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Archive: July 2002

Maybe This Explains Lassie

I’ve been saying for years that dogs are smarter than most people think, and cats far dumber than they’re generally thought to be.  It would seem there’s scientific research to back me up on the first part of that claim.  My theory is that people mistake a nearly total lack of comprehension for indifference in cats, and an eager friendliness for idiocy in dogs.  The mere fact that dogs can almost without exception be trained to perform tasks, and cats generally can’t, always indicated to me more intelligence in the canine species.

And before you all start e-mailing me about this smart cat you own or knew once, or about dumb-as-a-post dogs piddling on your shoes and refusing to be trained, I’ll freely admit that both exist.  Humans run the gamut of intelligence, so it should come as no surprise that other species have a similar range of cognitive abilities (or lack thereof).  Similarly, don’t bother telling me about how cats are so smart they ignore attempts to train them as being beneath their dignity, because I don’t buy it.  I’ve known too many cats.

Web Design World Keynote Available

The HTML-based slides from last week’s keynote address at Web Design World are now available on my “Speaking” page; note that these slides will only work well in a CSS2 positioning-savvy browser.  Gecko-based browsers and IE/Win both qualify, and IE5/Mac does not in this case.  Other browsers weren’t (and won’t be) checked, although I suspect Opera won’t deal well with my styles either.  Also, given the nature of this presenation, the styles pretty much assume a 1024-by-768 display with the browser window maximized.  After all, that was the projection environment in which I was working.  If the text comes out too big and your browser lets you resize pixel-based text, then go for it.  If it doesn’t, sorry.  You could always use a browser that does.

While I was at it, I put up links to the talks I delivered in May and June of this year; these slides are best viewed in Opera 6 for Windows in “OperaShow” mode (hit F11).  But you can read the content in any browser, all the way back to Mosaic betas, with no real loss of information.

Back In Cleveland

We just got back from Seattle, where I delivered a well-received keynote address at Web Design World and had a good time poking around the city with Kat in my few spare hours.  At the conference, I got to catch up with some old friends, meet some folks for the first time, and life was generally cool.  The weather was beautiful, actually; sunny and highs in the 80s and 90s.  Apparently this constitutes a heat wave in Seattle, since all the weatherpersons were telling people to take it easy and drink a lot of fluids.  We found this incredibly funny.  Well, I’m sure they think our winters are deadly cold, too.

Eric Meyer on CSS is starting to get reviews, and they’re good ones.  Check out the book’s companion Web site for details and links.  I think my favorite review line so far is this: “As you’re reading the book, you get the feeling Meyer isn’t fighting the medium, he’s working with it in almost a Zen-like way.”

The Scrooged Prophecies

Happy anniversary to us.  If you like, you can work out the anniversary number from the text of our honeymoon journal.

Ser Zeldman did me the great favor of publishing a glowing note regarding my latest book, which adds to his already incredible favor of writing a truly wonderful Foreword for the same book.  Thanks, Jeffrey.

I don’t know how many of your remember the 1988 movie Scrooged (one of my favorite holiday movies, by the way, despite the fact that much of the primary cast and the director inexplicably wishes it had never happened) but it turns out to have been disturbingly prophetic.

Project 4 Now Online

Over the weekend, InformIT published the primary text of Project 4 of my latest book as an article (registration is required to read it).  The article elicited a few reader responses, including this one, which I absolutely love:

Great article. This article presents some new things about CSS that I didnt know. It also uses a very practical example which helps grasp the material. I have never heard of Eric Meyer before. From the detail and attention shown in this article, I expect to hear his name more.

Wow, tough room.  No matter.  It’s always nice to be regarded as an up-and-comer!

Yeah, My Trust is Soaring

“With strict enforcement and higher ethical standards, we must usher in a new era of integrity in Corporate America… In the end, there is no capitalism without conscience, no wealth without character,” says the President.  Right.  So why did it take a court order to see the list of people with whom Vice President Richard Cheney consulted on energy policies last year, and when do we actually get to see it anyway?  The White House is still claiming executive privilege and appealing these court decisions, rather like the Nixon administration did in regard to Watergate-related files.

Still, it sounds good, doesn’t it?  “No capitalism without conscience” does have a certain ring to it.  Maybe similar rhetorical devices should be used in the struggle to make standards a priority, in spite of lazy Webmasters.  “No sites without standards, no Web without validation.”  Hmmm… needs work.

On Freedom

The advent of Independence Day (U.S.) caused me to reflect on freedom and what it means, and I was going to say a few things about that when I started thinking about the recent court rulings on the Pledge of Allegiance and school vouchers, and that took me in a whole new direction… one that went on for a while.  So I turned it into its own short essay.  Take it for whatever it’s worth to you.  Finally, proof that on occasion I do think about stuff other than CSS!

Really, You Can Buy EMOC!

Okay, here’s the deal: when Eric Meyer on CSS arrived at the New Riders warehouse, it apparently wasn’t a full shipment.  This led to the book being taken off the “coming soon” list without actually landing on the “available now” list.  I guess it landed on the “incomplete shipment” list, and the New Riders Web site took that to mean “no longer available.”  Or something.  Either way, the book is now available for order from the New Riders Web site!  Let the bells ring out in celebration!

As for Amazon, Borders, etc., the Web sites still claim the book will be published on 15 August 2002.  Not true: it’s already been published.  Somehow the data feed got polluted.  In fact, the book should be available for shipping somewhere around 9 July, as the Barnes & Noble site correctly states (or did when I wrote this).  So feel free to pre-order!  You won’t have to wait six weeks, but more like one or two.

And the book really is gorgeous.  I keep flipping it open to random points just to admire its design.  This means that I have to get moving on an update of the companion Web site.  Soon to come: project files for all 13 projects, bonus material that was cut from the theatrical release, and more!

July 2002
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