Charles Engelke's Blog

January 29, 2007

XHTML 1.1 Quick Reference is gone!

Filed under: Web Development — Charles Engelke @ 6:30 pm

I have been using the fantastic XHTML Quick Reference from “ddcc” at MIT for years. It’s a fantastic resource: a hypertext reference to all the elements of XHTML 1.1 and their allowed attributes.

Or, it was. Today when I clicked my bookmark, I got a “File Not Found” response. I guess “ddcc” whoever he or she is, has left MIT. But I really need that guide!

I’ll just google it! But I can’t find it copied anywhere. How about Google’s cache? Hooray, it’s there! But, of course, the links don’t work. I see in the cache that the whole guide can be downloaded, but the download link doesn’t work. Why didn’t I download a copy when I could?

Hmm… when I could… The Internet Archive Wayback Machine to the rescue. Just put the URL that used to work in the search box, and get links to how the page looked on various dates. I could probably just change my bookmark to the latest copy, but there’s an even better option: the download link works here! The Wayback Machine fixes the links, and points to its own archived copy of the file. Thanks, Mr. Peabody!

And so I don’t lose it again, I’ve put a copy of the guide on my website. The download link even works there, so you can grab a copy for yourself, too. The document is offered under the GNU Free Documentation License, so it’s perfectly okay for you to copy it.

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March 29, 2004

“Fudgability”

Filed under: Web Development — Charles Engelke @ 11:50 am

Kasei writes about
the importance
of fudgability
in software to automate previously manual
operations. It’s worth reading.

December 2, 2003

Too smart for their own good

Filed under: Web Development — Charles Engelke @ 9:47 pm

It’s not rare for a website to be hard to use. Website development
is pretty difficult, and making it work well is a pretty tough
assignment. But sometimes very smart website developers work very hard
using difficult technology to produce a site that’s just awful to use.
If the developers had just been a bit lazier, or a bit less sophisticated,
the site would be much better.

(more…)

November 18, 2003

Why You Want to Keep Things Simple

Filed under: Web Development — Charles Engelke @ 4:24 pm

For every 25 percent increase in problem complexity, there is a
100 percent increase in complexity of the software solution. That’s
not a condition to try to change (even though reducing complexity is
always a desirable thing to do); that’s just the way it is.

That’s Fact 21 in Robert L. Glass’s

Facts and Fallacies of Software Engineering
. He backs this up with
a published study from 1979.

(more…)

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