29 January 2003 :::
11 am EST
SH: Who wants to know?
GW: It’s George.
SH: Yeah, I been expecting your call since I caught your show last night.
GW: This isn’t about oil.
SH: I know that, Mr Hydrogen Car. This’s about you and me.
GW: Damn straight. I’m gonna put your ass in a box.
SH: Uh huh. So what if the UN doesn’t go along with it?
GW: Ask me do I care what those irrelevant parliamentary poofs have to say.
SH: Word, that makes two of us. I don’t give a rat’s ass what the UN says either.
GW: Yeah, but you played that all wrong, Homes.
SH: Whatever. So what’s your plan?
GW: Put your ass in a box. How about you?
SH: My plan? Kill all your soldiers and a few million of my own people.
GW: Why your own people?
SH: Teach them a lesson.
GW: Things may not go your way. Then what?
SH: Lob a little of that anthrax I’m not making at Syria and Iran, give Israel or Turkey a taste of botulinum toxin. Then out the door with a fake passport, some nice luggage, and a fat Swiss bank account. I could pass as retired Greek shipping tycoon. Shave the moustache, have a little work done by Michael Jackson’s plastic surgeons. Get me a beach house and a couple hundred servant girls, satellite hookup, Cartoon Channel, watch me some Power Puff Girls.
GW: Not if you’re dead and in a box you won’t.
SH: Yo, Bush Junior, my lookalike’s been tied up in a dungeon for six months, shot full of morph, wouldn’t know his own mother if I hung her up next to him. He’ll die bravely on the field of battle, no problem.
GW: Not bad.
SH: Thanks. So how’s your morning looking?
GW: Well, I’ve figured out a way to make sure rich people never have to pay taxes again. You?
SH: Removing the fingernails and eyelids from a six year old child while his mother watches.
GW: Ouch. You are one bad hombre.
SH: Word. You been sounding a little like Clint Eastwood yourself.
GW: I dig Clint.
SH: Who doesn’t? I particularly enjoyed the moral ambiguities of Unforgiven. And the way that girl got cut. I’ve got a loop of that scene, we pull it out and watch it when I’m having one of my smokers with the boys.
GW: You can kiss your boys goodbye. We’re going to liberate Iraq. Turn your palaces into malls.
SH: You can try.
GW: Gonna get you.
SH: You say so.
GW: Gonna put your ass in a box.
SH: Or somebody’s. Gotta run.
GW: Me too.
Click. Click. :::
25–26 January 2003 :::
Default Folder Fix
Default Folder X 1.6.5 is now available. It corrects a startup conflict with Suitcase 10 that was driving us crazy, and adds neat new features as well. The update is free to registered users of earlier versions of Default Folder X, and we highly recommend it. :::
Come Wednesday of next week, we expect to be able to announce the launch of another new site. :::
24 January 2003 :::
In the Reagan years, stockbrokers were America’s darlings, and during the Internet boom of the late Clinton years, America made heroes of undergraduates who launched web businesses.
Our heroes for today are an elderly African American couple helping each other walk into a doctor’s office in our building’s ground floor. You could tell they hadn’t caught many breaks and still weren’t catching many. You could tell they loved each other and loved life.
Our other hero for today is Jack Caleb, who had the courage to be born last night, and his parents, Niki and Brian. Much love. :::
Take our wi-fi, please
Newborn Airshare Community Wireless (“How we learned to stop worrying and love telecommunications”) is an online community for learning and sharing information about wireless LANs. Looks swell, reads great, navigates easily, and it validates against XHTML 1.0. Design community activist Kelly Abbot, also responsible for Spoke and Axle free web hosting, directs the project. :::
In “XHTML 2.0, the ugly duckling,” Karl reminds us that the W3C’s controversial emerging markup spec is still in its infancy, and that, as we’ve also said here, it in no way makes obsolete earlier specs including HTML 2, HTML 3.2, HTML 4.01, XHTML 1.0 or XHTML 1.1, all of which are established standards and which designer/developers can continue to use indefinitely. :::
It’s hard to be us
With too much work and too little time, we are even farther behind than normal in responding to email and reader mail. We beg your indulgence and thank you for your understanding. :::
It takes a thief
There’s this young guy who’s stolen this site’s design (such as it is), including image files, CSS, and markup, and helped himself to a lot of our language while he was at it. Apparently he makes a hobby of taking other people’s work. For weeks his site looked exactly like this one. A few days ago he changed the background color slightly and hid some of the images he’d swiped.
Many, many people have written to us about this lad’s site. We thank them for their concern. But we are not even slightly distressed. First off, anyone visiting will know whom he nicked it from. Secondly, as soon as we find time, we plan to redesign zeldman.com again. It is Sunday School Ethics 101 wrong to take other people’s work and palm it off as your own. But in this case, we don’t care.
On the other hand, our friends at 37signals were just ripped off again, this time by a competitor who took their carefully written business copy and is using it to try to win clients—clients whose interest 37signals, and not the thieves, have earned. That kind of stealing is woefully wrong and legally indefensible. We wish 37signals luck resolving it. :::
23 January 2003 :::
10 am EST
Last night we shipped final Author Alterations on three more chapters of Forward Compatibility. Ten chapters are now good to go. Our task ends in March. The book is expected to ship in August.
View browser source 3
Dan Rubin’s View Source Apple Scripts for OS X browsers have now been posted at webgraph.com. Supported browsers: Chimera, IE, Mozilla, Netscape, Opera, and Safari. Supported editors: BBEdit, PageSpinner, and TextEdit, to which emacs, pico, and vi will soon be added. See also Russell Harlan’s View Source Apple Scripts. If you wonder why browsers would need third party help to display source in your XHTML editor of choice, see previous reports (1) and (2). :::
Sounds like a movie we saw once, but we swear we were drunk at the time
Michael spanks Mark for flogging W3C for pumping out a backward-incompatible proposed XHTML 2 spec. Mark is wrong to think XHTML 2, if released as-is, will make XHTML 1 obsolete—though the “2” in the proposed spec’s name makes it easy to leap to that conclusion. Michael is wrong to gauge Mark’s reaction as mere attention-getting hysteria. XHTML 2 may evolve into a fine spec for XML supergeeks (though even some XML experts dislike it). But the spec, as it now stands, it is hostile to ordinary people who create websites. That may change as the community provides feedback. (If it doesn’t change, that won’t be a catastrophe, because ordinary people will never be forced to use XHTML 2.) Nevertheless, we get the feeling that XHTML 2’s most ardent supporters think ordinary designers and developers are bad and stupid and backward and intractable, and that only brute force can deliver the semantic web. It’s that disdain for ordinary people and that willingness to use brute force, rather than any particular technical aspect of the proposed XHTML 2 spec, that rubs us way the wrong way. :::
More than zero
22 January 2003 :::
10 am EST
It’s co-o-o-old in New York City, and getting colder. Humberto is 65. His mother is 88. “This is no city for an old person,” Humberto says.
Free fonts and balloons
Just when you think you’ve seen enough indefensible corporate web patenting to last a lifetime, along comes SBC Communications. The American telco claims to own a patent on framed web navigation and expects a “licensing fee” of up to 5% of the revenue of any site that uses “selectors or tabs that ... reside in their own frame or part of the user interface.” Hat tip: Stuart Robertson. :::
The happiest cog
View source in OS X (update)
Russell’s View Source scripts have been updated to work around a problem in DragThing 4.5.2. An alternate set of View Source scripts created by Dan Rubin adds support for Chimera, and its URL will be posted here soon. (The 0.6 release of Chimera is not scriptable, but a December build is.) Daring Fireball has additional comments on Russell’s scripts. :::
Padawan.Info explores the line of thinking that may have led the Supreme Court to uphold the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998, and a famous cartoon rodent expresses his delight with the Court’s decision. :::
21 January 2003 :::
6 pm | 5 pm | 10 am EST
We’ve returned from a lovely and much needed weekend break. The city of Pittsburgh may not be on everyone’s Top Ten Must Visit list, but it’s truly something to see, particularly when its rolling hills are covered in snow. We flew there to visit family; the scenery was icing. (Literally.)
View source in OS X
Russell Harlan has posted downloadable AppleScript files that let you view source in your HTML editor of choice when using OS X browsers that no longer (or do not yet) support this feature.
SpinnerSource_IE displays the source of the frontmost IE5/Mac window in PageSpinner. SpinnerSource_Saf does the same for Apple’s new Safari browser. BBSource_IE displays the source of the frontmost IE5/Mac window in BBEdit. BBSource_Saf does the same in Safari. Russell’s scripts are freely available to all, and may be modified as you wish.
Slip the script of your choice into the OS X Dock, or, better still, attach it to DragThing, which lets you assign a keystroke command to trigger the function. We chose Command-E, which is the default View Source command key sequence in Mac browsers. Note that there is no script for Chimera due to compatibility issues. Another developer, who is also working on a set of Source triggering scripts, may have solved the Chimera problem. Watch this space.
Prior to OS X, you could instruct your browser to display source in your XHTML editor of choice. Under OS X this no longer works in IE5/Mac and is not yet supported in Safari or Chimera, both of which are still in beta. Meanwhile, we’ve got scripts. :::
Designers in the house
Basefield has updated. “A vehicle for ... the collective talent of our design community,” Basefield publishes limited edition posters. A percentage of each sale is donated to charities that provide “ongoing support to the kids we so often forget when we shut our doors at night.”
20 January 2003 :::
“I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality.... I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.” — ML King :::