Standards [en]

If you’re trying to convince a client to go for a standards-compliant layout using CSS, you might find these CSS talking points very useful.

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Web [en]

I’ve just discovered All My FAQs. All My FAQs is a wiki, which means that the website is big Perl script driven by the contributions of an open community. For example, anybody can modify any page or even create new ones.

I usually believe that anarchy cannot be productive, but maybe the wiki is a counter-example. It shouldn’t work, but it does!

I’m also very much aware that some areas of the web turn out to be collections of collections of links, or FAQs to FAQs. Is there any way out of this? Most of the time, the information is there – it is just useless because people cannot get at it. When a list of “pointers” gets exhaustive enough, it also starts getting too big and confusing. I guess there are some information architecture issues at hand.

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Web [en]

Do take the time to explore the latest issue of Digital Web: simplicity. My “twin brother” has contributed a precious tutorial on site planning.

At ALA this week, a piece on Microsoft’s Smart Tags. A rather long read, but complete and interesting.

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Truth [en]

Another thing I’ve wanted to note for a while was pointed out by Kristin
Thomas
concerning the Kaycee affair. Although I may not agree with everything Kristin
says, her article makes a very interesting and thought-provoking read.

Kristin points out that a story
becomes true through mere repetition
more often than through
facts
.

We are more likely to believe something because we have heard it many
times, than because we have actually had proof of it or learnt it by
observation (and here, can you smell a tinge of Quine’s
Web of Belief
?)

Now, think about it. How many things to you hold true simply because
enough people have told you? Well, don’t think about it too hard, it might
make you dizzy. It’s making me dizzy, in any case. If it came
public tomorrow that no man ever walked on the moon, I’d
only be half-surprised (yes, I’m aware that “conspirationists” have
gathered plenty of evidence to prove the hoax).

There are some famous examples. Besides the one Quine cites in his book
(about the area of Monaco, which turned out to be falsely
stated in all the major encyclopedias and atlases), do you remember this
thing about spinach containing incredible amounts of
iron? Well, it all started off when somebody messed up one decimal in
their calculations – and it was copied for years ever after without a
double-check.

So these are examples where academics and books get it wrong. But
normal people do the same thing, of course. How much of what you know
about economics, politics, religion, history and the like
is based on repetition? And how much is based on your direct observation?
Or on proof which has been demonstrated to you?

I don’t mean to say we should stop believing what we are told. I really
hope I don’t mean that. But I find it a little scary –
unsettling, for the least.

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Net-awareness [en]

Do you know that at this very moment, hackers could be using your computer to launch an attack upon a server? Well, before reading this very interesting article (thanks for the link, Ben), I didn’t. And I can promise you that upon reading it, I ran a few simple checks which luckily (*phew!*) were negative.

I heartily recommend that you spend the time necessary to read the article – and if you’re lost in the technicalities, go straight down to the bottom to find out how to check that your windoze machine isn’t carrying a zombie…

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Love The W3C [en]

The article “How I Learnt to Stop Worrying and Love the W3C” by Erika Meyer prompts me to go for a little trip down A List Apart memory lane, to point you to some of the first articles I read there.

Here is a little gem extracted from the ALA Back Issues:

Dr. Strangeglobe: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love The W3C.

For those interested in my personal history, it was through one of Erika Meyer‘s sites (Mombomb) that I discovered Jeffrey Zeldman. In Defense of Web Diaries is the first ALA article I ever read (followed closely by The Day the Browser Died).

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Web Gems [en]

Dug out of the web mine for you, I can’t remember exactly how or when.

While I’m here, here are a few sites that I visit rather regularly (but maybe not everyday).

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Eschatology [en]

The SOUL button in the “current” box will save you from the Weird Wild Web. Trust me and peruse for your salvation.

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Francophonie Online [en]

Le constat est navrant. Je viens de passer quelques heures à  courir le web francophone à  la recherche de resources de qualité pour webmasters, et de sites “web design”.

Eh ben, je ne peux pas dire que j’aie trouvé grand chose. On accuse facilement cinq ans de retard sur l’anglophonie.

Même sans comprendre l’anglais, regardez:

…et il y en a des tas d’autres!

Je vous le concède, ce sont des sites perso, des weblogs pour la plupart. Mais vous en connaissez de cette qualité en français? Si oui, je serai ravie de les voir… Laissez-moi un message ci-dessous!

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Web [en]

Now, this is really f***ing good research… ; )

Urban Legend Reference Pages has just been bookmarked by your favorite web-hunter as a very valuable reference. If you come upon something on the net and you’d like to check if it is real or not, search their library. You’ll probably find it.

I’ve singled out a piece for you on the uselessness of e-petitions. Check it out before hitting “forward”!

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