Archive: November, 2005


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Tuesday, November 29th, 2005

rest/ahah - Microformats

Who knew? The way I do my Ajax is a microformat. AHAH: Asynchronous HTML and HTTP.

Album covers of questionable taste - a photoset on Flickr

John put together this disturbing collection of bygone album covers.

Let me touch him

AIGA - Talking with Jason Santa Maria: An Event Apart, #04

Stan talks about the upcoming Event Apart in Philadelphia.

Monday, November 28th, 2005

Ads of the World | Daily Creative Fix

An extensive collection of adverts that somehow don't seem as annoying when gathered together like this. You could spend hours here.

Friday, November 25th, 2005

.:: beedogs ::.

This is *exactly* the kind of thing that Tim Berners-Lee had in mind when he invented the World Wide Web: pictures of dogs, dressed as bees.

Ajax training workshop

I’m telling you this now so you’ve got plenty of time to start saving your money and you can’t say I didn’t give you fair warning…

On February 10th, 2006, I will be giving a day-long workshop on Ajax. The training will take place at Victoria Park Plaza, London located conveniently close to Victoria station.

Who should go? You should go.

Why? Because, by means fair or foul, I will ensure that you learn something… something very cool, in all likelihood.

Don’t worry if you don’t have l33t JavaScript skillz. As long as you have a good grounding in markup and a basic knowledge of JavaScript, you’ll be all set to have a Neo-like “I know Kung-Fu” experience.

Yes, Ajax is a buzzword and yes, there’s a lot of hype surrounding it. But I’m going to cut through all that and get down to brass tacks. I’m going to show you how you can use Ajax to enhance your websites.

Let me tell me what the workshop won’t be. It won’t be a product presentation. In other words, I’m not going to stand there and tell you how some framework is going Ajaxify your site without you needing to worry yourself about the details.

Well, I want you to worry about the details. “Don’t make me think” is a great mantra for users, but it’s lousy for developers. I want to make sure that you think about all the implications that the Ajax methodology brings with it so that no user is left behind.

There’s going to be lots of talk about progressive enhancement, graceful degradation and accessibility. That may sound quite dry but I promise it’s going to be a fun ride.

Most of all, I’m confident that you will emerge at the end of the day’s training knowing how (and, more importantly, why) you can use Ajax. Heck, I’d offer a money back guarantee but I think Andy and Richard would crucify me.

So now you know what to expect, you can sign up over at the Clearleft website. You can register now for £345, a £50 early-bird discount. Oh, and you’ll get a copy of my book too.

Places are limited to 35, so don’t dilly-dally too long.

If you have any questions, or you want to see about getting a group discount, get in touch through the (Ajaxian) Clearleft contact page.

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2005

Tubeway army

Molly has landed on the shores of this scepter’d isle. Having delivered a workshop with Andy ‘Malarkey’ Clarke, what finer way to unwind than to spend a day with some Britpackers?

Last Saturday was the day. The Science Museum was the place.

It being a Saturday, Jessica and I decided to precede our visit to the museum with a foray into Borough Market. The market was great. The problem was getting from the market to the museum.

We descended into the London Underground, where we were treated to a wonderful example of social embarrassment in action. As we walked through the Tube station, a voice on the PA was announcing:

“Would the two girls who just jumped over the ticket barriers please return to the ticket area and purchase a ticket like everyone else. Otherwise the picture that was just taken of you will be handed over to London Transport Police who will be waiting for you on the platform.”

A few minutes later, as we descended on the escalators, the voice returned, broadcasting to the entire station:

“Again, would those two girls please return to the gates and purchase a ticket like everyone else. Yes, that’s right: you with the pink top.”

Ah, I thought, the Tube can be such fun. That impression was about to change.

We needed to change to the Circle or District line to get to South Kensington, location of the Science Museum. As it turned out, the Circle line was suspended, along with the relevant portion of the District line. Fortunately, there was an alternate route I could take by just hopping on the Piccadilly line at Green Park.

It seems that a significant portion of London’s population had the same idea. The station was so crowded, it was scary. Masses and masses of people were shuffling slowly down corridors towards the still-distant platform while staff announced instructions:

“Keep to the right. If you don’t keep to the right, the order will be given to evacuate this station and you won’t be going anywhere.”

By the time we got to the platform, there were already hundreds of people lined up. We were lucky to be able to squeeze onto the train. You can just imagine how cramped it was inside the carriage.

At this stage, we were well behind schedule. I wanted to check exactly how late I was but, within the confines of the train, there was no way for me to bring my wristwatch into view.

I was extremely happy when we finally emerged back into daylight.

Despite the late start, the day at the Science Museum was thoroughly enjoyable. It was especially fun hanging out with the kids that John, Stuart, Jon and Leigh, and Rachel and Drew had brought along. Having the kids around was an excuse to get excited about all the gadgets without looking look quite so pathetic.

When it came time to leave, we discounted the Tube as a means of transportation. Instead, we walked from the museum to Victoria station. It was good exercise and infinitely preferable to being squashed back in a sardine can. Technically, my train ticket to and from Brighton was only valid for London Bridge (and other Thameslink stations) but (word to the wise), it worked fine from Victoria.

We were whisked back from the bright lights of London back to Brighton, which seemed like a sleepy seaside village in comparison to a Saturday in the big smoke.

Web API Working Group Charter

The W3C proves that it can move with the times: "The mission of the W3C Web API Working Group is to develop specifications that enable improved client-side application development on the Web." This is very good news indeed.

Friday, November 18th, 2005

One morning in York

Thanks to the good folks at Vivabit, I’ve had the opportunity to take the DOM Scripting show on the road.

Last month I delivered my spiel to the very knowledgeable developers at Fujitsu-Siemens in Bracknell. I thoroughly enjoyed the speaking (as always), but there was little opportunity for exploration in a town where the motto seems to be "you can never have enough concrete".

This week I was in York. Actually, the training took place in little place called Pocklington, but I was staying within the city walls. On the evening I showed up, I met up with some of the northern Britpackers and had a grand old time, even though I didn’t sample the local brew: the wittily named Yorkshire Terrier.

I had been to York once before, many years ago, and I remembered it as a charming place full of winding streets and old buildings. My memory was accurate. York is a beautiful city.

I left York this morning. I had planned to simply walk from my hotel to the train station but I was waylaid, seduced and disarmed by the sight of York on a bright, crisp Winter’s morning. There’s many a winding street and rickity building to keep a medievalist happy.

There’s something about walled cities. Of the cities I’ve visited in Italy, one of my favourite is Lucca, walled and well-preserved. Then there’s Volterra with its Etruscan walls. York is the English equivalent to those Tuscany treasures.

Within the walls, York feels like the biggest village in England. It has the kind of half-timbered houses I’d normally associate with places like Oxfordshire. The only real giveaway that you’re "up North, like" is the way that the locals sound like understudies for Wallace and Gromit.

I’ve put together a pictorial record of my morning stroll around York.

Tuesday, November 15th, 2005

I Love Belle and Herbs

A foodblog about one cafe in Newcastle.

Star Wars: Episodes I-VI - The greatest postmodern art film ever. By Aidan Wasley

What if the Force isn't a plot device... what if the Force is the plot?

Greenwich Mean Tribe

I’m back in my native time zone. The flight home went smoothly and after a day of napping, I’m feeling mostly human again.

I had a good time in Seattle, one of my favourite cities. I met up with Nick and Keith who gave me a little tour of the Blue Flava Flave office (after I annoyingly missed their Idea Day).

I also had the pleasure of hanging with Mike again. When I arrived in Seattle, I had a fiendish plan to corner him, ply him with beer and get the inside scoop on his top-secret super-stealth project. Of course, I had no sooner landed than the Newsvine story was big news. Bloody Typical.

So… anything happen in Brighton while I was away?

Monday, November 14th, 2005

Valid downlevel-revealed conditional comments | 456 Berea Street

Keep this one handy in case you have to use conditional comments to hide something from Internet Explorer.

Friday, November 11th, 2005

Wireless in seattle

I’m having a grand old time in Seattle. The weather, as to be expected, isn’t exactly glorious but that’s okay. I’m experiencing authentic Northwest overcast skies.

While Jessica is busy learning herself, I’ve been engaging in touristy activities. I’ve been exploring the Science Fiction museum, the Rem Koolhaas library, the Elliot Bay bookstore and of course, Pike Place market.

These excursions are interspersed with pit-stops at the myriad coffee shops where I can refuel with caffeine and WiFi.

Sunday, November 6th, 2005

A quick turnaround

I’m back in Brighton for less than 24 hours.

I flew in from Cork this morning. I had a great time back in the ould country. The Irish generally know how to celebrate so you can imagine how much fun a wedding can be. As promised, there are Flickr photos of suits, stout and celebration.

Tomorrow, I fly to Seattle. Jessica is going to a translator’s conference and I’m tagging along for the ride. If you’re a webhead in Seattle, give me a shout if you fancy meeting up for a cup of… oh, I don’t know, maybe… coffee? I’ll have my mobile phone with me and the ubiquitous WiFi means I’ll also be reachable by iChat and email.

Now I’m off to bed to grab a few hours sleep before heading back to Gatwick. That airport is starting to feel like a second home.

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2005

Bound for Cork

I’m going to be incommunicado for the next few days. I’m heading back to my hometown in Ireland.

A dear friend of mine is tying the knot and Friday and I wouldn’t miss it for the world. I hope his honeymoon doesn’t turn out to be as eventful as Stan’s.

Expect Murphy’s-fueled pictures to be posted on Flickr once I get back.