Days: it’s a blog thing

Since August, 2001. Surely it can’t last…

Tuesday, February 11, 2003 ↓


It’s going to be quiet around here for a few days. I’m heading back to Gothenburg later this morning, and won’t be home until Saturday evening.

Posted at 1:48 AM


Zeldman recently pointed to this W3C note regarding HTTP implementation problems. Although it’s really directed at people on the server side of things, there are a few wise words for web site developers and content management types. For example, choose URIs wisely:

  • Use short URIs as much as possible
    In order to make URIs easy to type, write down, spell, or remember, they should be short enough.
  • Choose a case policy
    URIs are partly case sensitive which means that, for example and are different URIs and may refer to different resources.
  • Avoid URIs in Mixed case
    A case policy should be chosen, and enforced. All policies are, however, not equally preferable. Mixed-case URIs should be avoided.
  • As a case policy choose either “all lowercase” or “first letter uppercase”
    We suggest that either “all lower-case” or “first-letter uppercase” policy be chosen. Among these two, “all lower-case” may be preferred for its simplicity.

Some people make a real pig’s ear of naming directories and files, with little logic in either the nomenclature itself, or in the bizarre mixture of cases they choose — so this is all good advice.

Of course, content management systems on large, database driven sites often create horrific URLs that you couldn’t possibly remember, and wouldn’t want to write down. I built a site for a client recently that features a links page with a whole raft of links to the European Union web site. These EU pages have very long, complex URLs. Now, you might say that doesn’t matter when you’re coding them into a links page. But I’ve set this page up with style sheets so that the URLs don’t display on screen, but they do when you print the page. The EU links would have been terrifying affairs, wrapping over a couple of lines on the printed page, and would have been pretty useless to anyone wanting to read them off at a later date and enter them their browser’s address bar. So, I used Metamark, the “link shortening” service that I mentioned a few weeks ago to make short links of them all, and the result is much neater and more manageable. I mean, isn’t a whole lot better than!celexapi!prod!CELEXnumdoc&lg=EN&numdoc=32001L0023&model=guichett?

Posted at 1:48 AM

Monday, February 10, 2003 ↓


Because there are 123 e-mails your mailbox, and 119 of them are spam.

Oh, the bandwidth.

Thank you, Mailwasher.

Posted at 11:29 AM


Since the fawny Joe Clark no longer updates NUblog regularly, the time to remove it from Regularly Watches was overdue. Not that I’ll stop reading Joe’s other works, and you might take a look too — especially at the online serialisation of his book, Building Accessible Websites. It’s a brave author who risks injury to his own book sales by giving most of it away for free. And it says something about his commitment to making the Web more accessible.

Anyway, I’m pleased to fill the vacant slot with the newly-discovered Giornale Nuovo from misteraitch; it’s a joy to view as much as to read.

Posted at 11:17 AM


So the record industry is bemoaning its declining CD sales, eh? And once again, it points to the great bogeyman of piracy:

Some of the decline can be explained by price-cutting. There is fierce competition in the leisure market as rivals in the entertainment business try to woo British shoppers.

But the BPI says piracy is the main factor.

I don’t suppose it would have occurred to them that perhaps people aren’t buying as many CDs because they are too bloody expensive and that perhaps in Britain we are finally getting tired of being ripped off. Grow up and stop whingeing, guys, and do what every other business has to do in the face of declining revenues: find ways to be more competitive. Give value for money to customers. Make your products more attractive.

Perhaps there is hope amongst the smaller independent producers:

But others, including some of the smaller record labels, say the big companies are simply not keeping up with the demands of modern music buyers.

The critics argue that piracy is a convenient excuse for the record industry to hide behind.

They claim that tastes are changing and people prefer a wider range of electronic formats for their entertainment.

Some analysts say that the record companies must accept the reality of the internet and the desire of consumers to download music.

Quite. So get with the programme. And in the unlikely event that there are any suits from the recording industry reading this, no, I have never downloaded illegal copies of music from the internet — in fact, I know hardly anyone who does. But as I’ve said before, I’ll be happy to use a legal mechanism if it’s reasonably priced, and doesn’t force me to download and pay for ten tracks that I don’t want in order to get the one that I do.

Posted at 10:38 AM

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