Major changes in Web design/development

Now that I have finally had the time to read Andy Clarke’s “Transitioning CSS: the fine art of web design”, I sense that I am discovering the next level of web design, one that challenges the way we currently think about the design process. His ideas and suggestions for a new set of “best practices” not only makes sense, it evolves the art and changes the emphasis from design to making meaning.

Clarke notes that “it has been a common working practice in both print and Web design for designers to lay out their pages using Greeking text (the familiar Lorem Ipsum)…Mock text doesn’t provide the meaning you want in order to begin immediately marking up you documents semantically”. The challenge is that we cannot possibly work with the specifics of well-formed semantic markup without the content that defines the meaning of what is to be marked-up. More


Interesting places, tools, and videos

A rich mining session in about an hour this afternoon brought some new resources you may enjoy tinkering with, and learning from.

From Stephen Downes OLDaily listserv is Pipes and Hypercard: Interactive vs Connected Media on Scott Wilsons blog, which introduced me to Yahoo Pipes!, a free online service that “lets you remix popular feed types and create data mashups using a visual editor”. Pipes is an intriguing tool that allows you to do all sorts of things with RSS subscriptions, collecting, mashing, and much more. I think everyone using aggregators and blogs will have fun with all the possibilities!

Scott Wilson also referenced xfruits and reblog, both similar products to Pipes! All of these webapps are free to use of course! I am just getting into these products and they are exciting for the potential to generate new ways of working with rss based content. Another link from Scott’s blog takes you to an article on LinuxWorld about Ten Web 2.0 APIs you can really use. You have heard of Google Maps api and Flickr api but others may be new to you.

And if that isn’t enough to get your techie heads swirling, there is a new database product that may dazzle you, another api, at It is a fee based service, but they offer a 30 day trial to learn about how you can implement it with your web pages, and they offer a free version that is intended for public access projects, which could offer some interesting development opportunities.

By the way, I am writing this post directly from Firefox with the Performancing firefox plugin (link follows) which is a neat tool that allows you to create a blog article while on a site simply by clicking an icon at the bottom of your Firefox page. When the article is complete it posts the article for you after you set up blog accounts you wish to post to and choose one. I have tried several stand-alone weblog editors and none is this simple and foolproof! Give it a try.

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