BarCamp Sydney #4 – Saturday, 15 November 2008

The (un)organisers of BarCamp Sydney have let me know that they are preparing for yet another festival of creativity to engage and excite the Australian tech and innovation community. Details below.

Date: 15 November 2008

Venue: UNSW Roundhouse

Time: 9:00AM-5:00PMpm (registration starts at 8:30AM)

Register: Do it yourself on the wiki

If you’ve never been to a BarCamp before, I highly recommend it. Make some time in your schedule. For those that have been before, I needn’t remind you how great BarCamp is. Take a look at my tag list below to see just how much of your life this might touch.

Hopefully, I’ll see you there. I’m not sure how my timetable is yet.

Best web developer tools


A week or so ago (?) there was a post on digg, or Slashdot, or mezzoblue, or somewhere discussing the best tools for web developers. The post focussed on a key set of Firefox extensions, but if I recall correctly, also branched out into some desktop apps as well. They may have all been open source/freeware/shareware. Can anyone point me back at the article?

Meantime, has anyone taken a good look at Aptana? Particularly the Eclipse extension? It looks pretty comprehensive, but I just haven’t had the opportunity to play as yet.

Why web standards DON’T suck


While this story is far from new, nearly three years old as I write, in fact, if this can’t convince you – or your clients, perhaps more importantly – that web (re)development using recognised and proven web standards is a worthwhile, then there’s no way you’ll ever be convinced. Even today, I find significant resistance among my clients for a semantic markup and CSS approach to their redevelopments. More often than not, that resistance is driven by a perception (albeit a false one) that semantic markup and CSS will cost in terms of time-to-deployment and complexity of maintenance. It can take a hell of a lot of work to convince clients otherwise.

The story recounts a site redevelopment by ESPN, where the site was switched from table-based layout to a structured HTML and CSS-based layout. Mike Davidson of Newsvine has the whole story up at his blog.

This story has made digg today, which is where I found it. Not sure why or how, but digg’s a strange beast.

It’s all in the numbers

This year has been about the numbers. Really. There are some fascinating places out there on the Web whose very existence revolves around the numbers they have in their names. Here are my “four of the best”:

  • 9rules – more or less an aggregator of quality blog content on a huge range of subjects. No chaff, all wheat (although not necessarily in your favorite wheaty flavor);
  • 43 Folders – lofi personal organization and time management, OSX tips and software, other stuff. Cool;
  • 365tomorrows – a short piece of speculative fiction every day for a year. Interesting concept and definitely some diamonds there, and;
  • 24 ways – an Advent Calendar for the web geek. A new web design/tech tip every day for Christmas. Jolly Holly to you!

Any more for any more?

Sweet Color Schemer

If, like me, you have no concept of web design, nor of how to come up with a decent color scheme for your site (let alone the design, which is a whole other story…), this little wonder will save your ass very nicely! And it’ll export your color scheme as a Adobe Photoshop .act, Macromedia Illustrator .ai or as plain text.
Of the very many color scheme generators out there, this is definitely one of the best I’ve found; and it comes up with very pleasing color sets. Unfortunately, it doesn’t tell you which colors to use where (banner, links, menus, etc.) – I am yet to find one which does.