Monday 12 September 2011

In Search of Elusive Style

We Web devs and designers and content creators and other genii have had our challenges with style. Okay, so I’m known for stating the overly obvious, blame the teacher gene.

In order to fill the cracks that the evolution and perhaps more importantly – consistent implementation – of CSS “things we cannot do” we’ve come up with solutions up the SASS, polyfills and a LESS than idyllic means of styling that which we’d like to style the way in which we liked to style it. Oh, and across all media too, as if just wanting something that works were asking too much of the greater gods.

I have an exercise for you, and since I’ll be using the resulting best commentary in an upcoming article for a favorite magazine, the most interesting response will receive public accolades in his or her name and a logo bag or t-shirt from a random Web conference, the W3C, Microsoft and Opera – depending what swag I manage to pull out of the swag room (yes, I have a whole room for swag – it used to be my office) just for you.


  1. Strip away the OOCSS, the normalization, the workarounds, hacks and kludges and take a good hard look at what we actually can do with CSS alone
  2. With your mind now free of muck, think about ONE thing you’ve always wished you could do with CSS that you can’t
  3. Write a comment to this post between now and well, now defining that one thing

There is one exclusion. You can’t use selection of parent/ancestor as your one thing. You can bitch about it all you like, but that’s another story for a different day.

Ready? Go!

Filed under:   general
Posted by:   Molly | 21:00 | Comments (26)

Monday 22 August 2011

From Blunders to Brilliance: A Look At JavaScript’s Rise to Fame

I’m working on a humorous keynote talk and looking to you, my webfolk friends, to provide written and/or recorded stories, code samples, and other items of interest related to JavaScript from the earliest days of silly pop-up warnings, multiple windows, status bar marquees and other various “candy” up on through to today’s powerful and elegant scripting solutions.

This is a crowd-sourced presentation and all contributors will be acknowledged and freely share in the final ownership of this presentation, which is to be published under a CC share alike license.

Please provide links, comments, thoughts, etceteras below or query me on Twitter or in email if you’d like more info. This is gonna be FUN!

Filed under:   general
Posted by:   Molly | 19:59 | Comments (16)

Sunday 24 July 2011

Til Norge

This poem was sung today at the Memorial Mass in Oslo, Norway, in honor of lives lost in the terrible massacre. For my friends in Norway, but also in hopes for all the world, peace be with us, and let us stay strong.


Til Ungdommen
av Nordahl Grieg

Kringsatt av Fiender,
gå inn i din tid!
Under en blodig storm –
vi deg til strid!

Kanskje du spør i angst,
udekket, åpen:
hva skal jeg kjempe med
hva er mitt våpen?

Her er ditt vern mot vold,
her er ditt sverd:
troen på livet vårt,
menneskets verd.

For all vår fremtids skyld,
søk det og dyrk det,
dø om du må – men:
øk det og styrk det!

Stilt går granatenes
glidende bånd
Stans deres drift mot død
stans dem med ånd!

Krig er forakt for liv.
Fred er å skape.
Kast dine krefter inn:
døden skal tape!

Elsk og berik med drøm
alt stort som var!
Gå mot det ukjente
fravrist det svar.

Ubygde kraftverker,
ukjente stjerner.
Skap dem, med skånet livs
dristige hjerner!

Edelt er mennesket,
jorden er rik!
Finnes her nød og sult
skyldes det svik.

Knus det! I livets navn
skal urett falle.
Solskinn og brød og ånd
eies av alle.

Da synker våpnene
maktesløs ned!
Skaper vi menneskeverd
skaper vi fred.

Den som med høyre arm
bærer en byrde,
dyr og umistelig,
kan ikke myrde.

Dette er løftet vårt
fra bror til bror:
vi vil bli gode mot
menskenes jord.

Vi vil ta vare på
skjønnheten, varmen
som om vi bar et barn
varsomt på armen!

English translation
By Rod Sinclair (2004)

Faced by your enemies
On every hand
Battle is menacing,
Now make your stand

Fearful your question,
Defenceless, open
What shall I fight with?
What is my weapon?

Here is your battle plan,
Here is your shield
Faith in this life of ours,
The common weal

For all our children’s sake,
Save it, defend it,
Pay any price you must,
They shall not end it

Neat stacks of cannon shells,
Row upon row
Death to the life you love,
All that you know

War is contempt for life,
Peace is creation
Death’s march is halted
By determination

We all deserve the world,
Harvest and seed
Hunger and poverty
Are born of greed

Don’t turn your face away
From needs of others
Reach out a helping hand
To all your brothers

Here is our solemn vow,
From land to land
We will protect our world
From tyrants’ hand

Defend the beautiful,
Gentle and innocent
Like any mother would
Care for her infant.

Source: Wikipedia.

Filed under:   general
Posted by:   Molly | 17:43 | Comments (3)

Thursday 21 July 2011

Yesterday I Became A Feminist

For the majority of my life I rejected Feminism when compared to Humanism.

After a lot of years where I was accepted and cared for as a Humanist – well, those times have ended. Why? Because in my entire experience I’d not had the sting of the Hierarch.

Yesterday, I became a Feminist.

I really didn’t know.

Filed under:   general
Posted by:   Molly | 03:48 | Comments (13)

Wednesday 6 July 2011

One Last Tweet Before I . . .

I just couldn’t resist posting this here.

epic fail photos - M-F: Workers These Days Have Serious Priority Issues
see more funny videos, and check out our Yo Dawg lols!

Filed under:   general
Posted by:   Molly | 15:01 | Comments (7)

I Still Have a Prayer, Even if No God

Tonight has been intense. Friends coming and going, music playing, good food and drink and remembrance that I do love what I cannot control. I also know that I’m coming home soon, home to Tucson despite years of running away. Denying the love of a few for the love of many. Never could tell the difference, me. Some wounds are just primal, and go too deep.

But I live, breathe, sing and even dance, despite feeling abandoned by the muses, the universe, that idea known as “god.”

During a particularly intense conversation with my friends we all decided god is not the essential issue. What really is important is prayer. In its short form “a solemn request for help or expression of thanks.”

I don’t know about you, but even though god eludes me most of the time, the need to pray does not, because solemn requests for help and expressions of thanks pretty much sum up where I’m at.

I still have prayer, if no god.

Filed under:   general
Posted by:   Molly | 01:16 | Comments (6)

Monday 4 July 2011

Happy Monsoon Day!

Also known as Independence Day in the United States, the 4th of July weekend is traditionally the point we begin our monsoon season here in the Sonoran Desert.

We just had a really beautiful storm come through. Here’s a snap I took right after.

after the storm. on Twitpic

Filed under:   general
Posted by:   Molly | 17:31 | Comments (3)

Sunday 3 July 2011

The Bloody Stuck Naked Text Post

Oh hell. How many years have I been doing this blog? Surely since before Peter Merholz came up with the term “blog.” But since the rise of Twitter, I’ve stopped long form writing. I love Twitter – it works like my mind does, rapid asynchronous communications from point to point.

But blogging? I’ve designed, redesigned, and banged my head over this blog for years now. And the reality remains that I’ve been stuck, bloody stuck. So you’ve seen a myriad of excuses march across this domain, from a Tumblr redirect to me having served absolutely nothing for the last week rather than leave my dirty underthings lying around.

Enough of that. I’m learning that I really do function best when I feel I have options. Don’t you? To that end, I’m reopening Ye Olde Molly.Com here, with tons of errors and no HTML5 hip hop, nor CSS3 magic. Why? Because nothing I do or have done inspires me design-wise when it comes to my own blog as an extension of my identity.

I admit it, I’m now officially old skool. I want things simple again from a blogging standpoint, rather than having to prove myself with some kind of site portfolio look at me stuff. I just sometimes want an outlet to write long form again, maybe throw a video or two out there, whatever. For blogging itself, I want spontaneous options, not design and code challenges. That should be, at least in my case, left to the job.

I may eventually strip right on down to naked text. After all, everything I’ve ever done – whether music, or Web, or standards, comes down to making the act of communication as widely available as possible to all humanity. And far less selflessly, myself, because my hyper-manic verbosity requires as many outlets as it can lest I appear obnoxious and self-involved instead of the warm, charismatic and funny person I hope I am.

Filed under:   general
Posted by:   Molly | 17:08 | Comments (15)

Tuesday 5 January 2010

Bob Dylan Meets HTML5

Inspired by Shelley Powers who quipped “HTML5, it is a changing” on Twitter, I in turn said I was gonna write a Dylanesque song about HTML5. Of course, between that time and the time I got to the next available WiFi point, Jeff Allen wrote the song.

We offer it up here for your enjoyment, and encourage you to post your own creative take on HTML5, which of course, is a spec that is in fact changing.

Update! Friend and colleague Daniel Davis (@ourmaninjapan), Web evangelist and ukelele player extraordinaire, provides this rendition so we can all sing along!

HTML5 – It is a Changin’

by Jeffrey G. Allen

Come gather ’round coders
wherever you roam
And admit that internet
Around you has grown
And accept that soon
A new spec will stand on its own.
If your skills to you
Are worth savin’
Then you better starting learnin’
Or you’ll sink like a stone
For HTML5 it is a-changin’.

Come designers and developers
who prophesize with your blog
And keep your mind wide
this chance won’t come again
And don’t speak to soon
For the spec is still in spin
And there’s no telling who
will be recodin’.
For the early adopter now
Will be later to win
For HTML5 it is a-changin’.

Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don’t sit on your thumbs
In the gathering hall
for he that gets lost
will be he who has stalled
There’s a spec in the works
And it’s changin’.
It’ll soon trim down your code
And add meanin’
For HTML 5 it is a-changin’.

Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
Learn to use content filters
And help to fight spam
Your sons and your daughters
Have gone mobile
And you’re old ways of surfing
is rapidly changin’.
Please get off the new one
If you can’t understand
For HTML 5 it is a changin’.

The spec it is out
It is Working Draft
The current one now
will later be past
As the new one
will venture to last
The spec is
rapidly changin’
And the current one now
will later be last
for HTML5 it is a changin’.

Filed under:   general
Posted by:   Molly | 21:22 | Comments (14)

Shine On, Brad

Broke Brad with Bread, originally uploaded by mollyeh11.

After six years of hosting the Breaking Bread with Brad parties at SxSW, I was joking with him in 2006 and asked if anyone had ever literally broken bread with him. It turned out NO one ever properly broke bread with Brad! So of course I seized the moment and had the great pleasure of doing literally that.

Who knew it would be one of the memories I will now hold very close for the rest of my life, for Brad Graham has passed on, far too young, at age 41.

Rest in peace, dear friend. I will remember you always. You were one of the most magnanimous people I’ve ever known – great in mind and heart.

Filed under:   general
Posted by:   Molly | 07:42 | Comments (2)

Tuesday 13 October 2009

Czech Interview Published as I Journey to Prague

I’ve just finished a visit with the wonderful Paris-Web group. What a fun time! I’ll be making my way from Paris to Prague, and wanted to share an interview done back in March and just now published on a Czech magazine site.

The interview provides some insights into education and evangelism as a career, as well as describing my journey from wee Web person in 1993 to my current work as a Web Evangelist for Opera Software.

There is a Czech version and an English version too. I hope you enjoy the interview, and if you’ll be in Prague for Web Expo, please come see me and say hello!

Filed under:   general
Posted by:   Molly | 03:33 | Comments (3)

Tuesday 29 September 2009

Why Bottom Posting Sucks

Throughout the years, posting styles in email lists and in forums have been a point of contention. Essentially, there are three types of posting styles.

  1. Inline posting. In this style, the responder answers queries or provides insight throughout the document.
  2. Top posting. The responder writes his thoughts at the top of the previous discussion. This particular method has long been frowned upon because the dialog is out of order.
  3. Bottom posting. The responder writes at the very bottom of the discussion, leaving the previous dialog intact and creates a sequential order for the discussion.

At first glance, both inline and bottom posting make sense. The logic of each is maintained. In the first case you have essentially an actual dialog. He writes, she responds, the conversation goes back and forth. In bottom-posting, you have all the sequential context of the dialog available.

There is also the issue of what gets clipped out, or doesn’t. But let’s save that rant for another day. The issues with these styles have only been based on preference within the group or organization, and it’s daunting to think how much people argue about something so seemingly simple.

Because I personally find inline posting to make sense, as I am a verbal person and think in dialog anyway, let’s set that one aside. It’s fairly neutral overall. Most people won’t freak out if you use inline posting. Although I’m sure there are some of you out there!

Top-posting puts the sequence out of order. So why am I advocating it over bottom-posting? There are several reasons, all of which have their own logic. First, we’re becoming extremely used to backward sequencing. Blogs do this automatically. Twitter does too. Think of any social network and the way your posts are ordered. They are essentially top-posted.

Not only are we becoming accustomed to this behavior and perhaps prefer it in certain situations, but a second point also reigns true. We have many tools now so as to retrieve and save threads. IMAP, for one. Gmail provides archives. All current, popular mail clients allow some sort of filtering and thread views.

A third and important reason bottom-posting needs to die a fast death is the increasing access of email on small devices. It becomes absolutely senseless to have an entire novel sent when the message is simply “yup, I’m on the task” or what have you.

The final reason that bottom-posting sucks is that long emails that require a user to scroll through what is sometimes pages and pages of information is physically damaging and actually very difficult to do for those of us whose wrists and fingers tire easily. If someone with mobility impairments has to scroll through so much data just to get to “yup, I’m on the task” it just becomes an insult to that user, who suffers through the inconvenience to get to the message.

Two words: Not Accessible.

If there is any reason for everyone to abandon bottom-posting at this point in our evolution, I have to say it’s that alone. And if you’re young and strong and able-bodied and think I’m nuts, that’s okay. I’m probably older than your mother and sticking around to hear you grow up and say “Mom, you were right” will be my goal!

Bottom posting sucks. Let’s abolish it now and get on with the day.

Filed under:   general
Posted by:   Molly | 17:24 | Comments (61)

The Painter, The Shoemaker

I am a painter, but my house has no paint.
I am a shoemaker, but I cannot make shoes.
I am a web designer, but I cannot design.
I am a software engineer, but my start-ups often stop.

A painter has paint
A shoemaker makes shoes
I am painting my shoes
and shoe-ing my paint

All for the sake

of loving you.

Filed under:   general
Posted by:   Molly | 07:28 | Comments Off on The Painter, The Shoemaker

Monday 31 August 2009

Welcome Guest Blogger, Attorney Claire Wudowsky

So my blog’s been suffering from needs a refresh, needs my attention, needs content syndrome, and I’ve been feeling really guilty about that. Fortunately, my good friend and IP attorney Claire Wudowsky has offered to step in from time to time with articles related to IP issues and the Web.

An area that clearly needs attention, here’s what Claire has been thinking:

“Hi, I’m Claire Wudowsky, Mols and I have spoken about me guest blogging on her site for a while, but every time I get started, something holds me back and I cannot finish. Maybe I am over thinking this, I do not know.

I am an Intellectual Property attorney and I have a pretty strong background in computers and online issues and technology – as Molly and I have been working online since before Al Gore invented the Internet (around 1989 or 1990). Do you remember GEnie? It was a bulletin board service (yes a BBS) operated by GE. It was a consumer service that piggy backed on their b-2-b service. Molly and I both ran forums on GEnie (we were called “Sysops” and the forums were called “Roundtables”) – in fact, that is where we met.

Molly helped me set up a site where I could blog about legal issues: However, I got spooked after going to a CLE (Continuing Legal Education) program, where they warned us about the legal liability inherent in the blogging culture. It seems legal malpractice insurers worry that blog readers develop personal relationships with the blogger and the readers might not realize that the blogger isn’t speaking directly to each of them. So, when the reader reads a blog, he/she might rely on the legal information within and will not heed the warning that the following is not legal advise and further that the reader and the blogger have not entered into a lawyer/client relationship. This then leads to the reader relying to his/her detriment on a legal blog – which results in him/her feeling indignant and suing the legal blogger.

This caused me to become quite conflicted. I enjoy writing and reading blogs (I have one for a charity program run by a friend and I) and I believe blogging would definitely help me to grow my practice, but every time I tried to write a legal blog post, I worried that someone would sue me for it! I think you can all see how this might lead to some severe writers block.

I have decided, however, that readers of Molly’s blog a) have a relationship with her, not with me and b) are more intelligent and realistic than the average blog reader. So – I am dipping my big toe into this part of the blogosphere and offering up this post as my first guest post for Molly (furthermore, I am pretty sure no one can sue me for this one )

As I said earlier, I am an Intellectual Property attorney. I practice in the areas of trademark, copyright, computer (including open source) and online law. However, I am not a Patent attorney so I cannot really speak to the many current computer patent issues.

My next post here will be an IP law related post. If any of you have an issue you would like me to discuss, post your suggestions here.

And now, back to Mols.”

So there you have it! Got questions? Suggestions, the comment floor is yours!

Filed under:   general
Posted by:   Molly | 16:35 | Comments (16)

Tuesday 14 July 2009

HTML5 & XHTML5: MIME is The Answer

Currently, all the HTML5 / XML “serialization” stuff simply boils down to two straight-forward rules:

  1. If HTML5 using HTML syntax is served with MIME type text/html This is HTML serialization.
  2. If HTML5 using XML syntax is served with MIME type application/xhtml+xml then this is XML.

Disclaimer on all things series 5: I might be wrong now. Then again, I might be right in five minutes.

Filed under:   general
Posted by:   Molly | 04:18 | Comments (16)

Upcoming Travels