A Better Place

Damian: On tolerance.

“If everybody was forced to take 5 things they felt strongly about and argue the other side of the issue, the world would be a better place.”

Amen to that!

I am attending the Now We The People conference this weekend, and these things are usually the kind of events that allow me to meet reaaally interesting and exciting people doing great things, but also test my skills of tolerence while we listen to those that have such a narrow conception of how things are and how they can be improved – and this is on the left!

But, this conference comes highly recommended, so I am hoping there’s more of the former, and less of the latter, than the last one I went to.

Now if only I had a laptop with wireless I could blog the event. Oh well, maybe next time…

Musical Voice

I have been playing bass guitar for half of my life, literally. In that time I’ve gotten to be pretty proficient at it, and I have my own style and sound, and I’m pretty happy with what I can do on a bass.

But something strange happened at rehearsal the other day. I was playing a song, just like any other song, and half-way through I felt as though the sound that I was making with my bass was my voice. Like my fingers were quite literally singing. Like I was singing the notes, but they were coming out of an amplifier.

It is a really strange feeling to describe, and I haven’t quite got my head around it. For years I had an insatiable urge to write songs (typically on acoustic guitar) and sing, but since the other day that urge hasn’t been as strong. It’s almost as if I’ve finally come to realise that playing bass is my musical home.

That probably sounds kinda wierd and new age-y and stuff, but it’s what I’m feeling. And it’s a nice place to be…

Dave Hyatt: Quirks and the

Dave Hyatt: Quirks and the Uselessness of Modes.

Having just spent the better half of last night wrestling with x-browser issues for a new website I’m working on, I have experienced first hand the kind of quirks Dave refers to. Despite all of the effort involved in getting even a simple CSS design to work across all browsers, I really feel strongly about not introducing “quirks” into the browsers.

However, Dave, if you plan to support the quirks of one browser, let it be Mozilla. I develop sites (in fact a full web-based application as well) for IE, Mozilla (and now Safari), and there once was a time that I lamented that Mozilla wasn’t quite up to scratch. However, in the past 3 months a significant shift has happened – Mozilla has now exceeded IE in many respects, and is by far more compliant than IE. Plus, Mozilla is currently the only truly cross-platform free browser (with significant market support). I can get stuff working for Mozilla on Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux with a single code base. If there’s a tostle between behaving like IE or Mozilla, my vote goes to support the Mozilla variant.

That said, I would like to see Safari and Mozilla fight it out to become the most compliant browser, to eliminate the kind of discrepencies that have plagued web development for almost a decade. My experience is that the web cleaned up a lot when Mozilla hit a critical mass because it complained about stuff that before Netscape (or IE for that matter) would ignore, and any serious developer started to refactor their sites to work correctly on both IE and Mozilla. If Safari starts caving and adding quirks in strict mode, I think the benefits of such competition are lost.

Of course, Safari needs to display as many websites as possible correctly, and ultimately this is going to mean in some way supporting such quirks – it is, in the end, about facilitating a postive user experience.

Is it the user’s fault?

Diego Doval: it’s not the users.

I agree largely with the sentiment in Diego’s post. I’ve been extremely lucky not to have been hit with Sobig (touch wood), but we have been hit with other viruses and worms in the past (including one of our home computers being hit via the RPC hole found recently).

There is a case for educating users about viruses and to not open attachments. Over time you can actually pick a virus a mile away. But, as Diego contends, a new user shouldn’t have to worry about these things. And software developers need to do better on this front.

As an aside, the fact that Microsoft OSs keep getting hit is in two parts – one, the security of Microsoft products is wanting, to say the least. (I too, just yesterday, was incredulous that a class action lawsuit hasn’t been launched.) But the second, and this I think is missed a lot of the time, they are the biggest single target for virus authors, and they have the biggest single installed base of desktop (home and business) OSs on the planet. This exacerbates the situation immensely. I do honestly believe that if Mac OS or Linux was in Microsoft’s position, we would be experiencing a similar level (but I should be clear – not the same level) of security issues that we have with Microsoft.

Busy-ness

Been busy lately – and no computer at home has been a blessing and a curse.

Notable mentions:

  • Going to the Now We The People conference on Saturday.
  • Had a gig last week at the Annandale – had a ball!
  • The “Who Left The Tap On” benefit gig for Friends of the Earth that I am organising is taking shape – confirmed for Sept 10 at the Vic on the Park (Enmore). The Accidents, Women of Troy, Oblique and Glance will all be playing.
  • I know have a digital camera all my own (through a series of fluke events) – I’ll be sure to post some photos once I’ve taken some.
  • Been busy reading for and thinking about FWV
  • Reading Moral Relativity by Neil Levy – looks interesting
  • Got Something For Kate’s new CD Official Fiction – loving it.

New Company Website

After doing an interim site based on our new product name (NETaccounts), my latest task was to redesign the site, keeping the feel roughly the same, to accomodate a larger amount of content and site growth.

After much tweaking, and yelling at Internet Explorer (it doesn’t seem to do anything I want it to these days), it’s up and running. Check it out if you want. It will grow and refine over time, but I’m happy with it as a starting point.

Now, where’s that beer?

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged