27 April 2001
In Issue 107 of A List Apart, for people who make websites:
"FORGIVING" BROWSERS CONSIDERED HARMFUL—By hiding the need for structure that the web will require as it moves toward XHTML and XML, "forgiving" web browsers have helped breed a world of structural markup illiterates. Eisenberg examines the damage done. Plus:
PREVIOUS ISSUES UPGRADE—Browse your little hearts out in the new, improved PREVIOUS ISSUES directory. View by category or by issue.
::: Last night's comments about clueless web publishers were intended to ridicule pay-for-content schemes. They were not meant to suggest that software companies should give away their products, nor to criticize the publisher of The End of Free, Evan Williams, who has clarified the blog's purpose for dummies like us. (Thanks, Evan.) :::
26 April 2001
My Glamorous Life No. 44: Blur of Perpetual Now. :::
Some people have decided that nothing on the web will be free any more. Hmm. They didn't ask us. And they didn't ask most of these people.
What's really going on here? We think big businesses roared onto the web, spending stupid amounts of money because that's what big businesses do. When they didn't break even, they decided that the web was a "bad investment." Now they're blaming web users, and hoping to recoup their losses by charging us to read their repurposed content.
Guess what? It's a stupid idea and it won't work. If you're spending millions to publish on the web, stop spending millions or stop publishing. Don't tell us to charge money for our web publications, and don't expect us to pay you for yours. The web is free. Don't like it? Publish books and magazines. You can charge money for those. :::
24 April 2001
Our first three columns for Crain's Creativity Magazine — I Was a Teenage Telemarketer, Dot Gone, and Going E-Postal — have been added to Les Misc. :::
My Glamorous Life No. 43: Death in the Afternoon. :::
The site-wide redesign continues, as we spruce up old stories including If the Great Movies Had Been Websites, @17, God Bless Roger Black, The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Coder, and several others from the Les Misc B List. :::
23 April 2001
At long last, loves, our funky old Les Misc department has been rendered usable and semi-coherent. Please note that the Adobe articles listed are still offline while the makers of Photoshop juggle their site architecture. :::
22 April 2001
"Does the word 'pedestrian' frighten you? Could you survive for an hour without a cell phone, laptop, or - even worse - a television?" Death by Information in this week's Speech Therapy. :::
After reviewing hundreds of pages, we've just sent our publisher the final author's alterations and corrections. The book should go to press Monday or Tuesday, and ship before the end of May. :::
21 April 2001
Denmark calling. :::
20 April 2001
My Glamorous Life No. 42: The Clown Pants of Doom. :::
The ALA discussion forums have been hiccupping in response to back-end changes and a new server environment. Our hosts and collaborators at Webcore Labs have solved many of the problems, with more fixes due by Monday. Thanks to everyone who's written in.
Zeldman is interviewed in Issue No. 11 (April) and profiled in Issue No. 12 (May) of Create Online, a U.K.-based mag serving the digital design community. We apologize for the self-serving nature of this paragraph. :::
In Issue 106 of A List Apart, for people who make websites:
Beyond Usability & Design: THE NARRATIVE WEB—To succeed profoundly, Mark Bernstein says, websites must go beyond usability and design, deeply engaging readers by turning their journeys through the site into rich, memorable, narrative experiences. His thought-provoking comments make a lot of sense to us. Also in this issue: the IE6 SCROLLING BUG (And Other Delights) and the continuing joys of the CODERS FORUM.
Speaking of the ALA forums, they're now being being hosted on a dual 500mHz G4 Mac with .5 GIG RAM and RAID, running OSX and MySQL. (In English: they're a lot faster.) We've been working with Webcore Labs and Webchick to improve the forums' architecture, design, and backend, and we're about a third of the way there.
Back at zeldman.com, the site-wide redesign continues as all of My Glamorous Life gets a facelift (literally). More to come on that as well, but for now we must rest. :::
18 April 2001
My Glamorous Life No. 41: Monster Inside Me. :::
17 April 2001
The Edgewise Conference has been postponed, and will hopefully be rescheduled for later in the year. :::
A PDF version of TAKING YOUR TALENT TO THE WEB Chapter 3: Where Am I? Navigation & Interface is available for your reading and printing pleasure. Download it now, or stop by the Book Site. :::
16 April 2001
The Book Site has been redesigned and updated, and later this week we'll add a downloadable PDF version of Chapter Three. The book will be hitting stores in a few more weeks. ::: The updated and redesigned Ad Graveyard now contains fifty pages for your pleasure, including treasured classics and the ever-popular Viagra strategy. :::
15 April 2001
Joey Ramone, dead at 49. There is no doubt that the "do it yourself" spirit of independent web design and publishing owes a great debt to punk rock. And punk rock owes a lot to Joey. Rest in peace. :::
14 April 2001
Our site-wide redesign continues. Redesigned, expanded, and updated the veritable Ad Graveyard. Similarly reprocessed World Tour, Interviews, Awards, About, and the Exit Gallery. More to come. :::
If you're coming to United Digital Artists' Edgewise Conference in New York City, you can save $500 as a "friend of the speaker." Call 1-877-99-EWISE by Monday, 16 April to register for $295 when you mention your good friend Jeffrey Zeldman. What do we get out of it? The pleasure of your company. (We don't get paid for speaking at this conference. Heck, we're mainly doing it to hear the other speakers.) :::
13 April 2001
In our copious free time, we've begun redesigning zeldman.com to accomodate its changed architecture. :::
[2 am | 3 pm]
In Issue 105 of A List Apart, for people who make websites:
THE ROAD TO DYSTOPIA—Now that greed, pride, and stupidity have wrecked the web economy, how's a semi-idealistic web developer supposed to make a living? Developer Chris Kaminski follows the twisted path down the money trail, and ponders where we go from here.
99 REDESIGN—ALA Issue No. 99, originally published 16 February, helped launch a CSS redesign craze. But the issue's reliance on CSS-2 selectors caused problems in IE6 beta and IE4.5/Mac. So we've redesigned the issue, and updated A Web Designer's Journey to include more info, more tips, and more resources.
OUR BACK PAGES—Thanks and praise to Kylie of gusset.net for completing the overhaul of ALA's Past Issues department. You can now easily browse through every weekly issue ALA has ever published.
SWAPPIN' TIPS—CSS woes? Bug up your ASP? Talk about it in the ALA Coders Forum.
Its all online for your pleasure at alistapart.com.
Lance Arthur's Glassdog turned five years old yesterday. The event went unnoticed by the mass media. It did not make the cover of Forbes. It did not make the cover of Unemployed Internet Professional.
Mister Arthur's site was not a subject of intense speculation and debate in the investment community. No one carefully monitored Glassdog's fourth-quarter earnings, of which, aside from a possible tee shirt sale, there were none. No one mistook the fifth anniversary of Glassdog.com as an economic indicator.
But people who recognize the web for what it is—the freed creative voice of the individual—also recognize Glassdog for what it is: a lovely, witty, sustained meditation that's outlasted the browser wars, the dot-com goldrush, and many sites that equalled Glassdog's ambition but lacked its staying power.
Congratulations, old duffer.
CSS-2 is juicy and powerful web technology, but it's not terribly easy to understand. If your eyes glaze over when you see a perfectly valid CSS-2 selector like
div>h1+*#text a[title~="W3C"][class="external"]:visited:hover, join the club. Fortunately, there's help.
CSS guru Eric Meyer and his colleagues at the OPAL Group have created a free online tool called the SelectORacle that translates CSS-2 selectors into English. You can cut and paste confusing CSS-2 selectors from cutting-edge stylesheets, or type URLs and press the button.
SelectORacle has just been launched and will soon become more powerful. The group welcomes your suggestions and critiques.
The IE6 Bug Report page is online for a reason. If you're beta-testing IE6 and run into trouble on a particular website, be sure to let Microsoft know. For places to report bugs in other new browsers, see the WaSP Action page. ::: Killyourpc.org provides visitors with tools to prevent commercial interests from destroying personal privacy and damaging the usability of online technology. ::: Speech Therapy issue 03262001 fearlessly faces today's burning questions. :::