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2003’s Posts.

  1. Happy New Year’s; Berners-Lee knighted; advanced tables

    A long-time friend just called to wish me a happy New Year — literally. He’s in Sydney and said he just saw the most spectacular fireworks display; this was happening in the background as we spoke.

  2. The year that was

    A year-end review, without the predictions, of the Internet in 2003.

  3. Best of 2003; MOZiE; liquid layouts

    The New York Times makes smart use of its “E-Mail This Article” feature, and creates a quirky profile of its readers.

  4. Martin threatens paulmartintime.ca

    Yesterday was supposed to by my last post for the holidays, but the Liberal Party of Canada’s threats to sue a parody site — Paul Martim Time — couldn’t be ignored. As it looks the Prime Minister’s people were less than pleased about the site, and timed its moves to appear during a dead news cycle. I wonder whether they would have had such a problem with the site’s design had it been a site filled with compliments for PM²?

  5. Buzzing: XFN, delicious, RSS and Atom; IE accessibility toolbar; hiking gas prices; year ending

    XFN is starting to build some momentum, but I haven’t really bought into the concept for use on this site. Who knows, maybe in the next version… What I do like is proposed method — XMDP — for marking up profiles though.

  6. CANOE Money’s back; high-speed and dial-up users equal

    During the dot-com boom, I was working at CANOE’s financial site, CANOE Money. The ride was fast and crazy and less than a year after I left the site underwent a drastic redesign that rebranded it Webfin.

  7. A century of flying; images in liquid layouts

  8. CIRA to sue; Web design patterns

    Well, the Canadian Recording Industry Association sure isn’t wasting anytime. According to the National Post, it will start suing Canadians who upload music early next year (downloading being legal in Canada, for now).

  9. Web design generations

    Talking about the Web generation(s of designers and design developments).

  10. Blue prize won’t be for MSNBC; Web generations; downloading legal; paulmartintime.ca

    The well-designed Man in Blue is contemplating a regular prize for XHTML/CSS-based sites and wants to know your thoughts. (FWIW, I agree with Tom.)

  11. Au revoir, Ti Jean; usable Web fonts; Widgetopia; interviewing chofmann; limited copyright tariffs

    Bye bye, mon Chrétien… I doubt the new guy will be as much fun as you were over the past decade. (For example, “I’m Feeling Lucky” Google search for "What is the worst blog in the world".)

  12. URL spoofing; liquid vs. fixed; digital junkyard; Mozilla 1.6 beta released

    A disturbing new twist to an old trick (using URLs usernames that look like hostnames): Interent Explorer can be tricked to display a page that appears to be hosted from a different domain.

  13. NYTimes on: the American perspective of Canada, flawed Ecstasy studies, and the iPod; bad HMTL

    Yes, it requires registration — get used to it, registration is going to be the trend of ’04 — but The New York Times has a number of good pieces today, including:

  14. Beautiful blogs; Selectutorial; ID3; quote expreriment

    Lars Holst lists some beautifully-designed Weblogs (if only I could design…).

  15. Mississauga’s new face and digital city rankings

    Torontonians may love to mock our suburban 905 neighbours, but Mississauga’s new city site is incredible. Not only is it written in XHTML and uses a CSS-based layout that leaves Netscape 4 behind, it also provides a wide range of e-services. (It does, however, have ugly URLs and the site is impossible to validate, though a quick scan shows it comes close.)

  16. Standard bitterness; Safari hacks; Movies for Me

    Not sure when everything got so nasty…

  17. Fixing Acrobat Reader; Peer Review; ThrashBox; subheads;

    Been having problems with how slow Acrobat Reader 6 is? Try re-organizing the program’s files.

  18. Black resigns; OJA winners

    Former-Canadian newspaper magnate (and author of a very well-reviewed biography on FDR) Conrad Black has resigned as CEO of his own company. Something about $32-million in unauthorized payments to he and his co-executivess…

  19. Advanced CSS ornamentation; four-column layouts; Chrétien profiled

    The Literary Moose is known for his clever designs that push the limits of CSS (and also, though valid, tend only to work in Opera). And now, like a rule-breaking magician, he reveals a number of his tricks at the Nemesis Project to an awe-filled audience.

  20. Invalid mayors

    Testing to see if any of the Web site’s for Toronto's 2003 mayoral candidates validate.

  21. Text presentation; Dictionary of Canadian Biography online; convergence defined

    John Gruber, while ostensibly talking about Panther’s text rendering capabilities, explains everything you need to know about text presentation on computer displays. If you ever place words on a screen, read his article (via Coudal Partners).

  22. Eolas patent re-examined; Canadians willing to pay for content; homepage usability

    Microsoft nature is so often debated in Web/software-related discussions, it’s mere mention is almost becoming a variant of Godwin’s Law. The one safe area seems to be when discussing the company in relation to Eolas’ “906” patent. The problems with said patent have encouraged the USPTO to re-examine the issue (no doubt prompted by Microsoft’s lobbyists), and I hope, it will rule the patent invalid.

  23. Toronto votes; IE 3 and 4; PIE tutorials

    Torontonians (and other Ontarians): don’t forget to vote today.

  24. Google Deskbar; reasons against registration; cross-ownership in the media

    For those who can’t get enough Google, there’s now a tool to search the engine, browser-free, via the Windows toolbar. Pretty clever.

  25. Multiple IE browsers in Windows

    One of the supposed truth’s about Web design is that unlike almost any other browser, you can’t run two versions Internet Explorer side-by-side. But Joe Maddalone has seemingly proved that false. He explains which files to remove, and which ones to add, to make testing Web pages that much easier. (via webgraphics)

  26. Toronto Star doing registration; new media type proposed; invalid mayours

    Here comes the predicted changes: the Toronto Star looks like it will be implementing registration on its site — it will be using Tacoda Systems’ Web audience management and the new registration system.

  27. Was Wired right? Analyzing canada.com’s subscriptions

    Some quick hits:

  28. XAML implications; resting Rainmain

    Chris Kaminski (through the WaSP’s Buzz blog) has posted a thorough overview of XAML and its implications, including a bit about the W3C’s “response”: SVG 1.2’s Rendering Custom Content.

  29. QuirksMode; opposing Eolas

    Note: when streetcar tracks are wet and you are passing over them on a diagonal on a fast-moving bicycle, do so carefully.

  30. XAML is real;

    XAML is real, is pronounced zamel, and is “the language used to declaratively render the user interface of the pages that make up the application” within Longhorn. (The presentation subsystem XAML accesses is dubbed “Avalon,” the UI, “Aero.”) From an article on MSDN, here’s the simplest XAML-based file you can write:

  31. Craig Saila (Short Bio)

    Craig Saila specializes in online news media with a unique focus on creating engaging user experiences for web apps and content-rich sites; for more than a decade, he has led teams designing and developing for North America’s leading news sites

  32. Absolute positioning with ems

  33. Highlight Selected Radio Button

  34. Centred box that has a 100% height

  35. Pure CSS Text Rollover

  36. Set Height

  37. Safari 1.1 released; more XAML; BMO redesigns; Gore and the CBC

    Thanks to Simon for picking up on the news about Safari 1.1 — a release I’d yet to hear about — and the fact that it is starting to support XUL (as well as opacity, through -khtml-opacity).

  38. Microsoft’s XUL: XAML

    Coming out from under a pile of work to alert you about XAML (which as of this moment only pulls hits from Google on the “Transaction Authority Markup Language” — not the rumoured new language from Microsoft). Eric Meyer echoes exactly my grave concerns about this.

  39. New Mozilla site, browsers, and mail client; Web design practices

    Dave Shea has redesigned the Mozilla site in a gorgeous CSS treatment. There are some minor problems in IE 5.5 and Opera 7.x, but overall it’s a great example of how progressive enhancement can improve design (try rolling over the sell boxes on the right). Nice touch: headlines become standalone boxes on roll-over.

  40. OJA nominees; Floatutorial; Sympatico brought to its knees

    The American government seems to have found a clever way around the freedom of the press: treat online journalists as ISPs.

  41. CanWest’s subscriptions; new WebDesign-L policies; interviewing Clark

    CanWest has unveiled its some details about its subscriptions for canada.com, although there’s no obvious mention of the changes on the site. The news portal will become a pay-to-view site next Monday, with four planned levels:

  42. Irrelevant news

    Today’s editorial in the Aspen Daily News accurately sums up my feelings on the mass coverage of an American sexual assault trial is receiving in North America. Ever since a football star was caught in a slow-speed highway chase seven years ago, this kind of mob journalism has grown out of control.

  43. Boston.com redesigns; how things work

    In the new Boston.com redesign you’ll notice one thing missing: a left-side navigation bar. The new look is cohesive — as both the homepage and story pages share the same look-and-feel — and may single a mainstream trend. Many independent sites have already abadoned the left-side navigation (thanks in part to blogging templates), and more commercial sites may be headed in that direction to accomdate the “big box” that eat up too much screen width.

  44. In-browser XHTML editor; testing CSS designs; ALA redesigns; Postman has died

    A Toronto-based company called Belus Technology has developed an ActiveX-based WYSIWYG editor that produces valid CSS and XHTML 1.1 content. After a quick demo run, it looks to be good in-browser editor, and an excellent replacement for the typical mark-up produced by contentEditable interfaces. It could also be a solution to the problem Tom Gilder raised yesterday.

  45. Eolas forces IE update; HTMLDog; Izzy Asper has died

    Eolas has forced Microsoft to release an new version of Internet Explorer that causes an alert box to appear whenever a plug-in loads on a page. To get around it, Microsoft is suggesting developers add a proprietary attribute to object or write the entire object to the page using JavaScript.

  46. Asper v. MacDonald; calling VeriSign’s bluff; future of email

    Still more on Asper v. MacDonald, via the Toronto Star media column by Antonia Zerbisias and a press release from Leonard Asper about the aforementioned Canadian Press article.

  47. More fallout from Asper’s speech

    The debate over Leonard Asper’s speech has continued on the Canadian Association of Journalists’s mailing list (much of it focusing on the use of an ellipsis), and in the op-ed and letters to the editor pages of The Globe and Mail (no doubt relishing a chance to criticize its competitor’s owner.

  48. Aspers’ hobby horse

    An unsanctioned attempt to make Mozilla’s Web site support standards, has devolved into a sadly typical debate. A new, sanctioned, design should be appear in a couple of weeks (probably along with Mozilla 1.5, Firebird 0.7, and Thunderbird 0.3).

  49. Election day in Ontario

    It’s election day here in the fine province of Ontario; if you are a resident, please get out and vote. Maybe, just maybe, the new government won’t be as callous as the last.

  50. September 30, 2003

    I’ve added three new sites to my blogroll: Lars Holst’s, dionidium.com, and Anne van Kestere’s Weblog about Markup & Style. (I also removed a few stale sites…) Also, offsite links now open in the current browser window as opposed to a pop-up

  51. Definitive essay on abbreviations; online news initiatives

    Lars Holst has written what may be the definitive essay on the use of abbr and acronym. The well-researched piece concludes:

  52. The Walrus launches, the Red Herring relaunches; Google News creator

    The Walrus has launched (look for a longer rant on this, probably later today) — haven’t seen a copy yet, but I have subscribed — and the buzz is good.

  53. Cutting the new media fund; best bloggin practices; Opera 7.20 out; P2P to the rescue;

    As if the new media industry (when does it — i.e., the Internet, interactive television, wireless devices — stop being “new media”) isn’t hurting enough, the CRTC has a made a seemingly inconsequential ruling that will cut 40 percent from the fund that capitalizes many projects for Canada’s small digital media shops.

  54. The case for standards; more on Eolas; newspapers tackle the future

    A year or so ago, before big sites began embracing CSS-based layouts a group called MACCAWS formed to push the commercial case for Web standards. Although its efforts have yet to be released, Jeffrey Veen has written an excellent argument supporting the idea.

  55. CanWest embraces registration

    This should be interesting: in an effort to stem the losses from the National Post, the brain trust at CanWest Global is moving to a “a paid subscription model in November for the online versions of its [eleven] newspapers” now found on canada.com.

  56. Dropping “AOL”; ROB loves PKP; analysis of market analysis

    Is convergence dead or not? Even as AOL Time Warner drops the “AOL” from its name, the business press are fawning over PKP and the converged Quebecor Media’s IPO.

  57. System styles; stopping mega media mergers

    A discussion on evolt’s thelist reverting forms to the system style introduced me to Jeff Howden’s chart of User-Defined Colors, Fonts, & Cursors. As I mentioned in a subsequent post, although system colours will be deprecated in CSS3 a new property called appearance will be introduced which allows, with one value, the author to specify the users default system’s “color, font, background, padding, border, and margin.” Also some of the values in Jeff’s table only IE6 currently supports have made their way into this draft (specifically the values in font and cursor).

  58. News.com does CSS; CSS 2.1, and Paged Media module drafts

    News.com has followed Wired News’s lead and switched to a CSS-based layout. Although the mark-up doesn’t validate, it does seem to be semantically organized. A few people, however, have reported the design chokes when displayed in IE 5.x on the Macintosh and Windows.

  59. CSS filter results; screen readers study

    Thanks to those who tested the CSS filters I posted here a couple of weeks ago, my initial tests are now confirmed.

  60. Sobig.F; Listamatic; Coupland interviewed, Gatenby resigns; Darwinian Poetry; BBC revolution

    After returning from a week away, I find my Yahoo email has been (and is being) hammered by Sobig.F (given how the address is used, I think a Canadian journalist might have been patient zero for this outbreak). Although my anti-virus software and Mozilla prevented any damage, it has meant a delay in responding to genuine emails, so apologies if you haven’t yet received a reply.

  61. Styling legend; CSS filters for Opera

    While trying to find a way to style fieldsets and legend, I stumbled across a CSS filter that looks to hide rules from Opera 7 and Safari — it could be a replacement for the *7 Hack.

  62. New Liberal candidate

    “The cries of various groups have reached my ears and call me forth…” The Liberal leadership race takes an interesting turn.

  63. Clipping clip; new products from Macromedia

    SimpleBits has a nice example of CSS-based zoom feature for images (based on Pixy’s rollover), and that in turn, inspired me to try to do use clip to create a thumbnail/zoom function. The results so far have been less than satisfying…CSS’s clip property is one of those things that never behaves as I think it should.

  64. Happenings


  65. Self-healing systems

    Talk about self-healing systems: a new worm is crawling the Web trying to patch the Windows’ security hole used by Blaster (via SvN)

  66. Post-blackout links

    Back from the blackout (my neighbourhood was essentially powerless until Sunday morning) with some links. (I have posted a description of the first day and night without power along with some pics.) As Toronto powers ahead at (please, please) half-steam, here are some links for your consideration:

  67. XForms 1.0, and more CSS modules; Eolas patent

    The W3C has been busy once again. XForms 1.0 is now a proposed recommendation — this is what may be used in XHTML 2.0 — but Microsoft is already going its own way by using its own XML-based form tool in the version of Office.

  68. The Great Blackout of ’03

    A description of the 2003 blackout, excerpted from an email sent to a friend travelling in Australia.

  69. Why we write for the Web

    Just spent sometime reading two essays, one by Josh Allen and the other by Paul Ford. Both are contemporaries in terms of age (as most us doing this are) and attitude toward the Web, and both were writing on why they write for this medium. Suffice it to say, I agree, and that, in turn, got me thinking about this site’s whole redesign

  70. August 8, 2003

    Some pages are carrying ads from Google AdSense, as part of a trial run. If you have an questions, please contact saila.com

  71. Mutual funds get CSS layouts

    A second Canadian financial services company converts its mutual fund profiles to CSS layouts.

  72. CSS designs for finance sites

    The second in a series of new products I’ve been working on has launched; like the first, it’s a financial service company’s mutual fund profile using an all CSS-layout. Read the related rant for more details about the process.

  73. CBC listenership; Frank’s angel; climate data online

    News that the CBC is now the third-most listened to radio station in Canada is a good-news/bad-news scenario: while it’s good that more people are listening to my favourite media outlet, most of the listeners are older. (The CBC is trying to attract younger listeners, but the results recent changes may not have shown up in this survey.)

  74. SARS-Stock and Chicago 15

    Today is SARS-Stock. While it’s doubtful this will actually relieve Toronto’s bruised tourism and service sectors, it has been an “emotional rescue” for pun-loving journalists.

  75. Firebird extensions

    As promised, Firebird 0.6.1 is out. I’m running it using the Firebird Modern theme with some added extensions designed to mimic or improve on the default Mozilla behaviours:

  76. Web development bookmarklets; Mozilla 1.5a, Firebird 0.6.1, and Thunderbird released; simple forms

    Jesse Rudman has a collection of a dozen-half Mozilla-friendly Web development bookmarklets, many of which also work in IE and Opera. Three work in Netscape 4.

  77. Inline lists and rounded corners

    Old memes are burping to the surface, including inline lists and rounded corners. The former was inspired by a new article at evolt, the latter by a Adam Kalsey’s method for rounding corners. In both cases Eric Meyer shared some of his insight.

  78. Between excess and temperance

    Creating an effective, standard-compliant page can be done by remembering three simple rules and one big caveat.

  79. Balancing semantic mark-up with effective design

    Inspired by postings today on evolt.org’s lists and CSS Discuss, I wrote a new piece on balancing semantic mark-up with effective design.

  80. What would you change?

    My Blogger problems have forced me to speed up my oft-delayed overhaul of the entire site. Despite my sporadic in postings here, progress elsewhere is being achieved. Which leads me to…

  81. Webstandards.TO meeting; Netscape goes quietly

    The next Webstandards.TO is meeting tonight. I probably won’t be making it, but you should — this month it’s at the Duke of York.

  82. The future of Web browsers; CSS design variations

    Never fails post a message saying it will be quiet, and then post a bunch of links a few days later.

  83. Update: few updates coming

    Updates here will be a bit quite here for a little while because:

  84. From Web to print

    Just as one of Canada's national papers is on its deathbed, another begins online with its eye on a paper product

  85. Building fans online

    Here’s an idea that hasn’t surfaced for a while (and runs counter to some recent predictions): build a publication then move it to print. This time round, though, it’s a national newspaper. A Canadian national newspaper.

  86. CSS design competition; Meyer interviewed

    Rudy alerted me (and thelist) to a new CSS design competition in the spirit of the CSS Zen Garden hosted by SitePoint. Nice to see this meme spreading.

  87. Netscape 7.1, Mozilla 1.4 released; media catfight

    Blogger still won’t publish my posts…not happy.

  88. Mozilla news; AdsML; Usability 101

    This post was delayed due to the Blogger upgrades that have now prevented me from even using this service. As a result, this has been posted manually and future posts may be sporadic until the problem is fixed. (Note to self: must hurry development on new site.)

  89. Safari 1.0; Hack HotBot winner losses; SARS concert webcast

    Some quick hits:

  90. Blatchford to the Globe; progressive enhancement; Web standard articles

    Coup: Christie Blatchford is leaving the National Post to join my employer, The Globe and Mail.

  91. Mozilla 1.4 RC2 released with annoying bug

    Mozilla 1.4 Release Candidate 2 is finally out, although the annoying ATI bug is still there

  92. Meet Zeldman; CSS menus

    Meet the Makers has a conversation with the always entertaining Zeldman. Interviews, especially of the Q&A variety, are never an easy thing to pull off well but somehow Brian Alvey manages to consistently produce engaging and informative ones of extraordinary length. My only complaint, and it’s a minor one, is that reading the interview means clicking through seven pages — it’d be great it there was a single-page option.

  93. Webstandards.TO site; Sympatico and MSN; CSS3 selector support

    Joe’s got a page for Webstandards.TO, which meets again this Thursday at 7 West at 7. Unlike the meetups (and barring an ice storm) this won’t be cancelled, so if Web standards are your bag, come on by.

  94. MSN for Mac OS X the last IE for Macs

    It’s official: no further versions of Internet Explorer for the Macintosh will be released. (Not sure if this also includes

  95. Advertising lite; Canadian media growth

    John Dowdell points to an interesting online-ad campaign that successful plays to people’s annoyance with things like Shoshkeles™.

  96. Meyer redesigns

    Eric Meyer has unveiled a series of new designs for his site along with some explanation about the process. My current fav: Mondrian (although you can’t link directly to this layout, it would be quite interesting if you could…)

  97. GIF patent expires; CBC wins Webby; welcome Louie; mini-tabs

    All the buzz about the Internet Explorer�s lack of support for PNGs, may have been for naught, as the patent on the compression scheme used in the GIF is set to expire.

  98. Top Times editors resign

    Whoa. The executive and managing editors of The New York Times just resigned.

  99. Alpha transparency fix; IE improvements?

    Bob Osala has created a simple and clever fix to get alpha transparency in PNGs working in Internet Explorer using one JavaScript call. There’s some catches, but it looks to be a fairly elegant solution. This is the type of thing we need more of if Microsoft isn’t going to update the standalone version of its browser.

  100. CNMA winners; stopdesign’s process; IE bug demos

    The winners for the 2003 CNMAs were announced last night, and are now available online. Look for the next big awards, the Webbys, to be announced Thursday in a live webcast. Thursday is also the Web standards Meetup, happening in Toronto at the Rivoli at 8 p.m — come by if you’re in the city.

  101. Microsoft buys(-off) AOL

    In case, for some reason, you haven’t heard: Microsoft paid AOL a bunch of money to forget about the “past” (i.e., Netscape) and embrace the “future” (i.e., Microsoft).

  102. Mozilla 1.4 RC 1 released

    Mozilla 1.4, Release Candidate 1 is out. This version (once finalized) will be the last to have everything bundled together.

  103. MSN for Mac OS X; saila.com in Russian; decriminalizing pot; PNGs

    Following on the release of a new version of Internet Explorer for the Mac (called MSN for Mac OS X), CodeBitch did tested it for the known CSS bugs in the previous version. The results were posted css-discuss.

  104. Top 5 CSS problems in IE; “dead” site still living

    The top five CSS-related problems in Internet Explorer 6:

  105. Is the Web not enough?

    Salon has run a monster of an article refuting one of my long standing-beliefs. The piece argues the Web isn’t capable of countering the growing media concentration (and it’s conclusions imply the South Korean experience may remain the exception). Of course, the article is set against the back-drop of loosening regulations down south where they don’t have a strong public broadcaster.

  106. Relaunches out of style; multimedia journalism; patent policy for the W3C

    I was just thinking about this: “The Quiet Death of the Major Re-Launch.” The whole concept now seems as much a part of the bubble-era as Aeron chairs and brick-and-beam loft offices. (Via Digital Web.)

  107. Canadian New Media Awards; usability guidelines; content management design;access keys

    The first week in June is “new media week” here in Toronto, timed to coincide with the Canadian New Media Awards. This year, the CNMA is a full-day event featuring a series of workshops. Interesting note, the awards (at least last year) are partially funded by nominees paying a $25 fee to be considered.

  108. Interviewing Andy King

    Had the pleasure of interviewing Andrew B. King for Digital Web about optimizing the medium, and the result is now available online. King, the founder of WebReference.com and JavaScript.com, offers some insightful and surprising advice about tightening even the slimmest of sites

  109. May 14, 2003

    Added five new Web Building Tips on CSS and creating valid HTML

  110. Roll-your-own DTD; all-in-one DevEdge sidebar

    Those wondering how to roll-your-own DTD might well be served by reading the W3C recommendation on the Modularization of XHTML. Helpful to know if you want to push the limits of XHTML.

  111. Copyright term extensions; Digital Web Magazine at seven

    Canada looks to be following on the heels of the U.S. in granting copyright extensions. Here it’s been dubbed the “Lucy Maud Montgomery Copyright Term Extension Act” because the unpublished works by the creator of Anne of Green Gables would enter the public domain January 1, 2004 if this doesn’t pass. If it does, Anne would be protected until 2018.

  112. Google News hits the world;XUL-based Internet desktop; Composer++

    When Google News launched its latest beta, there was a lot of buzzing happening in the online news community. Today, the service localized, and has subsites for Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand, the U.K., and of course, the U.S.. More prominence is given to local sources and stories, which is quite obvious in the non-North American editions. At Google News Canada—my new bookmark—there’s a “Canada” section, and a better focus on Canadian business news.

  113. The paradox of Stephen Williams

    This is a situation I haven’t decided on. On the one hand, I support Stephen Williams right to publish work that is available in the public domain, but his decision to publish all of his research online on the Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka case leaves me with an uncomfortable feeling. I’ve long said online journalists should make their research available along with stories to improve the readers understanding, but this time I just don’t know

  114. CSS Zen Garden

    I think after all the noise earlier this week over how hard CSS is, a lot of people who love CSS got to thinking. The truth is, CSS is not a computer language, it’s a graphic design language. In fact in my unpublished rant, this became a touchstone:

  115. Semantic mark-up; TV funding; new XHTML 2.0 draft

    Pretty much decided to scrap the rant I was going to publish about the latest CSS debate. The arguments have been made quite rationally by a number of people I respect, so I don’t think there’s a need to go over them again here.

  116. May 6 2003

    My deletion of the global style sheet is causing problems for Safari and Konqueror users, how now see a blank screen on the homepage. Think its due to a lack of support for document.createTextElement but I’m not yet sure

  117. May 6, 2003

    Added rel="bookmark" to the permalinks in Living Can Kill You

  118. Creating dotted borders in IE

    Caio Chassot (of Caio’s Hack fame) has come up with a clever solution to create nice dashed and dotted borders for Internet Explorer using a repeating background graphic. Take a look at the page’s source to see how it works

  119. Responding to JWZ; XUL for Web apps

    Just read Simon Willison’s reposnse to JMZ’s rant about Cascading Style Sheets, and both prompted me to elucidate my own feelings about CSS-based design. However, given the rant is not even close to being ready for publication, go (re-)read Owen Briggs’ Design Rant and my own piece on using tables or CSS. (and this is too funny).

  120. Standard-compliant new-window links

    Via What Do I Know, a clever hack for opening pages in a new window, and similar to what I had planned to do (except I was using a class, which I might just drop)

  121. Mozilla’s Midas and other browser tools

    Tim Berners-Lee mentions in his book, Weaving the Web, that he had originally intended the Web-pages to be fully editable in one application. You load up a page and edit the document within the browser. Amaya does this by default. Internet Explorer has had a couple of proprietary extension for this since 4.0 (designMode and contentEditable). Mozilla introduced its version of “designMode” in 1.3.

  122. Slate makes money; 50+ Headings; the next IE

    Slate has become one of the few online publications to make money, and is the only big one to do so that’s not related to a traditional media outlet. (Yes, it is owned by Microsoft, but many print financed by deep-pocketed organizations, too).

  123. Firebird fight; position: fixed; RSS; CSS for handhelds

  124. SARS; merits of CSS-based media filters

    Everyone at work just got a personal santizer to use for washing our hands, as well as instructions on how to properly do just that. Thanks SARS! (Which, despite what some may read into the WHO’s announcement, is not even close being an epidemic in Toronto.)

  125. Ending the upgrades

    Marking the end of the upgrade campaign for saila.com

  126. April 23, 2003

    The homepage once again displays as it should in older browsers like Netscape 4.x

  127. Accessify’s Acrobot

    Ian Lloyd, of Accessify, has put together an excellent little tool called Acrobot to automatically parse a text sample for abbreviations, and wrap them with the appropriate abbr and acronym elements. Not only that, the resulting mark-up includes the relevant definition.

  128. Get a newsfeed to validate; low-fi reading; libel online

    The database genius also known as Rudy writes about his experiences in trying to get a news feed from ITToolbox.com working on his site and having it still validate. Anyone who has tried to do this on the client-side will recognize some of the hurdles he encounters. Oh, and his final suggestion…take it with a grain of salt. ;)

  129. Web browser at 10

    News.com is running a four-day series on the traditional Web browser’s 10th birthday. The report is a nice overview of the long and tumultuous history of a simple application and its far-reaching influences.

  130. PNH Developer Toolbar; Phoenix is Firebird

    Chris Casciano (of the famed Daily CSS Fun redesigns) has released on the most useful Mozilla toolbars I’ve yet encountered: the PNH Developer Toolbar. Not only does it offer direct links to the W3C’s key Web recommendations (as well as a number of test suites and some Mozilla tools), it also has some hand bookmarklet-like tools. Among my favs: “Disable Styles,” “Apply External Styles,” “Show Window Size,” and “View Source” (which opens it in a new tab).

  131. Opera 7.10 and Safari beta 2 released

    Two new browser releases: Opera 7.10 (featuring a fast-forward and rewind feature I just don’t get and a Linux build) and Safari beta 2 (featuring tabs and more)

  132. CSS support charts back

  133. Interviewed on warblogging; blocking spam

    Anna Czerny interviewed me for a small feature on blogs and the war for this year’s last issue of one of my alma mater’s newspapers. First time in a while I’ve been interviewed, and I forgot how easily details can be erroneously simplified (e.g., the origins of warblogging). But that just show’s the advantages of this medium in that I, as an interview subject, can use it to clarify any points I choose. Despite that minor quibble and my questionable grammar, it is a good overview (then again, I’m likely biased as I’m quoted liberally).

  134. April 8, 2003

    Fixed the permalinks for Living Can Kill You entries

  135. PPK’s busy; Mozilla as a Web development tool; weak Webby’s

    Seems Peter-Paul Koch has been busy doing something I haven’t been doing lately: writing in-depth articles about Web design issues. His latest is about JavaScript and accessibility — a mysterious world with little known about it. His piece is an overview, for sure, but a good one that happens to reinforces some of the answers I gave to a reader about the accessibility of my navigation menu.

  136. Flush borders with Netscape 4; Nando Times closes

    I think I’ve found a solution to a problem that’s been bugging me for a long time: adding a border flush with the background in Netscape 4.x. Although it requires an extra element, it’s worth it:

  137. April 4, 2003

    Added a new column about the site’s impending redesign

  138. WebStandards.TO meets; JavaScript optimization tricks

    Tara Cleveland’s got details (and pics) on the first 'WebStandards.TO meet up. Not a bad turn-out given the ice storm hitting the city.

  139. Inaugural Webstandards.TO

    David Elfstrom pointed me to a Canadian all-CSS site: the Queen’s Journal. Nice simple design, even though it doesn’t validate and has an obscenely long pulldown menu that actually causes the server to time-out (check the source).

  140. Cleaning house

    Moving to the server-side means lightening the client-side.

  141. Champeon interviewed; Mozilla 1.4a released amongst big changes

    A massive (six-page) interview with Steve Champeon on just about everything is now available on the Meet the Makers site. Great insight into the worlds of both Champeon and the Web development community.

  142. April Fool’s snow; Toronto myth-conceptions

    Nothing more frustrating than seeing a mistake, having the fix ready, but not being able to implement it.

  143. New Position Is Everything layout; blogging as reporting; Fast Company does CSS

    Big John has released another template hosted on his new-ish site, Position Is Everything. The latest layout has three columns, which are all the same height no matter which is the longest. Although I couldn't load it in IE 5.5, it apparently works with IE 5+, Opera, and Gecko-based browsers.

  144. Style sheet guide gone with Webreview.com; screen rulers

    Any request to webreview.com is now being redirected to ddj.com — home of Dr. Dobb’s Journal. Not only does the latter have almost no Web development content, the move has rendered Style Sheet Reference Guide Master Grid and everything else at WebReview.com’s Style Sheet Reference Guide unavailable except through Google’s cache or the Internet Archive’s.

  145. Web Page Analyzer; getElementsByAttribute

    Andy King’s Web Page Analyzer is a great tool that offers coherent breakdown of the various parts of a Web page (by size and type). Despite the overly simplistic recommendations, it’s a quick way to flag problems with a page’s size and a worthy bookmark.

  146. Why I’m doing this

    What I hope to accomplish in this redesign, one of the biggest this site has gone through in its six years online.

  147. getElementsByClassName; CSS tabs; Mozilla Mail

    Via Simon Willison: Andrew Hayward’s document.getElementsByClassName.

  148. Standard savings; accessibility: do as we say, not as we do

    ESPN.com redesigned its homepage a while back, and now uses CSS to lay the page out. Given its size, a lot of people took notice including Eric A. Meyer who interviewed ESPN.com’s associate art director Mike Davidson about the process. The second half of the interview appears this Friday.

  149. War coverage

    Want to know the price of lay-offs? The Globe and Mail’s Crisis in Iraq section still has a large graphic suggesting the war is still to come (it reads “Countdown to war”) and the latest news story is from March 15, 2003. Although breaking news is appearing on the homepage, what’s the point of having a special section and linking to it, if it is not being updated? At least the site is fast loading (as are most news sites).

  150. Where I stand

    A brief explanation of the editorial guidelines for this site during the war (hint: this site has always been about Web building and online journalism).

  151. Spell-checking; CSS; war

    Simon Willison has done a PHP translation of Sam Ruby’s Python-based spell checking tool. While that in-and-of itself is impressive, Willison has also added a function offering suggested corrections to the misspelled word. This I will be added to my slowly-developing CMS.

  152. March 18, 2003

    The site should function a bit better in Opera 7 (i.e., it should behave closer to Gecko-based browsers). I’m hoping it won’t cause problems in IE 5.x now

  153. FIR and DOM

    My comment system is acting up, but a short-term fix is in the works. Will probably rewrite the comment script in another language. Of course this won’t be an issue when/if I switch to a new back-end system.

  154. Laid-off via PowerPoint

    Online news content is being reduced everywhere, it seems, including the BBC, where staff were told of the job cuts via a PowerPoint slide presentation. How unbelievably callous.

  155. Open redesigns

    Macromedia has taken a beating over its new site for the last ten days. When launched it was all-Flash and unbelievable slow. Now it’s back to being primarily HTML and is much better. There still are problems that are probably coming to the surface only because people are so thoroughly critiquing it (for example, try accessing the site’s “Accessibility” page from the homepage without a mouse).

  156. Post-boom job guide; Mozilla 1.3

    Webmonkey has another good article, this time a seven-page post-boom job guide. Even those still employed should read it…just in case.

  157. WiFi; TV on the Web; progressive enhancement

    WiFi is being pushed into the mainstream consciousness, thanks to Intel’s new chip and some McDonald’s restaurants, among others.

  158. Ottawa Journal resurrected?

    Seems the decades-dead Ottawa Journal might be resurrected on September 1, 2003 according to a promo site at ottawajournal.com. In late February, The Toronto Star reported that the domain owner is located at the same address of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. Might someone be making an run around Canada’s foreign ownership rules? Doubtfully, the phone number and name seem bogus and the hosting company is in Ottawa. Guess we’ll find out in about six months

  159. Standing up for standards; background-image to replace text

    Adrian Holovaty has posted two excellent new items, the first is an interview with Andy King on optimization as it relates to news sites; the second is an open letter to the OJR’s editor/columnist Staci D. Kramer about the need for those same sites to support standards. The latter is an excellent argument on why standards are important, and was spurred by a shockingly naïve post to online-news suggesting it’s okay to block non-IE browsers.

  160. “Big idea” essays; war and online journalism

    Two “big idea” essays today:

  161. Internet2; hack HotBot contest

    I think it was the dot-coms; once those IPO-bound companies started capturing the media’s attention, Internet2 faded to the background. Webmonkey, though, pulls it front and centre in an excellent four-page summary of the network and the technology behind it.

  162. CANOE at eight; the frame spacing test

    CANOE is now paddling into its eighth year. Despite all the hardships the site has been through, it is good to see that CANOE’s still online.

  163. Preventing linkrot

    Came across this error message at the location of a major site’s marketing page:

  164. Mackenzie King diaries online

    Seems blogging isn’t that new: in the olden days, people apparently wrote in what was called “diaries.” Canada’s great, wacky, slacker PM kept extensive diaries for almost 60 years, and thanks to Cold Wind North, they’re available online. The diaries are fully searchable, and available in handwritten and transcribed versions. These project represent the true potential of the Net.

  165. March 1, 2003

    Added a new, reader-submitted “origin” to “Why end with 30?”

  166. Nemesis Project; CBC Home Delivery

    Gary Bland’s “Nemesis Project” is up and running offering a good collection of links to CSS and XHTML resources.

  167. CSS rollovers; DOM’s range

    For a while, I was planning on implementing a type of pure CSS rollover in way similar to Holovaty.com has. In the end, I didn’t do it for much the same reasons his readers are commenting about: the jumpy text. Nevertheless, I’m glad Adrian did follow through, if only to get responses to a usability issue I only speculated about.

  168. Granted a stay

    Going, going…staying, although I’m now an employee with The Globe and Mail — as are all those I work directly with. Our V.P. did some incredible lobbying on our behalf

  169. Mozilla is five; a newspaper’s relationship with it’s Web site

    Update: Kirk Franklin wrote to say moreCrayons now gets along with Mozilla completely, and it does. Go bookmark this great little resource.

  170. Guide to handheld style and a tutorial on CSS

    The last couple of times I’ve gotten together with former co-workers at the Jersey Giant, the bar seems to be giving away free beer and related tchotchkes. Last time it was Guinness, this time, though, it was Canadian. Nevertheless, I did manage to have a good time.

  171. Reuters layoffs, Shift folds, Salon sinks, but the BBC redesigns

    Reuters cuts 3,000 jobs. Damn.

  172. NewsQuakes

    NewsQuakes has a cool little news interface using an interesting visual metaphor. Concentric circles, that indicate news headlines, are basically situated over the country the story is based out of. As it exists now, there are number of shortcomings (circles overlap and spill over geographic boundaries) but the possibilities are intriguing

  173. February 15, 2003

    A little over a year after this template started getting some public attention, I’m tweaking it ever so slightly. Before “officially” releasing it, I’d like to get it tested. Please report any problems (including the browser and operating system). Thanks

  174. Tweaking the layout; Stop the War

    A little over a year after my template started getting some public attention, I’m tweaking it ever so slightly. The changes are very minor, but before I “officially” release it, I’d like to ask you to test it out. Please report any problems to me (including the browser and operating system). Thanks in advance.

  175. The Globe and Mail redesigns; WaSP changes the guard

    The Globe and Mail has finally unveiled it’s redesign — a jello site, using XHTML and CSS (with tables) — that doesn’t come close to validating that they are working hard to make validate. The predominant feature: grey. But it is faster loading, and the design and underlying code is much cleaner. More in-depth comment will likely follow my first cursory glance.

  176. Lay-offs; list of three column layouts; Color Blender; DevEdge redesigns

    Yesterday, a lot of good people lost their jobs (my own fate is still up in the air). It was, as one would suspect, a far from pleasant experience.

  177. All quiet on the Bell Globemedia front

    Layoffs at Bell Globemedia—s former interactive unit stir up old memories

  178. Déjà vu; moreCrayons; jwz on CSS

    Things at work are still operating in a post-takeover (because, in essence, that’s what it is) haze. Rumours drift through the office, but no confirmations of anything. Although the circumstances are quite different, I have a lingering sense of déjà vu.

  179. BCE ends convergence

    Convergence, for BCE, is dead. Today BCE essentially announced the end of Bell Globemedia in anticipation of a future sell-off. Sympatico.ca goes back to BCE; The Globe and Mail (and its affiliated Web sites) will go one way; and CTV and its related sites will go the other.

  180. Weekend hits

    Brief hits to ease you (and me) into a much-needed weekend:

  181. OJR supports Mozilla; Amazon selling subscriptions?

    OJR has finally — I sent my first note to them last June — fixed it’s style sheets to properly support Gecko-based browsers. Unfortunately, on its blog, they still see the browser as Netscape 4.x and as a result serve an empty file. Were Mozilla to get the same CSS the site serves to IE, everything would be fine. Maybe it will get fixed, after all, I only mentioned it to them last October…

  182. Retire HTML; CSS 2.1; interviewing Christopher Schmitt

    Is it time to retire HTML? That’s what a new piece in Boxes and Arrows argues — and I surprised myself by agreeing with may of the points. The essay says dHTML has reached its limits as a Web application development tool, and suggests some potential replacements like Flash and Curl.

  183. Opera 7 released

    The final version of Opera 7 is now out. With that comes the need to rework some of the style sheet rules in this site, so I ask that Opera 7 (and 6.x) users extend me a bit of patience until this gets fixed. Unfortunately, it sounds like, thanks to Safari, Opera may stopping developing for the Macintosh.

  184. Congrats, Jack

    Congratulations to my former prof, and the husband of my former councillor, Jack Layton on his victory today (despite the Net slowdown that delayed the first federal online election). May he help reinvigorate this country’s tired political landscape.

  185. QAML; The Eleventh Hour

    Given XML is creeping up everywhere, it’s something I should really start playing with. And so, this is something I plan to look at for tomorrow: the Question and Answer Markup Language, or QAML.

  186. Clearing the link-backlog

    A good estimate of my workload level is the density (or frequency) or my entries here. Normally, I run across a few link-worthy items a day. Often times, I grab the link, drop it on my desktop, and write up an entry when I have some downtime (usually lunch).

  187. HomeSite update; sins of free content

    For those who still use (and love) HomeSite, deep within Macromedia’s site is an update for version 5 the Dreamweaver MX version. HomeSite+ 5.2 offers an improved spell-check and search highlighting, customization of the toolbars, as well as some minor XHTML problems. And two of my big pet peeves are fixed: convert tag case no longer converts the DOCTYPE and files now preview properly with Mozilla.

  188. Testing generated content; don’t use DOM 2

    Gavin Laking is tabulating how browser’s display CSS-generated content (specifically Adrian Holovaty’s blockquote+cite trick). If you’re visiting the cite, send Laking feedback on how it works for your browser/OS.

  189. More on Safari and Mozilla

    More on Safari:

  190. Vertical CSS play; introducing CSS

    Talk about simple: Joe Gillespie has posted a clever way to vertically centre a block of a known height on a page (via Digital Web).

  191. The year that was

    A year-end review, without the predictions, of the Internet in 2002

  192. Online newspaper design; linking style

    A couple of weeks ago I was talking with an old print guy about the best looking newspaper sites. Both he and I agreed The New York Times does the best job representing the print edition’s feel and the Web’s experience. Over at Poynter.org, Anne Conneen has come-up with her own list — and an excellent one it is. The only addition I’d make is the nicely designed, extremely usable, and geek-friendly Sacramento Bee.

  193. Survival tips for 2004

    Wanted to get my end-of-year list out a couple of days ago, but didn’t. Oh well, maybe later. In the meantime, these words/phrases are banned this year and the Guardian Online offers us it’s survival guide for 2003