Month: August 2008 Page 1 of 2

McBush celebrates as New Orleans drowns

McBush celebrating as New Orleans drowns

“That’s Bush and McCain celebrating the latter’s birthday in Arizona exactly three years ago today – just as New Orleans was being inundated. The cavalier cluelessness….”

Hat tip: DavidNYC of Daily Kos.

Literally, A Web Log

Literally, A Web Log: An English Language grammar blog tracking abuse of the word “literally”.

Pratfalls are funny

Sometimes bad things happen to good athletes: What didn’t make it to the Olympics.

Where are they now?

Did you know?

The “John 3:16” guy is in jail.

Flight and travel stuff

FlightAware – Free Flight Tracker – IFR Flight Status, Tracking, History, Maps.

Box Model Hack

This is what Tantek Çelik told me about using the Box Model Hack in 2008. The simple answer: use it if you still need to serve Internet Explorer 5.x for Windows.

Deserves his own post

Lest I forget, Chuck Lewis, the SEO Rapper (yes, that’s right, he is the “Search Engine Optimization Rapper”), presented his rap stylings at WordCamp 2008. I don’t even know what to say except that I really enjoyed his performance and that he is truly one of a kind.

He was a great sport and a nice guy, and his rhymes were the best I’ve ever heard about WordPress.

Here he is rapping about his Social Media Addiction

David Byrne & Brian Eno – Everything That Happens Will Happen Today

David Byrne & Brian Eno – Everything That Happens Will Happen Today.

Tantek Çelik on the Box Model Hack – updated for 2008!

I’m trying to redesign my portfolio and keep this website up to date. But the code has been revised and iterated continuously since 2001. This site at least is in XHTML and uses CSS for layout. So that’s good. But I’m using Tantek Çelik’s Box Model Hack, and frankly, it makes my CSS ugly and adds extra complications that may not be needed.

But every time I look up info on the Box Model Hack via Google, I get all kinds of results from 2005 (see above). Web design and coding have changed a lot in the ensuing three years, and all I want to know is if I should still be using it. (Luckily, somehow I completely missed the Holly Hack.)

So, at lunch at WordCamp 2008 on Saturday, I button-holed Tantek Çelik himself (the person who devised the Box Model Hack) to ask whether or not I should still be using it. He answered with a question — to paraphrase, “Does your site still need to work in IE 5 for Windows?”

So the answer on the Box Model Hack for 2008 is this: If your site still needs to work in IE 5 for Windows (the version of IE that has a broken box model), then you should still be using the Box Model Hack. If it doesn’t, then you don’t.

And it looks like 98.2% of those people browsing my work site in Internet Explorer, which is the most common browser family used to peruse, are using either IE 6.0 or 7.0. So I think I can get rid of it there.

“#1 Matt” and WordCamp 2008

WordCamp 2008 happened on Saturday in San Francisco, and it was good.
WordCamp2008 - The State of the Word

Highlights were many and often. In no particular order:

Liz Danzico and Jane Wells talked about the great usability work they’re doing for WordPress, and showed off some of the modifications they may or may not make to the current WordPress interface.

Tantek Çelik talked about microformats (and I got to ask him about the box model hack – more on that later).

Stephen Spencer (of NetConcepts, of Madison) provided some interesting tips on search engine optimization that were new to me.

Kathy Sierra (who writes books about Java) gave an amazing presentation that turned my ideas about designing websites upside down. Really! She started out with a trick question: Which testimonial is better: a. “This company kicks ass” or b. “This product kicks ass”? The answer, of course, is c. “I am awesome.” The basic question anyone who makes anything should be asking is, “how can my product make my users be able to kick ass?”

The LOLcats guy, Ben Huh, was there talking about “viral virility”! He made lots of good points that were perhaps overshadowed by the lolcats that illustrated his presentation and distracted everyone with their hilarity.

And of course Matt Mullenweg, founder of WordPress and Automattic, noted that the State of the Word is strong.

(Incidentally, Matt noted that he wants to be the #1 Matt on the web again. [He used to be until some guy who dances for gum, uh, whose site I actually like, took over.] So I’m indulging his wishes by linking to Matt here.)

For way more details, read Andrew Mager’s liveblog of WordCamp 2008. He was one of the people I actually talked to there… a really cool guy who happened to be at Virginia Tech last year and created a powerful community site. He was also the unofficial conference mascot once he applied a temporary WordPress tattoo to his forehead.

Here are a couple of my WordCamp photos (more later).

Note on location: It was held at the Mission Bay Conference Center on the weirdly isolated UCSF campus. (Biking in from BART, it was almost impossible to figure out which building was the conference center… I figured it was the biggest building I could see, and I happened to be right, but none of the permanent campus signage indicated where it was! One would figure that the most people coming to conferences on campus would be the people least likely to know the campus — so why wouldn’t they put the conference center on the permanent maps? Unfathomable.

But overall WordCamp 2008 was a real improvement on WordCamp 2007 (which I also thoroughly enjoyed). The venue was more comfortable in almost every way. Last year, at the Swedish-American Hall, it was really hot, there was no room for all the livebloggers attached to their laptops, there was only one track of talks. This year, the venue (and the food!) was way better and the vast majority of the speakers were informative and interesting.

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