Posted in Web

On standards and semantics

Jason Kottke wrote a post tonight about the general confusion surrounding web standards, semantically rich markup, and the relationship between the two.

Jason makes some valid points in his post. In particular, I agree that the idea of “standards-compliance” often borders on religious zealotry. Sought for no other reason than to attain a simple badge which supposedly “validates” the effort taken to get there. It’s as if some designers/developers strive to follow all the rules just to see those magic words when they get to the pearly gates: “Well done thou good and faithful coder. This page is valid ____!continued

Merging lines

[Thumbnail image of Sony's new UX50 handheld computer, which starts to look a lot like a miniature laptop.] The gap between PDAs and laptop computers continues to diminish. I just noted Sony’s upcoming release of the UX50 CLIÉ handheld. With built-in wireless 802.11b, Bluetooth, a low-end digital camera, MP3 player, video recording, and a larger “keyboard” than the typical thumbpads of today’s PDAs and smart phones, devices like this take a another step closer to their larger notebook cousins. continued

New ink for

Congratulations to Dan Cederholm and team on launching a brand new The site sports a clean design, valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional markup, and a nice dosage of the CSS background-image property to pull in decorative icons and bullets, keeping most of them out of the markup. It also uses Dan’s mini-tab effect for main navigation, which he and I must have independently devised around the same time, since Adaptive Path uses something very similar. continued

Adaptive Path's MT setup

As I was starting a follow-up entry on the Adaptive Path redesign, Jay Allen posted a comment under Wednesday’s entry in response to another reader’s question. In an earlier comment, Leonya wrote:

It would also be great to see some technical details about the programming side — MT plugins used, tricks, etc. I’m doing development with MT, so such details can be very helpful.


IE/Mac, rest in peace

With the confirmed news that Microsoft is ceasing development of Internet Explorer for Macintosh, a wave of sadness sweeps through the web design and development community. Three years ago, I was only getting my feet wet by messing around with style sheets, constantly frustrated that Netscape 4 wouldn’t do what the CSS spec said it was supposed to do. IE5/Mac provided my first opportunity to dive head-first into CSS and begin to realize its potential for designing on the Web. To friends on the Microsoft Mac Biz Unit who poured years of their lives into this product, my condolences. IE5/Mac, you raised the bar, and certainly served us well.

PNG, please

Two days ago, Jeffrey Zeldman brought to our attention a petition to encourage Microsoft to include proper PNG support in Internet Explorer for Windows. Yesterday, he wrote up a fabulous explanation of the benefits of the PNG image format, points out examples of it in use, and why it needs to be fully supported in IE/Win. If you haven’t done so, and believe in the cause, go sign the petition.

Zen inspiration

Over at Mezzoblue, Dave Shea introduces a wonderful space in which we can explore and experience the intersection of beauty and innovation. His CSS Zen Garden offers examples of aesthetically-pleasing layouts constructed with clever techniques intended to showcase the power and potential of skilled CSS design. continued

Fast Company picks up speed

In the continuing trend of large sites converting to web standards and CSS-based layouts, Fast Company finds the religion and adopts it as their own. FC relaunched their site today, giving up reliance on tables for layout. Instead, they turn to lean XHTML markup combined with the power and flexibility of CSS. File sizes of various pages were cut in half and speed up the site dramatically. New features make improvements to the site’s accessibility. Color schemes can be changed each month with little more than the flip of a switch. FC details some of the new features in a revised Site Guide. continued