16 posts categorized "Web/Tech"

Here's the #1 Reason I Hate Websites That Use Flash...

Right here in the screen capture:


If the fan on my MacBook Pro starts kicking in... or if it gets slow... or if I look at the CPU monitor and see it jacked to near 100%... all I have to do is open my Activity Monitor and...

99% of the time it's an issue with Flash!

Now, granted, it's probably not "Flash", per se, but rather "a website that isn't using Flash properly". Or "a website that has a poorly written Flash app."

But that's perhaps the point... so many websites out there have poorly written Flash apps!

The good news is - and THE reason I use Google Chrome - is that I simply kill off that process and my Mac goes back to being snappy again. Still, it's annoying.

How about you? If you're on a Mac do you find Flash sites jack up your CPU?

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CSS3Please.com - a great way to learn about CSS3

css3please.jpgIf you are, like me, interested in understanding more about how Cascading Style Sheets Level 3, a.k.a. "CSS3", particularly as it plays a major role in the ongoing evolution of HTML5 particularly on mobile platforms, you will probably find this site immensely useful:


CSS3 has been in development for quite a while (intro from May 2001) and is still evolving (current status) but it represents a great advance in control over design of web sites directly in a browser.

With CSS3 one of the greatest benefits is the ability to replace images with in-browser elements.

Consider something as simple as "rounded corners" on a box. Without CSS3 you have to use images. With CSS3, you can ditch the images and create rounded boxes directly in the browser. For instance, this paragraph should have rounded corners (and a shadow) if you view it in the most recent builds of Firefox, Chrome or Safari.

What I've done is simply added an inline style to the <div> and then added multipled paragraphs inside of that div block.

CSS3Please.com lets you experiment with CSS3 directly in the browser... and then copy/paste the results over into a stylesheet for your site (or use as an inline style as I have here). It's a cool tool for those of us interested in design.

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SXSW Slides on Fluid Web Typography (from Jason Cranford Teague)

Those of you who know me well know that I have a long-time interest in typography and publishing design dating back to the many years I spent teaching FrameMaker in the early 1990's... given that, I was delighted to run across this presentation by Jason Cranford Teague that he apparently gave at SXSW this past week. I like the style of the presentation and although I wasn't at SXSW to hear his narration, I can gather from his slides some of the points he was making. He does have a point... why do we limit ourselves so much to the default fonts of the web? Let's use typography more to make more attractive and interesting sites, rather than just settling for the defaults...

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R.I.P. GeoCities...

yahoogeocities.jpgAs has been widely reported, Yahoo! is shutting down and deleting all the content from its GeoCities service today. This isn't a surprise, as Yahoo! has been laying the groundwork for the shutdown for some time. And in truth, I'll barely mourn the passing... I haven't intentionally been to a GeoCities-hosted site in years.


..."back in the day", as folks are so fond of saying now, GeoCities certainly was a place where many people got their start with free websites. For those of us online in the 1990's... long before all the zillion sites today where you can go and create your own free site... there was GeoCities.

I had websites running on other servers and never set up my own site on GeoCities, but I certainly knew folks who did and undoubtedly spent time on some sites there. It's amazing on one level that the Yahoo! acquisition was ten years ago... but in recent years the service had definitely been eclipsed and for many of us was more almost a caricature than anything else... (see today's XKCD layout to get a sense of what the site had become like).

Still, it's worth noting the passing, because back in the 1990's, GeoCities certainly did help many people get online. Some articles I noticed today:

And, as I mentioned earlier, the folks at the XKCD comic changed their layout in tribute:


(P.S. A colleague has pointed out that if you view the source of the XKCD page, it's even funnier...)

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One single picture that shows why I want Google Chrome on Mac OS X...

Why can't I wait for the Mac OS X version of Google Chrome? After tweeting that today, someone asked me again. Here is a very simple picture that shows WHY I want Chrome on Mac OS X:

Yep, there is good old Firefox jacking both my CPUs to close to 100%.

Funny thing is that it wasn't even a large browsing session for me. The session manager plugin I'm now using says that I had 3 windows with 59 tabs.

Yet somewhere on one of those tabs was some kind of screwed up web page that was jacking my CPU up. Perhaps it was a Flash object. Perhaps some kind of multimedia content. Perhaps just lousy design. But the problem is that I can't find that tab easily.

Enter Google Chrome. I want that Process Manager to see which of the many tabs is killing my performance. (And then I want to kill that tab!) I'm looking forward to it!

P.S. And yes, I have indeed tried the Stainless browser for Mac OS X, which implements multi-process browsing like Chrome. It's nice and seems to work well, but it (like Chrome apparently) is still very much a work-in-progress. I'll keep watching it, though, and trying it out from time to time. Perhaps if Chrome continues to take forever and if Firefox keeps sucking up all my CPU from time-to-time... perhaps then I *will* move to Stainless...

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The "World Wide Web" is 20 years old today...

www20.jpg It's hard to believe that the "World Wide Web" is 20 years old today. As written on the "WWW@20" site:
Twenty years ago this month, something happened at CERN that would change the world forever: Tim Berners-Lee handed a document to his supervisor Mike Sendall entitled "Information Management : a Proposal". "Vague, but exciting" is how Mike described it, and he gave Tim the nod to take his proposal forward. The following year, the World Wide Web was born.

They are having a celebration today over there where Tim Berners-Lee will speak.

When I tug on my ever-greying-beard a bit, I can think back to the some of the "Intro to the Internet" courses I taught in the Boston corporate market (primarily) back in the very early 1990's. The courseware I wrote had a section at the end that talked about this new thing, called the "World-Wide Web" that you used by telnetting to info.cern.ch and navigating through a "line-mode browser" by typing the number of the link you wanted to follow. This was, of course, the era of "gopher", "archie", "veronica", etc. so this new "www" thing was an interesting addition.

And then, of course, came Mosaic in 1993 and everything changed... (including my courseware! ;-) )

Happy Birthday, World Wide Web! And thanks, Tim Berners-Lee, for writing that first proposal...

Some other coverage:

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