Last night, modifying this here blog, I shot Mark Bernstein an email after having tried about ten variations of Tinderbox syntax that I thought should work (I was mistakenly making an assumption instead of paying attention to the docs, prolly some decade old Pascal knowledge rearing its ugly head). This morning in my Inbox was a message from Mark with the corrected syntax. This afternoon, before I had a chance to change my code, was a new version of Tinderbox that made my syntax valid. That’s service!
Philip Greenspun’s Research page reveals several interesting ideas. He’s known for explaining how to build robust database-backed websites when most people were still hand coding everything. That was a process of making everything modular and separated from the presentation, and in many ways the next generation of the web is a continuation of that. He gives the impression of being a mad scientist at times, but the resulting ideas are solid.
…A silent 60-second track on the album of his latest classical chart-topping protégés, the Planets, has enraged representatives of the avant-garde, experimentalist composer John Cage, who died in 1992. The silence on his group’s album clearly sounds uncannily like 4’33″, the silence composed by Cage in his prime…. ‘As my mother said when I told her, ‘which part of the silence are they claiming you nicked?‘.’
Did anyone else go right for the medicine cabinet? Kinda disappointing ;-)
Then the other night T. says, ‘Oh, XHTML is the same as HTML 4, you just have to close all your tags.’
Me: like meta tags and BRs, just close them?
Me: [ ! ]
On an independent record label (forgot which)…
I’m becoming convinced that the salon is a great model for meeting in person the people to whom you already have an online network connection. A few weeks ago I participated in an IA Salon, and tonight I was invited to another group interested in social network analysis and the like. Both events were attended by fantastically interesting people, most of whom had never met. They were all selected by a central host and took place in a home.
Other events I’ve attended, like groups of bloggers, just don’t have enough in common for conversation to flow naturally. At a salon the connections are more interesting, the atmosphere warmer. Not to mention it’s all easier on the wallet. Recommended.
There was a fire in the building next to ours. Our elevators don’t work, nor does our air conditioning (and it’s a humid 93 degrees F outside). The connectivity goes in and out, the lights flicker, we smell gas, and the office is on the top floor of a 10-story building. I’m feeling a little vulnerable.
Here’s some wonderful sketches of the Macintosh interface evolution that span back to the Lisa prototypes. Those system 6 and 7 screen shots get me all misty-eyed…I used to live and breathe Macintosh in those days. Funny that the Lisa had multitasking and protected memory in 1984, I wonder how that was left out of the Mac? Really, back in 1984, it wasn’t needed in a personal computer. Grafting a user interface onto a free version of Unix probably wouldn’t struck them as pretty damn strange back then.
Thanks to Ben for the link.
Because the Noisy One values your opinion he asks, should Noise Between Stations offer you, my dear visitor, the ability to add comments to each post?
Your answer here. (Survey closed.)
Update: The survey revealed 75% in favor. Comments included:
…you might find them annoying after awhile, and after awhile you might find that you are writing more for the audience than yourself…and after awhile you might start to filter your own writing.
Too many cooks spoil the soup. If I wanted to read others’ comments, I’d read their weblogs. Buck the trend and keep NBS comment-less…
Let your thoughts stand in splendid isolation, i’ll link to them then we can all argue over at my place…
Of course! finally!
On occasion I’d like to bat around an idea here, but I don’t want to change the nature of what I originally wanted NBS to be, so I plan on putting in comments sometimes.
It’s funny when I see a high-traffic site link to something interesting on a lower-traffic site, and in so doing ‘stealing’ the community by hosting comments regarding said link. This isn’t my reason for wanting comments here, but it’s worth observing.
Using the Help Viewer in Mac OS X I wondered in frustrated amazement that they didn’t include a back button to return to the search results list of documents. In fact, it is there, they just moved it from the top left to the bottom right…
Which is the right place for it. The two most frequently used interface widgets are the scroll bar and the back button. Usually we browse a page and move the scroll bar to the botton right. If we don’t find what we’re looking for it’s the antithesis of efficiency to go to the opposite corner to use the back button. Moving such a commonly used button takes balls on Apple’s part, but it’s a small and important step to improving browser navigation.
While we’re on the subject, the Help Viewer icon cracks me up…
There’s a sidebar on your blog and it too is a blog. But it’s simply a list of links. And the list is powered by your visitors. They stop by and, like a coin in the metal box at the cathedral, leave you a link. The metal box in this case is a text box with a ‘Post it’ button. No seperate pages, no passwords, nothing else. The page refreshes and the link is added instantaneously.
(I kinda like the cathedral metaphor, because the donations benefit all future visitors)
I’m sure this is a quick scripting excercise, but is anyone already doing this, or does the script already exist?