Simon Willison’s Weblog


Wednesday, 19th June 2002

SitePoint graphic design resources

I’ve never been any good at graphic design, but today I discovered a fantastic resource for Photoshop tutorials and general inspiration. This list of resources highlights the most useful threads of the past year over on the SitePoint Graphic Design forum.

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Slashdot threads

A couple of interesting threads on Slashdot today: Content Management Software—Build or Buy? and Properly Testing Your Code.

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Day 8: page titles

Day 8: Constructing meaningful page titles—the accessibility tips are flying thick and fast now. I’ve always been conscientious of my page titles (after all, they’re all you get when when you use your browser’s history feature) but it seems I was not quite conscientious enough. My titles now all carry a reference to the name of the blog in addition to a description of the page.

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Free books

I like free books (who doesn’t?), so when a story on Slashdot asked for book recommendations I started a thread asking for links to free technical books available online. Here’s a list compiled from the thread:

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djc on Kuro5hin

djc (formerly of evolt) has posted his views on the recent Kuro5hin problems. His take on things can be summarised as “don’t quit your day job until you’re sure your hobby can pay for itself”.

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Advogato rant

Interesting rant on Advogato (from June 11th): Professional Programmers. The author complains that the industry is infested with programmers who don’t really know anything more than how to write Visual Basic macros, and HR departments who hiee them over “real programmers” because they have more VB experience. The article makes some good points but the resulting thread is where the truly worth-while content is. My hope is that the abundance of VB programmers will make it easier for serious programmers (which I’m hoping will be me) to get more highly paid jobs. Time will tell.

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Andrei interview

Interview with Andrei Zmievski on SitePoint. Andrei is the guy behind PHP-GTK, the project that enables developers to write client side GUI applications using PHP. He is also one of the two lead developers on Smarty, the world’s greatest PHP templating engine. Oh, and he’s contributed various bits to PHP itself, including Perl compatible regular expressions and WDDX support. All that and he still has time for an interest in the history of western culture ;) The interview makes great reading for anyone interested in PHP, and also provides a link to a web server written in PHP.

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NPR link muppets

Via Boing Boing: NPRanother site that demands you obtain permission before linking to a page on their site. Will these people ever learn? This is compounded by the fact that their link request form is a classic example of asking for way too much information.

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Why software sucks

MSNBC: Why software is so bad. First time round I gave up on this article after reading the joke at the start, writing it off as another dumbed down piece of ill informed rubbish. Then I saw Scott raving about it and decided to give it a second go. My initial impressions were completely wrong—it’s a well written (and surprisingly unbiased) article that takes a good look at the problems software faces and how industry practises lead to software getting worse rather than better. This year I’ve been doing a course on Software Engineering at University and a lot of the article made a great deal of sense in the context of the course. Well worth reading.

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2002 » June