There Is No Cat

A huge orangupoid, which no man can conquer

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Just shoot me now

I find this article in the New York Times about how to make better web sites almost unbearable. Not because anything in it is wrong. But because everything in it is stuff that we've known for just about forever. The article could have just as easily been written in 1998 as in 2006. Even the people who are quoted in the article would have been the same back then (Vincent Flanders and Jakob Nielsen, I'm looking at you). Don't write in jargon. Don't use splash pages. Different users have different monitors that see web sites in different ways. No dancing bologna. Make text as text, not graphics. Gaaah! It's like we haven't learned a goddamned thing in almost ten years!

I don't mean to beat up the reporter who wrote this. Hell, I work on sites that to this day use the words "click here" and "more" for links, and I die a little more every time I add the links. But Jesus Christ, are we ever going to make any progress? It's not like we've stood still. There's a hell of a lot more designers out here who understand the importance of semantic markup now than there was when I ranted about the subject back in 1995. The Web Standards Project has beaten up the browser manufacturers enough that the browsers currently in use actually support HTML and CSS reasonably well. And you could destroy a bookshelf under the weight of all the books published recently that explain the latest and greatest advances in how to create web sites.

Maybe I ought to just go work as a carpenter or something....

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Posted at 7:32 PM

Comments

Note: I’m tired of clearing the spam from my comments, so comments are no longer accepted.

I got that link emailed to me by an aunt, with the not, "This is probably old news to you..."

I replied that it was stuff I'd learned two jobs ago, but that that employer had apparently forgotten most of it when I left. :-)

Posted by pjm at 8:00 PM, November 16, 2006 [Link]

Err, note.

Posted by pjm at 8:00 PM, November 16, 2006 [Link]

Yeah, it's remarkable how quickly the rot sets in....

Posted by ralph at 5:42 AM, November 17, 2006 [Link]

yeah, i hear you, ralph. i figure the only thing to do is just keep on educating the world, one web developer at a time :)

Posted by deb at 3:08 AM, November 18, 2006 [Link]

Agreed, Deb, and I do my part, but they keep making them faster than I can fix them....

Posted by ralph at 9:39 AM, November 18, 2006 [Link]

I was educating someone yesterday on why text in graphics was a bad thing. The thing was, it was a function of whatever tool or template she was using, she had nowhere near the background necessary to understand what was really going on, she'd just plugged in the words she wanted to appear and put up whatever this tool gave her.

What we need to do is find the author of that tool and ship him to Guantanamo.

Posted by Dan Lyke at 3:22 PM, December 1, 2006 [Link]

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What do you mean there is no cat?

"You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat."

- Albert Einstein, explaining radio


There used to be a cat

[ photo of Mischief, a black and white cat ]

Mischief, 1988 - December 20, 2003

[ photo of Sylvester, a black and white cat ]

Sylvester (the Dorito Fiend), who died at Thanksgiving, 2000.


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