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Scripting News, the weblog started in 1997 that bootstrapped the blogging revolution.
Permanent link to archive for Wednesday, February 13, 2002. Wednesday, February 13, 2002

The startup script. Coffee, email, Weblogs.Com. It used to be coffee, email, NY Times, WSJ. Times they are a changin. 

A picture named bilg.gifNews.Com: "Just in time for Valentine's Day, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates wooed software developers not with a box of candy, but with a box filled with new software programming tools." 

Paul Andrews: "It's good to see some real journalism coming out of the established press." 

Bo Brock: "Radio is the first app I installed on my new iMac." 

Michael Fraase: "If I was thirty years younger Iíd say something really stupid like 'you guys rock' or whatever the current appelation of appreciation is. But Iím an old fart and youíll just have to settle for 'thanks.'Ē Right on. 

Glenn reports that Boingo is giving out free Wi-Fi PC cards at Gate B4 at Sea-Tac airport.  

Mary Wehmeier: "Perfect wasn't good enough to win the gold." 

News.Com: "Kodak has filed a patent-infringement lawsuit against computer maker Sun Microsystems that focuses on technologies found in Sun's Java programming language." 

O'Reilly: Top Ten FAQs for Web Services

Kevin Altis: "I made a simple, but crucial addition to the radioclient PythonCard app today." 

MMOTI 2002 

Last year on this day I wrote version 2.0 of How To Make Money on the Internet. "Make the product people want and sell it to them." That's the executive summary.

You can read the whole piece or skip to the end. "The combination of user-based information exchange and products that reflect user experience and wants, is where money will be made on the Internet."

Rahul Dave asks which of the free services provided by Yahoo and SourceForge could be commercialized. I like that way of thinking. Many of the communities I'm part of need a better version of the mail list software that Yahoo runs, which used to be the best, but now suffers from TMA (Too Much Advertising) and ever-slower response times.

Are tables really evil? 

Thanks to Zeldman for the pointer to a table-less three-column liquid CSS-based site that degrades gracefully (that's a mouthful). Now I've been trying to figure out why this is so important. I wrote XML-RPC for Newbies, to help people understand why it's so important to geekish Web developers. Would a designer please write a Table-less CSS Templates for Newbies, to explain why tables are evil. I don't get it. Or is this just gymnastics, which is cool, but tell us so, please.

James Spahr: "We will all be healthier when tables are not used for layout purposes anymore." Why?

Owen Briggs: Design Rant.

Dave Polaschek: Why avoiding tables is important.

Here's Dave P's weblog. I have a scaled-down rendering of Scripting News that I think is more readable than his, and doesn't compromise the reader experience for people who have reasonably modern machines with a graphic Web browser.

One of the things that prompted this request was Karl Dubost's surprising rejection of Radio 8, just days after we released the software. Now that the dust has settled, I wanted to understand what was behind his criticism. Then I read Sjoerd's comment yesterday, where he said he publishes his content in XML, that totally validates, has no tables, none of the "bad" stuff. So why don't the CSS advocates use that? Why did Karl ignore that? Or did he, and chose not to consider that in his evaluation. Doesn't it matter that we broke through in other areas? (Of course it does.) Perhaps they don't know we do XML. Hey, when you see a white-on-orange XML button does that make you happy or sad?

Finally, those of us who use tables are part of a mass of people who learned to develop websites that way. It's impossible to get us to change. If that's your cause I'm not on board. I made a decision a long time ago to accept HTML as it is, I called it a crock, but what a great crock it is.

Important caveat: The way I choose to render SN and the wants of Radio 8 and Manila users are totally separate things.

Dave Dombrowski: "CSS won't buy you a great deal today. Certainly not in Radio where it's pretty easy to redo the pages it outputs. But CSS will buy you a ton in the years to come."

Austin Burbridge: "I don't want to be a stunt-man, waiting for the next browser to break my work, or wondering whether some visitor took all the trouble to come to my page only to find a mess, because her browser was on a device which didn't suppose that it would take a trick to put a footer at the bottom."

John Brooks: "The table hack works for desktop browsers, and probably will continue to for as long as the Web exists."

Brent Simmons: "I donít care how Joe Blow works; I care about how I work."

Tony Collen: "So I've sold you on CSS, right?" No.

Sylvain Carle: "Table are evil for the same reason CORBA is evil." Feh.

Sam Ruby: "Dave is proud of his archives that go back nearly five years. Five years now when somebody wants to access them, they will quickly realize that they were designed to be viewed by desktop machines. Their response will inevitably be, 'how quant'."

Actually my archive goes back over seven years. I just looked at the first bit in the archive. "Quaint" would be very kind.

Softens the hands while you do the dishes 

BTW, the thing that's causing such a stir of buzz, is at its core, made possible by XML-RPC. Ta-dahh. And it's the weird kind of XML-RPC that's becoming so popular. The two processes are on the same machine, but get this, they don't have to be. Now that's flexibility that people can use. And by the way, thanks to Apple for baking XML-RPC support into the OS. That matters too, for acceptance by developers. It gets into every nook and cranny of the culture. Here at UserLand we call that "support from the platform vendor." Nice. Thank you.


Last update: Wednesday, February 13, 2002 at 8:07 PM Eastern.

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