July 2009 Archives - Broken Links Archive

Misunderstanding markup

Misunderstanding Markup: an explanation of the different flavours of HTML & XHTML, in comic strip form, by Brad Colbow. I’m not sure if it makes Jeremy Keith’s original blog post any easier to understand, but it’s certainly more fun to look at.

Bad advice: people still teaching CSS hacks

There’s so much great stuff written about web standards available for free on the web that it’s easy to forget how much bad stuff is also out there; and how many people are willing to support it just because it’s easier than putting in a little extra effort to follow best practice.

Over the weekend one of the most popular stories on Delicious.com was teaching the use of lazy CSS hacks, the type of which I thought everybody was convinced enough to do away with; the star and underscore hacks for targeting IE6 & IE7, the hacks which we’ve been saying (for years) shouldn’t be used anymore.

Disregarding the ‘rights’ and ‘wrongs’, and the validation argument — some of my stylesheets don’t validate, and there are good reasons for that — I’d like to give a few other reasons why using this method is not a good idea.

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On the uncanny valley & creating prototypes

The uncanny valley is a term from the world of robotics, which states that when something appears almost perfect, it can cause a negative reaction*. Or, to be more precise:

The uncanny valley hypothesis holds that when robots and other facsimiles of humans look and act almost like actual humans, it causes a response of revulsion among human observers.

Source: Wikipedia

I’m talking about the uncanny valley in regards to creating prototypes, so revulsion may be too strong a term; but I think the principle still applies.

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The state of video on the web

As Firefox 3.5 brings open video to the web, the W3C decide to drop codec requirements from the HTML 5 spec, citing disagreement between browser makers and concern over patents. Luckily, there’s a way to make video for everybody, which means encoding each clip only twice.


I’ve updated my Speaking page to include more conferences, more videos, and a little on my speaking requirements and preferences. I’m planning to cut down on the number of talks I give in 2014 (twelve is too many), but am always open to interesting offers and opportunities, so please get in touch if you’re organising an event.

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