Table design vs CSS – easy decision surely?

Caught this in my feeds today. Credit to for the link. Its basicly a presentation about why table based design is stupid and why we should be using css. Yes nothing new, but well presentated none the less. Will be useful for my students and maybe management.

Oh I spied this in Zeldman's blog today too. And I'm just fumming with rage! Good on Zeldman with a leveled response, I wouldnt be so leveled with my response to it.

Seems a lot of people are really UPSET at this article….Well, I guess, if you been brainwashed for the last 2 years or so on the absolute superiority of CSS (e.g. sort of like the Nazis who thought they were the superior race) only to watch it crumbling down with one little web page article, I guess you would be upset as well. Not to mention that they spent all that time redesigning their website without tables only to figure out that in order to get any of that neat stuff like, catalogs, forums, search results, product lists, address books, etc. you got to have tabular data…i.e. TABLES……

Oh please no one was saying tables are completly banshed, but for design layout yes they are! Dont even get me started on the rest of the points!

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Multi channel publishing

Oh my life, this is where i want to be. I cant believe some of the ideas coming out HP's research labs in Bristol. It really makes me want to return to bristol when I hear such forward thinking ideas. Why am I not part of this, I will never know.

So yes it all started with this feed. I started reading it and thought yeah tell us something we dont know. And I actually prefered Adobe's Network publishing term as it was slicker and seemed alot more ubiquous than multi channel publishing. But then I got near the end and realised that not only have HP labs outlined the statergy but also created a opensource tool which works on the same ideaology. Formatting Objects Authoring Tool, or FOA for short.

Written by researcher Fabio Giannetti, FOA is a Java-based authoring tool that allows you to create document templates and styling information without having to write them in the XSLT or XSL-FO programming languages. (XSLT, or eXtensible Stylesheet Language Transformation, is used to convert XML to other formats, most commonly, to HTML for screen display. XSL-FO, or eXtensible Stylesheet Language Formatting Objects, is one component of the XSL language used to describe a format for XML documents.)

This comes at the same time as 1.1 final, Microsoft release Office 2003 and the finalise XForms.
I'm going to give FOA the full run through while on holiday in germany on the tablet to see how good it is. One thing I did notice while browsing the FOA site is, FOA can only open XSL files created by WH2FO or by itself? Humm, doesnt sound good, but I shall see if that will be a problem or not. Oh I've added myself as a tester for good measure.

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Blojsom Imap fetcher and more blojsom

Bill McCoy wrote a fetcher to drive blojsom from an IMAP server
Sounds like a great idea, but I still need to figure out abstract authentication for blojsom otherwise things like this mean nothing in the grand scheme of things. That also reminds me I need to check out blauth at some point, maybe I'll give it a going over while I'm waiting for my plane to berlin Friday – Saturday morning.

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Custom t-shirts

Because I'm a geek at heart, I've always fancied making my own tshirts with dodgy things which only a few will understand on it. Now I know there are places like think geek and others which do tshirts for geeks already, but there crap in quality. Unfortually the Nike, Adidias and even diadoria tshirts I routinely wear actually have a quality beyond the typical cotton tshirts you get from think geek. If I could only print on top of my nike tshirts i would be very happy.

Anyhow, saying all that, I found this today too. Maybe I'll setup tshirts store one day – hehe

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Time travel

I have always been interested in the time. But something kinda of shocked me yesterday at the party I had at my house. Miles didnt believe time travel was at all possible. Hummm i thought, thats odd… All the things I have read of the years of my life have pointed in me in a direction that were not far off. David seemed very interested in why I was a believer and Miles not. Not obvioulsy it was a party and not everyone wanted to hear a ramble about time travel at 1am, but I started thinking of ways to prove certain theorys right.

The one which came up alot was is there anything faster than light? Now I would say no, based on all i know but black hole theroy is still along way from being solved. Anyway, I started thinking again about a quick way to sum up all what I had learned over the years. Then I remembered the documentary from channel4 which pretty much covers the major areas including quantium theory in a simple way. I need to make a handy version available for others one day soon. Maybe Mpeg4 and stick it online?

Interesting enough however, Miles thought I was romancing the idea of time travel than really believing in it.
Could it be true than back to the future, William sleator and others like it have spelled out theorys which convently fit into the frame? I believe not but hey what do i know? maybe little but theres no douht that people are taking Prof Ronald L. Mallett seriously. His paper on the ringed laser system that he has built in fantastic. I highly recommend listening to Prof Mallett here in real audio. Also found the old link about the reality of a time machine. Oh and I know this is old but worth listening to also.

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Nico macdonald uncovered

I came across Nico Macdonald's website the other day. If you dont know who he is, I know him through his AIGA design talks he hosts every month which I usually attend.

Anyway it would seem he doesnt have a blog but some very interesting articles to do with social aspects of technology.
Started to read The future of weblogging which seems to be either inspired or otherway around by the event I attended a while back gone to the blogs. Where I do remember Nico also being too. The dangers of social engineering in design. also was a good read. I also got seduced away by some very tasty links in Nicos communication section, which your'll see more of in later blogs.

Oh yeah, I also noted something interesting in the facilitation section. Its basicly a small events-ish calendar almost in the same form of Louise Fergusons. Except it seems to be written in a more structured way. Just by looking at the code quickly I think I could write a xsl to transform the events out of that page into icals. But I'll have to check it some other time. Too busy reading Guardian arcticles.

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Adding more to the design

I want to keep the whole of quite consistent in design, even though there are many different applications and services running under the site banner. The way I do this is by using the same external css for all the sections. But recently my designer side has been tweaking and fiddling with the css to see what else i can introduce to the site. So please dont be alarmed if the site design changes from day to day. Its just me fiddling.

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Thinking Mindmaps again

Paul in 3rd Interaction pointed me at this nice topic map editor. I would say its pretty much the best one I've seen so far. First think its not written in Java, which doesnt bother me that much but does sometime have a effect when you have a large and complex diagram. It saves as SVG natively and imports/exports to XTM and a range of image formats. Its just a shame it doesnt import or export RDF but we all already know the massive aurguements happening in the semantic web community about RDF and XTM. So until that day I'm forced to transfrom between them and lose certain meaning and use other editors for RDF such as this one I found a while ago. The other one worth a mention which I use to use is, freemind which promises to have topic map and svg abilities soon.

Oh by the way I also saw this on plasticbag a moment ago, which is kind of related. It links to this pdf which shows Tom Smiths thought about social software.

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Athlon 64 vs. Apple G5 Systems: NOT EVEN CLOSE!

PC has just published some comparisons based on running applications, and the G5 generally loses to the AMD Athlon 64. “Even Apple's 2GHz dual-CPU G5 unit had a hard time keeping up with a single-chip FX-51 PC in most tests,” says PC The comparison table is here.

Yep we pretty much all knew this a long time ago. But I argue its actually worst than there making out. Apple have lost face because AMD have there 64bit laptop already plus the AMD 64 chips actually hit the market before the G5 computer here in the UK. Hey and lets not forget Apple OSX 10.3 isnt natively 64bit. Oh what a shame, so close but so so far…maybe next time eh.

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Our Jabber server

Miles setup a jabber server in college about a week ago. In the effort to keep CNDI together even though CNDI has been split into 5 seperate pieces by higher management.

So far things are looking good. Me, Miles and Dave were using it for a while before Lisa and Kate were introduced to it. Then Adam and Kevin, now Alex and Hamid. Only a few more to convence then the whole team will be online.

But damm I have reservations, I dont know how useful it will be overall. See I love instant messaging I find it so so useful but I dont know if others will be happy about it. The first time Miles wrote the email talking about the jabber server I wrote a reply asking why he was doing it, and I thought his views were that im was a waste of time.
He replied saying yes his views havent changed but he was willing to try it out. Now thats the spirit!

I've switched from myjabber to neos because it has a H323 client built in to it along side the jabber client. Also it seems smoother in operation compared to myjabber. Anyway, I tried out the h323 client using my ipaq's SJphone H323 client and it works like a dream. Just asks if you want to accept the call from the ip address and what ever information is available. It also supports a gateway, so I should beable to dial up a normal land line phone from my desktop machine at some point in the future.
Which begged the question of how do I start a session with someone if there not a jabber user? Worked it out, its simple. Click play in the media panel and you can then put in any address you like, including a ip address.. Yet to try it but it should work fine. The other thing I was going to say was that I've successfully registered with our gatekeeper. So ip addresses should be a thing of the past when we set it up propely.
See now if Apple iCrapAV would support standards, we would all be able to talk using the same technology. But oh no, apple have to reinvent the wheel. They wouldnt even adopt something like sip.

Anyhow before I went off on one. Kevin's going to look at the gatekeeper settings so we can all dial up each other without the dynamic ip problem.

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Open source democracy?

Rushkoff talking to Dave in the ICA after the talk about being a trickster

Me, Dave and Lucas got our butts to the talk quite late yesterday. And were hit by the instant heatwave in the ICA's Nash room. Goodness me, has no one ever heard of opening a window or a door before?

Anyway the talk was around douglas rushkoff's book he wrote for Demos. I had never heard of Demos before, but sure have heard of Douglas Rushkoff from the days of Rave.Anyway here's a few things I wrote down while listening to the talk.

  • The internet shook off miltary, government and now business constraints over its time.
  • All developments of the internet have been done for non profit in a gift economy.
  • Our reality relies on software more than hardware – clever, as in software is man made.
  • We can write the words that we live. Rather than listen to the ones we have been told.
  • We have been taught to deal with narratives in the same way, start – middle – end. Revolutions are circluar.
  • recruitiing people to narratives, is pointless
  • Technophobia = People scared of there own power
  • The media aims to exclude and divide, a lonely person is more likely to buy jeans if there told there acceptable with them.
  • 92% of kids don’t want to re-program lego mindstorms
  • A movement is a bad idea, easy target for the media to vilianfy
  • Media can’t brand a mixture a non-movement.
  • Emergence accepts the possibility that were nothing and that we may change that
  • Effort should be spent on development rather than creating a movement
  • Changing direction causes confusion and keeps businesses and the media guessing
  • Courage in the moment, small steps and tweaks have profound effects
  • Do rather than respond
  • The era was a pyramid scheme – never thought of it like that, but makes sense
  • Is google god?
  • Finland is the most trustworthy nation in the world
  • Governments need to get a grip on the digital divide
  • Once you have access to the tools your relationship with the narrative changes

Anyway I've started reading the book which rushkoff wrote and its a good read so far. Also started looking at the Demos site and Rushkoff's own. Some good content on there which I know I'll be reading back and forth between college and home for the next month or so.

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