onLine weblog archive

Saturday, April 13, 2002

Hey look: one of my favorite baseball writers now has a full section at ESPN.com, the Rob Neyer home page. And it includes some manner of blog-like thing called "Rob's Quick Hits."

Friday, April 12, 2002

O my goodness: Google Web APIs. Can't wait to play around with that.
BTW, if you're keeping track, the upgrade to OS X was quick and painless, with the exception of the fact that my G4's drive was not formatted as HFS+, which means I could not install OS X to run along side OS 9. But I backed everything up, and the OS X install formats the drive as HFS+, so now I can re-install OS 9, which I'll do sometime soon, but I'm in no hurry since BBEdit is my main piece of Mac software, and it runs natively in OS X. Yay.

As for my impression of OS X: I like it. It will take time to formulate a real opinion, but I am really excited about the fact that I now have a unix box at my disposal. Time to learn Apache!
Annoying weblog email post: If I owe you email, please don't hate me. I was already behind when I get inundated recently with a ton of site feedback email (that I solicited). Next week, I swear.
A nice little CSS primer: Dave Raggett's Introduction to CSS.
Jeffrey Zeldman is worth his weight in gold (or oranges, if you don't have gold): A List Apart: Fixing Your Site With the Right DOCTYPE

Thursday, April 11, 2002

I'm installing OS X on my G4 as we speak. For future reference: Griffman's OS X Collection
Frame-based layout via Style Sheets died when CSS-P was chosen as the CSS layout method at the behest of the Netscape and Microsoft. But when I look at the Frame-based layout draft I see everything that I want in CSS layouts that is not there. I wouldn't even care if the ability to target frames with links was nixed; it would provide a method for defining a grid structure in CSS which existed apart from the markup. Anybody that has spent time doing CSS for layout knows that unless you want to lock things down to specific widths, heights, and positions, CSS-P is a rotten pain in the butt, and ineffective at best. And using "float" is nothing if not even worse. We need a way to describe in our CSS relationships between discreet page elements: how we want them arranged relative to one another, a way to get the performance of tables without putting tables in the markup. (And yes, I do know about CSS tables using the "display" property. But as hard as the good folks in the CSS WG have worked on it, its syntax is still way too complex, and as far as I understand it, it relies on the order of elements in the source markup, and that's no good.)
The XWT site is not responding! Derek thinks I must have "glished" it by linking to it below.

Wednesday, April 10, 2002

XWT -- The XML Windowing Toolkit
Unlike all other remote-display technologies, XWT applications are usable and responsive regardless of network congestion, delays, and even complete network failures.

Unlike "web applications", XWT applications are not constrained by the limitations of HTML. XWT can precisely match the appearance and behavior of normal desktop applications.

Existing HTML/JavaScript developers can be productive immediately developing XWT user interfaces. This is because XWT visual layout is specified using a dialect of XML which is extremely similar to HTML tables, and because interactivity is scripted in industry-standard ECMAscript (JavaScript). No special tools are required -- just a simple text editor and a zip archiver.
Made some design tweaks based on reader input. Some people were seeing a cached version of one stylesheet, which was causing some problems, but I think I worked that one out. If you're seeing green links, green like in the last design, let me know.
Beautiful DHTML art experiment (I like "experiment" better than "art") -- be sure to alter the speed with which you move your mouse.
So what do you think of the new look? A day of work and my site even functions in NS4 (well, at least it has three columns). I plan to release the little text-resizer thing (top right of page, if you're using a reasonably DOM compliant browser, [for you landlubbers, that means Internet Explorer 5+, Mozilla, or Netscape 6 {Opera freaks: I love your browser but its DOM support is stinky}]) soon, with a little write up about it. And also the NS4 compatible 3-column layout will soon be added to CSS layout Techniques. Now back to work.
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offLine journal archive

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Thursday, April 11, 2002

Rob Neyer reviews Bill James' new baseball book Win Shares:
Win Shares are thirds of a win created. If, for example, the Expos win 100 games this season, there will be 300 Win Shares to be spread around among the players. Essentially, what Bill James has done is invent a method to distribute those Win Shares (and, by extension, those 100 wins).
Wish I had time to read another baseball book...
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