Days: it’s a blog thing

Since August, 2001. Surely it can’t last…

Saturday, February 23, 2002 ↓


No, not the heralded relaunch of the WaSP, but an entirely different site also calling itself the Web Standards Project, and living at a very similar address: Its home page blurb says:

The Web Standards Project aims to improve access to legal and advice information on the Internet. We are working with the Community Legal Service website, Just Ask! ( to improve searching and access for visually impaired people, so that all users can more easily locate the information they need.

The site has received financial support from the UK government, through the Lord Chancellor’s Department. (This page on the LCD site shows that the project is to span July 2001 to June 2002, and is “to be undertaken by Lasa in partnership with LCD. Funded by ISB Round 3.” ISB is the Invest to Save Budget programme, and the ISB web site indicates this “web standards project” is Project No. 184 under Round 3 of the scheme, with a project cost of £98,000.) I think that the LCD might be rather embarrassed to find out that there is another Web Standards Project that has been running for rather longer…

The site has fairly admirable aims, but you have to wonder that a body apparently concerned with standards and accessibility should know nothing of the — shall we say — original Web Standards Project. On the other hand, there seems little reason for them to deliberately adopt the same name and an almost identical domain: the resulting confusion would surely be as much of a hindrance to them as to WSP Mk I.

So anyway, I thought it worthwhile to drop a note to Zeldman about it, since Jeffrey is probably the most public face of the WaSP. His initial reaction: “Holy jumpin’ cats!” Quite.

Posted at 11:35 PM


It was pretty horrifying to read Marko Karppinen’s findings in his State of the Validation 2002 that of the 506 members of the World Wide Web Consortium, only eighteen have web sites that actually validate. It was edifying to see that one of the eighteen is the University of Edinburgh Language Technology Group, right here in my home town. I wouldn’t give the site any design awards, however.

And it came as no surprise at all to learn that the only browser vendor amongst the eighteen is Opera.

Posted at 7:52 PM


It’s been quiet around here for a few days (again) because I was in Sweden from Tuesday to Friday.

While the week went pretty well for me, it wasn’t so great for the Swedes — there were a lot of gloomy faces on Thursday morning, because Sweden’s best hope for a gold medal at the Winter Olympics was dashed when its ice hockey team was beaten 4–3 by Belarus on Wednesday night.

I don’t know much about these things, but I’m told it was one of those results that just shouldn’t have happened. Belarus is acknowledged to be a lower standard team than Sweden’s Tre Kronor (Three Crowns, after the emblem on their shirts). In fact, one of the Belarussians plays for a Swedish league team which isn’t even in the Swedish first division (if that’s what they call it).

Reaction to the result in the media suggested a national tragedy had befallen; when I saw the Aftonbladet home page on Thursday morning, it led with the story. In the place where you might have expected to see an action photograph, there was a big black rectangle instead. I can’t find that page any more, but here’s Aftonbladet’s minute-by-minute account.

By the afternoon, things were becoming a bit more relaxed and folks were starting to joke about it. “Tre Kronor? Yeah, that’s about what they’re worth!” (Three Kronor is about £0.20. Or $0.30.) A picture was circulating of Tommy Salo (the Swedish netminder who let in the decisive goal with only two minutes to go in the game) protecting his head and thereby deflecting the puck into the goal net. It was captioned “3–4 Kronor.”

Far be it from me to point out here that on Thursday, the Scottish women’s curling team led by Rhona Martin won the only gold medal so far for Great Britain. (What am I talking about, “so far”? Like, we’re really going to win another…) Well done, gals!

Friday brought a bit of a surprise. The weather in Gothenburg had been good throughout the week; Thursday in particular had been spectacularly fine and sunny. I threw back the curtains on Friday morning to find that overnight, the city had been transformed into a winter wonderland. Suffice to say that the snow delayed my return home by about three-and-a-half hours, but it could have been much worse. By a stroke of fortune to which I’m not ordinarily accustomed, I arrived in Amsterdam from Gothenburg to find that my flight to Edinburgh — which by rights should have been long gone by that time — had also been delayed and was actually boarding right at that instant. I had to run like hell from one end of Schiphol to the other, but I made it.

I’m supposed to be going back out to Gothenburg on Monday, but I think I’ll try to put it off by a day. At least.

Posted at 7:48 PM

Sunday, February 17, 2002 ↓


When I was a lad, if I read in a newspaper that someone had succeeded in stopping a beam of light, I’d have checked the date to see if it was April 1. But having lived through1 the discovery of several subatomic particles, unexpected theories and revelations about the cosmos, and the physical proof of Moore’s Law2, credibility is less of a problem. But wonder and fascination are undiminished.

So, yes… read all about it in The Telegraph.

Footnote 1. Not to mention the supplanting of Nixie tubes by LED and LCD seven-segment displays. Link via Sore Eyes.
Footnote 2. Isn’t it shocking that Intel doesn’t know the difference between discovery and invention? On this page, they talk about how the first planar IC was discovered, as if someone turned over a rock and said, “Ooh, look — see what I’ve found! I think I’ll call it a planar integrated circuit!”

Posted at 11:33 AM

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