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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.

AEA Seattle 2007 Now Open

Limited seating is now available for An Event Apart Seattle 2007, June 21-22, at Bell Harbor International Conference Center on breathtaking Puget Sound. Spend two days with leading designers, developers, and accessibility experts including (in alphabetical order)…
  • Tim Bray, father of XML, director of web technologies at Sun Microsystems, and Tim Berners-Lee W3C appointee;
  • Andy Budd, user experience lead at Clearleft, co-founder of d.Construct, and author of CSS Mastery: Advanced Web Standards Solutions;
  • Mike Davidson, founder and CEO of Newsvine, former art director and manager of media product development for ESPN and the Walt Disney Internet Group;
  • Shawn Henry, director of education outreach for W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI), research appointee at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, and author of Just Ask: Integrating Accessibility Throughout Design;
  • Shaun Inman, award-winning designer and developer, inventor of Inman Flash Replacement and the curiously successful stats package Mint;
  • Jeffrey Veen, designer manager at Google, founding partner of Adaptive Path, and W3C invited expert on CSS before most of us knew the acronym;
  • Khoi Vinh, design director at NYTimes.com, author of Subtraction.com, and former partner at Behavior LLC;
…plus Jason Santa Maria, Eric Meyer, and Jeffrey Zeldman. A complete schedule is available for your perusal. The two days of design, code, and best practices, including lunch on both days and parties on both nights, go for $795 (reg. $895) if you register by May 21, 2007. An Event Apart Seattle 2007 will be our only show in the northwest this year. Seating is limited to 300 attendees and will sell out fast—they’re already going like hot cakes—so nudge that bean counter and come join us!

AEA Boston Full Up

I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news to any potential AEA Boston attendees, but we sold the last available seat just before noon yesterday.  You can still get in touch to request a spot on our waiting list. if you like.  If not, there’s always the Seattle show coming in June, with tentative plans for two more shows by the end of 2007.

Some of you may recall that I prophesied, a few weeks back, that we’d sell out on February 28th—and so we did.  Go me.  I feel like a regular Edgar Cayce.

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