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January 24, 2007

podcast interview of me with Cameron Reilly

Cameron Reilly, Aussie podcaster on the podcast network, interviewed little old me a couple of nights back for his G'day world show. Lots of fun, not much hard core tech stuff, but if you want to get a little insight into some of my non tech thoughts, and have a bit of time to kill, you might like to check it out. Or not.

January 24, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

January 23, 2007

Web Directions North + Whistler + Microsoft = the web event of the year


I'm known for my hyperbole, but.

The browser and Web dev tools team at Microsoft have been very enthusiastic supporters of Web Directions North, and among other things, are sponsoring the trip up to Whistler. So if you are coming to the conference, then think about adding on a day or two up the mountain. Because not only will you get transport from Vancouver, and lift tickets for a lot less than you'd normally pay, but the Microsoft team are providing free food and drinks at the famous Garibaldi's Bar (GLC) at the foot of the main chair from midday to 6pm both days for all ski trip attendees.

Oh, and this is the absolute record year of snow falls in Whistler.

Do you need any more excuses to get along?

See you in Vancouver


January 23, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack

January 22, 2007


As observed to me recently by someone or other, I do tend to have a fair bit going on all over the place.

So, I've aggregated myself.

I think the best use of that site migth be to remind me of what I am supposed to be doing


January 22, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

January 17, 2007

Video interview on Style Master, CSS, microformats and the web

During Web Directions South, Japanese web standards powerhouse Kazuhito Kidachi, who has attended all of our conferences down under, did an interview with John Allsopp about all kinds of things, but with a strong focus on microformats. Part one of the interview is here, and part two, here in English, with Japanese subtitles.

The production values are really good, and I am less embarrassed watching than I thought I might be!

Update: The links should work better now, thanks, and apologies for the fuss


January 17, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (9) | TrackBack

Web Directions North News - prices stay low, Media Temple throw a party

Two quick bits of WDN news.

1. Because of some great sponsorship support, and because signups are going well, we've decided to keep the discounted pricing until the week of the conference. But do hurry, we can't guarantee a seat if you leave it too long.

2. Media Temple, web hosting solutions to the stars (and mighty fine they are too), and throwers of legendary parties, including the closing night party at SxSW, are going to be throwing a closing night party for Web Directions North.

Do you need any other excuses to attend?

January 17, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 12, 2007

Web Directions North Student Scholarships

With the conferences I have been involved in organizing, we've always focused on making them as great vaue as possible. But the reality is, to get the best speakers, treat them well, bring them all the way to Australia (or Canada as in the case of Web Directions North), get a good central location, provide decent catering, all really adds up. So, there is a limit to how little we can charge (and of course, two or more people need reasonable recompense for what is a staggering amount of work over 9 months or so). This definitely excludes some people on price, particularly those without a job - which means above all students, who would probably benefit as much or more than anyone from a conference. And surely today's students will have an important role in the future of the web.

So, to make Web Direction North ore accessible, today we introduce scholarship pricing for students. We have set aside 30 conference seats at $195 (CDN) each for qualifying students. This covers our direct costs per person but not the overall conference costs. If your company would like to sponsor the program, please drop us a line.

To qualify you must be a full-time student in a related field (design, computer science, or a specific web development course, for example) and not currently in professional employment. We are limiting the program to 30 students, and we want to ensure that those who benefit from it are those who need it the most. Please note -- when you pick up your conference badge you will be required to show valid identification with an expiry date after February 10th that verifies you are a full time student.

This special scholarship pricing of $195 gives you two days of the conference, fully-catered lunch and breaks, and two receptions - one each night of the conference. This is your chance to meet with peers, industry leaders, and many potential employers, including some of the very biggest names on the web.

To take advantage, if you qualify please use our regular registration page and enter the following code to receive your special discount:


We really look forward to bringing Web Directions North to the next generation of leaders on the web. See you in February.


January 12, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

January 11, 2007

Dear Apple

The iPhone is fantastic. Amazing, unreal, better than even than the hyperbolic rapture it has induced would suggest.

But here is what I really really really want. Less.

The iPhone without the phone bit - wifi, bluetooth, mac os x, the whole box and dice. C'mon phones are so 20th C. If I really need to talk, I can skype (or hey, start your own voip service as part of dotmac, with voice mail boxes, and "real" numbers in so any one can call in - just do a license deal with skype even! $5 a month - if the life of a phone is 24 months, that's 25% of the price of the phone, at surely fantastic margins, for every phone sold. Then how about throw in a $10 a month pass to so much TV, or so many films. OK Ok, just gimme the inoPhone and I'll quit with the stupid suggestions).

And with ubiquitous wifi coming soon to almost every civilized city on earth (well, at least san francisco, where what 25% of your user base is anyway ;-) GSM, 3G, whatever - waste of time money and effort.

So, to recap - give me an ultraportable communicator - like a mylo but wth your ipoddie goodness - no need to wait for FCC approval, I reckon you'd sell 8 bazillion in a fortnight - easy.

Yours sincerely,

john allsopp

tags iPhone

January 11, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack

January 09, 2007

Semantics in HTML

Over at microformatique, a blog I started a few months back focussed on microformats, I've just posted the first in a series of articles on semantics in HTML and web design, focusing on the semantics of HTML. Later installments will consider other sources of semantics, among them microformats, HTML compounds, and page and site architectural semantics, as hopefully will become increasingly formalized over the next couple of years.

January 9, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 08, 2007

Built in Semantics in HTML

I've been working on some things to do with semantics on the web, in particular in relation to HTML. As part of this, I've put together a list of all the elements and attributes of HTML that I consider have strong semantics ass ociated with them. I'd be interested in people's thoughts - any missing? Any of these not really "semantic"?

Thanks for your thoughts,


p.s. this will be published permantently online, as will the article I'm working on.

This is a rough and ready analysis of the built in semantics of HTML. I've left out the semantics of tables and their associated elements and attributes, as these are specific to one kind of markup (tabular data), as opposed to markup more generally. It by no means implies that such markup is not "semantic" (when used appropriately it of course is). Similarly, markup for forms is excluded, and again, of course this markup is semantic when used appropriately. I've also excluded deprecated elements and attributes, regardless of whether they are semantic or presentational. In addition, I've left out included (or "replaced" content (such as object, and img)). My reasoning here is that these are not so much for marking up content, and "transcluding" it from elsewhere.


Each A element defines an anchor
Indicates an abbreviated form
Indicates an acronym
The ADDRESS element may be used by authors to supply contact information for a document or a major part of a document such as a form
BLOCKQUOTE is for long quotations (block-level content)
Contains a citation or a reference to other sources
Designates a fragment of computer code


Indicates that this is the defining instance of the enclosed term

div, span

The DIV and SPAN elements, in conjunction with the id and class attributes, offer a generic mechanism for adding structure to documents

dl, dd, dt

Definition lists, created using the DL element, generally consist of a series of term/definition pairs (although definition lists may have other applications). The term is given by the DT element and is restricted to inline content. The description is given with a DD element that contains block-level content

del, ins

INS and DEL are used to markup sections of the document that have been inserted or deleted with respect to a different version of a document

Indicates emphasis

h1 .. h6

A heading element briefly describes the topic of the section it introduces


Indicates text to be entered by the user

ul, ol, li

unordered and ordered lists are in fact not defined in the specification. "Lists may contain: Unordered information. Ordered information. Definitions."


The P element represents a paragraph


Q is intended for short quotations (inline content) that don't require paragraph breaks


Designates sample output from programs, scripts, etc


Indicates stronger emphasis


Indicates an instance of a variable or program argument


For user agents that cannot display images, forms, or applets, this attribute specifies alternate text
This attribute assigns a class name or set of class names to an element ... For general purpose processing by user agents
The value of this attribute is a URI that designates a source document or message. This attribute is intended to point to information explaining why a document was changed.
The value of this attribute is a URI that designates a source document or message. This attribute is intended to give information about the source from which the quotation was borrowed
The value of this attribute specifies the date and time when the change was made
The id attribute assigns a unique identifier to an element ... For general purpose processing by user agents
This attribute specifies the base language of an element's attribute values and text content
This attribute specifies a link to a long description of the image
This attribute describes the relationship from the current document to the anchor specified by the href attribute
This attribute is used to describe a reverse link from the anchor specified by the href attribute to the current document
This attribute offers advisory

information about the element for which it is set

January 8, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (8) | TrackBack