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  • Joe 11:08 on April 6, 2009 Permalink
    Tags: , , HTML, ,   

    Thursday April 9th: CSS Naked Day 2009 

    CSS Naked Day 2009 April 9th

    CSS Naked Day 2009 April 9th

    It’s already a tradition started in 2006 by Dustin Diaz: CSS Naked Day, on April 9th.

    Many many blogs and sites will strip all CSS during 24 hours (effectively 48 hours for international compliance) and show the content “unstyled” as if no CSS existed.

    A great opportunity to show off how your site structure stands if all styling is removed, from the official website:

    The idea behind this event is to promote Web Standards. Plain and simple. This includes proper use of (x)html, semantic markup, a good hierarchy structure, and of course, a good ‘ol play on words. It’s time to show off your <body>.

    Are you using WordPress? Then join the movement by simply installing this CSS Naked Day plaugin for WordPress by Aja, activate it and you’re ready:

    CSS Naked Day plugin for WordPress automatically strips off XML/HTML stylesheet references, embedded stylesheets and inline styles—all without editing your template! It also provides a function to determine whether it is the 9th of April on the recommended worldwide 48-hour CSS Naked Day period or just your local 24-hour period if ever you want to automate a message telling viewers why your site is in the nude.

    Then head over to the CSS Naked Day website to add you to the list of participating sites.

    Follow CSS Naked Day on Twitter!

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  • Joe 15:35 on October 18, 2007 Permalink
    Tags: , HTML, , real world applications, screen scraping, , semantic web objects, simplest imaginable solution, web browsers   

    From Microformats to RDF 

    In response to Microformats vs. RDF: How Microformats Relate to the Semantic Web.

    Indeed, microformats are not an alternative for RDF, not even a “poor man’s version”. But that was not a design goal at any time. What’s more: microformats are no first class semantic web objects in any way either. Rather, they are the simplest imaginable solution for semantically correct markup, limited to the most common data formats out there.

    To rephrase the microformats charter, they want to be the common man’s solution, aimed at the well intending webmaster crowd. As such, microformats can be hugely successful (analogue to the “html as tag soup” success story). Fine.

    Next, as we end up having millions of valid items of hCard, hReview and what not on the web, there is GRDDL to instantly promote all this content in full fledged RDF.

    The good news is that we have all components currently available – many microformats are auto-generated from well designed CMS templates – and GRDDL is a Proposed Recommendation since 6 July 2007.

    What we’re waiting for, is a business need to discover, transform and aggregate all of this data. I would be surprised if nobody is working on this, right now. Google, or a Google killer?

    Bottom line: the semantic web has been lacking real world content for too long (not withstanding DBPedia and Freebase and such) and real world applications for the common man. Microformats can and will have a place in advocacy for this large target audience, people who grasp html and basic data constructs, but who are not interested in graph theory.

    This audience will only jump on the bandwagon if they can instantly understand the intent from view source inspection. Compare the success of RSS 2.0 over the semantically superior (but more complex, RDF based) RSS 1.0 version.

    In the end it will just not matter, most content will be “good enough” to be useful for the semweb (through GRDDL transformations and screen scraping), just like today’s html is good enough to be rendered, in some way, in our web browsers. By that time we will have a load of other problems, like semantic spam, the need for provenance tracking and trust levels for semantic information. But that is another story…

    Update:  Semantic Report writes about Using Microformats to Get Started with the Semantic Web. So, there then!


  • Joe 12:40 on May 9, 2007 Permalink
    Tags: Albert Einstein, HTML, , , real semantic web, , semantic web people   

    On Simplicity (POSH) 

    Are you Posh? logoThis year will be the year of the semantic web for the common man, in the first place because of the success of microformats. And because of the original semantic web people, who in general have a very positive attitude towards the grassroots adoption, helping a hand with tools and specifications like GRDDL.

    This whole movement has led to another change as well. That is, as I see it, people getting to finally understand what the meaning of the original HTML specification was all about: it is the semantics, not the presentation in the first place.

    (More …)

  • Joe 11:50 on May 9, 2007 Permalink
    Tags: excellent tools, , HTML, MeasureMap, much better tool   

    Google Analytics updated 

    Yesterday Google announced the new, updated version of their Analytics tool.
    Google Analytics screenshot
    Under the hood, most data is captured just like the current version. But the user interface and data presentation is a whole different story. A flash demo shows many excellent tools to analyze trends and zoom in to visitor navigation paths, decision funnels, trends over time and all you could possibly want to know about keyword conversion (organic as well as paid-for Adwords).

    The basis for this overhaul has been the acquisition of MeasureMap in 2006.

    Over the next few weeks every current Analytics account will be migrated to the new version, so most of us need to wait in anticipation of a much, much better tool. Again, Google sets the industry standard at a very high level, though times for the competition to catch up.

    Read the official announcement on the Analytics blog.

    (on a side note: I tried writing this review with WordPress plugin Structured Blogging. This review would be marked up according to the hReview microformat standard. It didn’t quite work out, maybe html is not allowed in the review body. More to come…)


  • Joe 09:56 on April 13, 2007 Permalink
    Tags: , , HTML,   

    Google Maps with KML data 

    Some time ago I wrote about the introduction of a new feature for the Google Maps API: you can now use the same definitions file format as with Google Earth (technically speaking this is the KML 2.1 format).

    All cool and neat, so I did a little experiment to try it out. And guess what: it didn’t work! No error messages, just my KML file was completely ignored.

    Well, it appears that KML file must be accessible for Google to read and parse; in other words: it is not the client side API (Javascript) which reads the KML, but the Google service. Apparently what they do is: parse the file, calculate the correct view port and then send over all geo data, back to the client API.

    As I hosted the file on my local computer (http://localhost/), this did not work. Duh!

    This feature was not immediately obvious to me from the API documentation. And it might not be strictly necessary: as long as the KML file is hosted on the same server as the client HTML, the file could just be retrieved through XMLHttpRequest (the same origin policy would be satisfied). Performance might be an issue, though, as XML Parsing in the browser is not very efficient. And setting the viewport for the map would require another round trip and delay.

    Conclusion: be sure to host your KML file such that it is accessible for Google (over http), otherwise it will just not work.

    var geoXml = new GGeoXml('http://www.yourhost.com/geo/map.kml');


  • Joe 11:02 on April 4, 2007 Permalink
    Tags: , Christian Heilmann, corporate software/intranet stuff, HTML, semanic web, web techniques, , XSLT   

    Reasons for stripping down 

    Christian Heilmann won’t go naked tomorrow.

    His reasons not to do so are:

    • Most CSS naked sites are generated from templates, so what is the individual blog author’s effort?
    • The target audience is missed, it is merely preaching for already converted style purists
    • The target market is missed: those really crappy intranets within big corporations

    My reasons for still participating with my (slightly modified) WordPress blog…

    You definitely have a point with the generated code/templates based blogs. Last year, I adapted my site layout to have the content first and navigation and boilerplate stuff to the bottom in the HTML stream. That was fun and even sped up the apparent rendering of my site with CSS enabled. So I did learn something usefull in the process as well.

    That site structure is generated from templates as well, but all handcrafted XML/XSLT stuff (in Firefox, select the alternate style CSS Naked Day to see how it works).

    Now I’m using WordPress and, indeed, just installed a plugin for ‘Naked Day. OK, so my contribution was to adapt that plugin for WP 2.1.x.

    About the corporate software/intranet stuff: you are completely right. But here I feel that bottom-up advocacy does work in the longer term. In my former (large) organisation, I got quite a few corporate J2EE developers interested in standards compliant CSS web techniques, especially after they had a very bad time trying to meet the requirements from our User Interaction specialists. The advance of Ajax does the rest.

    In just another 5 years or so, even those big vendors might have “got it” (and then go wondering what that “semanic web” stuff is all about ;-))

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