Archive for the ‘Web’ Category

Good quote about the “open source” software movement

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2004

How much open source beer are these newcomers bringing to the database bash, or are they simply coming in and asking where the cups are?

Link (Slashdot)

Phrase of the day: blink-tag era

Monday, December 13th, 2004

I thought this was a funny way to describe someone who has been involved in web design for a long time:

blink-tag era web enthusiast

I remember the web before there was a blink tag, when I had to add a disclaimer like the following:

Your browser must support tables to view this page

Link (

Students shun search for information offline

Monday, December 13th, 2004

What a surprise: a well-written article about collaborative technology. This article actually presents all sides of the issue in an intelligent way:

Another potential minefield is the growing phenomenon of collaborative information assembly. The credentials of the people writing grass-roots Web journals and a committee-written encyclopedia called Wikipedia are often unclear. Nevertheless, some Internet users believe that such resources can collectively portray events more accurately than any single gatekeeper.

In many ways, the greater diversity of information is healthy.

Paul Duguid, co-author of The Social Life of Information, points out that no longer, in most of the United States, can school textbooks get away with one-sided views.

Link (CNN)

Microsoft says Firefox not a threat to IE

Thursday, November 11th, 2004

“I don’t agree that just because a (competing) product has a feature that we don’t have, that feature is important,” [Ben English, Microsoft's security and management product manager] said. “It is not. It is only important if it is a feature the customer wants. There are plenty of products out there with features we don’t have. We have plenty of features that our customers don’t use.”

Incredible. This guy is either totally clueless or lying through his teeth. I vote for the latter.

By refusing to update IE and fix known bugs, Microsoft causes me to waste hours every month. In the entire web design industry I would not be surprised if Microsoft costs millions in lost revenue due to people having to work around bugs in IE.

Link (Cnet); Get FireFox

Podcast icons and logos

Thursday, November 4th, 2004

Tim Madden (Web Designer – Brisbane Australia) created some nice podcast logos:

Instead adding an IMG every time I link to an MP3 file, I just created a CSS style like the following:

a.podcast {
 padding-left: 80px;
 background-image: url(podcast-icon.gif);

Then use the following to link to the MP3 file:

<a class="podcast" href="file.mp3">file (MP3)</a>

Thanks to Drew for pointing me to the icons, and of course to Tim for creating them.

Popup overlay technique from CBSNews

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2004

Here is an interesting technique I saw on the CBS News website:

Popup Overlay Technique

Each thumbnail image has an outline with a little plus sign in the bottom right corner, to indicate that you can click the thumbnail to pop up a full-size image.

Rather than adding the icon to each thumbnail image, they created the outline and the icon as a transparent GIF. Then they specify the thumbnail image as a background which shows through the transparent parts.

Popup Overlay

<table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" height="131" width="175"><tbody><tr><td background="image653259l.jpg"><a href="javascript:launch('photo', 540, 400, 'main641817_popup0_2.shtml')"><img src="story_image_pop.gif" border="0" height="131" width="175"></a></td>

The only disadvantage of this technique is that it assumes that each thumbnail image is the same size. You could probably do something similar using CSS to add the border and position the plus icon to the bottom right of the image.

Windows Media Player 10 Technical Beta

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2004

This is a technical beta release. Before you decide whether to install this software, it is important to understand that the technical beta release does not have the stability of released Microsoft software. You might encounter problems with this release of the software that could possibly result in a loss or destruction of data. This release is not for production use, and we suggest that you run the software in a test environment or back up your existing data, including music and video files, before you install and run the software on your computer.

How is this different from their other software?


Funny quote about computer science

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2004

Entertaining forward to a book:

When I got out of the army, I headed off to college and got a degree in Computer Science. Now I really knew everything. I knew more than everything, because I had learned a bunch of computer-scientific junk about linear algebra and NP completeness and frigging lambda calculus which was obviously useless, so I thought they must have run out of useful things to teach us and were scraping the bottom of the barrel.