MY GLAMOROUS LIFE: Tragicomic fodder from the life of Zeldman. A LIST APART: Design, code, content. For people who make websites. LES MISC: Articles, essays, and miscellanies. TAKING YOUR TALENT TO THE WEB: A Guide for the Transitioning Designer.
DAILY REPORT: Web design news for your pleasure.
STEAL THESE GRAPHICS: Free art for your desktop or personal site. FUN HOUSE: Entertainment for you. ASK DR WEB: Tips for web designers. Since 1995. 15 MINUTES: Interviews with movie stars and cyberstars, 1996-1999.

Current Project: Charlotte Gray
Current Glamour: Speed of Life
Current ALA: What the Hell is XML?
Current Interviews: CNET | pixelview

7 January 2002
[5 pm]
An overview of newly released Adobe GoLive 6.0 includes these fascinating notes: “Robust DTD–profiled enabled syntax checker for compliant W3C code; Section 508–compliant code for accessible sites; XML support furthers cross–media publishing, especially with InDesign 2.0.” (More info: press release. Hat tips: Craig VanDerSchaegen and Big Joe Clark.)

New Design for a New Year cont’d: L. Michelle’s Inflatable Sheep re–design includes a Style Sheet Switcher to enhance legibility for the visually impaired. Chris Casciano’s Placenamehere comes out piping hot and lightly browned for 2002. (Chris also prepared this little experiment for your pleasure.)

New at Why and How of Web Standards and an updated interview with yours truly originally published at Internet Business Forum. :::

6 January 2002
An ill–configured file is wreaking havoc with the visual display on some pages of this site. Please bear with us while we and our trusty Sysadmin sort things out. On a happier note, we’ve increased the font size on Skin 2, for those who like their web text big ’n crunchy. We’ve also updated our FAQ.

What Do I Know?, the weblog of Todd Dominey, looks mighty pretty, reads quite well, is easy to navigate, and was designed using nothing but XHTML/CSS markup. No tables. No 1px spacers. None of the junk we still use here to accommodate those Browser–War-era user agents.

SPAM Update: The Hivelogic Email Address Encoder & JavaScript Wrapper encodes your email address in numerical equivalents and then wraps it in JavaScript, the idea being that spammer’s robots are unlikely to decrypt such addresses, thus reducing the amount of “Barnyard Friends” mail in your in–box. The resulting text string validates. PHP source code is included.

Listener–supported Jazz 88 (WBGO Newark Public Radio) pumps commercial–free jazz into New York and Jersey. On Sunday mornings, Dr. Michael Bourne (whom we know from his long–ago gig with the Brain Sisters in Bloomington, Indiana) hosts a show featuring crooners like Sinatra and Tony Bennett. It’s the perfect audio accompaniment to waffle ingestion, bookshelf rearranging, couch cuddling, and other Sunday morning favorites.
        Once an hour, the music is interrupted by a few minutes of NPR news. And there is nothing quite as startling as the contrast between the whisky–warm world the crooners conjure and the world we actually inhabit. Speaking of which ...

Scott Skidder’s We Must Never Forget is a gateway to first–hand and media accounts of September 11th, from personal journal entries to an emotionally unviewable time–lapse video of the Trade Center Towers’ collapse.

More redesign fever: bluishorange (which is green), thinkdink (which is a lovely shade of #bbb9ab), and (which is Red, Red, Red, if you know what we mean, and we think you do). :::

XML auction?

4 January 2002
[5pm | noon | 11 am | 10 am | 9 am | 7 am]
In Issue No. 132 of A List Apart, For People Who Make Websites: What the Hell is XML? Troy Janisch’s designer–friendly tutorial explains the benefits of an XML–based content management system, and covers the basics and not–so–basics of developing an XML migration strategy.

Inspired by our good friend Jason Kottke, we’ve written a brief FAQ for

SPAM Update 1 (of 3):
Following yesterday’s Report on the Encoded Email Address Harvester, Steve Williams has added another weapon to the web designer’s arsenal: the Redirect Trick (PHP source included). Williams notes: “Of course, it’s trivial to write a spambot that recognizes character entities and/or follows the redirect. It’s an arms race.” See also Google’s listing of anti–spam approaches.

SPAM Update 2 (of 3):
In Save Your Site from Spambots, Steven Champeon takes a server–level approach to the prevention of spambot address scraping. Every Systems Administrator should read this piece.

SPAM Update 3 (of 3):
After reading Steve Champeon’s article earlier today, Drew McLellan was so inspired he created an ASP version of the code. “My version doesn’t use a redirect, but merely swaps out the email address with ‘Email address witheld’ or a string of the user’s choice when a known spambot is detected.”

“The fact that the web (well, really, the net) was built by nerds for purely altruistic reasons means that the spirit of collaboration, community, anti–consumerism, and self–expression are at the core of everything we do here. Is it any surprise that the web is lousy at making anyone rich?” Derek Powazek: the pixelview interview.

The Winter 2002 issue of Born Magazine presents fascinating word–image marriages such as Terri Ford and Eric Loyer’s “Story Problem,” in which your mouse cursor movements control the “performance” of a poem. (Please note, there is known bug in the issue: in IE5/Mac, you must hit Refresh to load the Flash movie that precedes the magazine’s table of contents. Editor Gabe Kean and his collaborators are working to solve the problem.)

This month’s Digital Web Magazine focuses on business and workflow: “Forget the foosball tables, dot–com massages and catered lunches; from here on out, it is strictly business.” Features include Meryl K. Evans on building the business game plan, Stephen Van Doren on empty storefronts, and Sara Cliver on client management.

Anthony Hare’s Siteway, now in its fifth year, showcases the designer’s fine illustrational style, clever motion design work, and clean web page layouts. ::: The January 2002 issue of Joe Gillespie’s Web Page Design for Designers focuses on the dos and don’ts of web page photography. ::: Kristen and Jason N. Perkins are expecting their first child and tracking the pregnancy on Jason’s site, somebodydial911. ::: A new look for a new year II: Rachel Andrew re–designs. :::

3 January 2002
[7 pm | 10 am]
Drew McLellan has written an Encoded email address harvester to show how easily a dedicated spammer could decrypt your encoded online email address.
        Spammers are to free enterprise as terrorists are to faith. Crafty spammers will wedge their penis extension pitches into your in–box no matter what steps you take. But an encoded address may deflect amateur spammers—the Richard Reids of Spamdom, as it were.

Meanwhile, Dan Benjamin has created for your pleasure and utility the Hivelogic URL Cleaner, an online tool that fixes the invalid web addresses spewed like hippo dung by the non–W3C–friendly content management systems behind many large content and commerce sites. As he did with his earlier Anti–Spam Email Encoder, Benjamin includes the PHP source code so you can roll your own.

Related to all the above (and much of what’s below), Mister Jake Sutton was inspired by the Hivelogic’s and Ben Darlow’s anti–spam encoders to write his own. In fact, he wrote three: one each in JavaScript, VBScript, and Cold Fusion. What a guy!

In other news, the web ownership wars continue, as a Canadian company claims that the RDF web standard infringes on one of its patents. Hat tip: the Head Lemur.

Just before the Holidays, the W3C released a record number of new publications, including nineteen Working Drafts, seven Notes, and a Recommendation (W3C’s humble parlance for a proposed industry standard). What’s a web designer to make of all this activity?
        What we take away is the impression that W3C standards are not only growing more numerous, they are also becoming more and more integrated with one another: If you harm one, you harm them all, and upset the entire ecosystem. We suspect that these technologies are now too detailed and too dependent on one another to be abused or hijacked by any individual company.

The Rogue Librarian (“Shooshin’ and stampin’”) has redesigned for the new year. Clean and simple. ::: Dial Tone Night is one of many arresting prose poems at Renee Ruel’s stream–of–consciousness journal, schubert’s Nose, designed and hosted by Neil Bruce Lee of Beatnik Pad. ::: Out of Focus is a delicately pretty personal site, full of subtle touches and details without ever feeling over–designed or too busy—not an easy feat. :::

2 January 2002
[3pm | 1 pm]
Spam, spam, spam, spam. After reading yesterday’s Report, Ben Darlow wrote a short PHP function (source code included) that will convert your email address to spammer–thwarting character entities.
        Dan Benjamin of Hivelogic created a similar tool this morning, also using PHP, and also including source.
        An existing site, the Email Address Encoder, performs this function as well. (Hat tips: Pinder and Mo Morgan.)
        Mac–based web designers, the latest version of PageSpinner, our HTML editor of choice since ’95, includes an AppleScript labeled “Anti Spam Email Address” that does just what you think it does.
        Jemma Gura of uses JavaScript to create a spam–resistant online email address (view source; hat tip: Warren Henning), as does Jason Kottke, as does Michael of I, Me, Michael fame. Scroll down to “quit spamming me, stupid bots” in Michael’s global JavaScript file, then view source on his homepage or just use this: <script type="text/javascript">mailme()</script>.
        It won’t deflect spambots from your personal or business site, but Spam Gourmet creates “self-destructing, disposable email addresses” that can be used on other people’s sites when they request an email address in the registration form. Resulting spam is sent to those bogus addresses instead of to you. The service is free. (Hat tip: Baudouin Van Humbeeck.)
        There are trade–offs associated with every technique. (JavaScript addresses won’t work for visitors who turn off JavaScript or use a non–JavaScript-capable browser; character entities may confuse non–traditional browsers, audio browsers, and some wireless devices). But, hey, that’s the web.
        We receive over 500 spam mails per day. Everything from “Did you get your check?” to stuff so dirty even we’ve never thought of it. Some web writers and designers no longer publish their address in any form, but we can’t see any sense in one–way web publishing. Besides, once your address has been out there, it’s as permanent as a prison record. Every pleasure has its price, we guess. :::

1 January 2002
[8pm | 7 pm]
Q. What is this?


A. It’s our spam–free email address. Numeric equivalents, kids. That’s the secret to publishing your email address online without exposing yourself to heaps of unsolicited, often offensive, junk mail.
        Of course, if you’ve already published your contact information online in the normal way, then your address has long since been harvested by spammer’s robots, added to thousands of sucker lists, and sold repeatedly to the creators of still more sucker lists. In short, you are going to get junk email for the rest of your online life, and spam–free email addresses won’t do you a damn bit of good.
        Your only hope is to discard your existing email address and start over again. But in so doing, you’ll lose valuable personal and business contacts along with the spam, find yourself without work or friends, and end up eating out of garbage cans while telling the other homeless folks about your days as a high–flying “Internet pioneer.” Happy New Year. :::

[6pm | 3pm | 1 pm]
Twelve months, twelve writers, twelve tales: 2001, a Year of Stories at {fray}.

We’ve tweaked The Daily Report and its divisions again, replacing non–structural junk with structural junk. While we were at it, we changed some words and stuff, the way you do when you’re re–coding. Unless you’re the type that never reads your own text, which in some cases might be for the best.

No sooner can you say “It’s January 2002” than the January 2002 issue of Whet Magazine hits the stands—or in this case, the ether, Whet being an all–digital publication, and a darned fine one, too. Requires Flash, though you may find yourself wondering why.

Have we mentioned how much we like Dan Benjamin’s Hivelogic? We like Dan Benjamin’s Hivelogic a lot. It’s one of those thoughtful, understatedly designed personal sites in the tradition of Textism, another site we like a lot, but you probably knew that. See also The Morning News, an NYC–based daily periodical much like the one you’re now reading, though much different as well, as all things are when you consider them closely enough. :::

30 December 2001
[10 am]
Texas Parks & Wildlife has “adopted web standards” in compliance with state laws regarding web standards and accessibility. Their rationale for taking this step might inspire other large content sites to consider doing likewise. TP&W uses The Web Standards Project’s Browser Upgrade campaign to faciliate the changeover of their site building methods.
        So, for different reasons, does, the official site of the Oakland Raiderettes. This one is reponsible for most of the hate mail the WaSP receives, since guys interested in seeing Jennifer Lynne Puckett in a wet bikini are naturally distressed when redirected to a page discussing web standards and browser compliance.
        Though The Web Standards Project is currently “hibernating,” the Browser Upgrade Campaign is continuously maintained and was last updated yesterday. It’s important to restate that many sites can support W3C standards without excluding non–compliant browsers. (Here’s one way to do that.) :::

ISSN: 1534-0309
Daily Divisions:
World Tour
Link Up

The Jakob Nielsen Corner:

Buy it, already:
Taking Your Talent to the Web
Other Works:
A List Apart
Happy Cog
Web Standards Project
Call for entries:
Communication Arts Interactive
Speaking at:
Meet the Makers
Seybold 2002
SXSW 2002
PLA 2002
Recent Project:
Standards–Compliant Style Guide
Recent Thinking:
Redesign on a Shoestring (PDN–Pix)
Make Web Sites that Work for All (Macworld)
Celebrating independent content and design.
The author and his opinions.
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