Archive for August 2005

August 31, 2005 — Transparent Screens are Popular   1 comment

Hits on my transparent screen photos on flickr out-strip older photos there by many times. As I write this, the hits (number of views) for my three transparent screens are 187, 155 and 154. The next most popular photo, my tattoo, has only 20 views.

Not sure why. I guess the idea is cool. That’s what attracted me.

— Grant

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Posted Wednesday, August 31, 2005 by Grant in Random

August 24, 2005 — Why Give a Rip About Web Standards?   Leave a comment

Why Give a Rip About Web Standards?
Photo of an expressive baby's face.

A photo of my nephew, included here only because he is too cute.

Well, for one thing, the Internet is built on them. Standards, that is. If we (or, more precisely, the folks who build software for use on the Internet) ignored standards, we’d have no Internet. Perhaps not a bad thing, some might say. Yet, we have an Internet and we have an Internet because of standards. All the various protocols that are used on the Internet (like HTTP, TCP/IP, UDP, SMTP, POP3, FTP, etc.) are standards.

Standards are nothing more than an agreement. A group of folks sit down and hash out, for example, how to mark up text so that it has some semantic structure. After some revisions and debate and years of time, we have a standard, HTML or its anal-retentive younger brother, XHTML. (I mean that in a good way. You know I love you, XHTML.)

A standard is, in some respects, also a compromise. The standard may leave room for variance by stating that a certain tag may be handled in such and such a way. Further, among the folks that ratify a standard there may be some who wished the standard had included more of their ideas. Not to be ignored, these folks might just go ahead and include all of their nifty features in their own software (if they are in that business) while still supporting all the elements of the agreed upon standard. As a result, a company like Microsoft will include proprietary tags and attributes in their user agent (the technical term for “browser.”) I won’t get into whether this tactic is good, fair or evil. You can make up your own mind.

Whether a vendor adds features beyond the standard to make their product standout is not really an issue as long as their product supports the standard. Since all modern user agents do and since the standards are mature, we no longer have to code “IE-friendly” or “Netscape-friendly” web pages. We only need to develop standards-friendly pages and all browsers should render our hard work. It is possible, in fact, to craft our pages so well that even ancient user agents like Internet Explorer 2 or Netscape 3 can render the content (even if some of the glitz understandable to modern browsers is missing.)

In short: Web standards, good.

Posted Wednesday, August 24, 2005 by Grant in Random

August 22, 2005 — Haiku for Andrew, Mommy and Daddy   4 comments

Haiku for Andrew, Mommy and Daddy
Picture of an expressive baby face

Growing and learning
Discovering each other
Parents and baby

Posted Monday, August 22, 2005 by Grant in Random

August 18, 2005 — The Zen of CSS   1 comment

Wanna get jazzed over what can be done with Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)?

No? Well, click here anyway. Hint: Check out the archives, too.

The basic idea is this: On the web, content bits (using XHTML) should be completely separated from the presentation bits (using—you’ll never guess—CSS.)

The invitation of CSS Zen Garden is that they give you (if you are a graphics designer) the content, the XHTML, and then you supply the presentation, the CSS and images, to give the content a dramatically different appearence.

Why? It showcases the power of using web standards to develop web pages, sites, blogs, etc.

You can thank me later. 🙂

— Grant

Posted Thursday, August 18, 2005 by Grant in Random

August 17, 2005 — A cleaner table layout   6 comments

      <td colspan=“2” bgcolor=“#ffffff”>
        
A Title or Header Might Go Here
      

    

    

      <td bgcolor=“#ffffff”>
        A sidebar. I usually put an image here.       

      <td bgcolor=“#ffffff”>
        

The body of my post goes here.

      

    

  

A Better Table Layout
Image of a sunset on a lake.

I got this idea from somewhere else. I apologize that I can’t think of the exact site, but it is on Y!360 somewhere. If you think you know where, let me know and I’ll make sure I assign proper credit here.

Okay, after all that, here is a simplier (and, to my eye, more elegant) table layout than one I posted earlier that accomplishes a table border. This technique uses only one table and “normal” HTML attributes.

It still doesn’t follow modern web standards like stylesheets (CSS,) but it feels just a little less dirty to me. Also, there is not a great deal of control regarding the border attributes. That is, the border is the same color and thickness for the whole table. With CSS, one would be able to change the color, thickness and style of each side the border in each cell.

But, we play with what we’ve got, so here goes.

The table I used here for this post is an example of what I mean. Here is the simplified HTML:

<table border=“0” cellpadding=“5” cellspacing=“1” bgcolor=“#800080” summary=“Basic blog layout”>
  <tbody align
=“left” valign=“top”>
    

Below are some variations. Experiment yourself.

Two columns, thin border, more cellpadding, centered.
A sidebar with a
different background
color.

The body of my post goes here.

Three columns, thicker border.
A sidebar.

The body of my post goes here.

Another sidebar.

Posted Wednesday, August 17, 2005 by Grant in Random

August 14, 2005 — I want to hold her   2 comments

A poem for my wife:
Abstract image to accompany blog entry

I want to hold her
  kissing the top of her head
    inhaling her

I want to hold her
  hand in mine
    watching a movie

I want to hold her
  as she wets my shirt with
    sobs unrestrained

I want to hold her
  face in my hands just before
    another kiss

I want to hold her
  laying beside me in bed
    sleeping peacefully

I want to hold her
  purse while she tries
    on clothes

I want to hold her
  head tight to my chest until her
    pain receeds

I want to hold her
  heart cherished with
    deepest care

I want to hold her
  until she knows that
    I love her

I want to hold her

Posted Sunday, August 14, 2005 by Grant in Random

August 03, 2005 — iPod Flea   Leave a comment

Yahoo! Avatars

Links:

iPod Flea - You'll be itching to use it

Like Lydia, I appreciate well done video parodies. Here’s another, the iPod Flea.

Like your music miniscule? Then check out this wacky “what-if” video that recently aired at the Mac Design conference, produced by the slightly unstable minds of the National Association of Photoshop Professionals staff.

Posted Wednesday, August 3, 2005 by Grant in Random