Yoko's clean, fashion-based illustration incorporates 1920's class with modern style.
The Universe, as per usual, provides the greatest spectacles.
Gallery of computation
Jared Tarbell has started up a gallery of scientifically based abstract images using Flash and proce55ing technologies. Some really complex, high-quality and beautiful pieces of art. (NOTE: Flash)
"Drive people to buy the product!" was the brief. One day was the time line. This was made easier by the fact that it was a re-design of the site – so I knew what content I had to work with – and I only had to supply the XHTML/CSS templates for the PHP coders, but it was still a pretty tight deadline. In the end I feel that the new pages significantly increase the impact of the information and present it in a much more attractive manner – conducive to a better branding experience and instilling greater faith in the product from the client, and hence more purchases.
A Blue Perspective
On the road
12 February 2004 | 1 comment
This is my fourth day of travelling interstate. 4 days, 4 flights; one more.
I'm not what you'd call an experienced traveller – last time I flew was ten years ago – and combined with my recent acquisition of a G4 PowerBook (on loan) it's made for a rather adventurous few days; it's also allowed me to experience firsthand the inefficiencies of real life.
After having become accustomed to communicating digitally with people all over the world – e-mailing, messaging, writing weblogs, reading weblogs – the analog version seems ... well, a waste of time. But people demand the immediacy of physical presence, especially in business. Waiting in flight terminals, cramped leg space, $4.00 water, the mobius strips that Brisbane calls city streets; all endured so that you can shake someone's hand and monitor their facial tics. Granted, talking to a real person often helps to grab (or force) people's attention, but this trip has shown me that the Internet truly brings people together in a way that cannot be achieved traditionally.
Even though my head is 38,000 feet above where it would normally be, I can communicate – via my web site – exactly as I would if I were at home in my pyjamas. Something trivial, I know, for people used to mobile computing, but having been anchored to my clunky desktop for the past however many years, it is a personal revelation.
Not only can I communicate from anywhere, but I can communicate to anyone. With a real-world presentation, you can only communicate as loud as you can shout. By writing this here I can communicate across continents, tirelessly, and while I'm asleep.
And yet, looking around on the plane, you see hundreds of people slaves to the same fact: there is an indefinable something about being there, something which digital hasn't yet – and may never – replace. Video conferencing, VoIP, e-mail; they're options but not replacements, and as tiring as the real thing may be, Boeing isn't going out of business anytime soon.
A Blue Perspective
Web Standards Awards
11 February 2004 | 3 comments
Standards, awards, the Web. A combination that sprang into my mind in December, but had long ago sprung into the mind of Johan Edlund. Following on from Andy Budd's introduction, the three of us decided that a site was needed that communicated the best of the Standards-compliant best, and thereby communicated the benefits and possibilities of Standards themselves.
Two months on, www.webstandardsawards.com goes live today and hopefully its debut can act as a psuedo-official validation of the proposition that semantic, Standards-compliant sites are equally as "gee-wow!" as the Flash sites and table frankensteins on other awards sites.
Gushing, praise filled e-mails can be directed to Johan for the gorgeous design of the site itself, and while you're typing you can admire Andy's backend. If you have any qualms with the clumsy words that blemish their work, flame me.
General awards are handed out irregularly, but generally tri-daily, and we have the monthly big award that will be decided by mystery big-name guests. (OK, we don't have anyone, no one, zip, but we're hoping for big, Welsh-length names *cough* Zeldman *cough*)
A Blue Perspective
Separate meaning from language
6 February 2004 | 4 comments
The virtues of separating document structure from style are well documented, and in fact is the cornerstone of the XML/CSS pairing. The aim is to keep data entirely isolated from the way it is presented, allowing the data to be visually reformatted for different purposes without having to affect the data itself – as the CSS Zen Garden demonstrates well.
While trying to find out exactly what an Estonian web site was saying about me, it struck me that a similar division exists between meaning and language. Essentially when you speak/write you are communicating meaning using a semantic construct, such as the English language. "I'm hungry" has the same meaning whether you say it in English or Chinese, it is merely the way that the writer represents it that differs.
Just as style sheets allows us to alternately view XML as a graphical web page or as text on a palmtop, if we encoded our communications as pure meaning then we should be able to write "language sheets" that display that meaning in a particular language. Granted, such language sheets would be incredibly more complex than any existing style sheets, but it would give rise to a truly accessible Internet, with no boundaries to content whatsoever, irrespective of whether you speak only Ancient Sumerian or l33t. Could you imagine opening up Opera and visiting a web page with your custom language sheet, being oblivious to what native language the author might arbitrarily communicate in?
I know, it begins to get into Star Trek Universal Translator territory, and way too far into linguistics for me to actually appreciate the difficulty, but I see it as the last true barrier to creating a unified World Web (and Google's language tools just don't cut it), so energise, Geordi!
(If you're using your Original Star Trek Language Sheet that should read as "beam me up, Scotty!", but this page defaults to Star Trek: The Next Generation)