Archive for August, 2006

Alsopp on Microformats

If you’ve been curious about how microformats have evolved and their current state, you’ll want to read this article – “The Big Picture on Microformats” by Westciv/Style Master guru John Alsopp – . Great read on what’s happening with microformats right now. If you’ve no idea what Microformats are, why they’re needed and how to get started with them, you’ll definitely want to gem up on the basics at the Microformats site. What are you waiting for? Even comedian Steve Martin is using an hCard now.

(And if your editor of choice is Dreamweaver, you can download the current beta of WaSPian Drew McLellan‘s sweet Microformats extension for DW here. Nice!)

Again, John’s great ’roundup’ article can be found here. Dig it!

Gucci’s redesign, and passing the ‘Skip Intro’ torch

With great power comes great responsibility… ;-)

I just read Ajaxian’s review of the new Gucci website, which is using script.aculo.us to build out a very slick, ‘Flash-esque’ user experience. Great job, too. I like what they’ve done with the site, it’s very aesthetically pleasing but also easy to navigate and browse.

But I have to chuckle a bit as I read the ‘skip intro’ barb in the first comment on Ajaxian – a portend of hauntings to come with script.aculo.us and other visual widgets realized in Javascript? Although Flash took many direct punches on the chin over the ‘skip intro’ sites, back then Flash was also the only real game in town for rich, interactive online experiences (as well as gratuitous animation). Now that Javascript can be abused with equal ease and aplomb for visual experiences, can we finally just agree as a community that it’s *designers and engineers* who are responsible the decisions to weigh down an experience with excessive visual flair/cruft/elements, and not the underlying technologies that enable them?

I suspect you won’t hear that ‘Javascript/Ajax is 99% Bad’ anytime soon, alas. Personally I think that any technology, if abused or overused, can become ‘99% bad’. But that’s just me (and my biased opinion)… and given Javascript’s recent emergence in this arena, I suspect there’s a lot more to be said on the subject in coming months and years.

Welcome to the ‘skip intro’ club, script.aculo.us! ;-)

Ted vs. SEO – Flex Templating (FXT)

Ted Patrick’s FXT (Flex Templating) post and sample code also addresses common RIA concerns such as back-button support, RESTful URLs, it’s a very flexible way to allow the HTML container of a Flex app to provide the data model for the Flex 2 SWF-based view/controller in a way that allows spiders to easily crawl and index the content – one of the most common complaints I hear about Flex/Flash applications today. Chafic feels that this could be a step towards Flex replacing HTML – and I’d have to agree that although that may be quite a while off, FXT is definitely a HUGE step moving Flex apps in the right direction. Ted gave me a quick laptop demo of FXT yesterday while we were both down in the San Jose offices, and I’ve been hard-pressed to get it off my mind ever since. I’m really glad Ted announced FXT today, so I can purge my driving need to talk about it postehaste. :)

If you haven’t checked out FXT yet, definitely visit Ted’s blog, download/check out the source and give it a spin. This could have you thinking entirely differently about Flex applications as replacements or even adjuncts to your current content models. Very cool stuff!

New Video Article live on the MDC

Well, actually it’s a more permanent reprint of a similar article that ran in the Edge newsletter recently, but you may not have seen it there – 3 quick tips for rookie video producers. Pretty straightforward stuff for video pros (color-matching multi-camera shots, removing buzz/hiss from audio, and nesting workflows in After Effects for more efficiency), but invaluable when you need to pull usable footage out of a quickly-shot reel.

I’m just noticing it’s been a LONG time since I’ve blogged, too- apologies for the cone of silence recently. I’ve been working pretty hard on a ‘secret project’ the last month or two, and speaking regularly throughout (most recently at the Adobe Ideas conference in Tokyo, Japan last Friday). Man, time can fly when you’re having fun… ;-)