3 September 2001
We've updated the Book Site
. See Book News
for details. His Apartness is now leaving for San Francisco, where he will speak
, and visit with the nice people at Macromedia. Daily Report updates will resume when Zeldman returns to New York next week. Meanwhile, please enjoy A List Apart
, Digital Web
, or any of the fine sites in our Exit
2 September 2001
Joe Jenett has launched a new initiative asking site owners to take a stand
against those annoying pop-under ads. (Web users can also turn off pop-under ads practically forever, as explained
in a previous Report.)
31 August 2001
My Glamorous Life
No. 53: Notes from the Text Shredder
[10 am | 8 am]
In Issue No. 120
of A List Apart
, For People Who Make Websites:
BUILD A SEND TO FRIEND PAGE — by Daniel Short. In this quick 'n easy tutorial, Short shows how to increase the popularity of your site by building a simple "Send to Friend" form in HTML and ASP.
EVOLVING CLIENT CONTENT — by Steven Garrity. Content management systems are only as good as the content they manage. Garrity explores the care and feeding of low-budget clients who need high-quality content.
These fine articles and the ALA Coders Forum are available for your pleasure at alistapart.com
, where joy flows and cows sing. This double issue of ALA will run for two weeks, while your humble web author runs off
Shooting fish in a barrel: A Moose column
claims that CSS, (X)HTML, and "old-school" web designers themselves are irrelevant in a world of content management systems (CMS). Umm ...
(1.) Who crafts the templates? Web designers. (Can clients and end-users design the templates themselves? Sure. And we all know what those sites look like.)
(3.) Are web designers exclusively template crafters? Nope. Good web designers help craft the information flow so visitors can understand it; and many either create the content or work closely with those who do. A web designer who shovels client-written prose and client-designed informational structures into a template isn't really doing his or her job—though difficult clients can sometimes force us to give them what they want instead of what they need.
(4.) Content management systems are only as good as the content they manage (see this week's ALA
), and the look, feel, and functionality of CMS-driven sites is only as good as the site's designers make it. CMS doesn't make web designers or web standards irrelevant any more than it makes writers and readers irrelevant.
Other than that, it was a good column.
30 August 2001
My Glamorous Life
No. 52: The Gift
30 August 2001
[5 pm | 11 am]
Tomorrow's Photoshop Tennis
match pits xplane.com
. Catch the match Friday at 1pm Chicago time, 2pm NYC, 7pm London, 8pm Amsterdam.
has decided not to comment on CNET's recent Netscape 4 renovation
tutorial. We were, however, quite fond of CNET's tutorial on starting fires by rubbing two sticks together.
The rumor mill is buzzing that Microsoft intends to stop supporting IE on the Mac. Untrue. Improvements and upgrades are in the works. We're not at liberty to say anything more, except that rumors are often false, and people should learn to relax and enjoy life.
An interesting discussion
on RedCricket's Shuffle Board laments that the CSS box model (correctly implemented in Mozilla, Netscape 6, IE5/Mac, IE6/Win, and Opera 5) is harder to work with than the incorrect (but more intuitive) implementation in IE4/5/Win.
Sample comment: "The current 'standard' box model is retarded. The fact that padding, border, and margin all get added to the width of the box makes using boxes with percentage widths just plain dumb."
Actually only padding and borders are added to the overall size, but we agree
with the sentiment. Unfortunately, the CSS1 spec was written in 1996, and it isn't likely to change.
add more real-world designers and developers to its working groups? Undoubtedly. But most working designers and developers don't have the time or money needed to participate in the standards process.
29 August 2001
After nearly 900 episodes, Mister Rogers
is leaving the Neighborhood
. Produced in Pittsburgh, the gentle kiddie program has been a favorite with toddlers, parents, and parodists since its launch in 1968. PBS, which plans to continue the series following its host's retirement, will broadcast Rogers's final new episode this Friday.
28 August 2001
WebReference's Advanced CSS Layouts
details the magazine's quest to replace its table-based layout with one designed exclusively in CSS. The step-by-step tutorial makes a fine companion to ALA's Advanced CSS Layout Tips
and A Designer's Journey
, and demonstrates the community's continued interest in finding smarter, more interoperable ways to design websites.
After perusing this morning's report
, one reader (a Mac user) was horrified to learn that Microsoft has no plans
to port IE6 to platforms other than Windows. Not to worry: the standards support in IE6/Win is pretty much equivalent to what's been in IE5/Mac
since March, 2000. (Some would say IE5/Mac's CSS support is still slightly better than that of IE6/Win.)
Nor should we forget Opera 5
for Linux/Solaris, BeOS, EPOC, OS/2, Mac OS, QNX, and Windows. Or Mozilla
, for more platforms than we can list here. In short, there are standards-compliant options for everyone who uses a visual, desktop web browser.
Microsoft has officially released Internet Explorer 6
for Windows, and is claiming full compliance with web standards
DOM Level 1 and CSS1, as well as improved support for SMIL
, and "Microsoft XML,"
a binary parser for various XML-related technologies including XSLT and XPath.
In previous testing, the IE6 beta lived up to the CSS1 claims, fixing long-standing problems with the CSS Box Model
and those troublesome font-size keywords
. The beta also supported large chunks of CSS2.
As with all new browsers, the first release may require additional fine-tuning. For instance, an unfortunate CSS-related scrolling bug
first reported in ALA Issue 106 has not been fixed in the official version released today.
But, hey. Mozilla, Opera, and IE5/Mac aren't perfect yet either. The important thing is that, like the browsers just mentioned, IE6/Win gets several vital web standards right. And that's great news for all who build or use the web.
27 August 2001
[11 am | 10 am]
Following up on last week
's discussion of EMBED, OBJECT, and ActiveX, a password-free tutorial
at Apple.com explains how to update your HTML to avoid breaking Quicktime in IE/Windows and ensure a good experience for all your site visitors. Cut 'n paste HTML included.
Among the pearls at Jeff Gates's personal site, Life Outtacontext, are an amusing comparison
between East and West Coast beach cultures, and an oldish but still fascinating hypertextual portrait of the artist
. (The deeper you dig, the better it gets.)
The web community alt.sense
by the web community Fathom Five
, the successor to Astounding Websites. Both alt.sense and Fathom Five are well-run, organically evolving design communities that don't get a ton of media coverage (and probably prefer it that way).
We're So Proud: Today's Ditherati
("See the Digerati Dither, Daily") quotes your humble author on how web designers can find work despite the dot-com downturn. The quote is taken from an SFGate article by Joyce Slaton, Get a Job! And Get Out of My Coffee House, Too
. Our two-sentence quotation was excerpted from an hour-long interview conducted from a hotel bed in Seattle last month.
Book Beat: Thanks to our eagle-eyed readers, we've expanded the Bugs & Updates
page for Taking Your Talent to the Web
. And speaking of things bookish ...
My Back Pages: Tomorrow Zeldman will speak
at the Computer Page program of the Branch Libraries of the New York Public Library. Hopefully this is not just a trick to force him to pay for those overdue books.