Archive: April 18th, 2003

Netdiver interviews Eric Meyer

This site, along with that of fellow Brightonian Richard Rutter, gets namechecked during an excellent interview with CSS guru, Eric Meyer:

"Q:Why do CSS-driven sites have a reputation for being dull and boring?"

"A: Because most of them are. We could claim that CSS designers are actually minimalists, but the truth is that most early adopters of CSS just didn’t have strong design skills, myself among them. The other major handicap designers face is that moving to CSS means using a lot of text, and the ability to control (or even influence) typography is rudimentary at best. I believe the poor state of typographic styling might be the biggest obstacle to widespread CSS adoption right now.

Still, nobody claims that oil painting is a boring medium just because Bob Ross produced so much stuff. While an artist is certainly limited by his medium, it’s more often the case that the medium is limited by its artists. Until a Picasso or Serat comes along, you don’t truly appreciate what the medium can produce. As more designers come to use CSS, we’ll see more compelling CSS-driven sites. Wired News is a good example of this, as is ESPN. There are others, including,,,,, and more."


When I was designing in its present form, I had two main goals. One was simply to show off; as a freelancer, my website needs to reflect my skills and the kind of work that clients can expect from me.

The other reason was to combat the FUD surrounding CSS based design. There are far too many webmonkeys out there that associate CSS with boring design. I wanted this site to be ammo in my arsenal so that when somebody asked what CSS was capable of, I could point them here and let them loose with the stylesheet switching widget.

Having Eric Meyer name-check this site as an example good CSS-based design gives me a warm fuzzy glow. I think this is what vindication feels like.

Planes, Trains and Acute Respiratory Syndrome

I had the opportunity yesterday to dine in a very swanky restaurant in the heart of London overlooking Hyde Park.

The comfort and elegance of the meal was in stark contrast to the journey home afterwards.

A combination of the Easter weekend, people knocking off early from work and an ill-timed rail strike meant that travellers on the London to Brighton train were packed in like sardines.

It was a journey of three parts. For the first third of the journey, from London to East Croyden, I was standing the whole time.

From East Croyden to Gatwick, I was able to sit down and even sleep with my head titled at a 45 degree angle on Jessica’s shoulder.

The last part of the journey was the worst.

The woman who got on at Gatwick and sat next to me was more fidgety than a child. She pulled out a hardback book of such dimensions that each turn of the page was accompanied by a poke of her elbow into my ribs.

Also, she coughed at fairly regular intervals. Worringly, none of these coughs were accompanied by a poke of her elbow. Ergo, she was not raising her hand to cover her mouth when she coughed.

She was coughing into the shared air of the train compartment. She had a suitcase with her. She boarded the train at Gatwick airport.

With my luck, she had just arrived back from a holiday in Hong Kong.