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Another reason to hate M$

I often find myself defending Microsoft and aruging FOR software copyright and patents. Well not anymore! Microsoft have just lost one more supporter.

Unsupported Cascading Style Sheet Properties Compared with Cascading Style Sheets, Level 1

The following is a list of all the top-level cascading style sheet properties that the Cascading Stylesheet Specification, Level 1 supports, but that Word 2007 does not support. Note that Word 2007 considers unsupported cascading style sheet properties to be unknown properties.

  • background-attachment
  • background-image
  • background-position
  • background-repeat
  • clear
  • display
  • float
  • list-style-image
  • list-style-position
  • text-transform
  • word-spacing

This is taken from this hideous document that Microsoft should be ashamed even exists, I hope the person who was made to write it immediately quit!

</rant>

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Posh Wysiwyg

None of us techie types like wysiwyg editors, we all know they generate awful HTML, some of them even use FONT tags still! The problem is clients need to add text to their sites, they need to format it, and they really don't want to learn HTML.

Most modern content management systems, including our own, rely on the browsers built in wysiwyg editor. These are some of the worst offenders for bad HTML, the problem is helped slightly by JavaScript components like FCKEditor that try to clear it up.

The problems really start when you try to ensure a good seperation of content and design, using carefully constructed CSS rules around semantic HTML and a rigid CSS class vocabulary. For example on our site, surrounding content with a div and blockquote results in the text being padded and surrounded with pretty quote graphics. This is great when the content author knows this, dips into HTML mode in the editor and enters the couple of tags needed.

Of course, you can't expect your clients to do that. What is really needed is an editor tightly integrated into the sites stylesheet, that helps the user markup their content in the right way without even knowing it. It needs to be easily configured by the web designer who defines the markup structures, and it needs to be context sensitive to different areas of a site.

I've tried to do this in the past, we had something similar where I used to work. What I'm imagining is a little more complicated, so it can be used to generate complex sets of data. Definition lists, site specific structures, hCard and hCal microformats. I think FCKEditor is probably a good platform to build this off but I need to have a look around first, check it doesn't already exist!

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OpenCoffee Morning

We've arranged the Liverpool branch of the OpenCoffee Club.
OpenCoffee Liverpool is an open and regular meeting where technology entrepreneurs can meet with investors (and anyone else who fancies coming along) in a totally informal setting.
We've got a few people coming a long, and hopefully it will grow into a regular and useful meet up. If you want to come just show up anytime between 10 and 12.

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Hacked Out

Back in the office now and can barely keep my eyes open! What a great weekend, I can't believe the amount of attention our blimp got, lots of photos, lots of people wanting to help out. In the end we had a team of 5, myself, Niqui, Alistair, Stephen and Shawn. We went through about 5 different verions of the blimp, different hardware, different kinds of comms, different interface ideas. The concept we finally got to was pretty cool, and it would have been working great for the presentation except for the bluetooth, there were more devices in the room than the software could list, so we couldnt pair them. I had my phone sending images up to a web server automatically over the Wifi but it was too heavy with the rest of the kit.

Still, we won the award for best hardware hack, which was unexpected. There were some really great hacks in that category, like the real/virtual reality mashup with paper submarines controlling virtual submarines in second life.

We did an interview with the film crew there but I'll be pretty surprised if they use it, we'd barely got the thing working and were about to go on stage to demo it, so we were a bit distracted.

The site's still up at bli.mp, the balloons are somewhere over London as far as I know, and we've got a blog here. We'll get photos and videos on there, and hopefully find out where the balloons got to, and we've got some plans for a new version of the system that will let you fly the blimp anywhere in the world!

Thanks again to the team for getting this idea off the ground :)

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Faceball yourself!

I've been enjoying all the faceball pictures going around Yahoo, but I was feeling a bit left out since I didnt have a big pink ball. Then I thought it might be funny to photoshop some :)

Me Phil Jeremy Keith Chris Heilmann Tom Coates Andy Budd Simon Willison



If you want to have a go you can download a psd with some pink balls in here, the photos are from here and here.

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2 Comments

The Rumble Strips??

Never heard of them, but they sound pretty cool going by their myspace page. They're going to be playing at Hackday next sunday night. I'm allowed to invite up to 3 friends for the gig! yay. Shame that I don't know anyone in London other than a) people who are already going and b) people I wouldn't invite.

It did occur to me to put my 3 places on ebay, but that's not really in the spirit of things. So if you've got more than 3 friends you want to invite send me their details and they can have my spaces, first come first served.

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ts0
Thom Shannon's background in making chips gives him a unique insight into the web development industry. As the Technical Director of Glow New Media he works with clients across the UK to deliver high quality web marketing solutions using the latest techniques, accessibility practices, and web standards in both straight and crinkle cut.


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