Simon Willison’s Weblog


Wednesday, 9th July 2003

Adaptive Path Redesign

Doug Bowman and Adaptive Path have launched the redesign of the Adaptive Path site. It’s well worth exploring: the site looks gorgeous, and is a great example of best practise structural markup, CSS and web standards compliance. Doug has an overview of the highlights of the new design, which includes a brief explanation of the brilliant CSS double rollover effects used for the team photos on the home page.

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Implementing Text Editors

Via Martin Spernau, two useful resources on writing text editors. The Craft of Text Editing appears to be the definitive work on the subject, and is a whole book made available online with permission from the publishers as it is no longer available in print. Writing a Simple Word Processor (PDF) is a more recent paper with excellent overviews of the data structures and algorithms used in modern editing widgets.

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Marketing for Geeks

This is excellent: Marketing for Geeks, a series of articles (three at the moment) by Eric Sink. I’ve never really been interested in marketing but Eric got me hooked with geek friendly examples such as Paint Shop Pro and CityDesk and I ended up learning a great deal. The writing style is similar to that of Joel Spolsky, so if you enjoy Joel on Software you’ll certainly enjoy this.

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Independent Days on Daring Fireball

Daring Fireball: Independent Days. A sprawling essay that covers web design principles, corporate vs. independent sites, Mac punditry and the justification for adding Google Ads to a weblog. Well worth a read. I particularly liked this quote, although it was more of a side-point than a key point of the article:

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Throwing your money around

Adam Curry is a dangerous man: He’s throwing $10,000 at a problem he clearly doesn’t understand. Quote from June 29th:

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CSS drop shadows

Yet another groovy CSS demo: Drop shadow effects using only two nested divs and an alpha-transparent PNG. They look passable in IE as well. Another gem from Paul Hammond’s link blog. Incidentally, Paul has written up some interesting observations on how a previous item from his link blog spread itself around the ’net after I linked to it a few days ago.

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Filtering AOL

Burningbird starts a discussion on how much harm the addition of AOL users will cause to the blogging eco-system. She compares this development to the chaos caused when AOL users were first introduced to Usenet. I don’t see that there’s a problem. To my mind, the thing that separates blogging from the many other forms of internet discussion (forums, Usenet, mailing lists etc) is that it comes with its own built in filtering mechanisms. I’ll take myself as an example. While I don’t use an aggregator, I do use my blogroll to keep track of roughly 70 bloggers who have a very high signal to noise ratio. Through them, I am frequently directed to other bloggers of a similar calibre. I’ve seen it claimed that there are over half a million blogs on the ’net, but the social network I maintain through my blogroll means that while I only see a fraction of those, that fraction tracks most of the information of interest to me.

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Textile 2

Textile 2 is now available for testing, courtesy of Dean Allen. Textile is one of the more popular structured-text style markup languages, which translate a simple markup language in to HTML. What made the original Textile special was that it concentrated squarely on structural markup, providing intuitive shortcuts for most structural XHTML elements. Textile 2 takes this further, but also introduces a number of presentational effects such as block alignment. Beta PHP code is available in addition to the demo.

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2003 » July