Posted in Technology

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

Mid-process

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

Changing wings on the plane, mid-flight

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

IE/Mac, rest in peace

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.

Quark delivers for Apple

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professionals by releasing QuarkXPress 5 sans support for Mac OS X. Because of Quark’s rush to release an already outdated product, Mac-based print designers have either held back in upgrading from OS 9 to OS X, or have bumbled along, forced to run QuarkXPress in Classic mode, or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

PNG, please

Two days ago, Jeffrey Zeldman brought to our attention a petition to encourage Microsoft to include proper PNG support in Internet Explorer for Windows. Yesterday, he wrote up a fabulous explanation of the benefits of the PNG image format, points out examples of it in use, and why it needs to be fully supported in IE/Win. If you haven’t done so, and believe in the cause, go sign the petition.

Do you still Yahoo!?

In the current Google Age, we tend to default our web searching to one tool which finds what we’re looking for every time. Many of us subconsciously believe Google is the answer to Bono’s soul-seeking lyrics from 1987. With such a prominent player in the field, it’s easy to dismiss the improvement efforts of other search engines as inconsequential. Everyone seems to be stripping it down, playing catch-up to Google. Why would we make the effort to switch our search engine of choice when we haven’t seen much innovation for some time now? continued

In the year of our Lord

Based on recent experience with an indexing robot, I discovered a critical architecture flaw in the way I set up my calendar for viewing Log Entries by Day. Due to a bit of laziness, as well as intrigue of the cool-factor in going to any possible date between 1000 and 9999, I didn’t originally include stops at each end of the archive (earliest post and latest post). The calendar allows a user to tab through each month, one at a time, displaying the dates for which entries are available as links. Nothing special here. continued

Blogger highs and woes

Thanks to the recent news and hype of Google’s Pyra acquisition, it seems Blogger has been quite bogged down recently. Lots of transfer errors. Connection problems. Most likely due to every Blogger user trying to post about the story. Unfortunately, for the past few days, on each post attempt, Blogger has been deleting my entire archive list except for the most recent entry. Each time, I end up needing to republish the entire archive again. continued

HotBot redesign launched

Ah, I can finally talk about it. It’s so far off everyone’s radar that hardly anyone has noticed yet. Let’s change that.

Another project I had a hand in design directing and pushing to XHTML/CSS (smack in the middle of the Wired News redesign) finally surfaces. Following Wired’s lead, HotBot redesigns and in the process, completely morphs as a new product. [Mostly] table-less CSS-based design that was cranked out in a one-week visit to Boston back in June. The backend took significantly longer, thus the delay. The CSS changed slightly from what I originally authored, creating a few rendering and alignment bugs in various browsers. But you get the basic idea. Aside from very minor visual changes, the design we came up with is still in tact, and represents the harnessed power and attitude HotBot has been known for. continued

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