Cleveland Web Standards Association

This past Tuesday I attended the most recent meetup of the Cleveland Web Standards Association. I have to say that it was without a doubt our best ever. Apparently I am not the only one who feels this way. Chris Miller gave the meetup a great review on Refresh Cleveland’s site. Brad Colbow discussed how the meetup has grown these past few months, from a simple meeting with five web geeks to an association made up of web professionals from all over the area.

I have always had a great time at these events. Meeting others in area who share a love for working on the internets. Learning new things. Socializing over a pint of Guinness.

Tuesday’s meetup, however, really moved everything to the next level. Starting off with a great microformats presentation by none other than the esteemed Eric Meyer. The evening then moved on to socializing and networking with friends both old and new.

In addition to setting a standard for the format of future meetups (pun intended), we also have some new digs. Through the efforts of James Golden and Al Wasco, we now have a home at Cuyahoga Community College’s West Campus (Tri-C West for you locals). This space lends itself to the kind of format we are looking for which will include presentations, workshops and round table discussions. Oh, I can’t forget the free coffee (thanks, Al).

Like I said, it really was a great time and I’m looking forward to many more. For those in the area who were not able to make it on Tuesday.

POSH Your Site Up!

There has been some talk around the Cleveland web scene of late asking the question: What standards should we be promoting?

The consensus in the comments of the Refresh Cleveland article, mine included, was that there is a real need to focus on the basics. By “basics” I mean Plain Old Semantic HTML or simply POSH. The idea of POSH was born from the Microformats movement as a way of promoting best practices in markup. By implementing POSH practices when designing or developing your sites, you are ensuring that the foundation is standards compliant. And that is what we are all striving for here, right?

In his article on the Clear Function blog entitled Applying progressive enhancements to your website, Nate Klaiber makes some POSH points:

HyperText Markup Language is the core of how web pages are constructed. HTML is used to define structure and give semantic meaning to your content layer. It is important to understand the tags you have available to you and when and where they should be properly used. Get your content structured and in place. Here you are building the foundation for the rest of your website. Be sure to keep your HTML clean of any presentational tags or attributes.

Nate’s got it right. Make sure the foundation of your site, the content, is properly contructed. Only after you have a semantically rich site that validates should you then move on to enhancing it with CSS, JavaScript and Microformats.

How does one make sure that their website is POSH? I’m glad you asked. On the POSH section of the Microformats wiki, there is a checklist:

By following these suggestions, and implementing best practices in your HTML authoring, you will be well on your way to creating semantically rich, standards based websites. You really should visit the POSH wiki for more information on the subject. It has a wealth of resources that will help you in your efforts to make the web a better place.

A little nip here, a little tuck there.

I was a bit bored with some of the elements of my site so I decided it needed a little facelift. No major surgery, just a quick update of the logo and some new background images for the titles. Although I think next time I will use sIFR.

This site is due for some major updates and changes, but sadly other projects are forcing me to put those changes off for a while. Hopefully I can get the ball rolling this fall, but I hesitate to make any promises.

TextMate for Windows?

By now, everyone I know is aware that I plan on getting a Mac. I’m sure I’ve bored my poor wife to tears over the subject.

Well, until that day arrives I’ll have to endure using my PC. There is, however, something that may make the situation a bit more bearable. I’ve just learned of a new text editor for Windows that mimics TextMate for the Mac. Its called E -TextEditor (or simply ‘E’) and it looks great. Not only does it work like TextMate, but it supports the bundles as well. In fact, when you try to view the documentation for E it redirects you to the TextMate site.

I’m going to give this software a spin since they offer a free trial. If it turns out to be all that they say it is, its only $34.95 to purchase a license. If there is anyone out there wishing they had an advanced text editor for Windows with all of the bells and whistles of TextMate, this may be what you’re looking for.

Revisionist History

I have just learned about the departure of Derek Powazek and Heather Champ from JPG Magazine via Naz Hamid.

The blatant rewriting of the history of JPG and the subsequent removal of any mention of Heather Champ’s contributions have prompted me to delete my account.

I had not been a part of JPG Magazine’s community for very long, so I am sure that getting rid of my account means absolutely nothing. It’s the principle. I don’t want to have any association with an organization that will treat its founders, the ones who really made the magazine what it was, with such disrespect.