Brainstorms and Raves

Notes on Web Design, Development, Standards, Typography, Music, and More

Archives by Month: November, 2001

Listed below are excerpts and links to all weblog, blog entries, posts published during November, 2001.

Fri

30

NOV

2001

George Harrison of the Beatles Passes On

No words can express my sadness to hear the news of George Harrison’s passing from this earth Thursday afternoon. He quietly influenced the entire world with his music, his messages of love, peace, kindness, and the life that he led in much the same way. He was a deeply spiritual man, which came out in his music and in the way he lived. His longtime friend, Gavin De Becker stated, "He died with one thought on his mind--love one another." I grew up with the Beatles. Their presence changed the world of music as we knew it, and they... (198 words, 7 links)

06:18 am, pst30 November, 2001

Categories: Music

Thu

29

NOV

2001

Opera 6 for Windows Now

Opera’s recent Windows beta testing has proven to be quite successful, with over 500,000 downloads since its launch two weeks ago, according to their new press release below. They’ve now released the full version. (1390 words, 8 links, 2 images)

08:49 pm, pst29 November, 2001

29

NOV

2001

Creative CSS Rollovers With Images

Evolt.org has a new tutorial for CSS with images that’s very creatively handled, CSS Image Border Rollovers. You can see his example live in action at C1UK Powerboats. Looking at it, I would have thought the navigation was done with JavaScript rollovers. One advantage with using CSS instead, of course, is faster page downloads since there are fewer images than if this had been handled with JavaScript rollovers and image swapping. This approach will also degrade gracefully for older browsers that don’t support this CSS2, such as Netscape 4. This tutorial can be an especially good one for brainstorming your... (109 words, 3 links)

06:20 am, pst29 November, 2001

Categories: CSS, Design, Standards

Wed

28

NOV

2001

How’s Your Information Architecture Today?

In my cruising around the Web Tuesday evening I came across Christina Wodtke’s collection of definitions of Information Architecture at Elegant Hack. There can be some great brainstorming from reading about organizing information, the importance of information architecture, and why this even matters. Consider your experience at the grocery store. Can you find what you need easily? If it’s well done, you ought to be able to quickly and easily find the spices that you need, the milk, the bread, the cereal, the natural foods, or whatever you need. And in so doing, the flow of the visitors should... (313 words, 7 links, 1 image)

10:17 am, pst28 November, 2001

Mon

26

NOV

2001

Pixelview: Behind the Scenes with Independent Content Designers, Developers, and Others

The head lemur, whose articles are seen at A List Apart (under his other name of Alan Herrell) has created a new section at the lemurzone, Pixelview, for interviews of independent content designers, developers, and others. As of this morning, you’ll find interviews with LMichelle (fem*mass, Inflatable Sheep), Jeff Clark (Internet Brothers, AORTAL), Doc Searls (senior editor for Linux Journal, co-author of the Cluetrain Manifesto, Doc Searls), Joe Jenett (CoolStop, i2K), and yours truly, Shirley Kaiser, with my new tag name, 'Renaissance Woman.' At Pixelview you’ll find out what we did before the Web, including Jeff Clark’s caped crusader... (192 words, 13 links)

11:00 am, pst26 November, 2001

Categories: Design, Internet, Reviews

26

NOV

2001

Designing for Accessibility Can Help Search Engine Rankings, Too

One of the added bonuses to designing with accessibility issues in mind is that doing so can also help your search engine rankings. Why is that? Well, search engines love text and accessility guidelines encourage text readability and easy navigation. Section 508 guidelines, for example, require U.S. federal agency sites to be widely accessible to the disabled. These guidelines emphasize content, structure, and the ease of navigation. Even if you’re not designing a federal agency site, being familiar with those requirements can help your own site anyway. If your site is easier to access, not only can more visitors access... (637 words, 13 links)

06:51 am, pst26 November, 2001

Fri

23

NOV

2001

When is it Time for a Redesign?

My Web site design business, SKDesigns, had its 5-year anniversary in August. I should have had a party! I’d hoped to have a new design up and running then (for reasons that I’ll share below), but didn’t quite make it. So a few months later I’ve finally finished the latest version of SKDesigns. I’ve been asked to share my journey through the redesign, so here’s a nutshell account. In the Old Days . . . (Why a Redesign was Overdue) My previous design was over 2-1/2 years old and was built when Netscape 4.x browsers were still a major contender with Internet Explorer. Geez,... (1365 words, 28 links, 2 images)

06:47 pm, pst23 November, 2001

Wed

21

NOV

2001

Setting Up a Web Design Business

Lee Creek wrote an informative article for WDVL this week with helpful insight on what?s needed to get your web design business up and running without costing a fortune. He runs through ideas and recommendations for hardware, software, and advertising. And he gives some good advice about how to treat your customers and the importance of word of mouth. (284 words, 5 links)

08:23 pm, pst21 November, 2001

Categories: Books, Design, Web Biz

Tue

20

NOV

2001

Did Gutenberg Really Invent Printing Using Movable Type?

That’s what researchers Blaise Aguera y Arcas and Paul Needham sought to find out. BBC’s site has the details within its Renaissance Secrets section, What Did Gutenberg Invent? According to their fascinating research, a system of printing from movable metal type was developed in Korea using Chinese characters an entire generation before Gutenberg is thought to have invented it. However, there’s no evidence that this was brought to Western Europe. Even if Gutenberg did learn this from Korea, this is what the BBC states as defining an invention: Invention requires putting together disparate elements in a novel way, making... (180 words, 3 links)

07:06 am, pst20 November, 2001

Categories: Typography

Mon

19

NOV

2001

How’s Your Reputation?

Of Google, Amazon and Weblogs: reputation management evolves by David Walker, Shorewalker.com, explores how we find the good stuff on the Web. His article mentions Amazon.com, Epinions, Google, Daypop, and Userland Software as examples of technology that allow visitors to vote for their favorites, make comments and recommendations, and assess the numbers of links to pages on the Web. According to Walker, Jakob Nielsen may have coined the term "reputation manager" in a 1999 article, Reputation Managers are Happening. Regardless of where the term originated, word of mouth is an important aspect of your online success, whether via comments,... (253 words, 7 links)

03:11 pm, pst19 November, 2001

Categories: Web Biz

Fri

16

NOV

2001

Web Design in a Nutshell

Meryl Evans has written a very informative review for WebReference.com on Web Design in a Nutshell, 2nd Edition, by Jennifer Niederst. "Expanded and updated this is one book that covers it all. From CSS to XML author Jennifer Niederst gives you the essentials you need to know to design great Web sites." Meryl learned web design by following the first edition book for one of her web design classes, so she was already quite familiar with Niederst before reading this new one for the review. Her review cuts to the chase with its concise but informative descriptions of chapters,... (173 words, 8 links, 1 image)

12:21 pm, pst16 November, 2001

Categories: Books, CSS, Design, Reviews

Thu

15

NOV

2001

What To Do With Too Little or Too Much Content?

In Friday morning’s issue of my I-Design digest I’m mentioning Wendy Peck’s tutorials and tips at WebReference.com’s Graphics Experts section. With at least 40-50 tutorials now, Wendy has been diligently writing such easy to understand tutorials all about graphics, photographs, layout, navigation, and more for the Web. Wendy’s latest tutorial, That Darn Content 2, is the 2nd on the topic of content, this one on creating appealing and workable layouts when faced with very little content. (The first on this topic, That Darn Content, covers layouts for an abundance of content.) Wendy covers CSS versus font tags, managing a site,... (219 words, 7 links, 1 image)

09:19 pm, pst15 November, 2001

Wed

14

NOV

2001

From Gutenberg to Berners-Lee

Nick Finck’s new article at Independents Day tells of the the major changes in communication from Gutenberg’s 15th century invention of the printing press to Tim Berners-Lee’s invention of the world wide web just over 10 years ago. Great perspective and a good read. And there are many more great articles being added every six hours at the Independents Day site!... (62 words, 3 links)

08:26 pm, pst14 November, 2001

Categories: Internet

14

NOV

2001

Mouseovers with CSS Instead of JavaScript

Maxine Sherrin at WestCiv has a helpful new tutorial on creating mouseover effects with style sheets, Buttons without Javascript. Maxine has written this in an easy to understand way with all the code samples. If you’re wondering how others make those nifty hover effects with style sheets, Maxine’s tutorial will help you learn how. She also links to other basics about links with CSS to help you on your journey, too. As the tutorial also mentions, creating mouseovers with JavaScript and images typically uses up more bandwidth and increases the load time. So creating this nearly identical look with... (228 words, 3 links)

02:08 pm, pst14 November, 2001

Categories: CSS, Design

14

NOV

2001

WestCiv Webware Releases Latest CSS Editor Version 2.1

WestCiv has released its latest version of its style sheets editor for MacOS and PCs. Mac users have raved about Style Master for quite some time now, and its new added features include even more functionality. Style Master has more recently been made available for PCs, too. Here’s WestCiv’s latest press release: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE WestCiv Webware releases version 2.1 of their cascading style sheet editor Style Master. November 13, 2001 - Bondi Beach, Australia - WestCiv Webware announced today the release and immediate availability of Style Master version 2.1, the CSS development environment for Windows and the MacOS.... (335 words, 4 links)

01:34 pm, pst14 November, 2001

Tue

13

NOV

2001

More on Independents Day*

The interesting articles continue to be posted every 6 hours at the Independents Day site this week, as it launched its first event to promote independent content on the web. Some of the latest are by Juanita Benedicto (New Breed Librarian), Chris MacGregor (Flazoom.com), Alan Herrell (LemurZone), Dave Bastian (Fathom5), and well, you get the idea. They just keep coming, each sharing their own unique views, stories, and perspectives about where we’ve been and where we’re going with independent content. *More on this in Monday’s post, Independents Day Has Launched Its First Event.... (110 words, 11 links)

07:07 pm, pst13 November, 2001

Categories: Content

13

NOV

2001

Opera 6 for Windows

Opera has announced its latest Windows version 6 Beta 1 with features that I was hopeful they’d add. Once I’ve had an opportunity to evaluate it, I’ll write a review here. In the meantime, though, it has an entirely new interface with many new features, including drag-and-drop bookmarks to the personal bar (I’ve been waiting for that!) and even more W3C recommendations support. After a 30-minute test run so far my initial impression is that it’s no wonder Microsoft tried to shut out Opera from its site a week or two ago. This new version looks like major competition. Here’s Opera’s press... (1097 words, 10 links, 1 image)

06:03 am, pst13 November, 2001

Categories: Press Releases

Mon

12

NOV

2001

Independents Day Has Launched Its First Event

The first of the articles for Independents Day have been posted, with new articles being posted every six hours. What is Independents Day all about? It’s designed to help promote and bring awareness to independent content: "The independent content scene is alive and well, but is largely unknown by the general web-using public. We seek to support each other as a community, and to increase, if possible, the general public’s awareness not only of existing independent sites, but of the fact that they can create their own." Jeffrey Zeldman, Carole Guevin, and sooz created this idea, and many have... (162 words, 8 links)

07:37 am, pst12 November, 2001

Categories: Content

Thu

8

NOV

2001

In a Design Rut? Or is That Your Design Signature?

Carole Guevin’s new article, Don’t Kid Yourself, explains the elements of a design signature and how you can tell the difference between that and being in a design rut. She does so in a witty, fun, interesting way, describing her own journey with learning to create, learning about colors, and discovering her design signature. Carole writes, "Every new color I tackled was another discovery for me, and this led me to the belief that taste is acquired by experimentation."Carole Guevin is an amazingly talented designer who has been one of my inspirations. Reading her article today about some of... (204 words, 7 links)

10:59 am, pst 8 November, 2001

Categories: Design, Graphics

Wed

7

NOV

2001

Weblogging—What Is It Anyway?

In Part I of a two-part series, Chris Ashley set out to explain what weblogs are all about in Weblogging: Another kind of website for the fall issue of Berkeley Computing and Communications. What I read about their experience didn’t surprise me since I’ve been a dedicated weblogger, but check out what he wrote after installing Manila, a content management system that includes a weblog tool, to their server at Berkeley’s Interactive University (IU). Did I ever smile reading this, being a firm believer in these types of tools and what they can do!/p> "Within weeks the IU experienced a revolutionary... (334 words, 5 links)

07:51 am, pst 7 November, 2001

Categories: Content, Reviews, Weblogs

Tue

6

NOV

2001

New Issue at Digital Web!

This month’s theme at Digital Web is content, an often far too neglected aspect of Web sites. This month’s issue will provide a good education and dose of why good quality content matters, in addition to a delightful interview and other features. Drew Europeo created the always interesting artwork for this month’s cover of Digital Web. So far I’ve read the terrific interview by Nick Finck and Ben Henick with the team from dreaming america. I smiled, laughed, and enjoyed the insight. I always learn so much from hearing what others are doing in our industry, how they got... (333 words, 15 links)

10:34 pm, pst 6 November, 2001

Mon

5

NOV

2001

Cross-Browser, Cross-Platform Forms

If you’ve done much web design with forms and form fields, you’ve probably seen that their visual presentation is quite different in the various browsers and platforms (what else is new?!). Jukka Korpela has put together a tutorial, Affecting the presentation of form fields on Web pages, with screenshots and ideas for what you can do with the visual presentation. This tutorial has ideas for workarounds, what to watch out for (especially Netscape 4), screenshots showing the differences in Netscape 4, Internet Explorer 4, and Lynx 2.8. While these are older browsers, most of us still need to make sure our pages work for... (225 words, 7 links)

09:45 am, pst 5 November, 2001

Categories: Browsers, CSS, Design, Standards

Sun

4

NOV

2001

More on Accessible Sites

Guidelines for Building an Accessible Web Site, by James Byrne, is a helpful article about why and how to build accessible Web sites. He covers the W3C, the wide range of user needs for accessibility, why it matters, building large sites that are accessibility friendly, using images, videos, and much more. When I dug into the guidelines that he wrote, I found that he also provides examples of how to use the ALT attribute, manage color for the color blind, markup and CSS, tables, frames, various devices, clear navigation, and so much more. He includes lots of examples and... (161 words, 5 links)

06:06 pm, pst 4 November, 2001

Sat

3

NOV

2001

The Internet Archive Wayback

A massive archiving project has been collecting web pages that go way back in time, at least way back to 1996—the Internet Archive Wayback Machine. Now you can access this amazing archive via simple or advanced searches. (234 words, 9 links, 1 image)

07:30 am, pst 3 November, 2001

Categories: Internet

Fri

2

NOV

2001

A Free Kaiser Font!

I was innocently reading about the latest free fonts at Chank Diesel’s chank.com site when I was quite surprised to find a font with my last name—a Kaiser font! Well, there’s Kaiser beer in Austria and now there’s a Kaiser font. Totally amused, I had to check it out, much like I had to try the Kaiser beer in Austria at the time, of course. The free Kaiser font was initially designed for a story in the August issue of Surfer Magazine by Jeff Canham. Jeff needed something to represent the story about tow-in surfing that was... (222 words, 6 links, 1 image)

05:22 pm, pst 2 November, 2001

Categories: Typography

2

NOV

2001

Tim Berners-Lee Blasts Microsoft’s Browser Antics

In a Wednesday email interview with C|Net about Microsoft’s latest antics, Thursday’s Rival browsers benefiting from MSN gaffe covers Tim Berners-Lee’s thoughts about Microsoft’s latest antics and how he has envisioned the Web. The interview is also covered in The Register: Berners-Lee slams 'blatant' MS browser tactics. Here’s an excerpt of what Berners-Lee had to say: "Obviously this was a blatant attempt to use the leverage of some content to produce domination at the software layer. "...let’s talk about the architecture of the Web, and its community practices. I have fought since the beginning of the Web for its openness:... (269 words, 6 links)

10:38 am, pst 2 November, 2001

2

NOV

2001

Scot Finnie Investigates MSN’s Browser Blocking

Scot Finnie issued a special newsletter this morning on the Opera vs. MSN issue as a follow-up to his previous issue yesterday. In yesterday’s issue Scot stated that he felt Microsoft didn’t act maliciously or intentionally to block other browsers, that it was an innocent mistake probably by the developers of the MSN.com site and Carpoint.com. After reading this, though, Opera’s CEO, Jon S. von Tetzchner, wrote to Scot: "The fact is that Microsoft blocked Opera actively. They searched for the Opera string and any browser having Opera in its identification string was not allowed access. After tremendous pressure... (674 words, 9 links)

09:46 am, pst 2 November, 2001

Thu

1

NOV

2001

Style Guide and Helpful Tutorials All In One

Although Happy Cog and NotLimitedNYC have written a terrific Style Guide for The Branch Libraries of the New York Public Library, it’s on the Web and available for any of us to check out. The NYPL Style Guide explains in simple terms the basics of XHTML, CSS, why they matter, and how to use them. There are authoring tips and tools, lots of samples, style sheets, transitioning from HTML to XHTML, working with Dreamweaver, XHTML accessibility tips, CSS guidelines, and more. And this is only Phase I of this Style Guide. I can hardly wait to see more! [link... (103 words, 5 links)

08:05 am, pst 1 November, 2001

Categories: CSS, Standards

1

NOV

2001

More on Microsoft and Opera

Opera states that Microsoft hasn’t been totally accurate in its claims on fixing their site to accommodate all browsers, showing sources and quotes from Microsoft. Here’s Opera’s latest press release, issued this morning: Microsoft exposed: Microsoft PR Spin Continues While Browser Lockout Still in Effect OSLO, Norway - Nov. 1, 2001 - Opera Software ASA today issued a strong rebuttal to Microsoft’s latest statements regarding the browser lockout on Microsoft’s MSN portal. Microsoft’s marketing department continues to spread inaccuracies to various media sources, while Opera users are still denied equal treatment on MSN. At the unveiling of the new... (746 words, 7 links)

08:04 am, pst 1 November, 2001

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