onLine weblog archive

Friday, February 23, 2001

I would like to propose a new term, gentle web-surfer, a term which I have used a few times in casual conversation and found oddly apropos, and even mildly humorous:

The Google Wide Web. As in: I spent an hour searching for a site on moving from Vancouver to San Francisco in an impetuous fit of new-found love, but there doesn't seem to be one anywhere on the Google Wide Web.

I suggest it as a refinement of the archaic "World Wide Wide" which is a nebulous term that doesn't usefully describe the online space in which we currently find ourselves. It is estimated by some that "traditional search engines have access to only a fraction of 1 percent of what exists on the Web", so I say let's not kid ourselves. The web as we know it is the Google Wide Web.
Welcome to all those who have stumbled across my site while searching altavista.com for "bonsai kitten"! However, I am sorry to report that there are no bonsai kittens to be found here, although I did link to some a while ago.

You should probably know that Altavista is an inferior search engine. Once, like in 1995, it was the next big thing. Now it sends you to places like this site when you are innocently searching for bonsai kittens. If I were you I would try using Google, which is the current next big thing, and the best search engine out there.

Or, you could just give up your search for the elusive bonsai kittens and stay here to read about my favorite doughnuts!
My favorite doughnut is the plain cake doughnut. By "favorite" I mean the doughnut that I most identify with, that I feel most at home with. However, my siren doughnut, the doughnut that consistently lures me from the safety of my cake doughnut coffee dunking, is the Bavarian cream filled with powdered sugar. And a glass of milk.

Thursday, February 22, 2001

XML.com: Functional Programming and XML
One cure for intellectual myopia is to go exploring. In this article, I provide a beginner's travel guide to the interesting and instructive land of functional programming (FP) and XML.
Thanks Thraxil.
Uche Ogbuji teaches us how to create XSLT lookup tables at IBM's developerWorks.
I got a quicktime movie this morning of Phoebe taking her first pee on the potty. Most of you will undoubtedly be uninterested in that, and those of you that are interested, forget it, you can't see it. But everyone should feel free to enjoy the snapshot below taken just before the main event. See Phoebe rush to sit down on the potty to avoid peeing on the floor for the 4th time this morning!

Wednesday, February 21, 2001

Wired, October 1994: The (Second Phase of the) Revolution Has Begun:
Mosaic is the celebrated graphical "browser" that allows users to travel through the world of electronic information using a point-and-click interface. Mosaic's charming appearance encourages users to load their own documents onto the Net, including color photos, sound bites, video clips, and hypertext "links" to other documents. By following the links - click, and the linked document appears - you can travel through the online world along paths of whim and intuition.
Found in Jamie Jamie Zawinski's abridged diary of life at Netscape before the launch of Netscape 1.0, called the netscape dorm, which includes many wonderful bits, such as:
I've just read over some of my diary for the last few months, and man, a lot of it is completely incoherent! It's full of incomplete sentences, made up words, random surreal imagery that I can't even understand let alone remember typing. Have I been typing in my sleep? I hope I don't sound like that in person. I wonder what my code must look like! Oh well, it seems to work.
Which I found on Joshua Allen's site, which contains some interesting bits like this:
The five senses don't cause stress or unhappiness. They can't. When my imaginary engines spin up too tight, I like to remind myself of this. Stand in the cold, exercise your muscles until you can't move; immerse your senses in reality. A rose's smell doesn't have happiness or unhappiness attached to it. This is why I think we have technostress. The longer we live away from our five senses, the more susceptible we are to the ghosts that float around our imaginations. Computer work, and especially development work, is like one big sensory deprivation chamber.

Monday, February 19, 2001





Best icons ever?
Web developers can use a little DHTML magic to define a part of a page (usually a menu) that remains on screen regardless of how far down page has been scrolled. But did you know there is something in the CSS2 spec that is supposed to allow the same thing with the simple CSS declaration of "position:fixed"? Of course, the only browser I've seen that supports it is IE5 on the Mac, which is unfortunate. But hey, if you're building an app for IE5 Mac only, check out this Apple article for more details: Working with CSS - Fixed.
My daughter Phoebe is all better now, thanks. It wasn't strep and it wasn't mono, but the best the doctor can do besides telling us what is wasn't is to call it an unidentified infection that caused "mono-like symptoms."
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