Happy Cog Studios
Life During Wartime
Geek Week Double Issue
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7 June 2002
[9 am | 7 am]
Congratulations to The Mirror Project on its first anniversary. The community site designed and conceived by Heather Champ now brags over 7,000 contributions, and has changed the way many of us think about chromium toasters, rear-view mirrors, and similarly reflective surfaces.
Tile Machine! Tile Machine! Tile Machine! After an endless day’s goatherding, filled with intellectual challenges and the heartbreak of working with others, how can you sit back, relax, and lose yourself in hours of childlike fun? How can you do that? Tile Machine! Tile Machine! Tile Machine!
Walking down a dangerous street at night, a man reassures himself by whistling.
In an interview conducted by Meryl Evans, Molly Holzschlag of The Web Standards Project and Bruce Lawson of Glasshaus discuss usable design as an interative process, and the importance of knowing—and designing for—your audience.
Nine years ago today, shaking and sweating, a man who thought his life was over shuffled into a dank room filled with folding chairs and laughing people and surrendered.
6 June 2002
[4 pm | 3 pm | 1 pm]
And now it’s Dee Dee.
Splish Splash Read! ECards for kids and teens from The New York Public Library and web designers you know. Shirin Kouladjie’s picture puzzle is fun. Click the NYPL lion to launch the puzzle. Nice work as well from Kitty Mead, Carole Guevin, Claire Robertson, Catherine Jones, Waferbaby, and more. Kid-friendly site design by Myriad Media.
Domain names. We don’t own them. We just rent them.
Shameful design theft: ripoff versus original. The perps’s site says: “Truly we believe in the word of mouth!!!” We’ve got a few words of mouth we wouldn’t mind sharing with them. If design piracy gets you hot (under the collar) you’ll find more at Pirated Sites, who we trust will add the SIF Evolt ripoff to their bulging treasure chest.
5 June 2002
Mozilla 1.0 has left the building.
Veer has launched. Buy typefaces, photographs, and motion clips that don’t suck. Congrats to Grant Hutchinson and colleagues on the launch.
Sarah Horton, co-author of the Yale Style Manual and Web Style Guide (1999: Yale University Press) has written a helpful paper on practical web accessibility. Hat tip: Michael B. Looney.
Being Jakob Nielsen, 2002. Not to be confused with Being Jakob Nielsen, 2000. Not to be confused with “Flash is 99%, uh... ” Jakob Nielsen himself.
Mark Newhouse’s “CSS: Promise vs. Realty” is among the best bits in this week’s issue of Digital Web Magazine. In his typically laid-back fashion, Newhouse corrects common misunderstandings while providing a practical overview.
We are honored to have been interviewed in the inaugural issue of Thinking Around the Corners, an arts and letters ’zine launched this morning by Kristian Walker. Congratulations, Kris! Publish long and prosper. For more interviews (like you care) see Happy Cog. As may be apparent, we are slowly moving our commercial detritus off zeldman.com and onto Happy Cog, where it belongs. At the moment, said detritus lives on both sites.
4 June 2002
[6 pm | 4 pm]
It appears we’ll be doing some traveling and jawing soon.
Congrats to Owen Thomas on the fifth anniversary of Ditherati, an indie daily dedicated to finding and enshrining digital idiocy. In his weblog, fancy journalist Paul Boutin has penned an overview of the Ditherati essence. Deep inside zeldman.com, you’ll find 15 Minutes With Owen Thomas, our late 90s Q&A with the Ditherati creator.
Also from Paul Boutin, this time writing for Wired News: “AOL Test May Renew Browser War.” The well-written piece contradicts an unfortunate title no doubt foisted upon it by tabloid-minded editors. We guess “AOL Switch to Mozilla Browser No Big Deal” lacked juice. Your humble host, representing The Web Standards Project, supplies a text byte. No amount of rational press coverage like Boutin’s will keep hype-hungry editors or less-than-knowledgeable web designers from frothing over the non-existent “Browser Wars, Episode 2,” but eventually reality will set in and the machine will find some new fantasy to sell.
Speaking of The Web Standards Project (particularly since readers keep asking about it), Phase II will finally launch in a few days. We can tell you this: you’ll find new text, a new look, and an emphasis on practical and educational matters. We’ve brought in new writers, designers, and coders, and asked them to do most of the work. How did they respond? You’ll see soon.
Daves of our Lives: Davezilla curates The Mirror Project. And if you like that, the poetically titled Ceramic squirrel protecting trash by the back gate may also please you.
3 June 2002
pMachine 2.0 is a feature-rich content management system capable of publishing anything “from a basic weblog to a full-blown interactive magazine.” Features include search, discussion, member registration, an XML parser for news feeds, CSS/XHTML compliance and more. Available in free and “pro” versions.
Two words: GUI Galaxy. We’re not sure how all of it works, and more than one key linked file seems to have been taken offline, but we love the colorfully detailed yet crisply controlled look and feel of this site.
Typographica, a collaborative weblog on the subject of typography, seems poised to fill the void left by the sadly defunct webtype.org and Lines and Splines. Hat tip: Big Dave Bastian.
Rogue Librarian’s “Good News, Bad News” covers the overturning of a Congressional Act that would have forced public libraries to violate the First Amendment Rights of their patrons (i.e. to filter and censor web access), and a simultaneous widening of the FBI’s right to spy on American citizens in churches, libraries, and online.
On our shelf: Usability: The Site Speaks for Itself (Glasshaus) by Adrian Roselli, Molly E. Holzschlag, Bruce Lawson, Kelly Braun, Matt Haughey, et al. The book presents case studies in IA and usability by the designers and architects responsible for the sites discussed. Our industry could use more books like this.
Our 31 May blurb about Boxes & Arrows has been misinterpreted by some as a mean-spirited slam at Information Architects floundering in a weakened economy. Settle down, people. This gent pegged it. We’re all in the same leaky boat. Keep paddling.
Our Boxes & Arrows blurb also revealed a bug afflicting IE/Windows. When width is set on an ordered list, all instances of the
<li> tag will be numbered 1, as opposed to 1, 2, 3, and so on. Screenshot care of Caio Chassot. The bug has been reported to Microsoft. Also from Caio: Hiding CSS From Netscape 4. And if you like that, you’ll love CSS1 With Mozilla Bug Annotations.
1 June 2002
31 May 2002
[3 pm | 2 pm]
It’s the day you’ve all been waiting for. Clint Eastwood’s birthday. Also the sixth anniversary of Jason Kottke’s 0sil8. Congratulations, Mister Kottke. Today also marks the seventh anniversary of Jeffrey Zeldman Presents and the beginning of our eighth year online. We feel like Miss America. Glycerin tears of joy and thanks to all who’ve mailed congratulations. What, you couldn’t send money?
Some of you may be disappointed by the lack of a stunning Year Eight Redesign here. We’ve actually started one, but we’re not happy with it yet. Besides, the Happy Cog relaunch and client work took precedence. Dully familiar we may look, but fresh we are each day.
style, zeldman are one.
eight short, festive years online,
You’re an information architect. That means two things:
- You read Boxes and Arrows.
- You’re unemployed.
Fortunately, the Boxes and Arrows clothing line is conveniently priced for those “between positions.” Boxers and arrows, anyone?
In yesterday’s Report, we noted that MacSlash had lost its domain to squatters. The site is now up at a new url, and they have a sad tale to tell about why they lost their domain.
Look At Me is as a found photo site with an intriguing yet intuitive interface, a razor-sharp design sensibility, and ugly underlying code and markup generated by GoLive 5. Two out of three ain’t bad (and it really is a beautiful site).
Found photos are a popular web meme and nearly always grip you with feelings of nostalgia and loss. Interesting found photo sites include The People’s Photos, the very lovely Object Not Found, the Cardhouse Gallery, Found Photos (check out Honey), and Accidental.org, a collection we stumbled upon in 1995, back when it was a tilde site hosted at Interport, and which may have been the first to explore this concept.
Oh, and we apologize for the crack about GoLive-generated code, though we wish more designers would learn the frickin’ basics and at least try to understand the benefits of structural markup. Oh, golly, that wasn’t much of an apology, was it.
“It’s tough to advocate good craftsmanship to people bent on being artists at whatever the cost to the medium.” A.S Kadu, after reading Style vs. Design.
For those who think accessibility and tasty graphic design don’t mix, Perkins School for the Blind sports a fine-looking site that’s been carefully crafted to work for blind and low-vision readers (check the customization section). Designed with CSS and structured in XHTML, Perkins is fully compliant with WAI Guidelines and Section 508. Did we mention it also looks nice?
Limmy is back. If you don’t know what that means, you may not enjoy the site. If you do, you will. In a less comic vein, there’s Rui Camilo Photography.
NYC bloggers: “There are a million blogs in the naked city. Here’s where to find them.”
“Try as they might, major corporations will never turn the web into television.” Matt Haughey, creator of Metafilter, is interviewed in the latest pixelview.
Becoming Human is a remarkably well-produced educational site with more credits than most major motion pictures, and for good reason: the broadband site is essentially a TV documentary you can watch online (bandwidth permitting).
30 May 2002
Tomorrow Jeffrey Zeldman Presents begins its eighth year online.
The Happy Cog relaunch continues apace. Here’s that Colophon you ordered: brimming with educational value, sizzling with panache.
Public Lettering, a fascinating new site directed by typographer Phil Baines, focuses on the letter forms all around us. The dynamic presentation by Matt Hyde, Jack Schulze, and George Agnelli is elegant and sophisticated.
Version 2.2 of Style Master for Windows and Macintosh has left the building. A WYSIWYG tool for CSS design, Style Master can help you get up to speed on the web’s standard layout language. Style Master 2.2 supports all of CSS2, as well as the new CSS3 mobile profile.
MacSlash is the latest site to find its domain stolen. Its long-standing URL now points to a generic Dotster page. Attempts to contact Dotster have met with silence. As a temporary measure, the popular Mac OS site will soon be available at macslash.net. We wish the MacSlash community good luck, and wonder whose URL will be swiped next.
RogueLibrarian’s 30 May entry, “The Real Internet Predators,” tells how Network Solutions is trying to mislead site owners who’ve registered with its competitors. Just when you think the web’s least-favorite near-monopoly can’t possibly sink any lower, they do.
Issue 2 of This is a Magazine is out. The Flash-based collaborative site features artwork and photography from various contributors. Subscribers who type “love” on reaching the last page will be able to view a secret, sealed section.
29 May 2002
Ladies and gentlemen, the relaunch of Happy Cog. Now featuring actual content, and multiple pages, even. Includes the Happy Cog Project Planner, a downloadable file to help clients explain exactly what they want in a design or redesign project. (You’ll find it in the Contact section.) Still missing from this release: a portfolio of client sites. It’s next on the list.
One year ago today, he said, “I’m in love with you,” and she said, “I’m in love with you,” and that was it, and it was everything.
Ian’s Favelets (mini-scripts you can save in your browser’s toolbar) do wonderfully useful stuff. Like the original Favelets that inspired them, they should be part of any web designer’s tool kit.
Corporate Publishers, Ltd., a New Zealand publishing and marketing agency, has shamelessly ripped off copyrighted content from our book and is presenting it as their own work. Compare their tone-deaf minor edit with Chapter Three of Taking Your Talent to the Web. We don’t know how our copyright laws compare with New Zealand’s, but professional ethics are the same all over. Professionals don’t steal each other’s work. Only knuckle-dragging amateurs do that. Hat tip: Josh Knowles.
We recently discovered the personal site of Steven Frank, the very bright guy behind Panic Software and Disturbing Auctions. Mac users, Panic’s ancient LinkPad (“a scratchpad for links”) works as well now as the day it was released, and it’s free.
Earlier today, the manholes on our street began exploding, and some New Yorkers thought we’d fallen victim to the terror attacks we’ve been told to expect. Actually, though, the exploding manholes were caused by a utility company problem that has now been fixed.
We just loved writing “exploding manholes” in the paragraph above.
We rarely link to political opinions, but were somehow compelled to mention this one.
Sniffin’ the tears: MSN/Germany’s browser detector does not care for Mozilla or IE5/Mac. Visit its ecard site with either of those browsers, and you’ll be told to “upgrade” to IE4 or Netscape 6.1. (IE4? Yup.) Tip: Chris Kaminski. Related: MSN, Opera, and Web Standards in Issue 127 of A List Apart.
Two days ’til this site hits its seventh anniversary and begins its eighth year online.