10 May, 2000
What Matt Haughey's Metafilter does for the weblogging community, Joshua Davis's new Dreamless.org will do for designers. Dreamless has a serious look and feel, and the discussion within is equally hardcore. Davis, as you probably know, is the rather talented fellow behind once-upon-a-forest.com and Praystation.
It's not an exact science: "Sunny and cheerful, YELLOW is the color of your personality." Result of emode.com color test. ::: "Wednesday's Child is full of woe. You see the injustice and unfairness around you. You're the one who'll make a difference in your world." Result of Hugkiss.com birth dates widget.
::: Expect Friday's issue of A List Apart Magazine to be sunny and cheerful, in contrast to this week's (and last week's) which have been full of woe.
9 May, 2000
We've posted a minty-fresh new Letter of the Month to the site's feedback section. It's insightful comments like this that make it all worthwhile. :::
And we've added a modest Gigs item to the submenu above, for the few who wonder what we are actually working on, or where we will show up next to speak.
::: A List Apart Digest has left the building. Digest No. 221 (mis-numbered 220) contains long and fascinating posts about color on the web and "the problem with web standards." ALA Digest goes out to over 13,000 web designers, writers, and programmers each week. Get yours free by subscribing at A List Apart Magazine. (Should we stop mentioning this? Does everybody know by now?)
::: The SOAP specification has been submitted to the W3C. SOAP is an open standards-based protocol that uses XML to link applications and services anywhere on the Net. (Hat tip: Scott Kramer.) Microsoft, IBM, Userland, Lotus and others pooled forces to create the proposed new protocol.
Had a couple of hours free, so we updated our Exit Gallery. Mainly we did this so we can quickly find important web references, or stuff we simply like a lot. It's not 100% complete yet (what is?), but the sites it points to may be helpful, enlightening, or entertaining for you. A few more will be added soon.
8 May, 2000
Five blessed hours in Photoshop between client phone calls and other emergencies. We start every project thinking "this is impossible." Hours later, we look up, and it's finally working. Does everyone feel that way when they work? I can't. I can't. I can't. Oh, look, I did it.
::: GraphicDesignGate.com runs an ongoing series of design contests, and is currently seeking a symbol for the concept of community. ::: A friend made this
pretty thing for a co-worker's baby shower. Sweet. We can practically smell the baby formula. ::: On the other end of the emotional spectrum, Andy Flanagan is boiling with rage. The result? This fascinating visual diary.
::: A reader asked about Amaya, the browser built by the people who make the standards. Amaya not only complies with web standards, it also lets you create web pages. It's both a browser and an authoring tool. Instead of hoping Netscape, Microsoft, and Opera get it right, our reader asked, why doesn't the W3C simply promote its own browser?
Intelligent question. But think about it. How could the W3C get competitors like Netscape and Microsoft to sit down at the bargaining table if it was competing with those companies itself? The Swiss maintained neutrality by avoiding warlike actions. The W3C must do likewise. It cannot compete with browser makers.
Of course, that doesn't stop anyone from downloading Amaya and taking it for a spin. (Obviously, we're not speaking for the W3C; this is just our take on it.)
::: Personal. Looking back over the past few days here, we notice a negative emphasis on things like our ongoing DSL problems, or our landlord's unwillingness to run air conditioning during a heat wave.
We really don't want to bring you down by harping on these problems. Something else is going on, that's bigger and sadder. We won't share it here because we don't do that. Obviously we are focusing on the dumb (but fixable) problems to avoid thinking about the big, unsolvable problems.
Of course, work is the second-best narcotic on earth, and luckily we've plenty of that (work, we mean) to numb the pain.
It will pass. Everything does.
Had an hour to kill, so we redesigned the front page. It lacks a certain something, but t'will serve for now. Bonus points for those who can say what the little colored boxes are about. ::: It ain't the heat, it's the landlord. Every May, we get a heat wave, and every May the landlord waits until the 15th to turn on the air conditioning. It's a New York thing. Actually, a miserable, sleep-depriving, nauseating thing, is what it is. Joan just grabbed ice packs from the freezer, and laid them out all over our bed. (Not as exciting as it sounds.)
7 May, 2000
It's a balmy spring evening in New York City. Perfect weather for grinding out Web Design World seminar outlines, and wrapping up another ten pounds of the web communications design curriculum for Populi. Not that we're complaining. Much.
::: Pet Peeve: People who change email addresses more frequently than Imelda Marcos discarded footwear. We're not talking about office address versus home address. We mean those constantly changing creative addresses (boospie at ... It's Mike! at ... ) from people who maintain or work at several different web domains. Jeez. The moment we've set up Eudora to filter these folks' stuff to a unique mailbox where we'll be sure to see it, they come back at us with a brand new, non-filtered monikker. Result: their message sits atop the landfill in our general in-box, where it may go unread for days.
Not that we're complaining. Much.
This post was delayed by nine hours due to a DSL blackout. The blackout may not have lasted nine hours - we wouldn't know. Even we have to sleep some time. Friends will get you through times with no Internet access better than Internet access will get you through times with no friends.
Some of us were discussing yesterday's announcement that Glenn Davis had left Project Cool. Before the conversation bogged down in silliness, this interesting remark was made: "Glenn's one of the closest things we have to a good Old Testament prophet."
Hmm. Biblical analogies are fun. Let's see: Tim Berners-Lee invented the web; that makes him the Creator. Netscape and Microsoft have taken turns playing serpent in the garden. E-commerce is clearly the golden calf. There's a Prodigal Sun, a Diva and Goliath, even a court of Solomon. And the Messiah? We're still waiting.
::: Nick Finck and co. have put out another feature-packed issue of Digital Web Magazine. As if the articles, interviews, and tutorials weren't enough, the site has also been redesigned. Nice.
::: Our landlord is legally obliged to activate building-wide air conditioning on 15 May. A law-abiding citizen, he takes this literally: 15 May, and not a moment before. With the current heat wave, this room is like a Tandori oven. Only it doesn't smell quite so delicious. Just felt like sharing that.
6 May, 2000
The web has lost a little heart today. Glenn Davis quit ProjectCool. In a way, it's the story of a thousand Internet companies: the company grows, becomes profitable, and the founder leaves. But Glenn is not just a company founder, and his Internet businesses have never been like others.
Recently, the web intelligensia was worrying about Pyra's business model. Well, what was
Project Cool's revenue model, really? And what was the revenue model for Cool Site of the Day, when Glenn started that back in 1994? Glenn and his businesses were never about the money. They were about the spirit of the web.
5 May, 2000
In this week's issue of A List Apart Magazine, for people who make websites: DIGIGLUT.COM There is just too much stuff out there. Web surfing has turned to web surfeit, as web users and independent content site authors are buried alive in a sea of ever-more-useless crap. New ALA contributor Bob Jacobson sifts through the wreckage.
::: Following the BBC live radio broadcast, we took a long walk home along the sun-baked sidewalks. On days like this, New York is glorious. Majestic vistas on upper Broadway. Horse-drawn carriages on Central Park South. Jacketless, surging seas of people lapping upon the banks of Fifth Avenue. And finally, an hour later, our own quiet place.
Attention People of England: If you're near a radio today around 4:30 p.m. your time (11:30 a.m. New York time), you can hear us prattle sleepily on BBC Radio 4's live program, "The Message." We'll be talking with BBC host Kevin Bocquet about, of all things, advertising.
::: 5 Small K For Man: And a giant leap for webkind. The winners of the 5k Awards have been posted. These are some of the most innovative websites and web concepts we've seen in years and they all use less bandwidth than this morning's Daily Report.
::: Network News: A List Apart and The Web Standards Project are settling into new homes, courtesy of our friends at Project Cool. The WaSP is now being served from a pair of load-balanced Cobalt boxes one hop off the Internet backbone. (Translation: the site loads really fast.) Some files are still being moved around, so if a signup form fails, or a page is missing, hang in there; all will be fixed momentarily.
Similarly, this week's issue of ALA Magazine will go live later today; and there should be good news on the mailing list as well. Thanks for your patience and support.