Christian Heilmann

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Archive for April, 2005

You are where you publish

Thursday, April 28th, 2005

It is quite bizarre to see the decline of active web magazines right now. It seems that we all get busier in our real jobs or have different opinions on how things should go forward.

  • is still on the move and our moderation and review queue gets longer and longer.
  • A list apart has a blogworthy news item as the latest issue after a nearly one month silence.
  • publishes one product review wrapped up as an article after another.
  • Devarticles publishes a backlog of one author (which are in parts very badly researched) mixed with canned articles taken from different books.

It is no wonder that others like Digital Web are drowning in articles, and have a publishing queue filled up to August (I will have another article there on 20th of May – first free slot).

Having published articles with most of them, it pains me a bit to see the decline in activity, as it is a lot easier to find good articles when they are published on a web zine rather than googling or digging through blogrolls / RSS feeds.

The benefits of a web zine are (or in some cases should be):

  • Articles get reviewed by an editor, and errors / typos fixed (I am one of those at
  • It is easy to find the articles
  • Considering the web zine, your article will be held in higher esteem than on your personal blog, as it got published alongside other, highly respected writers.

The problems the web zines face are:

  • The amount of bad articles being submitted, spam to filter through and just plain wrong submissions is staggering
  • They either have to have highly motivated editors who work for free or have to advertise cleverly – you can do it wrong – personally I wonder sometimes if the message comes across at some of them.

Are we facing the death of the web zine?

I got the coolest birthday cake ever

Thursday, April 28th, 2005

In the old tradition of giving me things not fitting my physical age (for my 25th I got a Harry Potter cake – Hogwarts Express – yes, I worked for etoys) I got a cake made from Gummi Bears for my 30th (two days ago):

Cake, made from Gummi Bears

Finally some designers who know about their future

Friday, April 22nd, 2005

Check Karlssonwilker, a NY design agency. Click the rectangle with the name and then choose “Jobs” and you know where designers end who consider this kind of navigation fit for the web.
Another nice touch is the little man on the homepage scratching his butt when you hover over him. But that is where my exploration of the site ended. Interactivity and user engagement is not “making the user guess what is going on”.

Full post linking

Monday, April 18th, 2005

There has been quite an interesting thread on css-discuss about solutions how to make a blog post construct like


link. In compliant HTML you cannot nest block elements in a link, therefore you would need to repeat the link three times – one inside the header element and two inside the paragraphs for date and the text. This poses an accessibility issue of three links to tab through / listen to / appear in the document’s links list.

Ingo Chao came up with a pure CSS solution.

The only problem with that one is that the link text will be just far too long, and you have no structure in the text any longer.

I decided to harness JavaScript to do the dirty work.

Adobe buys Macromedia

Monday, April 18th, 2005

It seems like that an operating system monopoly is not enough. Adobe bought Macromedia, which leaves me with mixed feelings. I like Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, I never saw a point in their WYSIWYG tools. The Macromedia products I like are the ones they got when they bought Allaire. What I can forsee with that merger is even more “Click together your web site” tools which claim to create “100% WAI and 508 compliant accessible web sites”. Don’t believe the hype.