Google
Googlewhacking
Are you Dave Gorman?
Dave Gorman’s Googlewhack adventure

Dave Gorman is a very funny man. A stand-up comedian who for the last year or two has been busy telling stories. Even better, he’s been telling real-life stories; even better than that he’s been telling true stories about his own life (these all seem to frequently occur after a bottle of tequila). Although he makes a living from making us laugh whilst telling us of his high-jinks there’s also an extraordinary pathos to his shows – you know he means it.

Oh yeah, and he’s really funny. 🙂 Go see his show. Dave Gorman’s Googlewhack Adventure is touring now and they give away free badges. What more could you want?

Everyone already knows about the excellent SimpleBits, and until recently I’d just been visiting every now and then to see how the SimpleQuiz series was progressing, but recently there have been two really great tutorials: Styling nested lists and Accessible Image Tab Rollovers which should be compulsory reading for anyone who writes web pages.

Also…..

Love the design on SuperfluousBanter

Excellent XSLT FAQ

What’s your age relative to….?

The top twenty-one books have been announced in the BBC’s The Big Read

Of that twenty-one, I’ve read twelve and have no particular desire to read the other nine. I must say though that it’s a pretty poor top twenty-one. I mean, “His Dark Materials” by Philip Pullman just isn’t that good. These lists are always so predictable. Maybe they should run it anually and not let any of the previous year’s top twenty-one enter; perhaps that way there’s a chance of seeing something else celebrated for a change.

My favourite, for the record, doesn’t appear on the list: A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess.

I’ve written a lot tonight and it’s getting late, but to wrap up:

No Fishing – yes.
Semantics, HTML, XHTML, and Structure – this is excellent stuff for educating the unwashed masses of web developers who still think tables are the be-all and end-all and have no idea of how to mark up a page properly (at work we now have a web designer doing web development – my life just got harder).

Whenever I quote from other sites, I use code like this:

<blockquote cite="source url">Quoted Source</blockquote>

and then I use Simon Willison’s blockquote citations javascript to automatically generate a link to the page I’ve quoted from (which is the link that says “source” after the quote).

Of course, this slows down the writing a bit: copy the quote, paste into editor, put blockquote tags around it, add the URL for the cite element, copy all, paste into blog post. It doesn’t take long, but computers are meant to be good at doing this kind of thing themselves, right? There must be a better way.

After reading John Udell’s piece on Interactive Microcontent I’ve now got a piece of javascript that creates my code for me. I just highlight some text on a page, hit the “quote” shortcut in my links bar and voila my blockquoted-and-cited extract is ready for me to use.

Another ten seconds a day saved!

I’ve now updated this to pull out the current page title and insert this as the title attribute of the blockquote, which now gets displayed in the link to the source, hurrah!

Two Mozilla-related things I almost didn’t notice:

Both of these via David Baron’s blog

If ever you find yourself lacking something to do, just flick over to the list of mozillazine.org weblogs and have a browse.

Finally weblogs.mozillazine.org is alive again for me to extract this quote from asa’s blog on August 3rd:

Web Panels is much more useful/versitile/practical than the old SeaMonkey sidebar. If you’re visiting a page that you want to hold onto for a few minutes you can just pres the “Grab Page” button and it pulls that page from the content area into the Web Panels sidebar. If it’s something really useful, like Gemal’s BlogUpdates or the “Post to Movable Type” pop-up, then you just “Grab” it and click “Add Web Panel”. That creates a bookmark for the page with a special flag that causes it to always open in the Web Panels sidebar. (You can set this flag on any bookmark by opening the bookmark’s properties and checking the box labeled “Load this bookmark in the Web Panels sidebar.”)

Asa also links to this screenshot of web panels (which I’ve copied to my own server in case mozillazine.org goes down again) – “Open bookmark in sidebar” is not what I was expecting.

I know I’m whining like a bitch: Firebird is free! It’s standards compliant! It’s extensible! It’s open source! etc! but I like getting what I expect, and web panels is my final big want for Firebird, and I was really looking forward to getting it.

From the same site as the all-CSS box shadow comes a summary of the test results of IE6, Mozilla 1.5 and Opera 7.21 running through Eric Meyer’s CSS2 test suite.

I also really liked this hint from their archives:

In Mozilla you can hold down CTRL and click on a table cell on a web page. It will highlight it with a blue border. Keep CTRL down and click around to highlight other cells. Try dragging the mouse around as well. If you click near the top of the table, the entire table is lit up. I find it’s a great way to see where the cell boundaries are on a page. You might use it for debugging your own layouts.