Even a chimp can write code

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Local gas prices

Find out and compare local gas prices via this nifty little feature tucked away at MSN Autos (http://autos.msn.com). For instance, here's the price of gas in Redmond, WA.

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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

IE7 Beta 2 is out!

Internet Explorer 7 Beta 2 is out and it kicks ass! Get it today.

Over the next few weeks, the IE team will roll out German, Finnish, Japanese and Arabic versions too.

Other links:


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Michael Wallent on how Avalon came to be

Michael is General Manager of Windows Client Platform Division, the umbrella org that owns USER, GDI, GDI+, Accessibility, Desktop Window Manager, Advanced Reading Technologies/Cleartype and Windows Presentation Foundation (Avalon). He used to run the IE team and in this interview with Tim Sneath, provides a deep insight on why Avalon was conceived and the factors influencing some of the important decisions around which the platform was created.


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Sunday, April 16, 2006

Proposal for cross-site extensions to XmlHttpRequest

Ian Hickson's proposal for cross-site extensions to XmlHttpRequest, via the public mailing list of the Web APIs working group at the W3C. Don't read it in isolation. The entire thread is an interesting read.

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Saturday, April 15, 2006

Things Every Designer Should Know...

A List Apart brings back Dean Allen's 2001 article called "Reading Design" which talks about the goal of communication design to to make vital, engaging work intended above all to be read. He raises some important issues:
How can you design for the web if you can’t code? How can you direct photography if you’ve never worked in a darkroom? How can you design text if you’re not a careful reader?

Allen follows up with some pearls of wisdom in the form of An Entirely Incomplete List of Things a Non–Illiterate Designer Should Know Before Being a Designer:
  • That text will inevitably be read before it is looked at

  • That words themselves make remarkably effective clip art

  • That the self-conscious layering of messages usually subtracts more value than it adds

  • That the practical value of white space towers over its value as a design element

  • That the deep symbolism of a design decision, referring perhaps to a treasured memory of the designer, is irrelevant to the person attempting to glean something from the work

  • That print designers who gauge their work on the screen, and web designers who gauge their work exclusively on their own machines, are arrogant in their disregard

  • That the physiobiology of reading is one that demands easy points of exit and entry

  • That simply paying attention to the design of type, or distinguishing it as "fine" or "invisible" or "classical" is like making a big deal about putting salt on a boiled egg

  • That letters are not pictures of things, but things

  • That words are not things, but pictures of things

  • That arbitrarily altering (or allowing software to alter) the shapes of letters, and the spacing between letters and words, is done at one's own

  • That emphasis comes at a cost

  • That overstating the obvious can be effective, but not all the time

  • The precise point at which a quantity of information no longer requires assistance to be differentiated from another

  • The knowledge to back up design decisions clearly without falling into a fog of hidden meaning, or so-called "creativity"



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Thursday, April 13, 2006

XmlHttpRequest working draft, sans Microsoft

The W3C working draft for XmlHttpRequest is out. Strangely, there's no attribution to Microsoft. And no Microsoft representatives on the panel either. And I thought Microsoft invented XmlHttpRequest. An innocent slip, perhaps?


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Saturday, April 01, 2006

Interested in .NET internals?

For all of us who develop solutions on the .NET Framework, or who maintain a healthy curiousity for how things work inside the CLR, the Shared Source Common Language Infrastructure 2.0 will prove immensely useful.

You can now see how the compilers are built, how GC works and how the .NET Framework is laid out. All in all, I think this is a good trend.

There are some who believe that source code is the best documentation. Others would like to have access to source code as one of several tools in their development toolbox. And others still, just don't care about the guts of the platform -- public APIs are good enough for them.

I'm curious about how you have used or intend to use this CLI source. Please drop a comment.


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