onLine weblog archive

Friday, January 19, 2001

Another great thing about the IHT site (see below): on each page, next to the top ad banner, there is a little box that lets you turn the ad off! It's not a global setting, but at least you have the option of turning off a distracting animated ad.
Check this out: Scientists Bring Beam of Light to a Stop. Two things:

  1. The story itself is unbelievable, and seems to promise great things ahead.

  2. The article format that IHT has developed, and in which you see that article, is perhaps the most ingenious and useful instance of DHTML I have ever seen. The story scrolls to the right, which you may not notice at first because there are no browser scroll bars, but you can either click on a small button at the bottom right to move to the next screen, or you can simply click on the rightmost column. And that means no scrolling! And the three column format means nice, short, easy to read line lengths, and it looks pretty to boot (this multi column format also recently spotted in Neale's Fantastical). But if you prefer a standard single column scrollable format, you can click on a little icon in the lower right and whammo, there you have it. And you can dynamically change the text size to suit your taste (or eyesight), and all these things, all the text reflowing and display changes, they happen dynamically and without page reloading. And it works in IE5 Mac, IE5 PC, and NS6! I can't get over it.
I promised my dad I would get some pictures from this Christmas up on my site this week, and I finally did. Here is one for public enjoyment:


That, of course, is my dad and my son.

If you happen to be a friend or relative of mine, and you are logged on to glish, you can head over to my photography section and you'll find a new set of photos called "Christmas 2000" with a few more pictures of my parents and my kids.

For the rest of you, I give you an email from dad entitled "invention":

Hey, I invented a new dessert. I call it jelloose. You start with a packette of jello that someone has used a wee bit out of, that you were not aware of. Then you use a coffee mug in place of an actual 1 cup measuring cup to add the "proper" amount of water, as the directions call for. Next you wait 2 days, until the mixture barely jells. There you have it. A fine confection with a very "mild" taste that can be slurped or drunk as you prefer.
Sorry dad, but I thought the world should know about this.

Thursday, January 18, 2001

Another wonderful user comment has been posted at chessgame.com.
Derek told me about the document() function of XSLT last night over pizza, beer, darts, shuffle board, and air hockey. Short story: you can load multiple, arbitrary XML documents from within an XSL transformation. If we had known that before, there would have no need for some of the XML chicanery we perform here and here. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
Apple's Internet Developer site has a good section on Working with Fonts, including a Font Gallery the provides screenshots of how variously sized fonts display on PC/Mac and IE/NS.

Wednesday, January 17, 2001

From Using XSL Formatting Objects:
XSLT is easy to learn and use. With only a modest investment of time, developers can convert an XML file to an HTML file that users can display in their browsers.
Now, I love XSLT as much as the next guy, maybe more, but it is inaccurate to call it "easy to learn and use." I'd call it "difficult, but powerful and rewarding."
I know this is a couple of days late, but Matt found a fantastic photo remembrance of MLK: Living Memory .
In other news, Scott Andrew found out he was wrong about the Opera browser not providing a proper scripting interface to the DOM, and he wrote about it here.

Meanwhile, Zeldman seems to be on the trail of a way to massage Netscape into handling DIV borders the same as IE. I think. I am still trying to figure it out. Read about it here.
From Brian's Belly: Hot Pepper Primer.
What the heck is a Scoville? If you've ever delved into the world of hot sauce, you may have noticed the curious notation on the bottle. Look no further than Brian's Belly for the answer.
Ed wrote to tell me about an interesting exhibit currently running in Montreal: Hitchcock and Art. The show explores "how the major currents of painting - from classicism to symbolism to modernism - run through the films of Alfred Hitchcock." Here's a direct link to their Flash "Interactive Activity."

Tuesday, January 16, 2001

Last year some friends and K. and I decided to do have a Hitchcock festival of sorts. We already get together every Sunday night to watch a movie (or a Twin Peaks episode for a while there), so we thought "Hey! por que no Hitchcock?"

We usually watch DVDs on a wide screen HDTV, and I guess I have become a snob and won't anymore watch those horrible little VHS tapes that chop off half the picture, but we found out rather quickly that there wasn't much in the way of Hitchcock DVDs available. We did watch Vertigo, Psycho (the most perfectly made movie ever?), and a couple of the old classics, but we could not get The Birds, or North by Northwest, or Rear Window, and we were frustrated. Rear Window was in the theaters last year though, and that was great, but I am excited to now report that it is also is scheduled to be released on DVD in March, and The Birds and North by Northwest are already available! In fact, I got North by Northwest from Netflix today, and I now cannot wait to see it in all its widescreen anamorphic glory. It sounds like it is a very well done DVD to boot, with great extras, and with a good picture and sound quality. Apparently, such quality is not normal in classic movie DVDs because it is more expensive for the studios to port them to DVD, and they appeal to fewer people.
Multiple Source Documents with XSLT
There are situations where it is appropriate to generate a single result document from multiple source documents. This article will discuss this problem in more detail and examine three ways of achieving a solution, including the trade--offs involved.

Monday, January 15, 2001

Dori Smith: Click Anywhere Links.
If novice web users visit your web site, they may have difficulty filling out your forms because they just don't work they way they expect them to--the way that they've been trained by their existing applications. Also, some users have trouble clicking on the checkbox, because they lack the ability to move the mouse and click on such a small area.

HTML 4 provides a solution for this problem: the LABEL tag. Internet Explorer supports the tag, but unfortunately, Netscape 4 does not. What to do? Use JavaScript instead!
A horrible way to spend a Sunday afternoon:

me
I think that will be the last game of Atomica I play for a while.

Sunday, January 14, 2001

More from CHris MacGregor at Flazoom: Flash: 99% Proof.
Flash is not 99% bad, as you might believe from reading the Alertbox article. Flash is 99% Proof, as in alcohol. You see Flash is not bad for the Internet at all. In fact, compared to non-standard supporting browsers and unstable programming languages, Flash is just what web developers had been asking for since they first opted the <Table> tag to be a sort of online postscript. Flash was a way to design content that would look and behave the same everywhere.
Making a Case For Selling Online Content:
If there is an overall pattern here, it's that the more competitive a sector is, the more difficult it is to sell content online. In contrast, the more unique one's position and the more one can tap into corporate or expense account spending, the higher the chances for success. Selling general information to consumers, no matter how good or what the subject is, has been an uphill struggle.
Power Tips for Photoshop 6.0.
If Microsoft does make IE 6 available only as part of Whistler, the next generation of the Windows OS, what does that mean for AOL's licensing of IE? Does it make it more likely that AOL will switch to NS? I'm just wondering.
archives: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50 | 51 | 52 | 53 | 54 | 55 | 56 | 57 | 58 | 59 | 60 | 61 | 62 | 63 | 64 | 65 | 66 | 67 | 68 | 69 | 70 | 71 | 72 | 73 | 74 | 75 | 76 | 77 | 78 | 79 | 80 | 81 | 82 | 83 | 84 | 85 | 86 | 87 | 88 | 89 | 90 | 91 | 92 | 93 | 94 | 95 | 96 | 97 | 98 | 99 | 100 | 101 | 102 | 103 | 104 | 105 | 106 | 107 | 108 | 109 | 110 | 111 | 112 | 113 | 114 | 115 | 116 | 117 | 118 | 119 | 120 | 121 | 122 | 123 | 124 | 125 | 126 | 127 | 128 | 129 | 130 | 131 | 132 | 133 | 134 | 135 | 136 | 137 | 138 | 139 | 140 | 141 | 142 | 143 | 144 | 145 | 146 | 147 | 148 | 149 | 150 | 151 | 152 | 153 | 154 | 155 | 156 | 157 | 158 | 159 | 160 | 161 | 162 | 163 | 164 | 165 | 166 | 167 | 168 | 169 | 170 | 171 | 172 | 173 | 174 | 175 | 176 | 177 | 178 | 179 | 180 | 181 | 182 | 183 | 184 | 185 | 186 | 187 | 188 | 189 | 190 | 191 | 192 | 193 | 194 | 195 | 196 | 197 | 198 | 199 | 200 | 201 | 202 | 203 | 204 | 205 | 206 | 207 | 208 | 209 | 210 | 211 | 212

offLine journal archive

where everything else is discussed

There are no offline archives for this period. Choose from the archives below:

archives: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49