Monday 29 November 2004

breaking the web

IS MICROSOFT BREAKING the web by not updating the IE browser or planning better standards support in any yet-to-appear OS-based browser?

In his article How Microsoft can support CSS2 without breaking the Web Tristan Nitot, who was with the Netscape Evangelism team before its demise, points to an interview in which Gary Schare, Director of Windows Product Management at Microsoft, says:

“We could change the CSS support and many other standards elements within the browser rendering platform. But in doing so, we would also potentially break a lot of things.”

Nitot’s article ponders the truth of this, pointing to the use of DOCTYPE switching and sharing some interesting statistics as to how any change to support couldn’t really break existing sites.

The lack of proper CSS support in IE remains one of the more serious concerns for web designers & developers who wish to advance their use of CSS and standards-based approaches to building sites.

Cross-posted with the WaSP BUZZ blog so readers may submit comments here.

Filed under:   general
Posted by:   Molly | 10:46 | Comments (35)

Friday 26 November 2004

what enemy, this daughter?

She stands between them on an uncarpeted landing, sticky 70s linoleum tile beneath bare feet. The mother, at the top of the stairs, yells at the father, who stands at the bottom in a slovenly gray polo and black chinos. He’s gotten fat. He fumes and grunts his fury, a triangular bull with gray hair. The mother is threatening to leave him, and take the children with. There’s a beautiful baby son, and the daughter standing now between them, four years old with bright green eyes and strawberry hair.

Mother at the top, father at the bottom. Make a choice, daughter. Choose.

She stands between the hostile, rage-infected mother and the malicious, cruel and devious father. The girl is paralyzed. She does not move toward either as their argument grows louder and louder. The girl thinks the roar in her ears is blood and that her heart will surely shrivel with sad.

Make a choice, daughter. Which one?

In later years, most will suggest the girl’s moment of paralysis is easily explained. It is an enormous task to make a four year-old child choose between her parents.

But the daughter has made a choice, you see. She has chosen neither.

The mother is astonished that the little girl didn’t run to her arms for protection. This single act of the daughter plants a seed of resentment in the mother. Here is her girl child born of a healthy womb, born on the anniversary of the union. Here is a girl child, thankfully intelligent but a sweet, strange fruit. How can this child deny her mother?

Seeds are always fueled by some dark clotted earth. There is a thick marine layer burning off and on between mother and daughter for decades to come.

The daughter is always clothed, fed, and sheltered. Glimpses of love, it is most certainly true. But so much of the sweetness the mother might possess is now reserved for the sons and her own survival, so the sweetness in the daughter turns distant.

The father is astonished that such a small girl can stand her ground in defiance. This cannot be the act of a child! He instantly changes the daughter into the mother in his deranged brain. From that day forward, he will take his violent inadequacies out on the daughter. He begins with the cruelest of words, then delivers brutal spankings under the pretense of discipline, with the wrong end of the belt. At age 7 he slaps her on her pretty face. At age 9, she has an arm burnt to the third degree with boiling water.

At puberty when her breasts begin to rise, the father enters her room. The girl is sleeping on a mattress on the floor, because her room has just been painted pretty pink and green. The father kicks this daughter – in the head, in the breasts, in the stomach, her thighs.

Through the sparking white like stars or fireworks but not, the daughter prays that the father would just fuck her or kill her. Anything, god (if you hear) to release her from this hell into which they all have stumbled. To the great credit of the mother, she protects the child – pushing her maternal body over her 12 year old daughter’s youthful one. The father stops the kicks, for he has ceased to recognize the mother as real.

So choose already.

One night at a shopping mall the father buys a hot dog. It is dripping with grease and steaming from the broiler. He comes to the daughter and grabs her thick curled hair at the nape of the neck. He pushes her with uncontrolled lust toward that phallic, stupid pink meat. When it is done, she is left with a burn across her lips and right cheek. She is choking on the vile indignity of this public rape. So she runs from them all, into the pouring rain of central New Jersey. Runs to the trees, hides beneath them, leans against their sturdy wet comfort. Security finds her and brings her back to her parents.

The father looks at her with war-torn eyes and says: “I am going to kill you.”

Choose, daughter, choose.

They put her in the car next to him. He repeats over and over “this is my right. This is my child. This is my right.” It is decided he is out of the house and this time it really is forever. He lives thirteen more years but never sees nor speaks to his children or wife again.

What enemy, this daughter, who simply made the choice of neither?

Filed under:   general
Posted by:   Molly | 18:23 | Comments (17)

Thursday 25 November 2004


HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO all friends who celebrate. It’s been such a challenging year on global and personal levels that it feels a bit difficult to muster up enthusiasm for gratitude, but grateful for many things I remain.

One of the primary things I am grateful for is my career – and as a natural extension of that – my friends involved in the online world who are my true tribe. Without my work, my fantastic colleagues and friends, well, I think I’d have lost it one way or the other a long time ago.

Is it sad or joyous for one to say that her work is her happiness, comfort, and strength? So many times we’re led to believe that it is people, family, a partner that brings us those things. But that’s not been my experience in life. Perhaps I was made to do exactly this. Of course, God hadn’t yet thought up blogging when I was born some forty years ago 😉

I suppose the message here is simple: It is to all who visit here, who read my books and articles, who bestow upon me the privilege of being able to serve through education and inspiration and who have helped me find community to whom I owe the biggest debt of gratitude.

So I’ll say it simply: Thank you.

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Posted by:   Molly | 04:11 | Comments (14)

Wednesday 24 November 2004

comment spam, dead.

COMMENT SPAM DEAD! Alert the media . . . the fix was easy, but alas may be only temporary. No matter, the respite is worthy of celebration.

Using Nikkiana’s suggestion, I simply changed the name and references to the WordPress comment post file. This stopped the deluge immediately, and I have found some relief at last.

It does appear that this method is only a temporary stopgap, and that stronger anti-comment spam protection will be necessary in time. Be sure to read the related thread as there are some great suggestions there from many, many good folks as to how to manage comment spam more effectively.

Even with this recent attack, what I had to do to try and fight spam with Movable Type was far more complex and time consuming – and most of those spams made it to the site. In the case of WordPress, even though my email inbox was being bombarded with notifcations, at least the ugly bits weren’t ending up exposed in my comments.

Thanks Nikkiana, and thanks everyone for coming to my spam rescue!

Filed under:   general
Posted by:   Molly | 17:15 | Comments (14)

Tuesday 23 November 2004

phuk phentermine

PHUK PHENTERMINE AND all his little spam friends. Fortunately, WordPress is efficient in stopping this recent comment spam onslaught before it hits the site, but if anyone has any successful strategies, WordPress plugin combos, and so on, I’m interested in hearing them.

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Posted by:   Molly | 22:44 | Comments (42)

Friday 19 November 2004

clip-n-seal this

CLIP-N-SEAL, two pieces of plastic that clip and seal just about anything, was invented by fellow WaSP DL Byron, who is now sponsoring a design contest to see who can come up with interesting and cool uses for his invention.

So, get your industrial design hat on and clip-n-seal away. Looking for ideas? Check out the shoe.

Too cool!

Filed under:   general
Posted by:   Molly | 14:44 | Comments (8)

Wednesday 17 November 2004

learning blogger now available

learning blogger cd rom

LEARNING BLOGGER IS my new Lynda.Com movie. It’s perfect for folks interested in blogging but who have very little to no experience and want to give blogging a try. You can read all about it and even download sample movies to get a feel for what it’s about.

While I’m certain many readers of my site are experienced bloggers, others are just getting into blogging. When I first started blogging, I initially began rolling my own, then quickly went to Blogger. In the years since then, I began to use server solutions – first Movable Type and now WordPress, largely because they address advanced needs.

Blogger, for those unfamiliar, is a free and surprisingly robust online blogging tool. To learn more about it, check out the Learning Blogger page, and take a visit to the Blogger web site.

One more thing – you know how sometimes there are jobs you just love? I loved doing this job! It was my first time creating such a project, and it was at times very challenging, but I can’t really express how great the experience was. I got to spend a week in beautiful Ojai, California at the Lynda.Com studios. I got to meet long-time online pal and colleague Garo Green, visit with Lynda and the rest of the gang – everyone was terrific. We even caught a glimpse of Daniel Ash (Bauhaus, Love & Rockets) walking across the parking lot one day, as he apparently lives in Ojai.

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Posted by:   Molly | 15:13 | Comments (8)

Saturday 13 November 2004

racing frogs

WHETHER BY SPAM or by email mishap I now regularly receive the Racing Frogs News.

The Racing Frogs web site offers children and “immature” adults the opportunity to create a racing frog, set up your own frog race league, and train, motivate, and feed your frog. You can even watch your frog race.

There’s a book that goes along with this “simple, addictive entertainment” too, called Frog City.

Now, I happen to like frogs very much indeed. And I’m an immature adult.

I guess it’s time to go race my frog . . .

Filed under:   general
Posted by:   Molly | 02:11 | Comments (170)

Tuesday 9 November 2004

music slut (again)

MUSIC SLUT (AGAIN). I like this playlist but I need your suggestions for improvement.

  • Neko Case
  • Iron and Wine
  • Fellaheen

From the best.bands.ever vault: Cake and Green Day rule with their recent albums.

What’s spinning with you?

Filed under:   general
Posted by:   Molly | 18:45 | Comments (37)

love poem to firefox

LOVE POEM TO Firefox, celebrating its release one day today, posted to the WaSP Buzz blog.

Stats for Molly.Com show Firefox/Mozilla at about 23% of my readership in September. Current stats for November (and we’re only in the second week, my lovelies) are over 32% for same. Alas, IE still remains at 34%.

Help me change that by going and grabbing Firefox 1.0 today!

Filed under:   general
Posted by:   Molly | 13:11 | Comments (19)

Saturday 6 November 2004

oh that elitist smell

A great many discussions have taken place regarding the sense of elitism in the creation, implementation, and study of web standards. Here’s what I’ve been thinking about that elitist smell that surrounds us, where it comes from, and how we can freshen the air.


The W3C often comes across as an “ivory tower” organization: cold, high, and distant. The W3C’s pervasive use of vague language and a complex process system keep it largely inapproachable to the majority of web designers, developers, software engineers, browser developers and any poor sucker who actually wants to implement web standards in their day-to-day applications.

But to criticize the W3C goes against my nature as a web standards evangelist. Producing the most significant and influential specifications, recommendations, and activities for contemporary web designers and developers, the W3C is our mother lode and we owe her respect.


I have long objected the fact that comment systems or discussion boards are not made available on the Web Standards Project (WaSP) site to allow for true community discourse.

I’ve been a member of WaSP since about 2000, and I am proud to serve the organization. Since my time there, I’ve heard from many individuals that WaSP members and the organization itself are adding to the elitist odor.

But to criticize WaSP goes against my nature as a standards evangelist. Not to mention that even as a prominent member of the organization I’m able to be here, mouthing off at will. I don’t disagree that we often come off as arrogant, opinionated, and bitchy. It’s our job to have opinions and that’s not a bad thing. But I do think that to avoid the dangers of from-the-mountaintop punditry, we must allow for more direct community interaction.

Oh, and the Rock Stars

Oh yeah, there’s also the A-listers. Sporting the fragrance of charisma, books, too many public appearances, overly popular blogs and notorious careers we have to ask: egocentric stage whores or true servants to society?

But to criticize the Rock Stars goes against my nature. It’s just not easy being seen.

Freshening the Air

So help me out with some thinking points regarding elitism and ivory tower concerns.

I’ve got these so far:

  • Don’t let the reputation of a few ivory tower holdouts outweigh the good of many cooperative peers
  • Advocate in all cases for more efficient communications (blogs, wikis, comment systems, discussion boards)
  • improve organization between web professionals of all types (more organizations? Dare I introduce the idea of unions?)

Let me hear your thoughts, and let’s let the bad air out.

Cross-posted with The Web Standards Project BUZZ blog so your comments can be taken here.

Filed under:   general
Posted by:   Molly | 15:53 | Comments (39)

Friday 5 November 2004

which file extension are you?

THE FILE EXTENSION quiz claims that I’m a .html. How’s that for cool?

You are .html You are versatile and improving, but you do have your limits.  When you work with amateurs it can get quite ugly.

How is that for both accurate and funny?

Which file extension are you?

Filed under:   general
Posted by:   Molly | 06:44 | Comments (31)

css template winners

WESTCIV TEMPLATE WINNERS were announced this week, celebrating westciv’s recent six year anniversary, and the rise of CSS and web standards.

Check out the new templates, whose winners receive everything from cash prizes to software for participating in the templates competition.

Filed under:   general
Posted by:   Molly | 06:37 | Comments (6)

Wednesday 3 November 2004


you can never break the chain . . .

Filed under:   general
Posted by:   Molly | 17:19 | Comments (13)

Tuesday 2 November 2004

voting day

IT’S VOTING DAY here in the U.S. Not that anyone on the ‘net is unaware of that little fact. I’ve done the deed, and fortunately, the experience was smooth and easy.

I went to my precinct polling place expecting lines, but I must have chosen a perfect time, because hardly anyone was there despite reports of very long lines earlier in the morning. As has always been my experience when voting in Arizona, the process was calm and everyone very pleasant.

I don’t think I’ve ever had such a spread between partisanship on any ballot I’ve voted on, though. Arizona isn’t a swing state by accident – we have odd politics here. Consider that I voted for Kerry, but the very next ballot item was state senator, where my vote was for John McCain, a Republican. In several local spots, I voted Libertarian. Looking over my ballot, I was struck by how, at least for me and at least this year, voting is definitely not a partisan concern.

In related news, Technorati has an experimental voting project you’ll want to check out (hat tip: Tantek).

Filed under:   general
Posted by:   Molly | 11:54 | Comments (11)

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