1 February 2005 1 pm est | twice updated

In today’s Report:
ALA 194
Special double issue on separating behavior from structure and presentation.
Black History in Motion
As Black History Month begins, The New York Public Library launches In Motion: The African-American Migration Experience.

ALA 194

In a special double issue of A List Apart, for people who make websites, Peter-Paul Koch shows how to separate behavior from structure and presentation via JavaScript “hooks,” and J. David Eisenberg explains how to make those hook-laden pages validate.

JavaScript Triggers

Now that you’ve separated your website’s (XHTML) structure from its (CSS) presentation, wouldn’t it be great to similarly abstract the behavioral (JavaScript) layer from the others? ALA prodigal Peter-Paul Koch shows how to use JavaScript Triggers to do just that.

Validating a Custom DTD

In his article in this issue, Peter-Paul Koch proposes adding custom attributes to form elements to allow triggers for specialized behaviors. The W3C validator won’t validate a document with these attributes, as they aren’t part of the XHTML specification.

Not to worry! This article will show you how to create a custom DTD that will add those custom attributes, and will also show you how to validate documents that use those new attributes.

Black History in Motion

In the U.S., 1 February is the first day of Black History Month. This year it also marks the launch, by The New York Public Library, of In Motion: the African-American Migration Experience:

A sweeping narrative from the transatlantic slave trade to the Western migration, the colonization movement, the Great Migration, and the contemporary immigration of Caribbeans, Haitians, and sub-Saharan Africans. Told in historical texts, rare visual materials, and contemporary photo-journalism.

Although it is not instantly apparent, the site provides immediate access to rare documents in The Library’s collection. It is a web interface to non-web documents. In Motion is a joint production of NYPL’s Digital Library Program and Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Hat tip: Carrie Bickner Zeldman, who helped birth the colossal site.

28 January 2005 12 noon est

Gunner Palace double launch

We would link to the newly launched Gunner Palace website even if it were not crisply designed and compellingly written.

The indie documentary Gunner Palace (“Some war stories will never make the nightly news”) chronicles the daily experiences of 400 young American soldiers headquartered in a bombed-out pleasure palace once owned by Saddam Hussein.

Compiled by co-directors Mike Tucker and Petra Epperleinand, the Gunner Palace blog...

...consists of notes from the production of the film in 2003–2004 and emails sent from 2/3 FA soldiers during their 410-day deployment to Baghdad and Najaf.

The film (view trailer) has been picked up for nationwide U.S. theatrical release on 4 March 2005. Leading up to the wider release, director Tucker and soldiers from the film have begun a sneak preview tour of select U.S. cities.

God bless the brave.

25 January 2005 8 am est

ALA 193

Issue 193 of A List Apart, for people who make websites, features Norm Carr and Tim Meehan’s gentle introduction to use cases:

One of the biggest problems in creating and delivering a site is how to decide, specify, and communicate exactly what we’re building and why. Use cases can help answer these questions by providing a simple, fast means to decide and describe the purpose of your project.

Also in this issue, please note that ALA’s translation policy has changed.

21 January 2005 1 pm est

Picture for a Friday afternoon

As the weekend approaches, I leave you with two good links and one interesting stinker:

The Mindness of Strangers
Over three months, Danish designer Simon Hoegsberg stopped 150 strangers on the streets of Copenhagen and New York City and asked them what they had been thinking about the second before he hailed them. Using a microphone and a dictaphone, he recorded their answers, then snapped their photos. The result, launched today, is The Thought Project.
Dooces Loaded
Dooce.com, the website of Heather B. Armstrong, continues to provide the pleasures of real human writing (see, for instance, “Why simply enjoy an organism when you can experience a sensational organism?”) in an enviably clean yet smartly branded blog layout. There are even nifty Categories for those who like to slice reality into comprehensible pieces. If you like your personal sites personal, this Dooce is for you.
Not so bright
Mensa International is a society of people who are much, much smarter than you or me. (You or I? See, that’s one reason I’m not a Mensa member. Them cats knows they grammar.) Anyway, the people of Mensa are bright, which makes deliciously ironic the fact that their website is kind of dim.
For openers, when you go to mensa.org, you are redirected to mensa.org/home.php. No, I am not kidding.
According to the home page, Mensa “‘provides a forum for intellectual exchange.’” (I use double quotations because Mensa wraps quotation marks around its own site copy.) Perhaps they should exchange intellectual ideas with someone who knows how to configure a web server. There’s tons more but I’ll leave it as an intellectual exercise for the reader with time on his or her hands to list all the bone-headed mistakes on the smart folks’ site.