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Archive: 'An Event Apart' Category


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.

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;
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


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, author of, 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.

Back in Seattle Again

An Event Apart is coming back to Seattle in June 2007, and the only major differences are that it will be two days instead of one, and this time we’ve got a roster of nine fantastic speakers.

Of all the Event Apart venues of 2006, I think the Bell Harbor International Conference Center was probably my favorite.  Every place we visited last year had its own unique charms and flaws, but at Bell Harbor I really felt like the charms were maximized and the flaws minimized.  So we’re bringing AEA back to Bell Harbor on June 21st and 22nd, as we announced this morning.

Nine speakers seems to be our target for these two-day events, and fully two thirds of our Seattle lineup will be different than our Boston lineup.  (The repeats are me, Jeffrey, and Jason.)  For your edification, we’ll be presenting:

  • Tim Bray, father of XML and possessor of many fine hats
  • Jeff Veen, Wired alumnus and very tall person, now at Google
  • Andy Budd, leading member of the Brit Pack and our first international speaker
  • Khoi Vinh, dog lover and Design Director at
  • Shaun Inman, the brains behind Mint, IFR, IPC, CSS-SSC, and a whole lot more
  • Local hero Mike Davidson, CEO of Newsvine and web standards provocateur
  • Shawn Lawton Henry of the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)

Oh yeah.

That’s all completely awesome, but there is a catch.  There’s always a catch, isn’t there?  The catch is that the seating available at Bell Harbor is strictly limited.  Once we sell all the seats they have, that’s it, all done, finito.  The seating capacity at Bell Harbor is about two-thirds that of our Boston show, and Boston is on track to sell out.  Registration for Seattle will open March 15th, so now is the time to prepare.  See you in Seattle!

AEA Boston Going Fast

The rate of registrations for An Event Apart Boston has been, in my eyes and the eyes of our greatly experienced Event Manager, nothing short of stunning.  I generally look deeply askance at exhortations to “hurry before they’re all gone” or claims that “time is running out”, but they’re kind of warranted here.

That’s not because we only have ten seats left or anything, no; but we have sold a solid majority of the available seats in the 25 calendar days registration has been open.  And we already know of a bunch more people who are planning to register just as soon as they can get all their institutional ducks lined up.

At the current rate of registration, we’ll most likely have sold all the available seats before the early bird deadline arrives on February 26th.  My current projections say we’ll sell out on February 28th, but of course there’s no guarantee expressed or implied by that statement.  Space could dry up faster or slower than I currently predict, especially since I didn’t take the expected last-minute early bird registration rush into account with that prediction.  I’ll be sort of interested to see how far off I was, when the time comes.

So, yeah, the show is filling up fast.  So is the special room rate we negotiated with the hotel.  If you’re interested, then, you know… better hurry before they’re all gone.

Register for AEA Boston!

If you’ve been waiting to register for An Event Apart Boston, running March 26-27, the detailed schedule has been announced and the brand-new store has opened its doors.  Hie thee hence to sign up for two great days with nine amazing speakers in Boston’s historic Back Bay!  You’ll be glad you did.

(Pssst!  Just between us, you’ll be even more glad if you input the discount code AEAMEYE when you register.  It’ll give you a further $50 off the already-discounted Early Bird price, for a total savings of $150.  Add to that the discounted room rate at the conference hotel, and you could save something like $450 off the regular conference registration and room rates.)

The overwhelming feedback we got from 2006 attendees was that they wanted more, more, more.  More speakers, more insight, more time.  So that’s exactly what we’re doing with AEA Boston.  This is going to be the best Event Apart yet—with that speaker lineup, how could it not be?  Ethan Marcotte’s “Web Standards Stole My Truck”, Dan Cederholm’s “Interface Design Juggling”, Steve Krug’s “The Web Usability Diet”… and eight more sessions just as fascinating.  Furthermore, we’ll close out Day Two with live critiques of sites submitted by attendees, making recommendations on design, copy, code, and more.

One thing we’re not changing as we move from one day to two days is how we take care of attendees.  We’ll have delicious food for lunch and breaks both days, so you can relax and chat with your colleagues in attendance and not have to worry about finding a food court and running back to catch the afternoon sessions.  Our buddies at Media Temple will be throwing a first-night party for everyone so you can unwind and maybe do a little networking.  The fine folks at Adobe will have some great stuff to raffle off, with your registration as your raffle ticket.  In fact, it’ll be so great that they can’t even tell us what it is yet!  And those are just the high points.

Amazing speakers, a great location, great service, and big savings.  What more could you ask?

October 2016