Wednesday's lunchtime links

Written by Adrian Holovaty on August 28, 2002

In case you missed it yesterday, Mozilla 1.1 is out.

Digital-Web Magazine has started a new column, Keep It Simple, that aims to answer these questions: "Why do people make complex sites? When does a site become too complex? How should you judge whether a site needs to be complex? What techniques should you use to avoid complexity?" Was this column made for news sites, or what? Can't wait to see what the author, Peter-Paul Koch, has to say.

Steve Outing has a new Editor and Publisher column out today. It's all about Wi-Fi and Tablet PCs, and their effects on news publishing. Here's a snippet:

[The Institute for CyberInformation] is currently working on a digital-newspaper prototype for the Tablet PC...[The institute's director] says the prototype is designed to take a newspaper and make appropriate conversions -- initially using human editors and designers -- for presentation on a Tablet PC. It blends the best of newspaper and Web design into a new format.

I don't know the details of what they're doing, but it seems to me the aformentioned process would be unnecessary if news sites coded their content using Web standards in the first place. If a site is designed with accessibility and standards in mind, its content can be fed into any device capable of browsing the Web. By creating a "new format" for the Tablet PC, these folks are running directly against the Internet's movement toward a universal information-sharing scheme (XML). I'm not surprised Adobe is involved; I sense the company sees an opportunity to create a proprietary format -- much like Macromedia did when Flash was introduced -- over which, ultimately, it will retain control. (Again, I stress that I don't know the details. This is just a first impression.)

Also, now pings each time I add a blog entry. In short, that means you can write a script that parses's changes.xml file on a regular basis and automatically determines the last-updated time of and other blogs. ( offers additional features, in the same vein, that don't require programming.) Many thanks to Stuart for suggesting I set this up.


Posted by Rob on August 28, 2002, at 9:41 p.m.:

I really, really like the new Mozilla. Tabbed browsing has made my life so much easier, and they've made some improvements to it (like keeping the tab bar visible even when there's only one tab open).

Posted by Adrian on August 29, 2002, at 1:07 a.m.:

I love middle-clicking to open a link in the background in a new tab. I'm addicted to it, and I'm afraid there's no going back. :)

Speaking of being addicted to innovative browser features, does anyone use Opera's mouse gestures on a regular basis? There's a downloadable Mozilla extension that enables mouse gestures, but I haven't installed it. I'm curious whether this is the type of feature that gets ingrained so deeply into your browsing habit that it becomes an annoyance not to have it.

Posted by Mike on September 1, 2002, at 3:33 a.m.:

I use Opera on rare occasions and quickly fell in love with mouse gestures. I've since been hoping IE adopts a similar function.

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