Brainstorms and Raves

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

Archives by Month: February, 2002

Listed below are excerpts and links to all weblog, blog entries, posts published during February, 2002.

Thu

28

FEB

2002

Dr. Grammar: Humor and Learning Combined

Dr. Grammar provides an abundance of grammar information in one of the most helpful while also fun and interesting ways I’ve seen around the Internet. James HiDuke’s 'Dr. Grammar' site is an all-in-one-place resource for spelling, punctuation, grammar, a terrific FAQ, English as a second language, and so much more. Find out what’s OK, what isn’t, and where OK came from in the first place. [hat tip: LII New This Week for February 28th, 2002]... (76 words, 4 links)

02:07 pm, pst28 February, 2002

Categories: Content

Wed

27

FEB

2002

Congratulations to WebReference’s License Plate Gallery winning a USA Today HotSite award. I commend WebReference for this great site packed with such creative license plates. The Gallery is a fun place to go cruising. Have a geeky license plate? Take a photo of it, scan it, and submit yours today!... (51 words, 5 links, 1 image)

07:23 am, pst27 February, 2002

Tue

26

FEB

2002

Opera 6.0 Beta for Linux Released

Good news for Linux users! Opera 6.0 Beta 1 is now available for download. This new version has many great features, as you’ll see in their press release below: Opera launches Opera 6.0 for Linux Beta 1: Opera to Supersede Million Download Mark in Linux Follow-Up Oslo, Norway—February 26, 2002-Opera Software ASA today unleashed Opera 6.0 for Linux Beta 1 with a wide range of speed-boosting functions and exclusive features only available to Linux users. The earlier version of the Opera for Linux browser, Opera 5 for Linux, has already been downloaded and installed a record one... (820 words, 9 links)

10:22 am, pst26 February, 2002

Mon

25

FEB

2002

Photoshop 7 Arrives

Adobe has announced the official arrival of Photoshop version 7. The Mac version is now available and the PC version will be available sometime in March. We all have our favorite software and tools, and Photoshop has always been one of mine with its feature-packed capabilities. I hope the new Healing Brush is truly as good as it looks and sounds. (See the reviews below.) I’m also looking forward to its file browsing capability that is already included with Photoshop Elements. Photoshop’s competitor, PaintShop Pro (but comparably priced to Photoshop Elements), has had this feature for as long as I... (944 words, 13 links)

06:06 pm, pst25 February, 2002

25

FEB

2002

Free Online Web Accessibility Training Offered by WebAIM

WebAIM is generously offering a free series of training sessions on Web Accessibility during the month of April. The 5 training sessions "will be delivered through multiple media including streaming video, the use of simulations, real-time audio discussions, text chats, and threaded discussions." Check out WebAIM’s site for registration, the schedule, and more information. Hope to see you there! Why do accessible sites matter? Well, WebAIM’s site has information on that, and you can also check out the recent posts about the 2002 Olympics site and WebsiteTips.com’s Accessibility section.... (90 words, 7 links)

12:24 pm, pst25 February, 2002

Categories: Accessibility

Sun

24

FEB

2002

Blogs Emerging from the Underground?

Interesting title of a February 23rd article at the National Post by James Cowan: 'Bloggers' emerge from internet underground, Sept. 11 the catalyst. September 11 brought weblogs far more media attention (and they noted Dave Winer’s Scripting News as an example of that day’s minute-by-minute coverage), but weblogs haven’t exactly been hiding by being openly available on the Internet, certainly. Well, they’re probably not referring to the Underground News and I suspect they also don’t mean the other Underground News. But yes, it seems that the main news media is beginning to give at least some weblogs credibility. Even Brainstorms and... (141 words, 7 links)

04:58 pm, pst24 February, 2002

Categories: Weblogs

Sat

23

FEB

2002

Writing for the Web and for Weblogs

A List Apart’s issue this week includes an insightful article by Dennis Mahoney about how to write a better weblog. Check out his sample of professional versus amateur, for example. Dennis also writes about the rules of good writing and ideas for bringing in more readers. Gerry McGovern’s ClickZ article this week is Simple English on the Web. Between these two articles, you’ll learn some helpful information about writing more clearly and concisely. While you’re at it, enjoy your weekend and take a break. Today in northern California the warm sunshine and fruit tree blossoms are truly inspirational on... (130 words, 3 links)

02:33 pm, pst23 February, 2002

Categories: Content

23

FEB

2002

Helpful Scripts for Web Writing

Dean Allen generously offers handy, helpful scripts for web writing for Mac users. The scripts will automatically convert some of your writing elements to HTML for you, such as blockquotes, URLs, phrases, bulleted or ordered lists, and more. You’ll need a Mac OSX or Classic MacOS and a copy of Tex-Edit Plus. Dean also offers a Word HTML Cleaner, tutorials, and always interesting reading at his popular Textism.... (72 words, 6 links)

12:30 pm, pst23 February, 2002

Categories: Content, Software, Web Biz

Fri

22

FEB

2002

JavaScript and Accessibility - They Can Work Together

Once again, WebReference’s Andy King wrote an exceptional explanation about JavaScript and accessibility issues in today’s WebReference Newsletter[1]. As he mentions, they can work together very well to still have accessible sites while taking advantage of great uses of JavaScript. I’ve also ranted here about the Olympics 2002 site and its major accessibility blunders, and since Andy is quite a JavaScript expert, he covered far more details about the JavaScript issues in his Olympics 2002 review and followup. Jakob Nielsen also recently reviewed the Olympics 2002 for usability problems in his article, Official Winter Olympics Site: Not Even Bronze,... (382 words, 20 links, 2 images)

09:01 am, pst22 February, 2002

Categories: Accessibility

Thu

21

FEB

2002

Search Engine Relationships?

That one caught my eye. Within the last two days I’ve been pointed to two search engine relationships charts, one at Bruce Clay’s site, and the other at AlphaQuad Internet Solutions Ltd. Bruce Clay’s Search Engine Relationship Chart shows the relationships among search engines, and AlphaQuad’s shows search engine relationships specific to the U.K. Both are fascinating to check out, contain helpful information, and are available for free download. Feb. 07, 2004 Update For Australia, see Australian Search Engine Relationship Chart, by Sinewave Interactive.... (86 words, 6 links, 2 images)

12:12 pm, pst21 February, 2002

Categories: SEO

Mon

18

FEB

2002

Speaking of Multimodal Interaction

Here’s another reason why it helps to be 1) thinking ahead and 2) shifting to XHTML: “Web pages you can speak to and gesture at—W3C is developing standards for a new class of mobile devices that support multiple modes of interaction.” The W3C’s new Multimodal Interaction Activity is extending the Web user interface to include more choices for interaction, including using one’s voice, a key pad, keyboard, mouse, stylus or other input device. The W3C’s new working group is developing new markup specifications for this. The public is welcome to join in the discussion: send an e-mail to www-multimodal-request@w3.org with... (215 words, 7 links)

10:28 pm, pst18 February, 2002

18

FEB

2002

Testing a Site with CSS?

Blast Sites with User CSS Sheets by Meryl Evans provides some interesting and effective ways to find leftover font tags, check for accessibility, understand how a page’s layout and conduct fast usability testing. How can it do all that? Meryl writes about how to do so with a user style sheet and the !important declaration, with feedback from well-known CSS expert, Eric Meyer.... (66 words, 4 links)

02:58 pm, pst18 February, 2002

Categories: CSS

Sun

17

FEB

2002

Another New CSS Newsgroup

Al Sparber, well known among Dreamweaver enthusiasts for his Project Seven site and editor of the best-selling Dreamweaver 4 Magic, has started a new CSS newsgroup to discuss all things CSS. While it’s especially helpful for Project Seven product users and Dreamweaver users, the newsgroup is open to all discussion related to CSS. More? See WebsiteTips.com’s CSS Discussion List and Newsgroups section. [hat tip: Tim Peck, You Might Very Well Think That]... (75 words, 6 links)

05:11 pm, pst17 February, 2002

Categories: CSS

Sat

16

FEB

2002

Better Living Through XHTML

Jeffrey Zeldman provides another in a long string of top-notch articles, this time on converting HTML to XHTML for A List Apart. Everything you wanted to know about converting from HTML to XHTML, including why you’d want to, tools that help, changes in the way browsers display XHTML pages, shortcuts, bugs, workarounds, and other tips you won’t find elsewhere. In his witty, upbeat, and engaging style, Jeffrey Z. packs in plenty of helpful tips and information all about converting your HTML to XHTML, why, what to watch out for, workarounds, terrific links to other quality resources, and more. Definitely... (127 words, 4 links)

03:17 pm, pst16 February, 2002

16

FEB

2002

Digital Web Interviews SXSW’s Hugh Forrest

Hugh Forrest, the Event Director for the SXSW Interactive Festival, is interviewed for Digital Web by Meryl Evans. Find out about this upcoming festival in March, the history of SXSW, and behind-the-scenes information. Are you going to SXSW? I’m speaking on a panel there with Jeffrey Zeldman, Derek Powazek, and Michael Schmidt. Please come by and say hello! (100 words, 10 links)

03:08 pm, pst16 February, 2002

Categories: Design

Fri

15

FEB

2002

Wired: Olympics Site Not Medal Worthy

According to Wired, Jakob Nielsen, well-known usability expert, stated at a luncheon last Friday in San Francisco that the Olympics 2002 site meets only 66% of usability needs and ought to be redesigned. "Salt Lake 2002 sticks to only 66 percent of those guidelines. 'That’s not a total disaster,' Nielsen said. All the site needs, he thinks, is a complete redesign." Nielsen also stated that the site lacks in many basic and important usability features, such as no search field, far too much digging needed to find information, the photo editing lacking, and the site not being optimized for... (197 words, 5 links)

02:18 pm, pst15 February, 2002

Categories: Accessibility

15

FEB

2002

More 2: Olympics Site Accessibility Issues

Andy King covered more about the 2002 Olympics site’s accessibility problems in yesterday’s issue of the WebReference Update Newsletter, including important points he made and further comments. (And if you already read that, he wrote an update for the online version that includes links to my comments yesterday [thanks, Andy!]). Links Highlights 14 Feb. 2002 [02/14/2002 The Daily Report, Zeldman.com] More: Olympics Site Accessibility Issues [02/14/2002 Brainstorms and Raves] Sites Unseen [New York Times, Feb. 14, 2002 (Circuits, page D3)] 2002 Olympics Site Accessibility Blunders, Continued [01/22/2002 Brainstorms and Raves] Accessibility for All? [01/22/2002 WebReference] Olympics 2002 Site, Continued... (163 words, 16 links)

08:59 am, pst15 February, 2002

Categories: Accessibility

Thu

14

FEB

2002

More: Olympics Site Accessibility Issues

The New York Times has a new article, Love Letters, One-Hit Wonders and Sites Unseen that covers the Olympics site accessibility issue I recently wrote about here. The New York Times interviewed me, WebReference’s Andy King, and Perkins Miller, the Internet director for the organizing committee for the Salt Lake City games. I ring The NY Times praises for accurately quoting what I’d told them; however, the accessibility issues that Miller states have been resolved have really NOT been resolved to make the site accessible: "Some of the criticisms that she and others raised have since been addressed by... (1116 words, 28 links, 4 images)

07:54 pm, pst14 February, 2002

Wed

13

FEB

2002

Design: Keeping it Simple (and Why it Matters)

Wendy Peck’s latest article at WebReference, KISS: Keep It Simple ...Why? touches on good points about simplicity with design and why it matters. In addition to soaking up all the great information in her new article, well worth exploring are the links she also provides to several of her articles, tips and site examples. Wendy expands on all this with her latest book, Menus with Beauty and Brains, which is well worth checking out, too. Her upbeat, witty writing style comes through while she explores and teaches many valuable aspects of design. Navigation is such a critical component of... (145 words, 5 links, 1 image)

12:33 pm, pst13 February, 2002

Tue

12

FEB

2002

Opera 6.01 for Windows Released

Opera has announced its latest Windows version 6.01. Did you know that Opera has the dominant position in the embedded browser market these days? (See press release below.) Opera is increasing in popularity here in the U.S. and even moreso in Europe. See the press release below and Opera’s site for their features. You may also recall that Microsoft tried to shut out Opera from its site a couple of months ago, too. This new version is definitely a threat to Microsoft’s stronghold on the browser market. I also wrote a review of Opera 6 for this month’s TechTalk at New... (667 words, 11 links, 1 image)

11:17 am, pst12 February, 2002

12

FEB

2002

Opera 5.0 for Mac

The next Mac version of Opera is out and ready. It includes bug bixes, support for Quicktime and scroll wheel mouse, and more. When I checked the list of bug fixes, I was especially pleased to see that several JavaScript bugs were fixed. Opera Software ASA today released Opera 5.0 for Mac OS X Beta 4, introducing new features such as support for Quicktime and scroll wheel mouse as well as various bugfixes. Opera 5.0 for Mac OS X Beta 4 and the Opera 5.0 for Mac final for systems 7.5.3-9.2.x is available for download immediately at www.opera.com/mac/... (100 words, 5 links, 1 image)

10:28 am, pst12 February, 2002

Categories: Browsers, Reviews, Software

Sun

10

FEB

2002

WaSP is Busy

The Web Standards Project: WaSP’s Phase II launch is coming soon!... (13 words, 2 links)

08:52 pm, pst10 February, 2002

Categories: Standards

10

FEB

2002

New Discussion List for Web Standards Issues

After discussions on evolt.org’s thelist, a new list, Web Standards, has formed to specifically discuss W3C web standards issues. The new discussion list will discuss how they can best help make a voice and provide input to the W3C’s recommendations. Not affiliated with W3C or the Web Standards Project, they’d especially like to fill a niche that isn’t currently addressed, and per their description: "A forum for all WWW users and WWW workers to discuss, study, learn and share practical and useful applications of web standards, web standards organizations and WWW policy organizations." The discussion list is open to... (128 words, 7 links)

07:27 pm, pst10 February, 2002

Categories: Standards

Fri

8

FEB

2002

The Latest at Pixelview

The delightful Carrie Bickner of Rogue Librarian is the latest interviewee at the head lemur’s pixelview site. It’s fun and insightful, and her points about the quality of the structural markup especially struck me. When you’re ready for a break, peruse the lovely photos at the Rogue Librarian site, too. There are touching photos from the aftermath of Sept. 11th in New York, as she lives there, sweet family photos, stunning photos of the Greek marble grave steves, and more. Happy Birthday to Carrie today, too!... (87 words, 4 links)

08:32 am, pst 8 February, 2002

8

FEB

2002

Moving To Movable Type with Meryl

Meryl Evans' review, Making the Move to Movable Type, provides helpful insight and information about one of the best weblog tools around, Movable Type. Meryl also gives a terrific account of her adventures of a recent move from Blogger to Movable Type (and why). Curious about other weblog tools too? There are several listed in the Build One section here.... (63 words, 4 links)

06:00 am, pst 8 February, 2002

Categories: Movable Type, Weblogs

Thu

7

FEB

2002

Adobe Says Update to Netscape 4?!

Adobe’s Design Studio main page has a link at the bottom to Browser Requirements. Being endlessly curious, of course I couldn’t resist pursuing that one. But I didn’t expect to find what I did, either. On the Browser Requirements page they state: "Adobe® Studio(tm) is optimized to work best with the U.S. English versions of Internet Explorer 5.0, 5.5 and Netscape Navigator 4.77 for Microsoft® Windows® and Macintosh. Adobe Studio may not function or display properly in other browsers or browser versions (such as Internet Explorer 6.0 and Netscape 6.0)." To add to it, they provide a link to... (368 words, 8 links)

11:33 am, pst 7 February, 2002

Wed

6

FEB

2002

Photoshop Brushes Galore

There is a wonderful abundance of well done Photoshop brushes on the Web for free. I’ve created a new section, Photoshop Brushes, at WebsiteTips.com for a few of the especially good ones. Here is just a sampling (many more new links at WebsiteTips.com): (194 words, 6 links, 1 image)

09:36 am, pst 6 February, 2002

Mon

4

FEB

2002

MiniFonts.com - Joe Gillespie’s New Web Site for Pixel Fonts

Joe Gillespie, whose high quality pixel fonts I’ve reviewed here, now has a new site, MiniFonts.com, for them. In addition to his top-notch pixel fonts, Joe offers help and tips about using pixel fonts, explaining what they are, and a FAQ with so many questions answered about pixel fonts and their use. Joe’s other site, WPDFD (Web Page Design for Designers), also has new articles this month on building a better web page, Doctype declarations in Dreamweaver and GoLive, a review of validators, and more. More fonts? Check out WebsiteTips.com’s Fonts section for annotated links to many of the... (108 words, 7 links)

07:26 pm, pst 4 February, 2002

Fri

1

FEB

2002

Fork in the Road - Web Standards or Not?

Signal vs. Noise has a lively thread going following Thursday’s post: "It seems like we’re at a crossroads in web design—one where we could all consider changing our ways and support the W3C or we could keep plowing ahead with tables, spacers, and other tricks. . . ." So must we code for the lowest common denominator, as some have stated? Must sites look absolutely identical on whatever platform or browser, forcing designers and developers to use old hacks and workarounds that will end up breaking in new browsers in the future? Are there other possibilities besides all the workarounds... (705 words, 8 links)

08:10 pm, pst 1 February, 2002

Categories: Browsers, CSS, Standards

1

FEB

2002

My New Opera Review

New Breed Librarian celebrates its first anniversary this month. My Opera 6 review is this new issue’s Tech Talk article and covers the latest Opera version from a user’s perspective and from a developer’s perspective. See how the latest Opera version holds up.... (43 words, 4 links)

11:01 am, pst 1 February, 2002

Categories: Software

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