitisation in the $_GET and $_POST data; customising aMAILzing, but no mention of the virus or spam redistribution possibilities; and adding a sidebar include with some badly coded, absolute positioned <div>s that in no way fit.. well, anyone’s layout.

Dan: for thinking you have a “kickarse” life when your blog features the same drivel as everyone else’s, for bragging about coding that my 3 year old niece could better, and for redistributing/recommending scripts that don’t belong on any sane person’s website… here’s my 10th Pants Award:

pants award

Feel free to direct link :3

Pants: candi-coded.com

It wasn’t the particularly crappy layout, the mismatched colour scheme or the tiny text that convinced me to give “c a n d i – c o d e d [ dot ] c o m” a Pants Award. It wasn’t even the teeny-bopper cliché spaces in the title. No, it was the ‘four reasons why [I] should choose Candi Coded’ that pissed me off, which is amusing when you consider that their aim is to lure me into spending money.

If a website boasts “organized” or “professional” coding, you know I’m going to eventually have a look. So when a website states both (in the same sentence no less), followed by the words “Amazing quality coding” you can guarantee that I will pick it apart, line by line. Because I’m that much of an arsehole.

Turns out that the so-called organised and professional coding includes no Doctype, an advertisement of “no tags” in the meta description (I’d pay to see a website with no tags), embedded and proprietary CSS, no closing tags for a large proportion of the page and multiple missing alt attributes which totals in 62 HTML validation errors (according to my Firefox toolbar). To top it off, I can’t validate it in the “real validator” without forcing an ISO- character encoding.

The contact page link in the footer is a 404, the poll doesn’t work (a side effect of having JavaScript disabled, no doubt) and I can’t believe that this person thinks they’re qualified to write articles advising beginners. Hey, at least they’re good for a chuckle:

Not everything in life is a guarantee, so you are probably a little hesitant about investing your money. Do it the right way and have Candi Coded guide you in the right direction.

Yes! Get a teenager — with no more than basic HTML skills at best — to guide you onto the path of website disaster. Why go to a real company when you could ask a kid who throws around the terms “ssl certificates” and “shopping carts” like they know what they’re talking about but demonstrate no such thing. You’ll be safe with Candi Coded, she’s been doing it since she was 11 you know.

Nicky: because you haven’t got a clue what professional design and coding is about and yet dare charge people anyway, here’s a Pants Award for you:

pants award 9

Feel free to direct link :)

A final note… in my last Pants post, I was accused of bullying the recipient’s website. Now personally, I’m not sure how one bullies a website, or how a single post can be classed as bullying but it did make me stop and think. Despite what many will tell you, and despite the image I like to maintain, I am a nice person (aww) and have often defended the little guy just because nobody else will. So anyway, I thought about it and I came to the conclusion that the Pants Awards are really no different to my reviews, which in turn are no different to any other kind of criticism. Life is full of criticisms, and until it becomes illegal or immoral to criticise, I will continue to do so.

With that said, I am not going to force anyone to read my posts. You have the choice to ignore (boycott?) whatever you like, as many of my visitors do. I target a varied audience and expect people to pick what’s best for them (my Mum doesn’t like my coding posts). Even I can’t think of a single blog in which I’ll read every single entry! So make your decision and stick to it, but don’t come whining to me (because I’m not going to listen).

Pants: contagious.nu

Note: contagious.nu has since changed ownership. The content of this post is in no way aimed at the new owner, Dan. The post will remain live purely to avoid a broken link.

The biggest problem with acting like a wanker on the Internet is that there’s always a bigger wanker (me) out there prepared to shit all over you. I’ve seen plenty of websites recently, the owners of which I would love to knock down a peg or two (virtually speaking). Unfortunately they’ve got to wait in line, because today’s Pants Award recipient has been patiently waiting since March.

When I first came across today’s recipient I was struck by how much of a bigoted cock he is. I was also confused by the constant references to karma as if it were some sort of revenge tool. Now, I’m not really “up” on all of these religious concepts but I thought karma was not about revenge? Either way, from what I’ve read on this site, karma is going to be after my ass apparently…

contagious.nu is badly coded (HTML doctype with a mix of XHTML and HTML tags, <div>s in place of headers), badly worded (additional ‘is’ in the first sentence of the introduction just for starters) and badly in need of an intellectual property lawyer to rip chunks out of it for copyright infringement.

We should put aside the desperate attempt at a bad attitude, the illiteracy despite claims of intelligence and the obvious attention seeking (“Comments are currently disabled, because I don’t care what people think anymore.” — surely if this were the case it wouldn’t matter if comments were enabled or not?). These are all minor in the grand scheme of things and not unlike many other personal websites. What I can’t put aside is the claim that “Everything on [contagious.nu] is legally copyrighted to me” when the majority of the Downloads section belongs to other people.

Of course, there’s the lame-ass warning in teeny tiny text “These scripts were not made by me” but this doesn’t change the fact that they’re being illegally distributed; somewhat ironic if you keep reading… “Please [abide] by their rules, obligations, and credit requirements.“. I could maybe forgive this if I thought that this was a case of ‘net etiquette newbie-ness and/or this person had no idea that this was a no-no, but I know for a fact that at least one person has contacted Mr Contagious and been fobbed off with bullshit.

So, because I think you try too hard, you code badly and you’re putting hundreds of people at risk by distributing old, out-dated, insecure scripts.. Gregory, you are my 8th Pants Award winner. Blame God, he told me to do it.

8th pants award

Whoo, those are just too sexy.

Pants: Funky-Chickens.com

It’s never occurred to me that people actually use Funky Chickens as a valid resource for learning HTML. In fact, even after it was nominated for one of my infamous reviews (on several occasions) it wasn’t until I saw it linked alongside tutorialtastic as a valid place to learn code that I thought .. “eh? are they serious?” Apparently so.

The first thing that really hits me about Funky Chickens is the layout. Now, as any angered pants award recipient will tell you: my layouts are crap, I “can’t make a CSS”, etc. etc.. However, despite my obvious deficiency I know a really shit website when I see one. The vicious pinks and blues do not look good on top of ‘pure’ white. It’s very hard on my eyes (and I’m using a nice low contrast laptop: I won’t even try to imagine how these colours would look on my screen at work.) The adverts, which I’m fortunate enough not to see but noticed in the alexa® thumbnail, hardly add a touch of class, either. The first sentence of the introduction sums up the layout, actually: “Funky Chickens was created in December 1999” …and obviously hasn’t been updated since.

The underlined blue ‘header’ (if you can call it that) is misleading — even in this day and age where colours are used a-plenty, it is hard not to associate blue underlined text with a link. The “Funky-chickens.com Information” contains an obviously outdated autobiography and no visible link back to the home page, but at least confirms that the owner assumes himself to be a “web-designer”. Call me elitist if you will, but I believe you have to actually design something to call yourself a web designer.

The first page, “Beginner?” links to some dodgy free hosts (most of which probably don’t exist any more, I’m just too lazy to check) and at the bottom is a chunk of lovely-jubbly code. The problem with this is that there is no explanation what-so-ever. What’s <html> mean? Why do we have to add <title>? More important than valid code (shock, horror!) is an understanding of what your current code does, and this site does not even begin to try and explain — that goes for every single page.

The tables ‘tutorial’ invalidates with a massive 1970 warnings, according to my Firefox HTML Validator toolbar. Now, it sometimes likes to exaggerate and I’m sure a lot of these errors are caused by the copious amounts of advertising but ..1970?! Missing quotation marks around attributes and deprecated tags galore; these are the primary problems.

Superfluous (see, had to chuck it in there somewhere) JavaScript (on a page named ‘java2.shtml’ no less, ARGH) and a very dodgy looking sign-up box for ‘free hits’; ‘sponsor’ links which are just make-monkey schemes and advertisements for Diet Pills and various other drugs of questionable legality — these are all things that make Funky Chickens pants. A terrible unwillingness to update the code examples to bring them in line with 21st Century standards, or to even bother to explain what they do — this is what makes Funky Chickens pants.

Joshua: your website is pants. Please, accept this award as a token of my absolute hatred for the code you choose to continue to distribute:

pants award for funky-chickens.com

And, as per usual, feel free to direct-link :)

Pants: swimchick.net

In a way, I feel sorry for the owner of swimchick.net (“Jessica”). Of all the “crap site” nominations I receive, swimchick tops the list. It is also one of the most searched for terms by people looking through my reviews/previous pants awards. In fact, feedback on swimchick is so much in demand I feel I’m caving in to peer pressure just writing this.

Of course, any pity is generally overcome just by looking at Disclaimer in the side bar: “Everything you see here is rightfully Copyrighted to Jessica at swimchick.net unless otherwise stated.” — because of course, stealing celebrity photographs is all right as long as you credit the site that stole them originally, yeah?

I was originally going to review swimchick but according to the full disclaimer she doesn’t take advice unless she asked for it, so I don’t see the point wasting several hours writing an in-depth review only to have it ignored (oh, wait, isn’t that what usually happens..?) Talking of the full disclaimer, Jessica says: “My site is my site. I will do what I please with it and I do not need your permission for anything.” and thus by that logic: my site is my site, and I don’t need her permission to do anything with it (including mocking her in my blog) right?

Jessica is another one of these people that spends so much time talking about how her “CSS is crap” (don’t even get me started on the unnecessary written abuse of the poor styling syntax we know as CSS :( ) that she has neglected her content pages. Her side description tells us that she’s “17 years old. 18 on September 25th.” (is that Sept 25th 05, 06, 07…?) but her “More About [..]” page states that she’s 16. The page is, as well as inaccurate, very poorly worded. Take for instance “But it would keep you here forever and then you’d have absolutely no life” …now I’ve heard of being bored to death, but I always thought that was a figure of speech. I didn’t realise that one could lose your life just by reading. I am wondering if it’s commonplace in America to bring your teachers home too (“No one at home really calls me Jessica. Unless they’re trying to impress their teacher or something.”)

The obvious need for visitor attention and hits is demonstrated in multiple ways: an advertising link before the important introduction, and the fact that “visitor” and “tutorials” are linked higher in the menu than “me”. Don’t get me wrong, I maintain a healthy obsession with my own statistics and monitor them every second of every day (did I just say healthy?!) but if you own a personal website, it makes sense to keep it personal first and foremost. Cookie-cutter generic reads and badly cropped stolen celebrity photography are rampant in the visitor section (and they’re not even that great).

Tutorials. Ohhh, tutorials! Apparently the tutorials were written by Jessica and we’re not to steal, redistribute or edit them in any way. Ha ha ha. Sorry, that wasn’t a joke? I was really looking forward to seeing the Adding Music tutorial but the link was broken. Woe. This is more than made up by the “Animated Title” tutorial in which a bit of Dodo’s dodgy JavaScript is being redistributed. Hold on a cotton-picking minute, didn’t we just get lectured on how these tutorials belong to Jessica? Tut tut, shame on her.

“Auto Favourite” is another broken link, “Bg Colour Change”/”Blocking IPs” seems to have some coding issues (apart from the two sets of <body>, I mean). “Custom Bullets” is stolen from pixelfx and has been mangled making it even worse than the original (I didn’t think that was even possible). Not only does she fail to point out that list items need to be placed within an unordered/ordered list tag but she also fails to offer the more sensible solution of customising the actual list instead of the individual items. “How to Css” is another broken link, but that’s OK because I’m happy just laughing at the name of the tutorial (“How to cascading style sheet”?) The iframe tutorial is missing an equals sign between the name attribute and its value, and it contains superfluous styling. (Has anyone else notice that I make a habit of including the word ‘superfluous’ at least once in my reviews/pants posts?)

Got to love how she’s teaching people to break various laws by redistributing default Windows fonts…

Jessica: for offering stolen reads, tutorials and resources; creating tutorials based on other people’s code; chucking around the word “respect” like it’s something we owe you; being generally ignorant of the point of validating your code; and various other crimes to humanity, you win the 6th Pants Award.

pants award

Feel free to direct link :)

Pants: OUTSPOKEN-kate.com

OUTSPOKEN-kate.com is a typical teenage personal website. Small text — barely different in colour from the background, mangled iframes given extreme heights to try and prevent extra scrollbars, indistinguishable links and the insane assumption that being able to scrape together a website gives you the right and/or ability to publish shitty tutorials.

Before we even get to them though, you must check out the sidebar. Under what I assume says “Visitor” (dodgy coloured tiny text image-based headers are a nightmare) there’s the following words of wisdom:

It is Kate’s site and yes, she is entitled to do and say as she pleases as a legal right of a paid domain.

HOLY SHIT! I did not realise that owning a domain gave me the legal right to do and say as I please. I think I’m going to use the fact that I own two domains as an excuse to chop the arms off the obviously blind teenage chav-mum who rammed my ankles with her fake Burberry™ pushchair/buggy while I was out shopping with my sister earlier. Serves her right, damnit.

Still on the sidebar:

Everything found here is copyright to Outspoken-kate.com and Kate (2006)

This on the same sidebar as credit for a picture of Hilary Duff to someone else. I don’t really see how everything can belong to this ‘Kate’ person if she didn’t make half of the crap she’s displaying. The legality of using celebrity photography is another matter altogether…

The site also features:

  • Superfluous colouring on a 150Kb .png; CSS positioning and optimisation be damned.
  • Fonts that belong to other people which are not supposed to be redistributed.
  • Celebrity PSDs (oh, how original)
  • Scrollbar codes. Perfect for invalidating your CSS.
  • Generic, stolen reads — hoorah!

Of course, eventually we have to get back to the tutorials. Oh, those tutorials. As is typical of me, we will skip over the graphics tutorials and head for the lovely: “CSS/HTML/JAVA”. Before you assume I’m messing with someone who knows more languages than I do, don’t panic.. it’s just yet another fool who doesn’t know the difference between Java and JavaScript.

Don’t let the section header put you off, take a look at this fantastic code: <img height=1 loop=infinite dynsrc="http:// YOUR MP3 ADDRESS HERE " width=1 autostart=true>. Why punish my poor elitist eyes? :( (If you have to ask what’s wrong with that, stop reading now.) There’s also the classic aligning tutorial, where I’ve been taught a new tag! For those of you who are obviously misguided like myself, don’t forget to use after the align attribute in an image tag.. because all attributes come with closing tags, right?

Try not to be too in awe of the superior coding, there’s a tutorial for font n00bs too. Installing a font — because copy & paste is such a complex procedure. If that’s too hard for you, you could always check out “Offering PSD Downloads” which must be different to offering a normal link or download and that’s why it needs a tutorial all of its own.

I’m frustrating myself just browsing this website, so I’m going to finish this tirade off now. OUTSPOKEN-kate.com, you win the 5th Jemjabella.co.uk Pants Award:

pants award

Don’t forget to link back!
(My thanks to the donator of the pants I’ve been using in my awards so far, they’ve been invaluable! You know who you are.)