Brainstorms and Raves

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

Archives by Month: December, 2001

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

Mon

31

DEC

2001

Libraries All Around the World

I pay attention to people’s email sigs and love to explore. Today another one caught my eye and led me to an amazing collection of over 8,400 libraries from 130 countries all over the world at Michael Sauers' The WWW Library Directory. In addition, he has links to other lists, too, including a link to IFLANET’s Web Accessible National and Major Libraries listing. Perhaps you’d enjoy a virtual tour of the (U.S.) National Archives Exhibit Hall where you can enjoy Picturing The Century to "timetravel throughout the 20th century in this exhibit of photographs from every decade in the... (198 words, 10 links)

11:54 am, pst31 December, 2001

Categories: Photography, Research

Sun

30

DEC

2001

Tender Thoughts and Tribute For Sept. 11

I can’t close out the year without saying something again about what happened September 11th. Richard Guyon of Ricon Web Design just submitted an amazingly heartfelt and touching Flash movie, World Trade Center Tribute, a tribute to the events from that day, for the Attack on America section at Brainstorms and Raves. Keep the tissue handy--tears streamed down my cheeks throughout, and I sobbed thinking of those who lost their lives, their loved ones, everyone who experienced the attacks, and remembering the helplessness so many of us felt watching the events unfold on the TV, from rooftops, from everywhere. I’m... (205 words, 3 links)

04:40 pm, pst30 December, 2001

30

DEC

2001

Book and Software Recommendations Added to WebsiteTips.com

People are always asking for software recommendations and for good books to learn various Web-related skills, and while my vision for WebsiteTips.com includes a bookstore section, during the fall I began gradually adding book and software recommendations to many of the sidebars at WebsiteTips.com to coincide with their annotated links topics. I’ve added enough to mention this new feature here now for the following sections: (158 words, 17 links)

02:13 pm, pst30 December, 2001

Sat

29

DEC

2001

Lots of 2001 Tributes and Memories

It’s been quite a year, and in many different ways for each of us. All around the Web are lots of lists with the best of something, such as: Amazon.com: Best of 2001 O'Reilly: Editors' Picks: The Best of 2001 PCWorld: World Class Awards: Best of 2001 Web Tools: Some of the Best of 2001: People, Ideas, Sites Newsweek: Perspectives: The Year’s Most Memorable Quotes A & MI: Best of the Web: Museums and the Web 2001 Working Mother: The 2001 List of "100 Best Companies for Working Mothers" MotorWeek: MotorWeek’s 2001 Drivers' Choice Awards Then there are the... (431 words, 20 links)

06:56 pm, pst29 December, 2001

Sat

22

DEC

2001

Pros and Cons of WaSP, Principles and Personalities

Just about every design discussion list I belong to has debated WaSP, web standards, and the Browser Upgrade campaign. Jeffrey Zeldman writes about this, their time off to regroup, and that in 2002 WaSP will include strong new voices to help get away from the misunderstanding of mainly identifying WaSP with one person (himself). [More posts on WaSP, web standards]... (64 words, 6 links)

05:43 pm, pst22 December, 2001

Fri

21

DEC

2001

CSS for TV?

The W3C’s CSS Working Group is working away, this time releasing a Working Draft of CSS TV Profile 1.0. They’re asking for feedback for this new working draft based on CSS 2. This is specifically tailored to meet the needs of interactive televsion sets like MSN TV (formerly WebTV). Some designers don’t know or may not even care how their sites look on WebTV. Maybe you don’t have enough viewers to spend endless hours trying to make your sites accommodate them. Using a style sheet to tailor sites for these devices is a faster, easier way to go, though, and if... (261 words, 6 links)

12:24 pm, pst21 December, 2001

Categories: CSS, Standards

Thu

20

DEC

2001

Accessibility For More Than Weblogs

Andy J. Williams Affleck has written a concise, well organized, and helpful tutorial, Weblog Accessibility, that covers important issues regarding the design or accessibility retrofitting for your weblog. As my post title above suggests, though, his tutorial is helpful for other types of sites, too, whether weblog or not. Affleck covers tables, ALT attributes, graphics, permalinks, style sheets, color, JavaScript and multimedia. He also provides links to further information and resources, too. More Info: For more resources on Web site accessibility, see WebsiteTips.com’s Accessibility section.... (87 words, 3 links)

07:46 pm, pst20 December, 2001

Categories: Accessibility

Wed

19

DEC

2001

SearchDay’s latest newsletter, How Search Engines Use Link Analysis, covers how some of the search engines figure out importance (or lack of importance) of links for their rankings. As Danny Sullivan points out, it’s quality, not quantity, that matters. So how do the search engines figure out the quality? This newsletter, by guest writer Eric Ward, explains how relevance matters and what site owners can do to help their rankings. Topical directories are a good example of relevance, where a Free For All links page won’t help your search engine rankings. Here’s an excerpt of what Eric Ward suggests:... (436 words, 10 links)

09:09 am, pst19 December, 2001

Categories: SEO

Tue

18

DEC

2001

Digital Web Wants Your Feedback

Now’s a great time to tell Digital Web Magazine what you think! They’d love your feedback, and they’re running a short survey until December 23. I took the survey last night, and it only took a few minutes. Here’s a snippet from their comments: "Continuing the tradition of putting our readers first and foremost, we invite you to take a survey. We will use the responses from the survey to help improve Digital Web Magazine and to ensure that we are appealing to you, the readers. "So help us develop more engaging content and produce more issues with topics that... (114 words, 4 links)

11:18 am, pst18 December, 2001

Categories: Design, Internet

Mon

17

DEC

2001

WaSP Taking a Break to Recharge

After three years of incredibly hard work that has proven to be well worth the effort, the Web Standards Project is taking a much deserved break. There was initially a bit of a misunderstanding around the Web community shortly after WaSP posted the news about taking a "gentle leave of absence," thinking that they were quitting and not just taking a break. Jeffrey Zeldman, WaSP’s main voice, tried to clarify the situation, posting at his weblog that they’re just taking a break. And this morning an article was published at CNN about the break, too: Founders of the Web... (532 words, 10 links)

11:25 am, pst17 December, 2001

Sat

15

DEC

2001

More Independent Content Developer Interviews at Pixelview

The head lemur has been busy collecting more interviews of independent content developers at his new Pixelview site. Since my last post about Pixelview he’s added several of note: Nick Finck (Digital Web), Daniel Cody (evolt.org), Heather Champ (harrumph, Mirror Project), Carole Guevin (Netdiver), and Jeffrey Zeldman (Daily Report). Find out how, why, and what we create and about our lives away from the computer (yes, we actually have one).... (82 words, 10 links)

02:46 pm, pst15 December, 2001

Categories: Content, Internet, Weblogs

15

DEC

2001

Weekend Distractions: Artwork and Explorations

Here are a couple of sites that are well worth sitting back to explore with your favorite beverage, favorite person, fire in the fireplace, good music on the stereo. They’re two very different sites that will take you on two very different journeys. The Artwork of Greg Martin Four stunning galleries of amazing artwork of space—cataclysms, planetscapes, of the heavens, earthscapes. “I believe that art should be something that makes you sit up and take notice. One of the best ways to do this is with light. When I create my images, I endeavor to make the... (183 words, 3 links)

07:01 am, pst15 December, 2001

Fri

14

DEC

2001

Bobby Adds New Features

Bobby, the popular tool for online checking of your Web pages for accessibility, is now offering Bobby Worldwide. This new version checks for Section 508 Guidelines and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) from the Web Access Initiative. Here’s a highlight of their features from today’s e-mail announcement: Bobby WorldWide offers you new analysis and ease-of-use features that help you analyze your site. Bobby WorldWide can: Analyze your site using the Section 508 guidelines Test more pages in a single session Analyze your site using WAI Conformance A, WAI Conformance AA, or WAI Conformance AAA guidelines Provide more user-friendly... (183 words, 6 links)

06:36 pm, pst14 December, 2001

14

DEC

2001

Do Online Portfolios Matter?

IAwiki’s PortfolioWisdom section provides some helpful points to consider for whether or not to have an online portfolio, what its focus ought to be and what should or should not be included, how it might be best presented, and more. While their focus is on IA (Information Architecture), they make good points for Web designers, developers, and others, too. There are also quite a few links to sites with well done portfolios for inspiration. (What’s a wiki? Lots more in a previous post about wikis.) [Hat tip - Rebecca’s Pocket]... (93 words, 4 links)

06:18 am, pst14 December, 2001

Wed

12

DEC

2001

User-Friendly Forms

Ever had to fill out a form that was a pain to fill out, awkward, clunky, or just didn’t work? Andrew Starling’s new article for WDVL, Usability and HTML Forms gives good insight about creating user-friendly forms for your site, especially for e-commerce. "Visitors don’t enjoy filling out HTML forms. That makes good usability doubly important. Here’s a detailed look at forms for e-commerce—individual form elements such as dropdown boxes and radio buttons, plus validation and error messages."... (81 words, 2 links)

01:33 pm, pst12 December, 2001

Categories: Design, Usability

Tue

11

DEC

2001

Opera Stats on the Rise

Opera’s global usage share has more than doubled since January, 2001, according to StatMarket December 4th. Opera is also growing faster in certain European countries. While it still accounts for less than one percent of the overall global market, its numbers are on the rise. Providing a free ad-sponsored version last year helped, and its new interface will also go a long way, in addition to it already being a stable, solid, standards-based browser. See also my recent post about Opera and the accompanying press release. [Hat tip to Meryl Evans for sending me the StatMarket URL!]... (97 words, 7 links, 1 image)

09:44 am, pst11 December, 2001

Categories: Software

11

DEC

2001

Remembering September 11

From President Bush: "We will remember what we lost and what we found." President George Bush, during 3-month remembrance speech regarding the September 11 attacks. (72 words, 4 links)

08:50 am, pst11 December, 2001

Sun

9

DEC

2001

Fast and Easy XHTML

Wondering how to turn your HTML code into XHTML? Here are a few quick tips to teach you the very basics, a sample XHTML document, and resources for more information. The Basics All your markup needs to be in lowercase. For example, instead of <P></P> it needs to be <p></p> for XHTML. Every tag must have a corresponding ending tag, such as <p></p> and <li></li>. Some tags don’t have a corresponding ending tag, such as <br>, <hr>, and others. Those tags, to be backward compatible will look like this instead: <br /> <hr /> (Below is an XHTML document... (646 words, 12 links, 1 image)

10:32 am, pst 9 December, 2001

Categories: Development, Standards

Sat

8

DEC

2001

Writing a How-To

Have you thought about writing a tutorial but don’t know where to start or how to do it? Joel Canfield wrote a new FAQ for evolt.org, How To Write A How-To. While it may be a FAQ for evolt.org, it’s a good introduction to learning how to write a tutorial anywhere. For more about writing for the Web, Jakob Nielsen’s articles, How Users Read on the Web and Eyetracking Study of Web Readers are must read articles. See also WebsiteTips.com’s new section on content writing and development for annotated links to more good articles and resources.... (99 words, 7 links)

01:58 pm, pst 8 December, 2001

Categories: Content

Fri

7

DEC

2001

Brainstorms and Raves Turns One!

One year ago today began the adventure.... (8 words, 2 links, 1 image)

08:19 am, pst 7 December, 2001

Categories: Colophon, Weblogs

7

DEC

2001

Jared Spool’s article bashing on-site searches has received a lot of attention. Peter Morville explains in his new article In Defense of Search why he feels on-site searches aren’t as bad as Spool claims and that they’re an important ingredient, especially for larger sites. While he agrees with Spool that better categorizing is helpful, "to encourage taxonomy design at the expense of search system design is a bad message to be sending in today’s web environment." I agree with Morville that while many on-site searches certainly need to be improved they’re a necessary component for good usability, especially for... (207 words, 8 links)

06:47 am, pst 7 December, 2001

7

DEC

2001

CSS3 Selectors: W3C Awaits Your Feedback

The W3C has been working away on its upcoming CSS3. They have a new candidate recommendation awaiting your feedback for CSS3 Selectors. You can review the recommendations and click on the links to send them your feedback during the next 6 months (until May, 2002). Selectors W3C Candidate Recommendation 13 November 2001... (54 words, 3 links)

06:47 am, pst 7 December, 2001

Categories: CSS, Design, Standards

Thu

6

DEC

2001

P22 Fonts and Gifts Sale

P22, well known for their wonderfully high quality, distinctive fonts, is having a holiday sale right now. Well known fonts are included, such as London Underground, Cezanne, Frank Lloyd Wright Eaglefeather, Vienna, and more. They also have ties, watches, stationery, mugs, gift certificates, and more.... (47 words, 2 links)

09:10 am, pst 6 December, 2001

Categories: Typography

Wed

5

DEC

2001

Why Redo a Web Site?

Carole Guevin of pixeltable and netdiver.net, has written a helpful list of things to consider before redoing your site in her new article at Creative Behavior, Why Redo a Website? Her new list can be helpful in giving your site a check-up to make improvements or for an entire overhaul and redesign. Helpful information. More recently posted on redesign: When is it Time for a Redesign?... (68 words, 5 links)

09:19 pm, pst 5 December, 2001

Categories: Design

5

DEC

2001

Frequent Questions Answered

Who or what is the "Foo" that you see referred to all over the Web? Can you get a page to break in a certain spot for printing? Why are there gaps in your table layout? How do you get a background image in a table cell not to tile in Netscape? How do you prevent someone from stealing your source code? Rudy Limeback has generously compiled a list of answers to frequently asked questions at his site’s new Frequent Questions Answered page. The twist here is that he’s listed the answers, not the questions. But he doesn’t leave... (208 words, 5 links)

07:06 am, pst 5 December, 2001

Categories: Design

Tue

4

DEC

2001

Speak Your Mind for Evolt

Evolt.org, one of my favorite sites, is asking for feedback regarding their site, their discussion lists, all that they offer, and whatever is on your mind. Take their survey and help make evolt.org even better. Evolt.org is an exceptionally helpful site for designers, developers, content writers, and anyone interested in Web sites. And their discussion lists are just as exceptional, too. I visit their site at least a couple of times a week to learn the latest, and I’m always referring back to its many fabulous articles and tutorials. Their Browser Archive is second to none, too. It’s almost... (138 words, 4 links)

07:59 pm, pst 4 December, 2001

Categories: Design

Mon

3

DEC

2001

Zeldman on XHTML: Benefits, Guidelines and Tips

Jeffrey Zeldman has put together very helpful lecture notes on XHTML tips, guidelines, tools, and resources. In simple terms he explains what XHTML is and its benefits, the differences between XML, XHTML and HTML, guidelines for using XHTML, transitioning from HTML to XHTML, authoring tips and tools, and more. Why bother learning XHTML? Zeldman explains that very well in these lecture notes. Briefly here, though: XHTML is a cleaner, more logical markup. It’s far more flexible than HTML with being accessible to wireless devices, screen readers and other devices for the disabled (which helps by leaps and bounds with... (164 words, 10 links)

11:27 am, pst 3 December, 2001

Sun

2

DEC

2001

George Harrison and Memories

There are articles and stories all over the Web about George Harrison right now. While many are very good, one of my favorites at the moment is from NPR. They have a Special Report on George Harrison that includes their Morning Edition on Harrison’s death, a timeline of his life and career, All Things Considered’s slideshow about him, All Songs Considered Tribute to George Harrison, and links to resources around the Web. And if you run a search on George Harrison at NPR’s site, you’ll get a wonderful collection of things to read and listen to there. Last night’s... (436 words, 12 links)

04:50 pm, pst 2 December, 2001

Categories: Music, Personal

2

DEC

2001

Sunday’s Words of Wisdom

All conditions and all circumstances in our lives are a result of a certain level of thinking. When you want to change the conditions and the circumstances, we have to change the level of thinking that is responsible for it. [from The Weekly Web Motivator]... (47 words, 2 links)

02:19 pm, pst 2 December, 2001

Categories: Personal

Sat

1

DEC

2001

World AIDS Day 2001

(0 words, 2 links, 1 image)

08:23 pm, pst 1 December, 2001

Categories: Personal

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