May 2008 - Broken Links Archive

London WSG ‚ÄėFindability‚Äô meeting

While I gath­er my thoughts on @media, a quick men­tion of the Lon­don WSG meet­ing on Wednes­day night, which was on the top­ic of Find­abil­i­ty.

There were three pre¬≠sen¬≠ta¬≠tions; the first, by Cyril Doussin, intro¬≠duced the sub¬≠ject and explained the core con¬≠cepts behind it; the ways in which users find your con¬≠tent (or prod¬≠uct) and how you can make it eas¬≠i¬≠er for them.

Next, Stu­art Colville showed prac­ti­cal ways to make the con­tent on your site more find­able, from design through to mark-up, style and behav­iour. He raised the inter­est­ing point that tag­ging is bet­ter than cat­e­goris­ing, as cat­e­gories tend to be fixed where­as con­tent changes over time as infor­ma­tion evolves; time for me to start using Word­Press’ tag­ging function.

Final¬≠ly, Steve Mar¬≠shall showed off Yahoo!‚Äės lat¬≠est project, Fire Eagle (cur¬≠rent¬≠ly invi¬≠ta¬≠tion only; I was hand¬≠ed one at @media today), which is a ser¬≠vice that lets you update your phys¬≠i¬≠cal loca¬≠tion across mul¬≠ti¬≠ple sites and ser¬≠vices. It‚Äôs pret¬≠ty impres¬≠sive in the¬≠o¬≠ry, but the fact that I can only cur¬≠rent¬≠ly update from the desk¬≠top means I am lim¬≠it¬≠ed to home or work, mostly.

The whole evening was nice¬≠ly bal¬≠anced to appeal to a broad range of skills and knowl¬≠edge, and had the right mix of the¬≠o¬≠ry, prac¬≠tice, and show¬≠ing off. I‚Äôm aim¬≠ing to get more involved in organ¬≠is¬≠ing future events, and I hope to be part of more qual¬≠i¬≠ty events like this one.

London Web Week flying update

I intend¬≠ed to write about the WSG meet¬≠ing and the first day of @media, but drink¬≠ing social¬≠is¬≠ing net¬≠work¬≠ing has occu¬≠pied my spare time. Still, I got to hear some sala¬≠cious gos¬≠sip about well-known char¬≠ac¬≠ters in the web com¬≠mu¬≠ni¬≠ty, so it was worth it for that alone.

Some inter¬≠est¬≠ing stuff about HTML 5 to dis¬≠cuss shortly. 

The Microformats vEvent that wasn’t

Hav­ing missed the open­ing par­ty, my intro­duc­tion to Lon­don Web Week was last night’s Micro­for­mats vEvent. Unfor­tu­nate­ly it was­n’t a good intro­duc­tion, for two reasons;

First (and fore­most), it was­n’t real­ly about Micro­for­mats. The first speak­er talked about RDFa and GRDDL, the sec­ond about RDFa and FOAF.

Sec¬≠ond, the pre¬≠sump¬≠tion was that we had an extreme¬≠ly high lev¬≠el of tech¬≠ni¬≠cal knowl¬≠edge; a pre¬≠sump¬≠tion that was¬≠n‚Äôt true, in my case at least. I‚Äôm fair¬≠ly new to Micro¬≠for¬≠mats but I have a pret¬≠ty good idea of what they‚Äôre about; both talks went over my head any¬≠way. And my poor wife, who‚Äôs learn¬≠ing about them for the first time, had no idea what was going on.

The descrip¬≠tion of the event said:

We hope that no mat¬≠ter your expe¬≠ri¬≠ence lev¬≠el, you‚Äôll find the evening infor¬≠ma¬≠tive, enjoy¬≠able and inspiring. 

I did­n’t. In fact, it may well have been counter-pro­duc­tive for me; it took a sub­ject I’m excit­ed about, and made it sound com­pli­cat­ed and boring.

I‚Äôm sure that some peo¬≠ple would have got a lot out of it ‚ÄĒ the man next to me who‚Äôs study¬≠ing for his pHD in arti¬≠fi¬≠cial intel¬≠li¬≠gence cer¬≠tain¬≠ly seemed to enjoy it ‚ÄĒ but I think the organ¬≠is¬≠ers should have been more hon¬≠est about the tech¬≠ni¬≠cal knowl¬≠edge required, and saved some atten¬≠dees a bit of time.

I did get a book for ask¬≠ing a ques¬≠tion, how¬≠ev¬≠er, so it was¬≠n‚Äôt a total loss.

Firefox 3.1 confirmed

My uncan­ny pow­ers of pre­dic­tion con­tin­ue to amaze even me; in Feb­ru­ary I wrote of three things I’d like to see in Fire­fox 3.1, and yes­ter­day Mozil­la announced that there will be a point release some­time in the near future.

No news on whether my requests will be imple­ment­ed, but I have my fin­gers crossed.

London Web Week

GTA IV has been occu¬≠py¬≠ing my spare time recent¬≠ly, with extra-cur¬≠ric¬≠u¬≠lar web work tak¬≠ing a back seat (pun intend¬≠ed). But next week should put paid to that, as Lon¬≠don Web Week takes place ‚Äď and I‚Äôll be attend¬≠ing a lot of it.

So far I’ve reserved places at the open­ing par­ty, the Micro­for­mats and Find­abil­i­ty events, and the two-day @Media con­fer­ence; I may well make the clos­ing par­ty on Sun­day as well. I want­ed to attend Bar Camp but tick­ets went faster than hot cakes and I missed my chance.

Oth­er than @Media, which I enjoyed great­ly last year and no doubt will do so again, I’m real­ly look­ing for­ward to the Micro­for­mats event. I’ve recent­ly start­ed imple­ment­ing hAtom and hCal­en­dar on sites I’ve been pro­duc­ing and am find­ing it huge­ly interesting.

The WSG’s Find­abil­i­ty event I’m antic­i­pat­ing less, but then I thought the same about last year’s Micro­for­mats talk and regret­ted not attend­ing, so this time I don’t want to make a sim­i­lar mistake.

I‚Äôve no doubt this will pro¬≠vide me with plen¬≠ty to write about in the com¬≠ing weeks and months, and it‚Äôs excit¬≠ing to have so much hap¬≠pen¬≠ing on your doorstep. If you‚Äôre plan¬≠ning to attend and want to say hel¬≠lo, let me know; it‚Äôll be nice to put a face to a name.

Generated content ‚ÄĒ Part One: Content

One of the pieces of good news from the Inter¬≠net Explor¬≠er 8 announce¬≠ment is that the new brows¬≠er will sup¬≠port gen¬≠er¬≠at¬≠ed con¬≠tent. This is some¬≠thing the IE team have been resist¬≠ing for a while, but it‚Äôs a very use¬≠ful and flex¬≠i¬≠ble exten¬≠sion to CSS (whether or not it should be includ¬≠ed is an argu¬≠ment for a dif¬≠fer¬≠ent time).

At it’s most basic lev­el of usage, con­tent allows you to append strings at the begin­ning or end of an ele­ment. In this first exam­ple I’m going to use the :after and :before pseu­do-class­es to append con­tent to both ends of the h1 element:

Read the full article


I‚Äôve updat¬≠ed my Speak¬≠ing page to include more con¬≠fer¬≠ences, more videos, and a lit¬≠tle on my speak¬≠ing require¬≠ments and pref¬≠er¬≠ences. I‚Äôm plan¬≠ning to cut down on the num¬≠ber of talks I give in 2014 (twelve is too many), but am always open to inter¬≠est¬≠ing offers and oppor¬≠tu¬≠ni¬≠ties, so please get in touch if you‚Äôre organ¬≠is¬≠ing an event.

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