Posts from July 2003

A pirate's life

[Thumbnail image: Pirates of the Caribbean title treatment] Pirates of the Caribbean wasn’t on my list of movies to see until I read what a few others were saying about it. Now I can’t recommend it enough. This movie is an excellent 2.5 hours of pure escapism. Great sets, intriguing cinematography, fun characters, and a downright entertaining story. A good blend of action, humor, and a small dose of Disney-esque romance. As [Capt’n!] Jack Sparrow, Johnny Depp gives us another brilliant performance, holding the audience with his charm and swagger throughout the film’s entirety. He continues to impress me with his wide range of ability and the consistently strong characters of his recent career. And need I say what nice visuals Keira Knightley adds to this film? continued

New ink for Inc.com

Congratulations to Dan Cederholm and team on launching a brand new Inc.com. The site sports a clean design, valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional markup, and a nice dosage of the CSS background-image property to pull in decorative icons and bullets, keeping most of them out of the markup. It also uses Dan’s mini-tab effect for main navigation, which he and I must have independently devised around the same time, since Adaptive Path uses something very similar. continued

Rebuilding a portfolio

There’s a wholelotta recent buzz around using Movable Type for more than just weblogs. In addition to the comments and tips Jay Allen has been providing here on Adaptive Path’s MT use, Matt Haughey gives us some great insight into how he takes advantage of MT’s flexibility in Beyond the Blog. Just before reading Matt’s piece, I followed Jay’s pointer to Brad Choate’s Doing your whole site with MT. Both of these are interesting reads given my recent foray into the use of MT to power portions of this site. continued

Adaptive Path's MT setup

As I was starting a follow-up entry on the Adaptive Path redesign, Jay Allen posted a comment under Wednesday’s entry in response to another reader’s question. In an earlier comment, Leonya wrote:

It would also be great to see some technical details about the programming side — MT plugins used, tricks, etc. I’m doing development with MT, so such details can be very helpful.

continued

The new Path

It seems I’ve not had many chances to toot my own horn lately with announcements of new designs or projects with which Stopdesign has been involved. When a print design is complete, the wait for a finished product merely depends on the printer’s schedule or a publisher’s distribution cycle. Some design projects for the web are application-based, and get tucked behind a login screen preventing access to the majority of the new design. Other projects get held up in lengthy development cycles and iterative improvements which delay public release. But once a new site design has been thoroughly produced, staged, analyzed, tested, and deemed ready for the world, making it available is almost as simple and instant as flipping a switch. continued

View, sans fog

[thumbnail image: a clear view toward downtown San Francisco from my apartment balcony] A couple of readers wrote to me wondering what my normal view — described yesterday — is like. Yesterday’s photo was actually taken from a street corner behind my apartment building looking toward Twin Peaks and the fog-obscured Sutro Tower mentioned in the comments. Today… no fog in sight. This photo was taken from my balcony looking toward downtown and the Bay Bridge. The skyline looks exceptionally small and distant thanks to the lens on this mini camera. Although it would take about 30 minutes to drive there, the center of downtown is only 2 miles away. On clear days, I can see the peak of Mount Diablo 35 miles to the east. I’ve certainly seen more impressive geography elsewhere. But it’s inspiring to sit beside the window and have this in front of me. Yes, it’s a nice view. Yes, I have excellent views of hills to the south as well. And yes, I’m actually considering starting the search for a new place to live. Are we ever content with what we’ve got?

Morning, fog city

[thumbnail image: the fog-obscured view toward the opposing hill, taken around the corner from my apartment building] Early on a Sunday morning. I wake up and open the living room blinds to a sea of white. On most clear days, I have a view of half the San Francisco skyline, a portion of the Bay Bridge, and several nearby hills filled densely with houses and apartment buildings. Today, thanks to our typical ground-hugging summer fog, I barely see a half block down my own hill. The downtown skyline, nowhere in site. A morning like this begs one to either curl back up in bed, or head to a warm, quiet cafe to work next to a steaming cup of coffee and a small breakfast. I decide the latter, and head to Canvas, arriving fifteen minutes after opening. continued

Redirection complete

Note: If you don’t care about the technical details of switching over a site and its structure, you can probably skip this entry — it may confuse you, or simply bore the heck out of you.

For the old (second) version of this site, I used a lot of ASP scripting to generate dynamic content and automatically change navigation states based on directory paths and query strings. This new (third) version uses PHP and shifts around some of the directory structure. While I can change and control internal links pointing to my own content, lots of external links exist on other sites which point to files on stopdesign. I wanted to make sure as many of those links as possible still pointed to appropriate places on this site. continued

Host

Stopdesign is hosted on a Virtual Private Server at Dreamhost.