archives for the 07, 2003 read the back log this is the permanet location for this weblog entry Sunday February 22 2004 home about archives interviews home archives 2003 07 news 30/07/03 <author /> <data> <p><a href="">MT URLs</a></p> </data> <comments count="0" /> </post> <post id="45" address="/archives/2003/07/30//"> <date>30/07/03</date> <time>10:46:07 pm</time> <title /> <author /> <data> <p><a href="">BuyMusic?</a></p> </data> <comments count="0" /> </post> <post id="44" address="/archives/2003/07/26/amazonrssifys/"> <date>26/07/03</date> <time>05:03:56 am</time> <title>Amazon RSSifys

It appears Amazon has integrated RSS into its searches. This would allow you to be notified each time a new book, DVD, etc. came out--all this as you catch up with the latest posts and comments from other sites via an XML aggregator (FoF, NetNewsWire). Here is a sample search for "css" in the category books.

[news via a.wholelottanothing]

26/07/03 <author /> <data> <p><a href="">The Elements of Style</a></p> </data> <comments count="0" /> </post> <post id="42" address="/archives/2003/07/26//"> <date>26/07/03</date> <time>04:28:30 am</time> <title /> <author /> <data> <p><a href="">Google Zeitgeist</a></p> </data> <comments count="0" /> </post> <post id="41" address="/archives/2003/07/26//"> <date>26/07/03</date> <time>04:27:48 am</time> <title /> <author /> <data> <p><a href="">Digging for Googleholes</a></p> </data> <comments count="0" /> </post> <post id="40" address="/archives/2003/07/26//"> <date>26/07/03</date> <time>04:27:08 am</time> <title /> <author /> <data> <p><a href="">Web Architecture from 50,000 feet</a></p> </data> <comments count="0" /> </post> <post id="39" address="/archives/2003/07/25//"> <date>25/07/03</date> <time>11:01:42 am</time> <title /> <author /> <data> <p><a href="">Ode To Times</a></p> </data> <comments count="0" /> </post> <post id="38" address="/archives/2003/07/25/mycssmethodology/"> <date>25/07/03</date> <time>05:52:12 am</time> <title>My CSS Methodology

This reference was written for my own benefit, in response to a topic raised on the CSS-discuss mailing list. You may use it, quote it, complain about it, suggest improvements (constructive comments please) or ignore it--you choose.

General Guidelines

Use specific Ids (div#idname) where applicable. For elements and classes this need not be done, as they are likely to be used greater than once.

Commenting Guidelines

When commenting, make sure that you write clean and concise descriptions and notes. Although comments do add to the file size, generally they are worth it as they help another people to interpret your CSS correctly.

Organization Guidelines

Styles should be listed in the following order; Ids, elements, classes. Within that order arrange into alphabetical order, unless cascade flow prevents this (see the cascade page at the W3C), grouping elements with common attributes. These steps will make revisions of the CSS quicker. Within each of the elements keep a consistent order for the properties. Unless you are ordering in a particular way to achieve the right cascade, this is a good order for the properties. margin, padding, positioning, display, background, border, typography Different variations of an element should be listed in order of specifics, lowest to highest (e.g. h2, h2.class, h2#id). See the W3C section on specifics for more details.

Naming Guidelines

Ids, elements, and classes should be named accordingly,
  1. With lower case letters
  2. With no numbers, underscores or hyphens
  3. That are not named after a property they have, as in a future redesign they may not have the same properties (hat tip to Alex Jones)
Following these guidelines should cause the least problems with browser implementation and application. It should also leave you with the cleanest and most streamlined CSS. Yes I know I'm a hypocrite, aren't we all? Hopefully that will get sorted soon though...

25/07/03 <author /> <data> <p><a href="">The Webs Fav. Colour?</a></p> </data> <comments count="0" /> </post> <post id="36" address="/archives/2003/07/25//"> <date>25/07/03</date> <time>05:31:03 am</time> <title /> <author /> <data> <p><a href="">A Guide For The Unglued</a></p> </data> <comments count="0" /> </post> <post id="35" address="/archives/2003/07/25//"> <date>25/07/03</date> <time>05:29:41 am</time> <title /> <author /> <data> <p><a href="">The Oracle</a></p> </data> <comments count="0" /> </post> <post id="34" address="/archives/2003/07/24//"> <date>24/07/03</date> <time>10:14:23 pm</time> <title /> <author /> <data> <p><a href="">How To: Quick Links</a></p> </data> <comments count="0" /> </post> <post id="33" address="/archives/2003/07/24//"> <date>24/07/03</date> <time>10:08:02 pm</time> <title /> <author /> <data> <p><a href="">Non-Funky RSS</a></p> </data> <comments count="0" /> </post> <post id="31" address="/archives/2003/07/23/thegooglebusinessplan/"> <date>23/07/03</date> <time>09:23:44 am</time> <title>The Google Business Plan

With the abrupt, but not unexpected, demise of Netscape--coupled with the reformation of Mozilla--weblogers the world over have speculated on what will happen next. Personally I think that Anil's suggestion that Google should bankroll, or at least promote, the Mozilla Foundation is a great idea, although with a few flaws. Namely that Google is a company first and foremost and companies aim to look after themselves--to survive and make profit. Investing money does look like a shady option for Google as it would be gambling on Mozilla's success. Anil even raises this point himself, although I don't agree with his reasoning.

"What would be the business model? My mind tells me that a free, open-source browser with built-in hooks to Google services and APIs would be good enough to push increased usage of Google's revenue-generating services and advertising. Microsoft has publicly conceded that they're going for Google's market, and Yahoo threw more than a billion and a half dollars at the Google problem earlier this week. Against those challenges, I'd say the onus is on Google to embrace and extend with a free product that's better than anything the competition can offer: That's what works."
Promoting Mozilla would mean trouble for Google. It would be the business equivalent of tripping over the school bully, not something you want to be doing when Microsoft is developing its own search engine. More likely than not, MSN search integrated into the next edition of Windows--chipping away further at Google's market share. There's no need to worry yet though as Robert Scoble has given his word that "In the latest builds of Longhorn, Google still works just fine.". Oh good, glad we got that cleared up. It has been said before that Google is, at heart, a "nice" company, and I also believe it is. I just don't believe that this idea is commercially viable. Having said that, Google has been known to innovate. It doesn't favour "Sponsored Links" over more relevant links, it moves them to a discreet column of their own. It uses PageRank to differentiate between the search results -- providing us with the most accurate and relevant results. It's fast and intuitive to use. If Google continues to innovate (as I believe it will), they will likely concentrate efforts on; evolving the Google interface into an even slicker, accessible, and intuitive experience and updating the Google API--not shelling out for an open source project. This post may seem a little anti-Mozilla but that isn't its intended purpose.

See also

  1. The best search engine even has a sense of humour
  2. Best of luck to the Mozilla Foundation (now accepting Paypal donations).
  3. Ex-Mozilla workers.
  4. Simon Willison talks over a "Google Browser".

23/07/03 Re-Redesign

As you may have noticed we have gone though another little redesign. That's it for the moment though. As always, comments appreciated. Edit: I forgot to say that I have added most of my old entries. Have fun reading them again.

21/07/03 An Apache Log Analyser

"If you want something doing, do it yourself."
All the Apache log analysis tools I have used, have always been either full of things I don't want or not full of enough substance to be useful. Currently I am thinking about creating my own PHP/MySQL/XML Apache log analyser that includes all things I want. After I have completed it, I was thinking about releasing it under a CC licence for you all to err.. enjoy? At the moment I'm just brainstorming a few ideas about what is missing from the scripts I have used before. Here is what I have come up with so far (in no particular order).
  1. Technorati API. Find out who is linking to you, when, why etc. An extension to this could be in the form of RSS feeds that would be syndicated via an XML aggregator (FoF, NetNewsWire etc) so you can be notified of changes.
  2. Referrers. Find out how users get to your site. This could also be extended in the same way as above.
  3. User Agents. Should be able to identify all user agents including bots, XML aggregators and PDA/mobile browsers. Separating the user agents into groups eg. "Top 10 Aggregators" or "Top 5 Bots" etc could extend this further. Another extension could be information on browser trends. "Are IE6 users becoming more or less frequent?" etc.
  4. Graph Statistical Data. Hits per hour, Unique hits per week etc.
  5. Search Terms. It should show you what people are searching for, to find your site and also what your viewers are searching for within your site (if applicable).
  6. Design. Pretty self-explanatory. I don't want to be ripping out my eyeballs as I look at the information whilst on the other hand it doesn't need to be drop-dead-gorgeous.
What other features would you like to see?

18/07/03 Public Transition

As you may have noticed zlog is going through some changes. Reload every few minutes for the latest. Update: Comments are now enabled and RSS is auto-generated.

16/07/03 Under Construction

Redesigning always takes longer than you expect. Most designs of mine are simple, but serve a purpose. At least that’s what I aim for. The designs, although simple, often cause problems when it comes to CSS. Yes you did hear right. The thing is, I want my design how I want my design. Not 6 pixels to the left, not just off centre and definitely not with “dotted” borders for WinIE. This often involves using CSS #8220;hacks” or writing bloated CSS–something I am prepared to pay, but Shouldn’t have to. During my latest redesign, I came across a few inevitable problems. Of course the usual suspects were there, IE‘s interpretation of PNG alpha channels, IE‘s “dotted” borders etc but I also came into problems with CSS. CSS positioning to be more precise. Was it really that hard to have a border all the way around two separate positioned columns? It did seem so. I would only work when the floated column was shorter than it’s partner. This could not always be guaranteed–something I wasn’t prepared to risk and shouldn’t have to. CSS has come along way since it emerged in late 1996, and hopefully it has a lot left to go. CSS 2.1 looks good and the suggestions for CSS 3 look very good. So lets see how things turn out as these versions become mainstream. Recommended Reading: Simon Willison and Tom Gilder. As the fully functionally debut of the new design draws nearer I am starting to wonder about a few things. Should I copy and paste my old posts into the new format? Should I I am going to use a weblog publisher like Moverable Type or Textpattern (which is currently awaiting its first milestone version). Should I allow comments? Would they add anything? Whould they be on topic? What do you think? For the moment comments can be sent to me at [email protected].

16/07/03 Shirley Kaiser Is Interviewed

Mother, musician and web standards enthusiast, Shirley Kaiser finds time to be interviewed by myself.

11/07/03 Progress?

The date is Febuary 2001, ALA headlines;

IN SIX MONTHS, a year, or two years at most, all websites will be designed with standards that separate structure from presentation.
More than two years on, influential companies like Microsoft, AOL, Adobe and even British Airways have not attempted to validate their mark up let alone leave behind the “spaghetti code” days of 1997. Not only does invalid and obsolete code damage the accessibility of a site but it also increases the page loading time — something I can’t imagine anyone wants. XHTML/CSS layouts are the new black and it’s about time people took notice.