The conversion to Movable Type is going smoothly so far. I’m continually amazed at the application’s flexibility, power, and speed. The ability to expand its functionality with the plugin architecture gives MT endless possibilities for small-scale sites like this one. continued
I’ve been talking about it for what seems like forever. Over the past week, I finally started to make the jump. If you’re reading this entry, the DNS changes have propagated to your neck of the woods, which means you’re getting the new version of this site. The title of this post is a phrase former colleagues at Lycos used when we were redesigning a site or changing the backend while the site continued to function live on a public server. A task which seemed impossible, but had to be done. continued
Alright, now it’s personal because there’s shame involved. The company I used to work for (Lycos) used a project in which I was originally involved (a redesign of HotBot) as a base for a CSS skinning contest (Hack Hotbot). I don’t care what the internal debates and politics have been between HotBot product management and Lycos Legal, but this situation totally blows: continued
With the confirmed news that Microsoft is ceasing development of Internet Explorer for Macintosh, a wave of sadness sweeps through the web design and development community. Three years ago, I was only getting my feet wet by messing around with style sheets, constantly frustrated that Netscape 4 wouldn’t do what the CSS spec said it was supposed to do. IE5/Mac provided my first opportunity to dive head-first into CSS and begin to realize its potential for designing on the Web. To friends on the Microsoft Mac Biz Unit who poured years of their lives into this product, my condolences. IE5/Mac, you raised the bar, and certainly served us well.
In a related note, Quark recently redesigned their site using XHTML for structure and CSS for presentation and table-free layout. The pages are simple and beautifully clean. The main navigation features slick slide-down subnavigation, though they could have built this navigation using an unordered list, then kept the subnavigation properly nested within the main nav list. The majority of their top-level pages validate using XHTML 1.0 Transitional. continued
In January of 2002, Quark dumbfounded Mac design professionals by releasing QuarkXPress 5 sans support for Mac OS X. Because of Quark’s rush to release an already outdated product, Mac-based print designers have either held back in upgrading from OS 9 to OS X, or have bumbled along, forced to run QuarkXPress in Classic mode, or directly within OS 9. Since I continue to accept print design projects, like Jeff Veen’s latest book, Quark’s incompetence has been one of the reasons I’ve avoided switching back to Mac and to OS X. continued
Via Paul Boutin, an interesting read from Peter Maass over at Slate. “Salam Pax Is Real” tells an inside story of Driving Mr. Pax, discovering his musical and literary tastes, and taking advice on buying Persian rugs — all without ever realizing this hired interpreter was the Iraqi star of the Web and burdened by huge ISP costs:
He usually drifted off to one of the few Internet cafes in town. I assumed he was just writing e-mails to friends, though he often complained about the high cost of downloading and uploading. This struck me as odd, because sending and receiving e-mail shouldn’t require a lot of bandwidth–unless, of course, you are posting photos to your blog and receiving more e-mail than Bill Gates.
For individuals who are neither designers nor artists, it may seem like those who are, use a lot of smoke and mirrors, magically whipping up each stunning creation. Artistic talent and creativity can certainly aid and enhance the final result, but design, in particular, generally follows a process. Each designer — or design group — develops a method for solving problems, then evolves that method over time. While no one person or group may view a problem from the same perspective, general similarities often appear in their approach. continued
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