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Notes From All Over Part IV

January 27, 2004
sxsw web awards

The 2004 SXSW awards finalists were announced this morning. The Zen Garden is up for ‘Developer’s Resource’, with stiff competition from D. Keith Robinson’s Asterisk, James Craig’s Accessibility Internet Rally, Ian Lloyd et. al’s Tools and Wizards at Accessify, and a new one to me, Jim Armstrong’s 3D News and Tips.

Good luck to everyone nominated, and a huge, giant thanks to all who have participated in the Zen Garden. Be it with a design, translation, or even just good old link lovin’, the Zen Garden wouldn’t be what it is without everyone else’s participation. This nomination is for all of us. §


Matt Mullenweg writes with word of a WordPress CSS competition. Like a Zen Garden for WordPress templates, submit your CSS-based design for a shot at three growing cash prizes. Better get a move on it, the competition closes February 6th. §


I’ve posted this twice elsewhere, so I may as well get it on here too:

I used to think [that you should develop first in IE, then test in Mozilla and the rest], but there’s a good reason why my mindset shifted. If you develop in IE, what happens is that you create dependencies on its buggy rendering.

Since the other browsers don’t use the same flawed rendering, you’ll have to bend over backward to hack your layout into working properly with most of them. In fact, when I was developing in IE, I used to curse Mozilla quite frequently for rendering my code ‘wrong’.

My experience has been that if you start out by developing in Mozilla or Safari, and then test in everything else afterward, you have to do much less hacking to make it work. The fringe browsers benefit; IE5/Mac gets a surprising number of my layouts right without any extra effort. Opera generally cooperates, although it can be a crapshoot at times. IE (per the general tone of this thread) is the big problem.

Can you get away with developing in IE? Of course. Is it easier? Generally not. If you don’t care about the fringe browsers, then you’ll get away with it. If you do care, then you’ll have a far nicer time developing in Mozilla. §


Between the plethora of spam, Nigerian scams, and new virii going around these days, whitelists are starting to look mighty attractive. Ten times the regular volume of email came in overnight, thanks to the newest plague, MyDoom.

In a timely manner, Gates is calling for the end of spam by 2006. Unrelated, this is the same Gates whose company spent a full month cleaning house two years back, to squash security flaws in their products.

But are they really unrelated? Spam is a social problem, which somehow seems resistant to technological fixes. Email-based virii are a technical problem, which spread across social networks. If you manage to surpress one, have you surpressed the other?

The postage stamp idea sounds promising when applied to spam. When your email address is spoofed by the latest virus on thousands of messages beyond your control when you haven’t done anything to initiate it, who’s going to pay the bill? §


After being stung by theft recently, Josh Williams shares his thoughts on protecting your interests while working in a creative field. A logical extension of Jeffrey Zeldman’s recent advice about designing on spec, Josh’s tips are worth their weight in gold (you know, metaphorically speaking). §