Simon Willison’s Weblog


Thursday, 4th December 2003

DTML in Zwiki pages. A Wiki you can reprogram on the fly sounds like a pretty neat toy # 10:53 pm

Do What I Mean (dwim) (via) One for the tool box # 5:18 pm

The Importance of Good Copy. We should learn from direct marketers... <shudder> # 5:16 pm

HTMLTemplate. Another Python XHTML-to-object structure templating system # 5:14 pm

Mad Skateboarding Skillz. Signs of a mis-spent youth # 4:43 am

GAWDS now inviting new members

The Guild of Accessible Web Designers is a world wide organisation of web designers and developers committed to helping each other, and promoting the message that accessible web design is ’good for business’. I’d describe the organisation in detail here, but the official site does a far better job than I could. If you’ve been following the web accessibility community in any detail You’re likely to recognise a number of the names on the registered members list; I’ve been following GAWDS developments for a while and its shaping up to be a great resource for accessibility minded designers. I’ve also contributed an article on Writing good ALT text which hopefully provides some useful advice on a frequently misunderstood topic.

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Dates on the web

D. Keith Robinson writes about Using Dates For Featured Web Content. Keith’s right, including a date with your content really is a no-brainer. I’ll add an anecdote of my own. Several years ago I ran a popular news site for Team Fortress Classic, a team based online first person shooter game with a thriving clan scene. I was careful to include dates on every piece of content, but in my youthful naivety I neglected to include the year. The years rolled by and the content built up until I suddenly realised that I was no longer sure what year some of it was written in! The site has sadly now passed in to history but the lesson remains: the web moves faster than you might think, so omitting the year in your dates is a pretty dumb thing to do.

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Extracting the length from MP3 files with Python

Ned Batchelder recently wrote about the difficulties involved in extracting the length from an MP3 file. We’re going to need to solve this problem soon at work; luckily, it seems that the answer may lie in the Python bindings for mpgedit, an audio file editing library available for both Windows and Linux.

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On Search: XML. Tim Bray on search and XML? You know it’s going to be good. # 1:54 am

Will IE even be better in Longhorn? Off topic doom and gloom on css-discuss # 1:51 am

Brief Guide to Regular Expressions (via) Regular expressions for everyone else # 1:48 am