down a level

What is this?
Part weblog,
part journal,
part soapbox:
Links & observations from Steve Bogart

Nearby entries:
5 Aug   
6 Aug  
9 Aug 
> 11 Aug <
 13 Aug
  16 Aug
   18 Aug

Support web standards
Support web standards

11 August 1999

Text with occasional markup is one thing; having the markup become the bulk of the "document" is another. When you find you've screwed ten different adaptors onto the same five-inch length of pipe, it's time to consider that maybe what you really need is a different pipe.
-- Mark H. Wood on, 7/15/1999

Now, this: Development Journal 1: Distractions

"The most distinctive trait of the fool is his submission to distraction and diversion and an abiding faith that they are inescapable matters of course."

Ian McKellen will reportedly play Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings. He will also be playing Magneto in the upcoming X-Men (yawn) movie.

I think he's a fine choice for Gandalf, but it's unfortunate that he'll be appearing (nearly) simultaneously as another fantasy figure; it will dilute his impact, I think.

I keep reading great things about The Iron Giant, but apparently Warner Brothers has done such a poor job of promoting it for what it is (that is, a [reportedly] profoundly intelligent, un-Disneyfied [no songs!] animated movie) that it's tanking at the box office. See it in the theater while you still can; I'm going to make it sometime later this week.

  • 'Iron Giant' a hugely entertaining classic [CNN]
    Warner Brothers' "The Iron Giant" is not only the best animated feature to be released this summer, it's the single best film to hit our screens so far this year.

    [Director] Bird has said that the idea behind the film is "what if a gun had a soul and decided not to kill?"

Jesse 'the floating head' James Garrett has it exactly right:
Can somebody tell me why otherwise-quite-sensible media entities have decided WebSideStory's utterly unscientific browser-share statistics are worthy of coverage?

The link is to a ZDNet story hyping "browser-share" results from, which measures results from servers using its particular hit-measurer HitBOX which apparently runs only on Windows boxes (they don't mention any other platforms in their PR pages) -- hardly a basis for an impartial, random, representative sample.

Granted, the server platform doesn't directly influence the client platform, but there is indeed some variance in audience platform choice that can follow the server platform choice. For example, Mac-based servers frequently serve Mac-oriented sites and thus get a disproportionately high percentage of Mac-using visitors. Similarly, Windows-based servers often serve Windows-oriented sites, and Windows clients all (ahem) default to Internet Explorer with many folks never bothering to download anything else. IE will likely get a boost in 'share' from this phenomenon if Windows client machines are disproportionately represented, which I believe they would be in this survey.

StatMarket says Netscape's 'share' of the web browser market has slid to 25%. For what it's worth, Netscape regularly accounts for 40% - 50% of the hits I get (and I personally use IE 4.5 for Mac, so it's not me). Pair Networks (my hosting provider) runs FreeBSD servers, and they're not running HitBOX, so none of their 61,000+ sites were counted. I bet they would've made a difference.

Long, multipage interview with Linus Torvalds:
  • The Man Behind Linux [Upside]
    Seemingly overnight, this first name has become nearly as well-known as the moniker of that other technology celebrity.

    [p. 4] Upside: When does it make sense to charge, and when does it makes sense to distribute things freely?
    Torvalds: It always makes sense to charge. When I started, the reason I couldn't afford commercial [software] was because it was too expensive. And part of Linux is that I don't want anybody else to have to be in that situation--that's the "do unto others [as] you would [have others] do unto you" part. But at the same time, I don't think it's wrong to charge for it.

    [p. 6] If Microsoft can change and compete on quality, I've won.
Nit: sorry, but I don't think you can say 'seemingly overnight' in the present tense regarding Linus and Linux any more; it's been a big story for many months now. 'Became', maybe?


  • Somewhat relevant to all the 'deep linking' debates is the years-old case of the Dilbert Hack Page.

  • Man beaten to death for using mobile phone in pub [The Register]

  • Extensive Review of AMD's Athlon chip ... Look out, Intel. [Ars Technica]
    In terms of integer math, floating-point math, SIMD extensions, system bus transfer rates, disk I/O, and graphics performance, the Athlon shows no significant weaknesses.   For a non-Intel x86-compatible CPU, this point is crucial.  At the same time, it's faster clock-for-clock than Intel's Pentium III--in some cases, a whole lot faster.  Taken together with its 200MHz EV6 bus and the AMD 750 chipset, AMD's claims that this is a true next-generation x86 platform seem entirely warranted.

  • Interview with the South Park animators (very technical, gets more interesting as it goes along) [Ars Technica]
    Dr. Evil: [A]ny chance that the stuff you were forced to cut to get an R rating will make it onto a DVD release?
    Sean: Oh, man. You have no idea. The altered and deleted footage could easily take up three or four DVDs on its own. The film wasn't even going to be a musical until early this year (when, according to the original schedule, we were supposed to be well into final rendering).
    Unfortunately, the likelihood of some of this stuff ever seeing the light of a post-Columbine day is pretty slim, I'm afraid.
    Tim: I hope for the hard core fans like yourself that they do [put some of the cut material on DVD]. There is some unbelievably funny stuff that never made it, but I am afraid there would still be a few things that couldn't be put out on that medium, either. Write your congressman.

  • Good recent Rose is Rose strips (will expire soon): Cats, Cats 2, Ecosystem [United Media]

  • A particularly fine recent User Friendly: This is not spam...

  • Another application server shootout gives the nod to WebObjects 4 (with a caveat I can attest to) [Techmetrix, seen on Have Browser, Will Travel]
    [from the Functional Evaluation:] In sum, although from a purely technical point of view WebObjects offers every benefit for designing, developing, and deploying transactional Internet applications; it is necessary to take the initial learning period, which may turn out to be longer than with a less object-oriented development tool, into account.

The Monday-Wednesday-Friday schedule I've been trying to follow lately is working out pretty well for me; I often end up having more material than I can easily post, which isn't how it used to be. Cool.

Friday, then!

Previous entry: 9 August 1999 Next entry: 13 August 1999
Other sections of this site:
Home - Log - Services - Writing - Links
Last modified on 8/18/99; 10:53:49 AM Central
© 1998-1999 Steve Bogart