What is valid anyway?

Coding Perfection
Photo by Simon Pow

There are many people that talk about xHTML and CSS code with a passion (myself included), and that only perfectly valid code is the way to build a website. If you want my honest opinion, the only reason my code is always valid is to shut up the critics that only base critiques on whether it passes the nice Validator Test over at W3C.

On the odd occasion, the Validator can be a good way to spot a mistake, but in no way does it guarantee cross browser compatibility or in fact make it work in future browsers. In fact, more often than not, perfectly valid code will never be cross-browser compatible, and that is the most frustrating part of what I do. What is the point then in having these standards? At the end of the day, a website user doesn’t care how a website works, so long as it works for them!

I guess it just comes down to some people’s mantra, or work ethics. When I create the code I do, I firstly ensure that it is cross-browser compatible (for the consumer), and once I have succeeded I then start to work on ensuring that the code is also valid (for my ego). Obviously the consumer comes first, but as the perfectionist I am, standards are imperative. It also shuts those small-minded critics up!

To me, what is far more important is the accessibility and usability of a website. There are people that like to think that valid code means these two things, and they couldn’t be more wrong. Semantics and logic are the key to these issues, which is something I’ll be talking about in the not too distant future!

Webhosting Choices

Servers powering the London Stock Exchange

Choosing a home for a website is possibly the most frustrating thing you can do on the web, it’s in effect like choosing a new house, but combined with moving to a completely new town. Sometimes you can do all the research in the world, but nothing can prepare you for what it’s actually like to live there.

I have been a firm believer in Dreamhost, and had a great time with them. Although I have experienced very little downtime with them, I have noticed that things have been getting pretty slow lately, and decided I need a more reliable host, not just for myself, but for my clients. Their recent billing issue fortunately didn’t affect me, and the way they handled it was the reason why I love Dreamhost. Their transparency, urgency, but mostly sense of humour is definitely what has kept me there, and support has always been great with emails being answered within a couple of hours.

I have read a lot about A Small Orange, who seem to be a very reliable and trustworthy host. Although they are less transparent, and don’t appear to have as much of a personal touch I think that it is about time to actually try out another host. However I do not want to be reliant on just one web host, especially since I will still be in a shared environment, so I think that I will configure the DNS settings so that they primarily point to A Small Orange, but also have a copy at Dreamhost. This way, hopefully my websites will always be available, even if one host is experiencing problems.

I haven’t purchased an account yet, but hopefully I will test one of my domains there in the near future to see how the transition goes. If all goes well, then hopefully I will have a new home!

Beautiful Sunset

Shlino lake sunset from Timelapser on Vimeo.

Time lapse videos are really quite stunning, and combined with a really nice sunset, it makes a nice short video which might makes us think that the world we live in is actually a happy one.

I love the next generation of online videos, the HD generation. This is made possible thanks to the likes of Vimeo who offer such a great service to it’s users. You can see more HD videos on the Vimeo HD Channel.

Unboxing my Moo!

I actually got my Moo MiniCards a while back but haven’t had chance to get these photos online! One of the few products which actually make you excited to open… it’s like Christmas all over again!

As you can see I love colour! Once I get some spare time I will be redesigning this site to compliment my new business cards, I know it should be the other way round, but I just fell in love with these when I got them!

You can see in the photo below that there was a printing error on 6 of the cards (look closely on the left hand side!) Thanks to this, Moo very kindly sent me another fresh pack so I ended up getting 200 cards for the price of 100. I thought this was a nice touch, especially that they acknowledged the fault before I even got chance to get in touch!

If anybody wants any of these just get in touch with me anyway you can think of (I love email!) then I’m sure I’ll be able to send a few lots out!

Moo Envelope!Moo Box and Card HolderLining them UpMy Moo!I Love Colour! Can you tell?Some Cheesy Phrases...Moo in a RowStripy MooArty Farty Arrangementand again...Moo Mess!Moo not Messy! Moo Printing Errors :(Moo BacksideUp Close BacksideMoo ViewsAwesome Supernana Holder!

What the frig am I doing?

Well, it’s been a busy time hence the very lack of updates! I’ve been working with an awesome guy, Phil Campbell of me.dm on quite a few projects, a tinyURL clone (for an awesome cause) and a great little video site integrating Seesmic videos! Hopefully more cool little projects coming along soon, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed!

I’ve also been putting together the foundations for a website for a friend of the family who wants to start selling Wedding Cakes online. It’s coming along great and just needs content in there and it’ll be finished!

Also been chatting to a great guy in Atlanta about a new project which needs taking care of. A high school over in America, needs their website redeveloping so that should be an exciting couple of weeks working on their website and integrating it into something a lot more worthy than their current website!