Archive of: 2004
As with version one, the site is valid XHTML/CSS2 and as an added benefit of building with web standards, the site also passed the WAI Level 2 checklist with a minimum of extra development on our part (I forgot to add alt attributes on a couple of image inputs, that was it!).
Congratulations to all involved.
<darlingbri> "Outlook is the McDonalds of email, and about as good for your system."
So Odeon have suddenly decided that they don’t like the accessible version of their cinema listings that Matt Somerville built, and have shut it down.
Nice. Instead of investigating why someone felt the need to go to all this effort then taking a smart course of action – like making their site more accessible for instance – they decided that strong-arming was the way to go.
More comment from John.
[Note: This piece was originally written for the June 2004 gencon Newsletter. It’s very cluetrain-ish, but given the non-technical nature of the target audience (upper/middle level management, small business owners), and their probable lack of exposure to that book, I thought it a worthwhile exercise.]
Bill Gates’s recent speech at the Microsoft CEO Summit extolling the virtue of ‘blogs‘ got me thinking about a question I’m often asked when people find out what I do for a living. "So what is the web good for?".
At its most basic the web is a method of publication. You write some content, stick it up on the web, and with any luck people read it.
But when we look a little deeper, and at blogging in particular, we start to see something more than just a publishing system.
The majority of blogs allow visitors to leave comments on the piece they’ve just read, turning the entry from one person’s lone voice in the wilderness to a living, breathing congress where anyone can join in and add their point of view.
We also start to see a more conversational tone, far removed from the clean sanitised corporate copy-writing on most sites. We see communication between people, we see conversations and communities.
My answer to people who ask me what the web is good for is simple. It’s all about the conversations. It’s all about people.
I’m not suggesting that you run off and set up a blog on your company website, but I would urge you to get out there in the blogosphere (oh yes, us geeks have a name for everything!), look at the conversations, listen at the tones used and then take a moment to think about the content on your site.
(a good place to get started reading blogs is technorati, a blog aggregation site. Try a search on a topic that interests you, see where it takes you. Join in!)
Ask yourself what your company ‘voice’ is, could it be friendlier, softer, or even funnier? Are you just publishing for the sake of it or are you actually communicating?
The BBC has announced that their Creative Archive will be based on the CC model. Professor Lawrence Lessig, chair of the Creative Commons project, has also been asked to be a permanent member of an external consultative panel.
(Next time someone moans to me that the Licence Fee is too much they’re going to get a slap)
While Microsoft may pay lip service to web standards, a look at their product line suggests they have no interest in supporting the standards theyâ€™ve helped create. Face it, xHTML and CSS just arenâ€™t as sexy as .Net and web services. Microsoft clearly has other priorities and a closer investigation of the facts seems to indicate that support for web standards is hardly a blip on their corporate radar.
This is an extrememly well written piece that should give all of us pause for thought, and with any luck may prompt increased pressure on Microsoft to make standards an intergral part of their offerings.
I’m now off to code up some workarounds for IE5.
[image:85,left]This is Giles (a handsome devil I think you’ll agree), a good friend from Oxford who was the drummer in polytechnic and who has always had a nice little sideline in writing sci-fi.
Giles has finally got himself a domain where he has started publishing his short stories and novellas for people to download, free of charge (although he does have a tip-jar, so if you like what he’s doing then please throw him a few quid and help him fulfill his dream of becoming a full time writer).
Been meaning to post this for a while, but with all the laptop hassles (thankfully I managed to get all my data back) and my workload I haven’t a chance to do it until now, sorry mate.
There won’t be too many updates for a while. My Powerbook (leon) finally died last night. Won’t boot past the OSX loading screen before it kernel panics and hangs. Priority right now is to salvage the hard drive and recover my work files.
And Sods Law says that it died just as I was about to do my monthly backup. Fucking typical!
Todays mood is: depressed.