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An Event Apart 2008 Lines Up

The new year is here, and to celebrate, we’ve announced details and opened registration for An Event Apart New Orleans, to be held April 24–25, and opened early registration for the other three events of 2008:

  • Boston, June 23–24
  • San Francisco, August 18–19
  • Chicago, October 13–14

Now you can pick the show that best fits your schedule, fiscal year, or both, and book your seats early.

One of the things we’ve always striven to create is top-notch events for (as the motto goes) people who make web sites—covering design as well as code, architecture in addition to scripting, the big picture along with the nitty-gritty.  Focusing on that vision served us and our attendees very well in 2007, and it continues in 2008.  Just check out the list of speakers and topics for New Orleans:

  • Andy Clarke, author of Transcending CSS, presenting “Underpants Over My Trousers”
  • Aaron Gustafson, co-author of AdvancED DOM Scripting, presenting “Progressive Enhancement with JavaScript”
  • Robert Hoekman Jr., author of Designing the Obvious, conducting “On-the-Spot Usability Reviews”
  • Cameron Moll, author of Mobile Web Design, presenting “Good vs. Great Design”
  • Brian Oberkirch, Publisher of Like It Matters, presenting “Kick it Like Pelé”
  • Jason Santa Maria, designer at Happy Cog, presenting “Good Design Ain’t Easy”
  • Dave Shea, co-author of Zen of CSS Design, presenting “Living, Breathing Design”
  • Stephanie Sullivan, co-author of Mastering CSS with Dreamweaver CS3, presenting “Design Challenges, Standards Solutions”
  • Jeff Veen, design manager at Google, presenting “Designing the Next Generation of Web Apps”
  • Aarron Walter, author of Building Findable Web Sites, presenting “Findability Bliss Through Web Standards SEO”

And, as always, your hosts:

  • Eric Meyer, author of CSS: The Definitive Guide, presenting both “The Lessons of CSS Frameworks” and “Debug / Reboot”
  • Jeffrey Zeldman, author of Designing With Web Standards, presenting both “Understanding Web Design” and “Web Standards: The Return of the King”

You can get more details on the New Orleans event page, including descriptions of the sessions and details on how to get the special room rate at the conference hotel, the Hilton New Orleans Riverside.

While we don’t yet have speaker lists nor schedules to announce for the other three 2008 shows, we’re working to finalize them and hope to have at least some information out shortly.  I can already say that all the shows are at the same high level, though of course each event has its own unique flavor.

Those of you who attended one or more of our shows in 2007 (yes, we did have some repeats!) may be wondering if the shows will be the same, especially since we’re returning to some cities we visited last year.  The answer there is “not at all”.  Every show of 2008 is a mix of new and returning speakers, and we’ve done our best not to repeat speakers within a given city between 2007 and 2008.  The exceptions are myself and Jeffrey, of course, but we’re both doing new talks this year.  Simply put, if you loved AEA in 2007, we’re pretty confident you’ll love it even more in 2008.

Staging The World Over

Despite my best efforts to cut back on travel, the 2007 world tour seems to be continuing apace.  In addition to my sessions at An Event Apart in San Francisco at the beginning of October, I’m due to hit (at least) three four other stages before the year is out.  Here’s the skinny:

  • I’ll be doing a short bit on microformats at the Cleveland Web Standards Meetup.  If you’re in the area and interested, please do sign up for the group!  We’ve been growing quickly and, having shifted our meeting place to the Tri-C West campus, now have room for a lot more growth.  We’re also moving beyond simple gathering, with some great ideas for helping out local organizations and sharing knowledge and skills.  Even if you can’t make this month’s gathering, you should still join up so you’re in the loop.

  • I’ll be delivering the keynote at the first annual CIW Partner Conference in Destin, Florida, at the end of September.  No official title for the talk as yet, but the general theme will be how we’ve gotten to where we are, what I see as the best ways to train the next generation of web designers and developers, and the best tools currently available to current designers/developers.  I may also participate in a panel, depending on exact scheduling.

  • In mid-October, I’ll be on stage at the first Voices That Matter: Web Design conference in San Francisco (which will make my second trip to the city in the space of three weeks).  We’re looking to do sort of an open “Conversation With…” format with lots of audience questions and commentary, which is a little unusual for me.  Jeffrey and I did a conversational session with Brian Alvey at ‘Meet the Makers’ back in the day, but I haven’t really done a Merv Griffin since.  Should be fun!

  • Then, in mid-December, I’ll be doing three hours of CSS at Web Design World Boston.  It will pretty much be like it was last year: a mix of deep dives into obscure (yet important) corners of CSS, assessments of current trends, fun with cutting-edge techniques, and open-format Q&A.  We’ll have three hours (with breaks) to play around, so that’ll leave plenty of time to wander into the weeds and come back mostly intact.

I’m starting to do some rework on the sidebar here on meyerweb, and a “coming soon” list is one of the things I have in mind.  Those of you who actually do drop by the site will probably notice the sidebar mutating over time, since I’m going to do my reworking live and in public.  That sounds so much more grandiose than the reality of fiddling with markup and making mistakes, doesn’t it?  It’s editing 2.0!

Magnificent Chicago

Good Night, Chicago

Chicago, Chicago.  It was my sweet home Chicago for all of a year, and admittedly that was back around the national bicentennial, but I still enjoy my visits.  I’ve just learned to accept that the traffic jams are omnipresent, and to chill accordingly.

We drove in on Friday afternoon and left Wednesday morning, tired but content. As I knew would be the case, the folks who came to AEA Chicago were filled to the brim with awesome.  We had a great time röcking out, groovin’ to the tunes, filling Fadó, wondering about Shreddies exchanges, and savoring the lunches.  I’ve gotten my pictures onto Flickr in what is, for me, close to record time, and added them to the show’s photo pool.  All with geocoding, natch.  Gotta geocode.

If you want to know what other people thought of it, Jeffrey‘s got some links—perhaps understandably, Brain Freeze’s post is one of my favorites—and Technorati will be happy to point you to what everyone’s saying.  I can tell you what I thought, though: fantastic.  I can’t wait to do it again!

San Francisco Schedule

Amongst all the travel, there’s been a metric ton of backstage work going on.  This is generally true of me these days, which is why posting has fallen off in 2007.  Unfortunately, it’s meant that I’ve been lax about keeping you folks up to date on what I’m up to—and also to keep you informed about An Event Apart, which is what accounts for most of that backstage work.

For example: last week, we announced publication of the complete schedule for AEA San Francisco, which will be 4-5 October 2007, and I didn’t say a word here.  I should have; honestly, it’s amazing.  I already want to see it.

I know, I say that every time, but it’s always true.  One of the things that makes me proudest about AEA, and that makes me continue to work hard on AEA, is that it fulfills one of the core requirements Jeffrey and I set out: to create the kind of event we’d want to attend.  I’m not satisfied with an AEA show unless I can look at it—and I mean all of it, from the schedule to all the organizational details that aren’t always obvious—and say, “I would pay money out of my own pocket to see this show”.

And so far, I’ve always been satisfied.

So we end the 2007 series with another great lineup and incredible set of talks in San Francisco, and it makes me proud all over again.  I hope you can be there to see it.

Better Know

I don’t know about you, but I keep a “staging” file for my posts here.  It’s a text file on my hard drive where I can write posts offline, and can also keep a list of things I want to write about.  Right now, that list is longer than a typical short entry.  I suppose two weeks’ vacation (photos from which are slowly going up on Flickr) will do that to a schedule, especially with all the driving that was involved.  (And may I express my deep and unbounded loathing of the usually ambiguous and often misleading road signage in the New York City/New Jersey area?  Yes?  Thank you.  I needed that.)

So, to begin the jamcracking: AEA Chicago‘s early bird deadline is fast approaching; it’s just nine days away as I post this.  As we start gearing up for the show, we’ve re-started (and rebooted) an AEA feature called “Better Know A Speaker”.  Originally, these were testimonials from Jeffrey and me, but that turned out to be more than our schedules can accommodate.  So we’ve redone them as short interviews with speakers, which I think is far more interesting anyway.  The first of these new BKAS pieces, with Dan Cederholm, went up last week.  This week we’ve got Jeremy Keith.  In the weeks to come, we’ll cover the rest of our Chicago speakers.  The AEA news feed is of course the best way to keep up with these tidbits and other AEA info, but I’ll probably either blog or linkblog them here as well.

Eventful

Buried under some halting attempts at massive data processing and an unexpected return to battle with a credit card processor, I completely failed to mention that An Event Apart Seattle sold out and An Event Apart Chicago opened for registration.  Apologies.  If you want to be there for Chicago and our fabulous speakers, don’t wait—if current trends hold up, we’ll be sold out in a month.  (Note: no warranty is expressed or implied by this statement; past results may not be indicative of future performance; not a flying toy; etc., etc.)

In other event news, the d.Construct site has gone sort-of-live, and I mean that in the best possible way.  Go check it out.  I really like the concept they’ve got going there.  My only (tiny) critique is that some of the things that are links aren’t obvious enough—I thought at first that the navbar was all placeholders, and not actually working yet.  I was wrong.  Love the speaker photos!

Reset Styles

At AEA Boston, I advocated using a “reset” or “baseline” set of styles, but not one based on the universal selector.  Instead, I said the styles should list all the actual elements to be reset and exactly how they should be reset.  During the Q&A afterward, an audience member asked me if I would create such a style sheet to share with the world, and I said that I would.

Then, during the break, someone else (sorry I’ve forgotten who!) reminded me that the Yahoo! UI group already did it with reset.css so I don’t have to.  Awesome!

…except that I don’t think it goes far enough in some areas, and a little too far in others.  So here’s my version of reset.css, based off of the YUI styles.

html,body,div,span,
applet,object,iframe,
h1,h2,h3,h4,h5,h6,p,blockquote,pre,
a,abbr,acronym,address,big,cite,code,
del,dfn,em,font,img,ins,kbd,q,s,samp,
small,strike,strong,sub,sup,tt,var,
dd,dl,dt,li,ol,ul,
fieldset,form,label,legend,
table,caption,tbody,tfoot,thead,tr,th,td {
	margin: 0;
	padding: 0;
	border: 0;
	font-weight: normal;
	font-style: normal;
	font-size: 100%;
	line-height: 1;
	font-family: inherit;
	text-align: left;
}
table {
	border-collapse: collapse;
	border-spacing: 0;
}
ol,ul {
	list-style: none;
}
q:before,q:after,
blockquote:before,blockquote:after {
	content: "";
}

I omitted elements like hr and the various frame-related elements, as well as form elements like input and select, because of their general weirdness, though I may change my mind about those at a later date.  I intentionally left out dir and menu because of their deprecated status.

I’m absolutely open to questions, comments, and suggestions, so feel free to use the comments for that purpose.

(Side note: if anyone’s disturbed by the unitless value for line-height, please read my post “Unitless line-heights“.)

Addendum: There have been some good suggestions in the comments, so they’re definitely worth reading.  See also the followup post, which incorporates some of those suggestions.

After Boston

Wow.

Just wow.

I’m back home and I still can’t believe how amazing An Event Apart Boston was for me and everyone with whom I talked.  I knew going in it was a great lineup of speakers covering great topics.  I knew that we had a completely kick-ass staff in place, and amazing volunteers to help us out.  I knew that we’d have great support from the venue.

I knew all that, and I was still overwhelmed and ecstatic at how things went.  At least on one level.  On another, thanks to the aforementioned kick-ass staff, things went so smoothly that I almost felt like I was a speaker at someone else’s conference.  I had so little to worry about that it was sometimes hard to remember that this was all happening because Jeffrey and I, over breakfast at Las Manitas in Austin, decided to take a chance and put on a show.  In a way, I had to prod myself just a little to remember to feel pride in what we’d accomplished.

What required no effort to feel was a deep sense of humility and awe that so many people had come to support what we did.  Over five hundred folks gathered in Boston, drawn by the same love of the web and pride in Doing Things Right that drives us.  I see the attendees at AEA as the craftsmen and women of the web.  Sure, there are shops mass-producing sites, the way a factory churns out cheap clocks.  That’s fine if you just want something to put on your nightstand.  But if you want an elegant, finely tuned work of art that you’d hang in a prominent place, a clock that is as much a point of pride as a timepiece—you find a craftsman.  And that’s who came to Boston.  That’s who comes to An Event Apart.

What amazed me even more was the overwhelming wave of positive feedback that we got.  Marci, our event manager, told me that in 25 years of event planning, she’s never seen attendees so happy.  So many people came up to me and Jeffrey and Marci just to say, “Thank you so much for doing this”.  They were thanking us, which seems entirely backwards.  I did thank each of them for coming to the event, but let me state it here for anyone I didn’t get to thank in person.  Thank you so much for coming to AEA and showing that you know creating the web is much more than churning out code, and that you take pride in being a craftsman.  Thank you for making the show so amazing.  Without you, it couldn’t have happened at all.

Now I’m looking forward to AEA Seattle twice as much as before, and I thought I was already maxed out on anticipation.

Again: wow.  Thank you, one and all.

December 2014
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