Simon Willison’s Weblog


Wednesday, 5th February 2003

Enhanced textareas

Via Leonard Lin, a nice demonstration of an enhanced HTML text area (with buttons to add tags) that works in IE, Mozilla and Phoenix. Until recently this had not been possible thanks to a long standing Mozilla bug.

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Paul Tchistopolskii’s XML Alternatives reminded me to take another look at YAML. The specification has been updated since I last looked and seems to be a bit more complicated, but it’s still a very nicely designed format. Implementations are available for Perl, Python and Ruby with C and Java on the way but strangely no one seems to be doing one for PHP yet. I’m doing a course at Uni on compilers at the moment which includes quite a lot of stuff about writing parsers so I’m very tempted to have a go at a YAML implementation in the next few weeks just to try stuff out. The possibility of easily swapping relatively complex data structures between PHP and Python is pretty tempting as well.

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The slashdot effect

Dave Winer asks why Joel Spolsky gets much more traffic when slashdotted than UserLand’s hosted sites tend to. Joel explains (it’s all down to network effects) and mpt kicks in a few ideas as well.

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Zeldman and definition lists

I’m really liking Jeffrey Zeldman’s latest redesign. Aside from a pretty face, the markup holds some interesting ideas as well. For example, I’ve never seen a definition list used for a blogroll style list before:

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2003 » February