zlog 2.

online web periodical.

path: home / archives / 2003 / 09

> written 25/09/03. no comments.

If you are interested in XSL transformations using PHP you should read through the linked DevShed article. When you are done read it again.

> written 25/09/03. no comments.

Information overload; must post.

Todays tidbit: if you want to give a link style to browsers that are not IE, for example a dotted bottom border (notice we didn't say dashed), try out this little trick; set the selector to a[href] and then just apply the relevant styles as usual. It should work a treat.

> written 23/09/03. no comments.

Verisgin sued over “SiteFinder” wildcard madness.

> written 23/09/03. no comments.

I conform to the “International Compliant Style” guide. Do you?

> written 22/09/03. no comments.

If you are interested in installing/using CVS (come on who isn’t?) and happen to be running Windows, I suggest you have a look at this FAQ for installing CVSNT, a nice little CVS server (?).

> written 22/09/03. no comments.

Marc Liyanage shares his essential Mac OS X apps with the world.

> written 19/09/03. no comments.

Michael Sippey goes over the Verisign “terms of service” agreement. It seems that just by “using” the new wildcard service (ie. mistyping a domain name), you re accepting there terms and conditions.

Wiki Wiki Web
> written 18/09/03. no comments.

Who ever said, "Great minds think alike." was definitely not wrong. Who would have thought that on exactly the same day as Matt Haughey, I would also be experimenting with creating a fully functional web site based on a Wiki underlay? We even chose the same base Wiki software to fiddle with; spooky. For those of you that don't know what a Wiki is, I'll explain, for those that do sit tight I'll only be a minute. First and foremost, a Wiki is a web site that is editable by anyone. It usually has an edit button at the bottom of every page allowing any old person to come in and edit the contents of a page. This was originally to allow for a collaborative web site, one that could be improved on and added to by anyone. "What about the destructive people?", you ask "Don't they just destroy the site?". Well that's a good question. Basically the Wiki software archives the old copies of the page so if some vandal does come along and ruin the site, the Wiki administrator can just roll the page back to the last good edit. Wiki's also have a whole load of other built in features like text to (valid) (X)HTML converters, thus allowing people with little or no HTML knowledge to be able to write and maintain their very own Wiki web site. Until recently, the only Wiki's I knew of were the CSS-Discuss Wiki and the Atom Wiki, both resource type web sites. Why hadn't people tried to make actual web sites out of a Wiki before now? (Correct me if I'm wrong). The "Wiki-web" idea works so well for personal web sites as someone who doesn't know any form of HTML, let alone can write valid, semantic code can maintain their site -- you think it would have been a natural decision for loads of people to make Wiki web sites. As I have said before, Wiki's can be edited by anyone, so obviously this wasn't that practical for a non-collaborative web site. A few hours hacking around the phpWiki script and I had changed it so you must be the Wiki admin before you could edit any of the pages. A few more tweaks of the templates within phpWiki and it was all set. Anyway, without further ado; I present my first "Wiki-site" -- CapViolin, a small personal web site for a family friend. As always, comments are appreciated.

> written 14/09/03. no comments.

A subtle redesign has taken place at News.com.com . Looks like a semi-standards compliant site to me.

> written 13/09/03. no comments.

Andy Budd talks us through the making of a site for the well known brand WHSmith’s.

> written 12/09/03. no comments.

Is sinking to Internet Explorer’s level worth it? If you ask me I would have to say no but then again, I run a personal web site where pandering to everyone of IE’s needs is one of my last concerns — you, on the other hand, may run a corporate web site where IE’s needs are essential.

> written 11/09/03. no comments.

Who ever thought the Southwest Florida Water Management District would have such a semantically correct web site?

Under the Iron
> written 10/09/03. no comments.

Rumour has it that I will be conducting a few interviews for the excellent "Under the Iron" series. For those of you who haven't read Mr. Waffle's first 6 instalments, you are required to do so now. Come on get going.

> written 10/09/03. no comments.

Looks like Dan Benjamin has been busy. Check back on the 15th.

Myths of Web Standards
> written 09/09/03. no comments.

To set a few things straight, I present the "Myths of Web Standards":

  1. You mustn't use tables.

    Considering the amount of times people request help in converting tabular data into div's etc. on CSS-Discuss, I would imagine quite a few people don't realise that you should still use tables for tabular data -- just not for layout purposes (unless you are Zeldman that is).
  2. You must use the latest version of XHTML.

    Quite a few people have been bitten by this one, make sure you aren't by using any version of HTML or XHTML you feel comfortable with, just make sure it validates.
  3. Just because your site validates doesn't mean it is semantically correct.

    See Zeldman and co. for details on this one.
  4. If your site doesn't validate it is the end of the world.

    Sometimes it's just not possible to make every one of your pages validate or even any of them, don't worry it's the trying that counts (and do keep trying).
  5. Standards compliant sites must be ugly.

    Whoever thinks that must be really, really dumb. No more needs to be said.
Forward on the truth, lets have no more Chinese whispers.

> written 09/09/03. no comments.

Apple announces: the iMac has been bumped up to 1.25GHz and new 40GB iPods. (via Mr. Waffle)

> written 09/09/03. no comments.

Wondering how to do a links database with MT? Wonder no more.

> written 07/09/03. no comments.

All 11 billion of the pages archived in the Wayback Machine are now searchable. Here is a little bookmarklet to celebrate, just use this bookmarklet to see the Wayback Machine’s archived copy of the page you are currently on.

> written 07/09/03. no comments.

Joe Clark walks us through Building an Accessible Website, copyied in it’s entirety from his best selling book.

Disposable Bookmarks
> written 06/09/03. no comments.

How many times have you come across some obscure weblog and found yourself compelled to comment on something the author has said? It sometimes happens to me too. What really annoys me is when you want to check back to see if anyone has replied to your comment, you can never find that site again, no matter how hard you try. It's like the weblog has fallen down the back of the (virtual) sofa, never to be seen again. This itch/scratch irritation has given me the chance to create a PHP script and a set of bookmarklets that deal with this very problem (see below if you are eager to download). The basic idea is this; you find a site which you wouldn't mind keeping a link to for a short time but don't want to clutter up your bookmarks with endless, throw away bookmarks so you just click the "don't lose me" bookmarklet and hey presto, a link is added into a MySQL database via a PHP script. The PHP script also happens to display your previously saved bookmarklets and is an interface for deleting them. Another advantage to this system is that your bookmarks are on the internet therefore they can be accessed from any computer with a connection. This allows you to have the same bookmarks at home and at work etc. Installation is simple, just change the first couple of variables (marked up as "*****") to your own user name password etc. and edit the bookmarklets so they point to your site (change http://thelocation.of.your/installation/ to the correct location) and save them to your personal tool bar or favourites folder so you can find them.

The files

If you find this script useful a click through on the Google ads wouldn't go amiss. Bug reports, suggestions and questions should be posted below as usual. Thanks to Andy Budd for beta testing it. Note: All the scripts for download here are released under the Attribution-NonCommercial 1.0 Creative Commons Deed are to be used in accordance to that licence. I take no responsibility for any damage done by this script, although none is intentional. Honest.

> written 05/09/03. no comments.

Three excellent reads from a great weblog. Semantics, editing and bulletproofing — these are required reading.

> written 04/09/03. no comments.

Adam Kalsey makes adds to the discusion about comment spam.

> written 04/09/03. no comments.

"How great is America? Very. Blogs are a very American thing." — Source DaveNet : Tips for Candidates re Weblogs

> written 03/09/03. no comments.

I really need to start organising my data, my desktop has got out of hand.

Round Up
> written 03/09/03. no comments.

A few things of note:

Back to work then...

> written 03/09/03. no comments.

I needed to make a bookmarklet for one of my current projects, luckily for me gazingus.org was at hand with a nice little tutorial surprisingly named the “Anatomy of a Bookmarklet”.

> written 03/09/03. no comments.

Another intelligent post from Simon Willison, this time to do with comment spam. He suggests blacklisting domains — here is his blacklist and a python script to parse it.

> written 03/09/03. no comments.

Simon Willson has an intelligent suggestion on how to improve the W3C validator, namely show fewer errors.

> written 03/09/03. no comments.

Waferbaby goes offline as the “author drowns in work and builds the new site”. Roll on Waferbaby 2!

> written 02/09/03. no comments.

Someone once said great minds think alike, they were right. One of the great minds was a little faster of the mark though.

> written 01/09/03. no comments.

Whip you résumé into shape with a little help from ‘The Non-Expert’.

> written 01/09/03. no comments.

Who has seen that bit in American Psycho with the business cards?

> written 01/09/03. no comments.

A lovely design for Lee Jeans. It even validates!

> written 01/09/03. no comments.

On the subject of redesigns, check out Spoono (write up). From nested tables to a pure CSS design deserves a pat on the back.

CSS Shortcuts
> written 01/09/03. no comments.

Everyone likes shortcuts. It's a fact of life, the shortest route is (nearly) always taken as it requires the least effort and saves you time. This is why I am constantly amazed when I come across people using CSS longhand when it's not needed. For example people often carefully fill out all 6 of the #hex digits for colours when only 3 are needed (web safe only) e.g. #336699 instead of #369 -- the multiple digits are just dropped for the shorthand. Here are another few ways you can cut down on your CSS file size and save a bit of time:

  1. Don't use verbose CSS attributes e.g. specifying all the borders (or margins or padding for that matter) individually or not combining font-size, font-family and line-height into the font attribute.
  2. When specifying something as 0 (e.g. nothing), there is no need to specify a measurement as 0 pixels is the same as 0 inches which in turn is the same as 0 miles. Nothing is nothing no matter what you measure it in.
  3. Write comments as you are making the CSS file to remind you what everything is, but make sure before uploading you strip all but the essential comments. This can often save you a lot of bytes of your CSS file.

> written 01/09/03. no comments.