Simon Willison’s Weblog


Friday, 5th July 2002

Janis Ian

Janis Ian: The Internet Debacle—An Alternative View (via Scripting News). This is an excellent, well researched piece on the problems facing the American music industry by an artist with over 20 albums under her belt.

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elgooG (via the Google Weblog).

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More on deep linking

It seems there’s more to the Danish deep linking story than first meets the eye. This comment on Slashdot clarifies some important details:

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Kevin Burton

Kevin Burton:

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<strong> and <em>

Caveat Lector: <em>, <strong>, and markup assumptions. Dorothea Salo explains these semantic tags, why they exist and when they should be used, and throws in a bit of HTML history as well.

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Final table tip

A final table tip from Mark: Providing a summary for tables. Mark explains the summary attribute which should be attached to every <table> tag to summarise the purpose of the table. Tables used for layout should include an empty summary attribute to show they are layout tables (in a similar way to empty alt tags for layout images). The summary attribute is only used by text to speech browsers, so I’m slightly confused as to why it should be included for layout tables—surely if the attribute is empty a speech browser will skip tstraight over it as if it wasn’t there?

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Stupid Danish newspapers

More deep linking stupidity (via Scripting News). A judge in Denmark has ruled in favour of a newspaper who took a search engine to court over “deep linking”, despite the search engine’s spider following the robots.txt standard (it seems the newspaper didn’t bother to implement a robots.txt file). Dave Winer summed things up perfectly:

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Opera and Macromedia

Macromedia to Embed the Opera Browser in Web Authoring Products—it seems Opera could soon be providing the rendering engine for Dreamweaver’s preview mode, at least on the Mac. Great news for CSS layout enthusiasts as from what I’ve heard Dreamweaver MX still does a lousy job of previewing CSS positioning in the editor.

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Hixie BSc

Hixie BSc (Hons) passed his degree. Congrats :)

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Rasmus Lerdorf’s blog

Rasmus Lerdorf (the creator of PHP) has a blog. His latest entry discusses Palladium, and asks if it will actually help build up the alternative market of non wintel users.

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More Python advocacy

More Python advocacy: PYTHON: Yes, You SHOULD Be Using it! The article contains some background information on Python and why it is worth knowing, but the bulk of the article consists of a getting started guide for Python on Linux, complete instructions on using the interactive prompt, code samples and a small CGI script. It is worth noting that the CGI script example should not be deployed anywhere accessible to the public as it could allow crackers to execute code of their chosing on your web server.

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Funky popups

Funky javascript popup windows (via wdf-list).

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Blog tracking solution

I’ve found a solution to my blog tracking problems. is an excellent service which tracks when weblogs are updated by waiting for pings—either directly from the blog or indirectly by co-operating with (and several other services). users can then create a list of blogs they are interested in and have the site email them whenever one of their favourites is updated. If you don’t want even more email (I certainly don’t) the site can be set up to only display your favourite blogs in last-updated order when you visit it, or you can opt for a very handy Mozilla toolbar.

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