Archive for November, 2005

New book…?

November 18th, 2005 at 2:34 pm by Sam
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Seems James Lileks released another book last month, and I didn’t even notice until today…

CSS & The Whine of the Uberdork

November 17th, 2005 at 6:30 pm by Sam
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Man! While Monty’s on the subject of zealots (which, let’s be honest, is always a great topic), why am I getting so many e-mail complaints and comment spams dogging this site for nothing other than its lack of CSS?

Firstly, I simply don’t care if you’re running the latest piece of animal dung with a name stolen from a deplorable 1982 movie starring Clint Eastwood. You’re a 7% minority by our statistics.

Secondly, if you consider yourself a web designer and you can’t make a page that looks right in all browsers, you need to find another form of employment. Or maybe find a form of employment — the real world detests your kind of attitude.

Thirdly, we have no intention of validating with XHTML 4.01 Strict. Why bother, when what we’re doing works? The page you’re looking at looks exactly the same in every single browser that comes here save for Lynx.

Fourthly, if you have no other complaint about this site than its lack of CSS, then obviously we’re doing something right.

CSS has become the Whine of the Uberdork: “Technical people can be creative, too!”

Regardless of what an Uberdork can do making a Round CSS Layout, it still won’t give them any sense of design skill or color coordination. It expands their possibilities, yes, but for the most part, their sites are still going to be ugly. Form & Function will most always be at odds.

It’s a fact that the *vast* majority of sites carrying those “CSS Certified!” banners DO NOT conform the specification they’re carrying the banner for. I’m one of those freaks who clicks it on every site I see it on, and I rarely hit a single site that conforms with no errors — and I’ve only ever seen two sites at all that got no errors, and no warnings.

With the majority of the published Templates, Skins and Designs out there using CSS, at least 50% of them will not work in one browser or another. Commonly, those designs carry the banner, “Your browser sucks! Download TPFKAN Now!” Logic dictates that they should instead read:

“I don’t like your browser because I’m too much of a zealot to believe real-world statistics showing a super-high IE market share, and thus the entire market share is using an inferior product which does not conform to specifications, and even though 50% of the people in the world are using IE, the specification is what is standard and not what people are using. Therefore, you should go and download TPFKAN because I’m too much a lazy prick to fix my code which is most probably based on an RFC rather than an actual, certified standard.”


Thus far, the majority of the CSS styles you see out there are written by Technical Programmers who do it just so they can complain about the limitations of the most popular browser by far (kudos to Mr. Bill).

I have no problem with CSS, but some common sense needs to be used when designing pages with it. We do make use of CSS — a lot of it! We have a tabular structure, all decked out with CSS inside. It’s relatively tidy, and people seem to think it’s a decent design, aside from complaining that it’s not in such-and-such DTD.

As for TPFKAN, I hate it. The best way to screw up IE forever is to install TPFKAN. Actually, an even better way is to uninstall TPFKAN, which will take half of the settings and HKLMClasses with it, just like its mother product did.

People love to complain about how bad Netscape was, and forget that Firefox is just a new version of the same old junk.

Stock Photos

To our Veterans and Troops on Veteran’s Day 2005

November 11th, 2005 at 11:03 am by Sam
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I read an interesting article by the father of a Marine on-leave, who relayed the sentiments of his son:

[According to said Marine] morale among our guys is very high. They not only believe they are winning, but that they are winning decisively. They are stunned and dismayed by what they see in the American press, whom they almost universally view as against them. The embedded reporters are despised and distrusted. They are inflicting casualties at a rate of 20-1 and then see shit like “Are we losing in Iraq” on TV and the print media. 

Today’s the day that we’re supposed to be thinking about all of our Veterans, and about those who are currently deployed. That speaks volumes.

And you can’t argue with it.

For all your sacrifices, guys and gals from past to present, I, for one, Salute you. Thanks for being there and doing what needs to be done.

Casey Jones, a Pillar of the Knoxville Community, Passes Away

November 7th, 2005 at 12:31 pm by Mark
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Friday afternoon, an unseasonably warm November 4th, I received a call telling me that Casey Jones had slipped into the ether after an extended battle with cancer. There are so many things which can be said of Casey: a strong local businessman, a fair and balanced politician, an influential leader, champion for the working man, a charitable soul who saw promise where others saw failure, a wise and powerful mentor, a steadfast friend, and, before any of that, a man devoted to his family.

Perhaps most telling of Casey’s endless generosity is a line from his obituary:

“In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to support the Beck Cultural Exchange Center’s Legacy Path Project 1927 Dandridge Ave. Knoxville, Tenn. 37915 or through youth golf scholarships for the Wee Course at Williams Creek payable to WC Two Inc., 1130 Atlantic Ave. Knoxville, Tenn. 37917.”

In extolling the virtues of such a great man — a legend, a pillar, a dear friend — we must also remember: he was still just a man. And this is not a man whose passing should be mourned; rather, he is someone we should aspire to be more like.

Casey, you will be sorely missed.

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