Imx Fix in my experience
 
January 2003 Archives


January 31, 2003 11:16 AM


Here's a look at the redesign I've been mentioning for the last month or so. It's still in the stage of 'build out' (no links work) where I am fully designing the output files for the site. I'll be retiring some of the less used features and will be introducing a space for people to TrackBack-ping-post their blog entries. That location is on the left side of the page, and the url noted at the top is the real URL to ping, so go ahead and start using it if you want.

I'm also attempting to minimize, but not totally eliminate html tables in favor of divs and spans, but only where it makes sense (making sense = less work + more value). Rendering overhead can escalate quickly for tons of html table tags which is especially true if you are viewing a page at IMX with many comments. One example is this post I made about my car, that now sees over a 100 visits a day and at least a few new comments per day.

Also, I'm using HTML 4.01 Transitional as my DTD and will NOT be fixing a div alignment bug related to that DTD in Internet Explorer 5 for Mac. That browser is dead to me (and based on my server logs, dead to everyone else too). Using that doctype affords me greater control over a few visual elements, and is a good place to be in terms of wide spread browser support. I won't achieve 100% compliance though, and I'm not concerned about that at all.

Comment posting will take on an added dimension of the user being able to choose an icon to go next to their comment. I have about 6 or 7 done so far, and have the tech worked out using a couple of Brad Choate's MovableType plugins (this one and that one). It all works in theory right now, but we'll see what happens in real practice. User data will also be saveable via cookies (finally).

Now, be warned that I'll be doing the implementation on the live site. I'm too busy and lazy to create a dev site, replicate my production environment, implement and then push the new templates. This is a small personal site and no one is going to lose money or hours of productivity if the site is down or weird for a few hours (and maybe days). I'm hoping to get this redesign implemented within the next two weeks, but real life is getting crazy right now. In the meantime, please have a look at the redesign preview and post your comments below. Thanks.

January 31, 2003 4:34 AM


The $100 billion dollar, year over year loss reported by AOL Time Warner concerns me less than the price of pickles in Pakistan. What does scare the shit out of me is this...

AOL's customer numbers fell by 170,000 in the last quarter, despite the aggressive launch of the latest version of its access software AOL 8.0, the giveaway of millions of free CDs offering trials of the service and an outlay of more than £600m on advertising and promotion.
A drop in subscriptions is not good. I always thought that there would be an increase of subs at AOL due in part to the massive promotions, but more importantly the points of presence (POPs) that AOL has. I never been anywhere that I couldn't get a local AOL dial-in phone number, and that ubiquity is valuable to me. A drop in subs really surprizes me.

January 30, 2003 9:17 AM


I've started telling my friends that I'm a syndicated writer, and they laugh at me for being a dork and saying something stupid like that, but it's true! Heh. I'm not seeing the sort of traffic that Mark or Cory get, but it's enough to change the way I write (for more people than just me).

Still though, the fact reamins that I am indeed a syndicated writer. There has been a recent jump in requests for my XML feed (up to 700 a day from 400 a month ago) and this site has appeared in another site (sort of). The American Press Institute (which sounds important, but I had never heard of them until last week) ran a story about RSS and NetNewsWire. In a screenshot for the app, In My Experience appears as a subscribed feed. That's ego surfing at its best, and I find it funny to see me in the same list as C|Net.

Also, beginning this week, Syndirella (a Windows equiv to NetNewsWire) has been showing up as a referrer. Welcome Syndirella users, I hope the feed is working out well for you.

January 30, 2003 9:15 AM


I want all of the following in the final rev of Safari...

  1. Right click and select "View Source in [your application of choice]" which of course would be BBEdit. (This is sort of possible already using JavaScript and running that script from BBEdit)
  2. Right click and select "Subscribe to this sites' RSS feed in NetNewsWire"
  3. Tabs.
  4. Select a block of text, right click and 'View Source of Selection'
  5. A massive AppleScript dictionary
  6. Right click an image and "Send to [your application of choice]" which in my case would be ImageReady.
  7. XML support (that's done)
  8. Support the <label> tag (because Fitt's Law owns).
Any more?

January 28, 2003 9:19 AM


Dave Hyatt has been exploring RSS/HTML/Safari/NetNewsWire theory and posits...

One really good point several people brought up in response to my previous blog about RSS and Web browsers was that many feeds contain only article excerpts.

In other words RSS feeds seem to break down into two categories: feeds that contain only short excerpts of articles and feeds that contain entire articles. It does seem like integration makes less sense if the majority of feeds fall into the first category.

Then the RSS aggregator becomes useful as a filtering mechanism, with the Web browser being used only to view the articles that you ultimately decide to read.

<rambling intensity="turbo">

So, my RSS feed contains both an excerpt AND the full length version of the blog entry (RSS 2.0 baby!) and I think that affords the user a choice (choice is good!). You can read just the excerpt, or the full post based on your... choice! You can format the post however you want in your own home made RSS news reader, or see it how I present it (on the actual website). NetNewsWire happens to show the entire post if available. Other aggregators only use the excerpt.

If NetNewsWire integrates WebCore sometime in the future (chances are that it will) will there be a way for the user to apply their own style sheet to my posting? Or will I put more robust formatting in my CDATA'd posting text?

Will I own the presentation of my postings in RSS or set it free?

I have HTML to present my junk one way, and offer it up in a dead clean format for you to see it your way. Web Browsers are these things that we use to see what others have put on the web to be viewed in a specific way. That's why we have standards and rail on about horrible (and inconsistent) box model implementations.

I regret dragging Dr. Martin Luther King down to the level of mark-up pedantry, but he said in his "I Have a Dream" speech that he hoped "that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character." HTML/CSS shows the color of the skin and RSS reveals the content of its character.

For now anyway.

</rambling>



January 28, 2003 9:14 AM


Back in the day, cassettes were the compact music format of choice, REM was still college rock, and Document was an album title. Today, it's the next great hope that Apple will be able to shed the MSFT life support system called Word.

MacWhispers, a Mac rumors site that I've never heard of is saying apple will release an app (suite?) called Document meant to supplant the aforementioned productivity app I have bought and caused two employers to buy (I know, I suck). A month ago I would have thought this was a crazy idea and that MacWhispers ultra low posting count (i mean c'mon, the post number is 0000009, and doesn't under the same domain name as the home page) but Safari makes me believe that Apple is doing everything it can to dump the MSFT.

Who knows. I don't use Word all that often anyway. The big question is if they make this app, will they sell it, or give it away?

January 27, 2003 9:57 AM


Regarding peer to peer music sharing, Winterspeak notes...

1) Programming matters. Gary Curtis, for FullAudio said that their server stats showed an initial flurry of downloading when a new subscriber signed up, which then petered out after a few weeks. It turns out that having to know what content you want is a drawback of P2P networks. This certainly matches my experience filesharing -- I initially download lots of stuff, but then run out of inspiration.
And this is where a reputation system comes in and why record labels are so important. I know that music coming from Warp records is not only going to be of a certain style, but is going to be better than most other music coming from that genre. Knowing that, I will automatically buy or listen to something with the Warp label on it. Chances are that FullAudio, as mentioned above, could benefit from offering suggestions to subscribers based on their purchasing/listening habits. Amazon.com does this in their space.

I listen to a lot of music, to the tune of 6+ hours a day. Almost all of the new music I listen to comes from one reputation database, Usenet. There's a news group dedicated to electronic music (a 10 year obsession now) on Usenet that has an uncommonly GOOD signal to noise ratio. Almost anything mentioned there = me listening to it, and the feed seems limitless, so my consumption continues.

Also worth mentioning as a good place to find good electronic music is Radio@AOL. Who ever is the music director for the Ambient station knows their stuff, and the app always tells you what you are listening too. Consistently good music from the same source builds that source's reputation, but maintaining that is tough. Just turn on the radio and you will hear what I mean.

Do I read music reviews? Not anymore. Zappa said writing about music is like dancing about marshmallows, and while I think that's an idiotic thing to say, it's true. Music reviews always fail to tell me if the music is any good based on my tastes, and everyone is to afraid to say what the music sounds like. Instead, words like 'sublime' and 'mind bendingly' get thrown around like chips at a Craps table (and lost their value just as fast).

I want a music site modeled after epinions.com where tons of categorical meta-data (eg, 'sounds like Boards of Canada') is attached to music releases of all kinds. Those who write good reviews devoid of marshmallow superlatives get rated up and make their recommendations more valuable. Hire some professional and well regarded DJ's to be music directors of their chosen genres and you've got some good rep mojo driving subs and downloads.

You can't just bake a pie and expect it to sell, you gotta let people know it's there and that it tastes good.

January 25, 2003 9:56 AM


Amazon TemptationAmazon has done many things that are usable, or innovative, or just plain new, but this new one is lust plain devious. Upon arriving at the site today, in an effort to buy Doctorow's book that I don't have to buy, I saw the item you see to the left. They really seem to be woprking the impulse buy angle (eg, the Gold Box) these days.


January 25, 2003 7:44 AM


I must be an idiot to let the search results page be foobar'd for so long, but it's fixed now.

January 23, 2003 9:19 AM


British Telecom sued Prodigy over a hyperlink patent claim, and lost. What lamers. That's like patenting an air duct as 'an apparatus containing and transporting molecules in a super liquid state (air) thru a gated and integrated system.' It's just a tube. It's just a link.

Unisys suddenly said to everyone 'give us money for these GIFs you're using,' and got dissed.

SBC now says they own the patent to Frames technology. Fine, you can have 'em, they suck anyway. The thing that sets SBC apart as a heartless corporate ho bag is this...

In the letter sent to Museum Tour President Marilynne Eichinger, SBC's Harlie Frost, president of intellectual property, pointed out that the Museumtour.com Web site contains tabs pointing to different Web pages within the site, and those tabs are in a frame that does not disappear as a person navigates the site. SBC said those "features (as well as other valuable features) appear to infringe several issued claims" related to certain patents.
They sent cease and desist letter to a museum?!?! At least BT went after Prodigy.

January 23, 2003 5:01 AM





January 22, 2003 9:18 AM


For what it's worth, here are some ways to attempt to stop bots from harvesting your email address from your website...
  1. SpamStopper is a web designer's utility that will help keep email address harvesting spambots from grabbing email addresses from your website(s). No, I'm not joking - this actually works!
  2. Convert your email address to a graphic, automagically (but exclude the blind from reading those email addresses in the process, so try the other idea first).
  3. Botbomb tries to come up with ways to help you out too, but they are controversial (eg, seeding bad addresses).
Also for what it's worth, I encode email addresses on this website using hex codes. It's not that hard to change your bot to work around that though, so it's a token gesture. I'll likely remove the email requirement when posting comments in the next rev of this site (coming soon). URLs are better anyway.

January 21, 2003 9:29 AM


In the old days, most (all?) video game controllers were digital in nature. If you pressed a button, the signal was "on" and if you didn't the signal was "off." Take a look at the Nintendo game controller, and you will see the directional pad in the shape of a plus sign. When you push one nub the signal goes something like "right is on" and the game system deals with it as needed. On or off, up or down, that's the way the signal used to be.

I think it was the original PlayStation (or maybe the Nintendo 64) that introduced the analog stick to the game console world. Now, the controlling signal sent to the game was something like "up about 20% and to the right about 68 degrees" which makes fine tuning possible in a game. This makes skills based games possible (and yes, keyboard and mouse are probably the best skills based game play control scheme available, but that's not the point). The fundamental difference in the control scheme has a massive impact in terms of being able to control the game.

I own a Gameboy Advance (GBA) which is essentially a Super Nintendo in a tiny little handheld form factor. The controls are all digital with a four way directional controller. That controller is actually 8 way if you push the controller to make two contact points trigger. So, top and left points both down means, "diagonally up to the left." Analog sticks offer 360 degrees of control AND a proportion of how much in that direction.

Super Monkey Ball 2 (SMB2) is a skills based game where you guide a monkey in a ball to a goal on the play map. Obstacles, patterned movements of the playing area and randomness get in the way, but using your trusty analog control stick, you can leverage your skills. Without the analog stick, this game suffers immensely. I own Super Monkey Ball 2 for Gamecube (which has an analog stick) and Super Monkey Ball Jr. for Gameboy Advance (which has digital controls). The Gamecube version is far more playable, complex and FUN than the GBA version. It has EVERYTHING to do with the control scheme.

Advance Wars is as good on the GBA as SMB2 is on the Gamecube, and it has everything to do with the control scheme and using to the benefit of the game. Advance Wars is a turn based strategy game that would be suffer it were a Gamecube game, and the producers of Super Monkey Ball Jr should have taken the controls more into account when making the game. The version of SMB for my Sprint PCS Vision phone (a Samsung n400) is better aligned with the control scheme (the dial pad, which is, incidentally, the worst game controller ever) but costs $4 for limited gameplay and actually EXPIRES after a month or so. That's lame.



January 20, 2003 4:40 AM


Mark aggregates some comments about 'the blogging scene' that will likely resonate in the minds of many bloggers. They certainly do for me, especially this one...
A very consistent voice cropped up among the new writers: casual, chatty, inoffensive, usually a dash of false self-deprecation, and a kind of subtle condescension?the sound of someone who has been chosen to pass along valuable information to others. This tone of I am interesting, right? was underscored by the guestbooks and comments and karma points and permalinks and trackbacks and referer logs.
When one takes some time to look back and evaluate where they are and where they came from, it's a maturing experience. That's a good thing, but I'm tickled by some of the irony of how that posts begins...
I started writing online in 1995.
I've dropped that timestamp before too in an attempt to impress my geek friends and co-workers and parents, and it has never worked (they think I'm a bigger dork). The holier than thou 'tude of "I've been doing this since before the boom" is pretty much worthless these days and says little more than "I went to college in the 1990's."

What's my excuse for thinking my writing is worth reading by someone else? I don't, but I have been writing HTML since Netscape 0.98 was out (I still have Nav 1.1n on floppy), have earned a degree in English, have worked as a web developer for six years, and I still think blogging is cool (no matter how much my office mates dis me for it). In my post the other day, I asked the question about how to keep it real, but I suppose I have to confess that I never thought anyone would read this site on a consistent basis, making that question a little hollow. This site was originally conceived as a résumé site and knowledge repository, but having any audience at all has changed the content and the character of this site.

I read my server logs almost every day. Sue me.

January 19, 2003 3:18 AM


I'm a UI designer and front-end developer, so what do I know about the music industry? Enough to know that RIAA has run out of ideas. The idea of extorting money from ISPs for allowing its users access to music sharing sites is pathetic and devoid of the one thing RIAA needs, ideas for compelling people to pay for music. Some efforts have been made, but...

Officials from Pressplay and MusicNet, which are in their second year of operation, declined to disclose how many customers they have.
You have to guess that millions and millions of subscriptions would be touted in the press and be used as marketing material. NOT disclosing your subscriptions or sales figures means one thing, you suck.

Let's face it, the music industry is churning out pure crap. It has been churning out pure crap for several years now, and who wants to pay 16 to 22 bucks for that CRAP? Not me. CDs are too damn expensive (I buy about six a year) for the value they deliver and on the other side of the coin we super cheap MP3s of comparable quality music. Price to performance ratios seems to be something the music industry does not understand. You can't sell crap for a lot of money when good stuff can be had FOR FREE (or just really cheap).

But, I digress. Let's get back to the extortion. My guess is that the RIAA thinks they can pin ISPs against the wall by saying to them, "hey, your users are violating copyright, which makes you guilty by allowing that to happen." But by proxy they are also saying, "because we can't possibly make copyright violation claims against millions of people (and reap rewards worth the time, effort and gobs of litigation cash), we're going to attack entities that have a lot of money and see what happens." This is a reactionary effort that attempts to deal with the symptoms of a wider problem, regardless of the laws in place that protect ISPs from the activities of their users.

Note to RIAA and the music industry: I used to work at a record label and used to run a radio station. I know the system, and the system is...

  1. expensive
  2. unfair to those who create the value
  3. severely out dated
  4. dependant on CD sales thruput
  5. less attractive in the face of the iPod
  6. only effective when the good ol' boy network can be enforced, and on the net, it can't be


January 17, 2003 12:11 PM


I've discovered recently that postings about html markup, web browser bugs and the related issues will generate more traffic than usual. In fact, my post about Safari last week was the most viewed posting yet (623 page views to be exact) and I'll do my best to keep the postings in the normal genre I've established over the last year.

I've been considering adding video game and music reviews to the site, but am unsure if anyone would be interested in that sort of thing since there are multiple outlets for that type of content. Hell, there are plenty of other blogs out there spewing the same junk that I am, so maybe I'll take a chance. Let me know if there's anything you would like to see more/less of on this site. Thanks.

January 16, 2003 11:02 AM


Someone ran my site thru the W3C validator yesterday, and if this were grade school, I'd get an F on my report. I'm not really too upset about it for a few reasons...

  1. This isn't grade school
  2. This pages renders as intended in Mac IE 5.x
  3. This pages renders mostly as intended in Mac Chimera
  4. This pages renders as intended in PC IE 5.x thru 6.x
  5. This pages renders mostly as intended in Mozilla 1.0
  6. This pages renders mostly as intended in Opera 5 and 6
  7. This pages renders as mostly as intended in Safari
  8. This page is available as RSS 2.0, and more people get their IMX news from that source anyway
  9. Perfectly validating HTML doesn't really get me that much
  10. Rendering as intended is more important than validating for what this site is intended to do (ie, NOT be an XML/XSLT based web app)
The next rev of IMX will raise the bar in terms of validation, but I will only earn a B or B+ at best because some stuff breaks in Mac IE 5 if I go full bore HTML 4.01 strict, and dealing with that issue would likely force me to adopt drastic measures.

January 15, 2003 12:46 PM


Warchalking, as a method of finding and revealing (semi)public access WiFi networks, may indeed be unnecessary one day, but I'll wager that here in the US, it will take a while and be a process.

I live in a nice neighborhood, in an affluent community in Northern Virginia, surrounded by other dotcommers and tech workers. Starbucks is pretty close by, as is Home Depot, the firehouse, and a little company called AOL. There is so much fiber in the hill in front of my home that I fear the day that it's lit up the hill will explode and we'll all go blind from the bright light (fiber geeks: I know fibre doesn't leak light, I'm making a joke). A T-1 can be installed at my home from $600/month, however NO OTHER FORM OF BROADBAND IS AVAILABLE. Crazy.

Verizon is testing a fixed, non-line-of-site wireless system in my area. The transmitters are said to be very much like the large flat PCS/cellular antennas spread across the country. Seeing as there are only a few of them in existence, they can't be as cheap as a PCS antenna. So, consider your cell phone and its reception capabilities, especially if you live in the Suburban/rural borderlands. Not always perfect right?

Now, imagine the cost of outfitting every cell tower in the nation with fixed wireless antenna. This won't happen over night, even if Verizon's trials go very well. The holes in the WiFi blanket will outnumber the coverage areas for years to come, making Warchalking more useful than less useful for a good long time.

January 14, 2003 10:21 AM


Here are two examples of what I think are inheritance problems in Safari. I have sent the first one to Apple's WebCore guy, Dave Hyatt, as a bug report. The second one seems to be in the same vein of inheritance problems and locality...

  1. iframe size inheritance
  2. table cell padding inheritance.
Now, I am right about the rules of inheritance and CSS styling, correct? These are bugs in the way Safari (in both revs 54 and 81) is choosing to render the page, right? In any event, many thanks to Dave Hyatt for his efforts and for publically sharing info on the development efforts of Safari.

Ironically, today Hyatt notes fixes to their table rendering code on his blog. I wonder if he's fixed the problem I've noted here.

January 10, 2003 9:43 AM


Last night I watched CNBC's special about the AOL Time Warner deal from three years ago, and it wasn't very flattering from the 'I work at ' perspective. One of the interviewees went as far to say that AOL is to Time Warner as Blockbuster is to Viacom. Which is supposed to mean that AOL can represent profitable returns and be a part of a portfolio of companies. AOL annual cash flow is in the $750 million area, which is a lot of movie rentals. Sheesh.

Anyway, what sort of rosy picture could be painted by CNBC (a MSFT funded operation) about a serious decline in 's stock valuation, thru the eyes of Time Warner people and the CEO's of its competitors? Not any that I can think of right now. But, maybe one will come to me in the coming months and years as, I hope, a career develops.

(ps, I watch CNBC all the time, and I like Dave Faber, who hosted this show, most likely wrote all of it, and did all of the interviews. He's a smart guy, and it was a good show, but it wasn't a warm and fuzzy evenin' at IMX headquarters, aka, home).

January 9, 2003 8:57 AM


I had my doubts about the signal to noise ratio that LazyWeb might produce, and Clay Shirky had a few opinions he wanted to share with me (seemingly in advance of this article at O'Reilly). I want to share all of that with you (thanks to Clay for permission to reprint) in its original form...




From: Clay Shirky

Date: Fri Jan 3, 2003  9:43:43  AM US/Eastern

To: Daniel Kapusta

Subject: LazyWeb



It's unlikely that the LazyWeb.org pings will be numerous and random,

because it raises a threshold of actually using the Trackback URL, and even

tiny thresholds have a huge filtering effect.



And LazyWeb is only random if you think of it as a site -- its real

usefulness is as an RSS feed, so that third-parties can, say, subscribe only

to those posts that say "Chat" or "Wiki" in the title, thus pulling

something useful out of the general feed.



-clay









------------------------------------------------









From: Daniel Kapusta 

Date: Fri Jan 3, 2003  10:06:12  AM US/Eastern

To: Clay Shirky

Subject: Re: LazyWeb





On Friday, January 3, 2003, at 09:43  AM, Clay Shirky wrote:



> It's unlikely that the LazyWeb.org pings will be numerous and random,

> because it raises a threshold of actually using the Trackback URL, and 

> even

> tiny thresholds have a huge filtering effect.





I suppose you are right about the threshold part, but a general 

resource will be more general. The only threshold that exists is 'those 

who can send trackback pings and are motivated to do that.' That 

threshold does little in terms off content likeness since bloggers are 

in general motivated, and there are many MT based blogs. Within the 

scope of the interests of the trackback pinging public, randomness 

indeed exists.



But, if I were successful at getting 10 or 20 other like minded 

bloggers to ping my site on a regular basi, would that threshold be any 

more valuable? I think so. But maybe not, and there's only one way to 

figure that out.







> And LazyWeb is only random if you think of it as a site -- its real

> usefulness is as an RSS feed, so that third-parties can, say, 

> subscribe only

> to those posts that say "Chat" or "Wiki" in the title, thus pulling

> something useful out of the general feed.





I don't think that is necessarily true. I could post a note on my site 

saying that I had a chat with my mom about her visit to my home this 

weekend and ping lazyweb. That's useless to the blogosphere, but I 

wasn't prevented/filtered from shoving my minutia in front of the 

blogeratti who are interested in 'chat.'



Don't get me wrong though, I like the lazyweb idea enough to have come 

up with it on my own. It's already better than the weblogs.com recently 

updated list (which really is useless imho).



Dan



ps, do mind if I post this as a comment to my post? It's useful 

discussion.









------------------------------------------------









From: Clay Shirky

Date: Mon Jan 6, 2003  9:10:18  PM US/Eastern

To: Daniel Kapusta 

Subject: Re: LazyWeb



> I suppose you are right about the threshold part, but a general

> resource will be more general. The only threshold that exists is 'those

> who can send trackback pings and are motivated to do that.' That

> threshold does little in terms off content likeness since bloggers are

> in general motivated, and there are many MT based blogs. Within the

> scope of the interests of the trackback pinging public, randomness

> indeed exists.



Sure, but the randomness is constrained by payback. The karmic value 

of pinging something is low, unless there is some response. Of course, 

if LW takes off, then there will be spam problems, where free riders 

identify a high-quality message stream and attempt to steal its 

reputation, but that’s a problem of success, not failure.



> But, if I were successful at getting 10 or 20 other like minded

> bloggers to ping my site on a regular basi, would that threshold be any

> more valuable? I think so. But maybe not, and there's only one way to

> figure that out.



IN many cases, it will be more valuable, because in general you 

will characterize problems of interest to your readers.



But you don't have to give that value up to use the LW as well. The 

two questions are "Is the additional value of pinging the LazyWeb 

non-zero?" and "is the additional value high enough to be worth the 

time it takes you to add the trackback URL?" My guess at the answers 

right now are "Probably, and It depends."



> ps, do mind if I post this as a comment to my post? It's useful

> discussion.



Not at all, post away.



-clay









------------------------------------------------









From: Daniel Kapusta 

Date: Tue Jan 7, 2003  9:51:59  AM US/Eastern

To: Clay Shirky

Subject: Re: LazyWeb





On Monday, January 6, 2003, at 09:10  PM, Clay Shirky wrote:



>> But, if I were successful at getting 10 or 20 other like minded

>> bloggers to ping my site on a regular basi, would that threshold be 

>> any

>> more valuable? I think so. But maybe not, and there's only one way to

>> figure that out.

>

> IN many cases, it will be more valuable, because in general you will

> characterize problems of interest to your readers.

>

> But you don't have to give that value up to use the LW as well. The two

> questions are "Is the additional value of pinging the LazyWeb 

> non-zero?" and

> "is the additional value high enough to be worth the time it takes you 

> to

> add the trackback URL?" My guess at the answers right now are 

> "Probably, and

> It depends."





I would guess 'yes and yes' due to the ultra low cost of a 

cut-and-paste. That leads me to believe many people will ping LW (if 

they are aware of it, which is another filter of sorts) leading to a 

higher noise ratio. Part of the basis for the idea is that LW doesn't 

have a well defined semantic basis (imho). It's new. It's open to 

anyone for any reason, at any time.



I suppose I'd like to see Dublin Core metadata sent as part of the TB 

ping, and then be able to scrape the LW rdf feed for things I am 

interested in, but I read the site every day now anyway.



Cheers



Dan





January 8, 2003 9:12 AM


By now everyone has heard about Safari, and if they haven't this blog is probably not a place they will visit. So screw 'em. And screw Apple for not using Gecko. I loath the idea of supporting yet another browser and dealing with it's quirks, half-implementations and unpredictable behaviors. It felt to me just two days ago that it would remain a Mozilla/Gecko vs Internet Explorer Universe, and thus make my job a little easier. What really burns my ass is that Safari is as fast as Stevie Boy Blew says it is, which means people will use it, making it more likely that I will have to support it.

I digress. Bitch session over. Safari owns. One of the guys developing Safari has a weblog and he promises some details in the coming days/weeks about the new browser. I'll be making daily visits to Dave Hyatt's weblog hoping he says good things about hard core standards compliance. In the meantime, go download it, and enjoy goodies like popup blocking, Rendezvous support, better bookmark handling, smart cookie blocking and text selections that actually work. Good stuff.

Also, Apple has it's own X11 package (!).



January 7, 2003 9:40 AM


In my short life I have bought...
  1. a Nintendo
  2. a Super Nintendo
  3. a Nintendo 64
  4. a Gameboy Advance
  5. a Gamecube
Those last two items can talk to each other, and that will likely make me buy more software titles from Nintendo, just to see it work. To do that, I'll need to buy the aforementioned software and then add in some more hardware to get the Gameboy to read these trading cards that have old school Nintendo games on them. Unbelievable!

One of the true values in the Nintendo universe is the immediacy of the experience. The Gamecube boots in a few seconds, and requires little effort to get a game going. To go play a round of Tribes2 I have to boot my PC (over a minute, and quite likely to complain about something) and then dial in, then start the game (and if that game is Unreal Tournament, that load time feels like days), then connect to the master server, select a game server, then wait for the map load, and then play. sprinkle in random modem drops, or game server drops, and the value gotten from the process drops like a stone.

Back to the Gamecube. It boots quick, plays games well and has good software titles that can be found no where else. For a vidiot game junkie like myself, that's a compelling feature set. Nevermind the Gameboy Advance/Gamecube integration.

Also, I'll be buying the new Gameboy Advance SP as soon as it comes out. Damn you Nintendo.

January 6, 2003 9:52 AM


Many bloggers are web developers, and many of them know of the value of separating content from its presentation. They know that tightly integrating your content with its presentation is a bad thing because making changes to the content or to the presentation then become difficult. MVC development environments help us out to a degree, but bloggers being what they are (front end oriented) like to abstract the UI as much as possible by using CSS and DIVs and the other homeopathic html remedies.

   » Don't follow this road blindly.

   » Don't get me wrong.

Fully abstracting your UI from its content takes skill and time. If you don't follow thru, you can negate much of the benefit you seek to create. Now stop and think. Do you even know what the benefit is that you are attempting to create? Will that value be worth the effort? Consider the price to performance ratio of taking time to fully abstract logic from presentation and content from presentation. Can you do adequate work (using html tables) without spending the time to fully abstract the UI (using divs and css)? Can you save the client money and meet their actual needs?

Actual needs. Don't ignore actual needs or forget them in your 'separate content from presentation' hubris. If you can intelligently analyze requirements and make decisions that minimize cost and maximize value, you are doing the right thing. Even if that means using html tables.

For the record: I'm not standards hater. I am a lover of my client's money, or my employer's budget and want to preserve my relationship with it. Sometimes you aren't doing yourself or the money holder any favors by jumping thru hoops, sometimes you are.

I know that doing 'the right thing' (ie, proper UI abstraction) can be easy, but it can be hard. Making mistakes and doing it half assed is really easy to do. Sure, you could go steal someone else's front end code, and make it really easy on yourself. But odds are that you have to develop a web app or web site that is original (imagine that).

My message is: Don't follow blindly, make decisions.

January 3, 2003 9:36 AM


As mentioned last week, I'm engaged in a redesign process right now after 14 long months with this current UI (that I never really liked anyway). I also mentioned I was going to make a spot available for people to ping using TrackBack, but LazyWeb has beat me to it. An important difference will remain though, and may be helpful to my implementation.

LazyWeb is for anyone to ping. With legions of bloggers, the pings at LazyWeb are going to be numerous and random, which may be its element of success or failure. I am sure there are folks who putz around the blogosphere looking for stories about the pets of people they have never met or the vagarities of semantics when applied to data warehousing. I care about specific thing, not things that are presented to me randomly, so I'm guessing I'll visit LazyWeb as often as I hit weblogs.com these days (read: never).

What success could I expect with my experiment in accepting pings? Probably not a lot, since I don't see much traffic thru these pages. However, those who do come around on a consistent basis (as defined as daily or monthly, etc.) might benefit from targeted pings that might appear on this site. I'm guessing that any ping that do come in will be more 'on topic' to the thing I talk about and cover here. I suppose it would be a good idea for me to solicit people who run blogs like Arcade Zen to ping this site when they post.

Quinn Mcdonald seems to keep his linking of like minded sites to a focused few, and that sort of filtering keeps things relevant (although just barely sometimes) for me when I'm surfing around the blogosphere.

Randomness offers a benefit, but only randomly. I am hopeful that I can beat that with the redesigned version of this site when it goes live. And by the way Quinn, a screenshot will be posted soon :) I'm still working out some particulars and then want to do a call for comments.

January 2, 2003 12:53 PM


If you apply a doctype to the content of an iframe that is greater than HTML version 3.2 (as in, 4.0 and above) and then view that iframe using Internet Explorer 6.0.2600 (the only browser I have seen this behavior in so far), chances are you will see a horizontal scroll bar. We all know that horizontal scroll bars are the herpes of web development, never quite going away, but still treatable. In this case, the treatment isn't so desirable.

Adding a doctype of HTML 3.2 will make the horizontal scrollbar go away. But, why were they there in the first place? I don't really know why, but the behavior is the result of the content taking the residence in the full size of the iframe, INCLUDING the vertical scrollbar. So, let's say I have an iframe that is 200 pixels wide and content that is set to take 100% of the space in that frame, well, the content won't be the 200 pixels minus the width of the vertical scroller, it'll be 200 pixels wide, making the horizontal scroller necessary to see the full content. Me no likey.

The solution is easy, but less than desireable. I can use the html 3.2 doctype declaration, or no declaration at all! I'm aiming at HTML 4.01 transitional compliance for my redesign (why not XHTML you ask? That's a blog entry for another day) and I'd like to avoid mixing doctypes.

Thus concludes another chapter in the adventures of UI Development Boy (me).


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