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.

<the best & the brightest>

Miss Prendergast stood with her back to the chalkboard. "Today, class, we are going to talk about Web Design," she said.

A hand shot up.

"If you will read my essay entitled 'Ten Reasons Why All Techniques Fail—'"

"Yes, Jakob," said Miss Prendergast, "but I was hoping to hear from some of the other children. Now, class, who can tell me about HTML? Jessica?"

"I use Blogger," said little Jessica, at which point a small group of girls and boys began high-fiving her.

"Matt?" tried Miss Prendergast.

Young James, who had spent the morning carving dragons into his arm with an old Bic pen, looked up suddenly. "Matt's in Tokyo, Miss Prendergast," he said.

"Ah," said Miss Predergast. "Well, then, perhaps Joshua—"

"Joshua is in Hong Kong," James said.

"My, what busy children some of us are," chirped Miss Prendergast.

"I find it odd that I have not been asked to go to Hong Kong," young Jakob said.

"Let's remember to raise our hands and be called upon before speaking," said Miss Prendergast.

"Oh, I never speak for less than $30,000," young Jakob said.

"You AV Squad boys, stop crowding around Jakob," said Miss Prendergast. "And you girls, Alexis and Maggie, if you have something to share with the class, please do so. Otherwise, please pay attention."

The two girls exchanged a knowing smile and began furiously scribbling in their diaries.

Miss Prendergast sensed that things were not going well.

"The subject," she reminded the class, "is HTML. Can anyone tell me about it? Glenn," she smiled hopefully, "this is one of your best subjects. Would you care to enlighten the other children?"

But Glenn just stared at Miss Prendergast.

"Glenn feels he has said enough," explained his friend Dan.

"HTML 1.0 is the only form of HTML that should be used until the year 2003, at which time—"

"Cool it, Jakob," said Miss Prendergast, forgetting herself for a moment. "All right. Someone else. Derek?"

"HTML is a subset of SGML, used as a structural markup language on the Web," said a little girl.

"Thank you, Heather, but I was calling on Derek. ...Where is Derek?"

"He's organizing the third graders to put on a spoken word festival," said Heather with an enigmatic smile.

Suddenly all the children began shouting at once.

"HTML doesn't matter. Customer experience matters," said little Mark.

"My stock is in the toilet," said little Craig. "But I'm still rich."

"Flash is evil," said little Dack.

"Micropayments are stupid," said little Taylor.

"Why aren't we talking about XHTML?" said little Gail.

"You mean XML," said little Tim.

"You mean Soap," said little Dave.

"But how will it effect Mozilla?" said little Cameron.

"And Linux?" cried little Rob.

"Wake me when it's over, boys," said little Amy.

"What about me? Shouldn't we be talking about me?" said little Ben.

"I've stopped talking about me," said little Jack.

"What's the point? Zeldman gets all the credit anyway," said little Lance.

"I think we can reconcile those views," said little Rebecca. "But what about the passion?"

"Should I buy two more Tivos or web-enabled running shoes?" said little Jason.

"I'm going to eat bugs again," said little Greg.

"The dream is over," said little Joe.

"I have conclusively proven to my own satisfaction that everything not said by me is wrong," said little Jakob.

"I've got a meeting with Nike. I'm outta here," said little Aureia.

Mercifully, after a cruel eternity, the bell rang.

The author and his opinions.
Copyright © 1995–2002 Jeffrey Zeldman Presents
Reset bookmarks to Ahead Warp Speed.