Linking Policies

Molly Holzschlag and Cory Doctorow discussed the idea of linking polices recently. I actually wrote a short paper on this in school a few months ago and I’m glad that web sites that try to restrict links to their site are being publicly mocked and brought to task for making such egregiously stupid and misleading statements on their sites. Cory stated: ?The Web exists because no one has the right to grant or withhold permission for links. Fast Company exists because of the Web. Accordingly, we neither grant nor deny permission to link to our site, and urge you to do the same.? Linking polices are bunk. The Web is built on the idea that everything can link to everything […]

IE Development

Dave Massy has started work with the reconstituted Internet Explorer team at Microsoft. There is something in the neighborhood of a billion comments on his weblog with suggestions for what they should be working on. Not really that hard since there are so many things that need fixing in IE. However, rather than slam MS for IE’s failings I’d rather congratulate them for their renewed efforts to solicit feedback from developers and restart development on IE. Microsoft is dedicating resources to solicit an overwhelming amount of feedback and put developers back into the browser race and I applaud their effort. I hope that we will start to see some real results in the near future.

Mark Your PDFs: Followup

Following my rant about marking links to PDF files clearly I have decided that it is only right to offer some solutions to those of you who may need them. As such I am including a number of options for the icon I recommended using next to PDF links and a CSS solution for placing them there easily. The icons are: In order to get them to display properly you can add some simple css to your style sheet and a class to the PDF links. (Or to a div containing many PDF links) a.pdf:link{ background-image: url(../images/icon_pdf.gif); background-repeat: no-repeat; padding-left: 18px; background-position: left center; } This will set the background image of a link with the class of “pdf” to […]

Site Update: FCC

I’ve updated the Farmington Community Chorus website tonight to feature CSS rather than table and font tag based layout and styling. It turns out that by using the Dreamweaver templates and CSS I was able to make the change in about 20 minutes. The previous version had the content placed in editable regions using Dreamweaver’s templates, this means that I was able to quickly update layout by changing the template file to link to the CSS file and removing the table tags I was using for the layout. I’m a big fan of templates since they allow for quick updates of common elements throughout a site. Next, I was able to do a quick site wide Find on the font […]


One of our responsibilities as professionals in the Information Age is to stand up and speak out when others are doing bad things that only we can understand. Most people don’t know or care about Digital Rights Management (DRM) the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) or other important issues that we are equipped to debate. They lack the time to learn about them and the technical knowledge to understand them in any but the most basic terms. Unfortunately, in many cases the people who make the laws regarding these issues are in the group that can’t understand them. The Electronic Frontier Foundation works hard to make strong ethical and legal stands on important issues that affect not just techno-geeks but […]

Mark Your PDFs

I am so sick of clicking on a link thinking it will take me to another web page only to have Adobe Acrobat pop up and force me to wait for 20-30 seconds while it freezes my browser and starts up. So please, I beg of you, before I have to punch somebody in the neck, mark your PDF files clearly. Whenever I post a link to a PDF file I always, ALWAYS include an icon to the left of the link and a note at the end indicating that it is a PDF file and giving the file size. If you’re feeling really nice you can throw in an estimated time to download to help people with slow connections. […]

Microsoft Research DRM Talk

The following is a lengthy and extremely well written piece, actually a transcript of a talk given in Redmond, on Digital Rights Management (DRM) by Cory Doctorow of the EFF. It is available at Microsoft Research DRM talk Cory Doctorow June 17, 2004 Greetings fellow pirates! Arrrrr! I’m here today to talk to you about copyright, technology and DRM, I work for the Electronic Frontier Foundation on copyright stuff (mostly), and I live in London. I’m not a lawyer — I’m a kind of mouthpiece/activist type, though occasionally they shave me and stuff me into my Bar Mitzvah suit and send me to a standards body or the UN to stir up trouble. I spend about three weeks […]

Do It The Pistons’ Way

The Detroit Pistons are the 2004 NBA Champions. They destroyed the L.A. Lakers in 5 games. And through it all they did it the “right way”. But what is the “right way” and what should it mean to you? Doing things the right way means always working hard from start to finish. This means that you show up early and stay late and in between you never coast or give any less than your best effort at each moment. Doing things the right way means being unselfish and being a team player. Share the recognition, revel in the accomplishments of your teammates, and work with others to accomplish your goals. A unselfish, dedicated group can accomplish great things when they […]

Meet the Clients

So you’re being considered by a potential client. You’ve spoken briefly, interest has been expressed by both parties, and now it is time to figure out what it is you will be doing for them. What is the best way to get acquainted with this unfamiliar client? A Client Survey! What is a Client Survey you may ask? Or perhaps you know and you are instead asking why you would bother with something so formal rather than just sitting down and talking for an hour or two. There are a number of reasons, mostly related to efficiency and time. Before we get into that, the Client Survey is a list of questions in that you can send to a client […]

Process Isn’t Just For Sales

One section I’ve noticed as I look at many sites for design firms is the process area. I have chosen not to dedicate any snazzy diagrams or bullet points to this on this site. There are a number of reasons for this and I may eventually add a big huge section on this for everyone to read over. So why haven’t I got a snappy process like “Describe, Design, Develop, Deploy” or something equally alliterative? First off, I have found that process is not really so pithy as all that. So while it makes for a snappy title a real web design process has a ton of steps, a bunch of loops, and is insanely complicated for those who aren’t […]