Brainstorms and Raves

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

Archives by Month: March, 2002

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

Fri

29

MAR

2002

Friday Feast #2: Internet Radio and More Music

One of the benefits of reformatting a hard drive is rediscovering or discovering software. When reinstalling Winamp today I explored Internet Radio via SHOUTcast just a bit. Since I’m a musician, you’d think I’d be up on the latest with this wonderful part of the Internet. Uh, no, and I’ve got a lot to learn as I can see from this brief glimpse. It really is amazing to be able to listen to live Jazz from Monterey, California, stations all over the world, and hundreds of music genres, all with the click of a button on your computer. (Keep... (197 words, 11 links)

03:28 pm, pst29 March, 2002

Thu

28

MAR

2002

User-Unfriendly Software

Long story short: I’m reformatting my main computer’s hard drive today, starting fresh. What should have been a straightforward new software installation ended up ruining my OS. I followed the instructions, which weren’t tough—place the CD in the CD-ROM drive and click the button to select INSTALL. One would naturally anticipate the software program to install, never imagining that it would totally ruin one’s OS. Right?!?! A letter of complaint to this major software company is definitely in order. I’m also frustrated by the 2-1/2+ days of work I’m missing from first trying to repair my OS... (258 words, 6 links)

10:04 am, pst28 March, 2002

Categories: Usability

Wed

27

MAR

2002

Designing for Clients and Users

Mark Howells has a new article at his site, Professionalism in Web Design, that covers some key points to keep in mind: developing for a client using technology to achieve the best result accessibility coding to "the standards" evolving your skills with the constantly changing developing environment Just as important is designing tools for users. In her new article, Taking the "you" out of user: My experience using personas, Meg Hourihan writes about how Blogger’s design took a very different direction when they redesigned it prior to launch using personas. She also makes some important key points from lessons... (216 words, 5 links)

08:41 am, pst27 March, 2002

Categories: Design

Tue

26

MAR

2002

Independent Content Sites

When is the last time you sent a site owner a note and complimented him/her/them for a helpful site, a nice design, a good article, or some positive comment? I don’t know of one single person on this earth who doesn’t appreciate hearing something nice, and it also spreads good will. Positive notes are so appreciated, especially when they’re about one of my independent content sites. This kind note landed in my email today from a visitor to my WebsiteTips.com site: websitetips.com is absolutely, positively the BEST resource I’ve found for website info. I’ve searched for a year while... (224 words, 3 links)

01:31 pm, pst26 March, 2002

Categories: Content

Mon

25

MAR

2002

CSS and Pushing Beyond Our Limited Thinking

To put into action what the talented Chris Casciano wrote about in his terrific article Your CSS Bores Me, during the month of February Chris used a different style sheet with the same XHTML for each of the first 20 days of the month to explore the flexibilities of CSS. At his Daily CSS Fun page he explains each one, providing the CSS for us plus exceptional screenshots to explain all the details. Wow, to put it mildly! What an incredible learning tool. (250 words, 3 links)

09:55 am, pst25 March, 2002

Categories: CSS, Design, Standards

Sun

24

MAR

2002

What NOT to do with CSS

Adrian Roselli (aardvark) wrote some excellent tips about using (or not!) absolute positioning with CSS in his new article, The Wrong Way to Use CSS in Page Layouts. Less is more once again, as you’ll see in Adrian’s examples. See what to avoid and what to watch for with using absolute positioning.... (54 words, 2 links)

06:04 pm, pst24 March, 2002

Categories: CSS, Design, Standards

24

MAR

2002

Helping Your Clients Understand Standards, Testing Your Sites

I just revisited an article by Greg Kise for A List Apart that gives some good tips for explaining the benefits of standards-compliant sites to clients. It also covers some good points for the rest of us, too, such as accessibility, cost, longevity, search engines, and answering clients' questions. Especially helpful are the points about responding to viewing sites in older browsers that may look a bit different: Tell the Potential Client that you’re really glad he looked at your site with an old browser because this demonstrates how every Internet device—from wireless to Braille—can... (459 words, 10 links)

07:09 am, pst24 March, 2002

Fri

22

MAR

2002

Friday Feast #1: Pixelview, ALA, Digital Web

So many new items to report. Here are a few of the highlights: The latest Pixelview interviewee is Bob Frankston, co-creator of Visi Calc. Bob provides some unique and interesting insight about the Internet and its role, a bit of what he’s done, links to his sites, and much more. Digital Web continues its theme on photography this month with An interview with Geoffrey Hiller, photographer by Meryl Evans. I had the privilege of meeting the exceedingly talented and kind Geoffrey Hiller in Portland last summer. A former National Geographic photographer, I find his passion for life and people... (214 words, 6 links)

10:28 am, pst22 March, 2002

Wed

20

MAR

2002

Beam Me the Keyboard, Scotty!

Wow, this one is amazing. Now there’s a virtual keyboard that is projected onto any surface by laser. Created by VKB, Inc., this new technology can be potentially used for PDAs, cell phones, computer monitors, and other possibilities. (170 words, 12 links)

10:22 am, pst20 March, 2002

Categories: Technology

Tue

19

MAR

2002

Steve Krug Interview

In his recent two-part column, WebTalkGuys Radio Show co-host Dana Greenlee highlights his interview with Steve Krug, author of the well-received, popular book, Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability. You can listen to the 33-minute audio interview and read excerpts. If you haven’t yet picked up the book, it’s been one that I’ve wholeheartedly recommended to both clients and colleagues. It’s easy to read and understand and packed with great tips and points that can make a positive difference in the usability of your site.... (93 words, 5 links, 1 image)

04:12 pm, pst19 March, 2002

Categories: Books, Design, Reviews, Usability

Mon

18

MAR

2002

Adventures in Networking Computers

The past couple of weekends I’ve been on an adventure networking the computers in my home office, at long last. For over a year I gradually paid more attention to people talking about networking, and I began reading a bit about it. Networking several computers initially sounded rather daunting to me, even though I was also up for the task, knowing it was long overdue. Deciding I’d finally take the plunge, I did some serious researching and finally asked a few questions of my colleagues and friends. One of Evolt.org’s discussion lists helped steer me in the right directions for... (1070 words, 18 links)

05:13 am, pst18 March, 2002

Categories: Wireless

Sat

16

MAR

2002

More on CSS Layouts

Mark Newhouse has created a great 3-column layout with CSS (Look Ma, no tables!) that includes a header and footer and even works for Netscape 4. Not only that, he’s generously sharing it with the world to use if desired. How nice is that?! Check it out. Mark has also written more on CSS for A List Apart, including Practical CSS Layout Tips Tricks and Techniques and Daemon Skins: Separating presentation from content.... (74 words, 5 links)

04:10 pm, pst16 March, 2002

Categories: CSS, Design

Fri

15

MAR

2002

CSS and Structure vs. Presentation

Molly Holzschlag has blessed us with another great tutorial, CSS: The True Language of Web Design, Part I: The Separation of Presentation from Document Structure. There are those words again—separating presentation from structure. As Molly states, "The primary issue in terms of CSS is first described in HTML 4, which asks for a separation of presentation and document formatting ideally, and demands it in its most strict interpretation. This means reserving CSS for design, and the document for the more straightforward structuring of content. "But Web documents have not been historically developed that way. Instead, we have... (198 words, 4 links)

11:19 am, pst15 March, 2002

Categories: CSS

Thu

14

MAR

2002

An important copyright issue is being tried, and the head lemur provides comments and correspondence with attorney Lawrence Lessig about this important case regarding copyright law. For more see Findlaw.com’s article, and Lawrence Lessig’s site.... (38 words, 5 links)

09:11 am, pst14 March, 2002

Categories: Content

Wed

13

MAR

2002

The Evolution of Rollovers

Rollovers can provide helpful visual cues and have been popular all over the Internet. Initially available with JavaScript in 1997, CSS 2 now offers its hover attribute that eliminates the need for multiple images and longer page downloads. WebReference’s Andy King this week chronicles the evolution of the rollover from 1997 to today, with fascinating information, samples, valuable tips, and resources. This is another great reference for the bookmarks. Today Andy added a cross-browser update fix (for Netscape 6 and Opera) to Eric Meyer’s vertical links with CSS. I took it a step further to allow the links to work... (142 words, 4 links)

11:31 am, pst13 March, 2002

Categories: CSS, Design, Standards

Tue

12

MAR

2002

UK’s Accessibility Rules Miss the Mark

According to ZDNet’s Matt Loney, while it’s a step forward for disabled access to the Internet, there is too much lacking in the UK’s new Code of Practice. The new Code doesn’t specificy how a Web site should be made accessible, not even mentioning the W3C’s Accessibility Guidelines, for example. While the W3C’s Guidelines are recommendations and not legal standards, it’s still curious to me that their new laws don’t include them even as a reference base.... (81 words, 4 links)

01:02 pm, pst12 March, 2002

Mon

11

MAR

2002

In Memory of 9/11 Six Months Ago Today

No entry today. Instead I invite you to read some of the personal stories from people who were in the World Trade Center buildings, the Pentagon, the downed plane in Pennsylvania and those who tried valiantly to stop the terrorists, review photos, and more in the Attack on America section here at Brainstorms and Raves.... (57 words, 5 links, 1 image)

07:00 am, pst11 March, 2002

Fri

8

MAR

2002

New Digital Web and A List Apart Goodies

New at Digital Web: March’s cover by Heather Champ, and an insightful, helpful, interesting article on stock photography and cameras by Bruce Livingstone from iStockPhoto.com. New at A List Apart: an informative new tutorial on building better rollovers with CSS and the DOM. Great stuff. Browse around through both these sites when you get a chance, too. I’m continually finding or rediscovering so much valuable information at each of these exceptional independent sites for web designers and developers.... (82 words, 5 links)

06:25 pm, pst 8 March, 2002

Thu

7

MAR

2002

CSS Layouts Around the Web

WebReference’s Andy King has been busy collecting and asking others for good sites with CSS layout repositories. Among my own bookmarks are what he’s already listed, such as Eric Costello’s CSS Layout Techniques, Owen Briggs' Box Lessons, and Bluerobot.com’s Layout Reservoir. Then, webnouveau.net has links to over 500 sites out there with table-free CSS layouts. Check out the March 7th newsletter for some great links and further details. More.... WebsiteTips.com’s CSS section has lots more links to CSS tutorials and tips, templates, tools and more.... (89 words, 8 links)

12:40 pm, pst 7 March, 2002

Categories: CSS

Wed

6

MAR

2002

Lots of Computer Use?

To help prevent or relieve repetitive stress injuries, try Ellen Serber’s RSI exercises in her article, Preventing and healing* Carpal Tunnel Syndrome & Repetitive Stress Injuries. In addition to the helpful instructions, Daniel Will-Harris provides the easy-to-understand animated illustrations to demonstrate the exercises—next best thing to being there.... (52 words, 3 links)

08:21 am, pst 6 March, 2002

Categories: Technology

Mon

4

MAR

2002

New W3C Patent Policy Working Draft!

Last fall there was huge public outcry about the W3C’s patent policy draft that has resulted in the W3C doing some major reworkings of it. The new Patent Policy Working Draft is available for review, and discussion and comments are invited. Below is an especially significant part of the press release from the W3C: W3C Makes Formal Commitment to Royalty-Free Specifications The new Patent Policy Working Draft differs from the previous draft in three significant ways: The RAND track for W3C Working Groups has been removed. There is no process in this policy for developing RAND specifications. However, the... (211 words, 10 links)

07:06 pm, pst 4 March, 2002

4

MAR

2002

Netscape Sidebar Tabs and Opera Hotlist Panels

One of the many handy features of Opera 5.12 and 6 is its Hotlist panels. A similar feature in Netscape 6 is its Sidebar tabs. It’s possible to add Netscape 6 Sidebar tabs to Opera 5.12 or 6, too. I was especially thrilled to learn this so that I could add Eric Meyer’s Sidebar tabs for CSS and HTML to my Opera Hotlist panels. You can also add regular web pages to your Opera Hotlist panel just by adding the URL and a title (see instructions below). Pages created specifically for Sidebar tabs or Hotlist panels, though, are typically designed to accommodate the chromeless Hotlist... (607 words, 25 links, 2 images)

11:11 am, pst 4 March, 2002

Sun

3

MAR

2002

Mooney’s MiniFlags Graphics—Wow!

Mooney’s MiniFlags, created and maintained by Edward Mooney, Jr.[1], generously offers free flags graphics for non-commercial use (contact them for commercial use). Contributed by the Flags of the World email mailing list members, these accurately portrayed flags are available in two sizes. Below are just a few samples from the smaller versions. I can’t even count how many times I’ve seen requests in discussion lists over the years for good quality flags graphics. Besides their helpfulness for your site, though, it’s an interesting tour to see the flags from all these countries throughout the world. There are also provinces,... (167 words, 7 links, 15 images)

04:30 pm, pst 3 March, 2002

Categories: Graphics

Sat

2

MAR

2002

WPDFD’s March Issue

The WPDFD March issue is now published online, and is clearly another great one! Joe Gillespie writes aboutMaking Your Site Easy to Find - and its contents Function, Style and Accessibility - design matters!, Finding Images for Your Web Site - Hemera, ArtToday Accessibility Testing - how to check your pages All the articles and tips are packed with helpful, insightful information, as always, and include links to more resources, too. Speaking of images, like Joe, I’ve also found Hemera’s Photo Objects collections to be terrific, and I’ve used them for several client sites and for my own websites.... (154 words, 10 links, 1 image)

01:15 pm, pst 2 March, 2002

Categories: Design

Fri

1

MAR

2002

Friday at ALA

A List Apart’s new article will show how to set up a web design testing platform for Macs: Build a Cross-Platform Web Design Testing Platform. They promise articles for PCs and Unix users, too. Good idea!... (38 words, 2 links)

01:08 pm, pst 1 March, 2002

Categories: Design

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