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5 May 1999

"I have neither been there nor done that"
-- Bart's chalkboard phrase last Sunday

How about...blinding yellow? Yea or Nay?

Sorry 'bout the hiatus, I've been rather occupied by the secret making of plans. (Not to mention yet another VAX emergency requiring me to go back to the office in the middle of Monday night...grr.) Expect a better flow of updates for the next week at least.

A cool paean to the beginnings of the Net and the success of the Request For Comment (RFC) model of working:

  • What the Net's founding fathers really intended by David Plotnikoff [SJ Merc]
    Some of you may find this hard to fathom, but the Net's founding fathers believed they were building a public resource -- a tool for collaborative work. Pity the poor simpletons -- the thought of becoming This Week's Billionaire just never entered into their calculations.

    If you are one of those increasingly rare, inquisitive souls who really wants to see first-hand how the groundwork for the party came to be, you are in luck. We as a culture are still in that blessed adolescent state where the baby photos and almost all the key figures present at the birth are still around and in good shape.

And a key link from the article:

  • RFC2555: 30 Years of RFCs []
    Thirty years ago today, the first Request for Comments document, RFC 1, was published at UCLA ... This was the first of a series that currently contains more than 2500 documents on computer networking, collected, archived, and edited by Jon Postel for 28 years. Jon has left us, but this 30th anniversary tribute to the RFC series is assembled in grateful admiration for his massive contribution.

Thanks to Brad L. Graham for the nice mention in his rumination named Why I Weblog. It's a good read.

The tendency of identical or similar links to show up in several different logs, and the frequency of reciprocal links among webloggers is seen as perhaps unhealthy, a form of incest that -- we're told -- can lead to a flattened sameness among our pages.

I haven't seen anything approaching a day when all of the dozen or so weblogs I read daily have completely identical links. On the occasions when two or more of us point to the same stories, well, it's because those are the big stories on the 'net (or at least among geeks) that day. It's no different than those occasions when channels 2, 4, 5, 8 and 11 all lead with the same feature on the evening news.

I have my own take on the web log phenomenon, and it's been half-written since a couple of weeks ago; I just hope I get around to finishing it and posting before somebody independently comes up with the phrase that will be my main point...

Nice post-mortem on Littleton:

  • Good time for good riddance [Arizona Central, seen on Obscure Store]
    Sunday morning, I did the most charitable thing a news reporter could do for the community of Littleton, Colo. I left town.

    It's time for us to go and let them get on with the hard work of getting back to normal. They can take it from here.

Seen on More Like This, here's a valuable reference page on why not to use the <FONT> tag and how to accomplish the same things better with style sheets, <BIG> and <SMALL>. After I get some actual leisure time to further improve the navigation around here, I'll try to fix up my design according to these suggestions. Looks good.

  • Beyond the FONT tag: Practical HTML text styling by Todd Fahrner [Verso]
    ...often more than 20% of a typical commerce/portal site's weighty HTML code consists of FONT and its attributes. FONT is slow.

    This article documents a robust, cross-browser, cross-platform HTML text formatting scheme that makes no use of the FONT element, and that offers superior usability, maintainability, aesthetic, and performance characteristics.

Gotta run. More soon.
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