Articles, rants, news & other writing.

This is a collection of the articles I’ve written over the past 8 years, I’ve edited and tidied them up for clarity. I also got rid of a lot of older, less relevant (read: stupid) articles. I’m going for clean, and quality.

Concept: Semantic Markup

So lets try and clarify what semantic markup is and what significance it has to the web designer. Semantics is the study of meaning. Semantic markup is markup that has meaning, the idea is tha the tags you choose add to the overall meaning of the content you are marking up. The earliest (and simplest) example of this is the argument between strong and b tags. Semantically the strong tag has meaning, it implie strong emphasis, and thus conveys added meaning. Whereas the b tag just implies bold, a purely visual characteristic. A second example is the markup for the nav of your page. Semanticly it makes more sense to mark the navigation elements up inside a unordered list, because nav is in fact a list of items on the site. So.. <ul class="nav"> <li><a href="#">Item 1</a></li> <li><a href="#">Item 2</a></li> <li><a href="#">Item 3</a></li></ul> semantically more correct than using DIV tags or even just A tags in a paragraph, like this: <p> <a href="#">Item 1</a> | <a href="#">Item 2</a> | <a href="#">Item 3</a></p> Semantically relevant code also allows screen readers and other machine based clients to better understand the meaning of the content in your markup. Hopefully that clears up...

Digital Color Meter

Digital Color Meter is basically your Photoshop colour picker for your entire mac desktop. Gone are the days where I needed to open a PSD just to work out the hex codes for a colour off a site.

I hate spam bots. But i hate captcha more.

I believe it holds true is that the responsibility for spam prevention should be the developers, not the user. In short, I hate and completely disagree with “captcha” style spam protection on forms. As a user I find sometimes, in attempt to make the image in unreadable by a computer that the text is so obscure I find it difficult to read myself.

Web standards: should we really care?

Having been a web developer (professionally and for fun) for the better part of ten years now, I’ve watched the art of making websites change significantly. This post is a stream of consciousness about the web industry and standards.. hopefully these things change in the future.

Creating an accessible navigation menu from a UL

A really simple (and old/obvious) tutorial for building an accessible HTML menu using a CSS styled UL – common practice. Styling the nav of a site is something we do.. well, everytime we build a site. The nav of a site is one if the most important (and often most neglected) elements. So what can we do to make sure our nav is as accessible as possible?

Photo libraries are devaluing photographers..

A look at photo libraries from behind the lens. **Designers hate plagiarism.. it steals our worth. Stock libraries are killing photographers.. but designers still love them.. why? ** This article is a reflection on the pros and cons of stock photography. 

Pixel Perfection – What a dumb idea.

After reading a post over at Jonathon Snook’s blog about CSS resets (which I also don’t use). I found myself thinking about whether I care if my designs are implemented pixel perfect in all browsers. The short answer is: no. Pixel perfection is a thing of the past – pure and simple. The mantra “content is king” isn’t just a mantra anymore – pixel perfection was never relevant. But now it’s absurd.

Why I ditched Google Analytics for Clicky..

Everyone knows Google Analytics is free. It’s extensive. It works well. Like all Google applications, it’s interface is dull.. filled with primary colours and non customisable. Well, I was drifting around the internet a few months back.. and I found Clicky – they offered a free account, so I figured “what the heck, I’ll give it a try”. I installed the clicky JS right after the analytics JS, figuring i’d still have my statistics in analytics (in case clicky couldn’t do what I wanted).