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December 27, 2007

Facta non verba - or a little less conversation, a little more action

Since at least the Romans, as a civilisation we've valued actions over words - we see it in many aphorisms, "deeds not words", "actions speak louder than words", "talk is cheap" and even the recently popular Elvis number "a little less conversation, a little more action".

Of course, we also as a civilisation also value words - "the pen is mightier than the sword" and all that - and rightly too. But it's the balance of words and actions that we need to get right.

Increasingly this year I've been thinking about the issue - in the context of the web design and development world, in particular the online communities which revolve around these practices, the blogs, mailing lists and other forums we frequent.
And ironically for someone who runs conferences, and speaks not infrequently at them as well, who has written many thousands of words online, and whole books for heaven's sake, I think we are getting the balance wrong. At times, I feel we have a little too much conversation going on, and maybe not quite enough action.

In many ways, it's probably a function of the central role blogging plays in this world. And central to blogging is the written word - typically the thoughts of an individual. Actions are on the other hand a little more nebulous, harder to follow, to keep track of. And so words get amplified (and attention, the lifeblood of blogging), and a much better return on investment than say submitting a bug report to Mozilla, Opera, Safari, or other browser project that has open bug tracking, or writing a CSS test case. These tend not to get too many Diggs.

I've tried to address this balance in my professional life by making a lot of what I write very practical, and by developing tools like XRAY and MRI with hopefully more in that vein on the way.
With our conferences, we try to balance the educational and practical with the inspirational and visionary, the "walk" with the "talk".

So here's my own new year's resolution, and hope for the coming year. That we balance the talk with the walk a bit better, that we realize and put into effect the reality that a lot of what we believe makes the web a better place is hard graft - developing standards that stand the test of time, promoting those standards with clients, colleagues, friends and family, writing code, testing software and standards - and this is often unsung and hardly glamorous, but in the long run is worth on average a whole lot more than yet another blog post about what is going wrong with the web.

December 27, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

December 22, 2007

Cool compliment to XRAY and MRI

The very succinctly named "Design" is a great looking set of tools by Allan Jardine that would compliment MRI and XRAY very nicely methinks. Not available for IE6, but for all modern browsers (IE7, Opera, Webkit and Mozila based browsers).

Excellent work!

December 22, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack

December 16, 2007

Google's Knol

I have some thoughts on Knol at my microformats focussed blog, Microformatique.

December 16, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 06, 2007

a bit of python help?

Anyone out there got some python skillz? I'm simply trying to install a python based OS app, but having some trouble - I am sure it's dead easy (well, it says so on the cereal packet).

So, if you'd be able to give me a couple of minutes of your time, I'd muchos appreciate that, just drop me a line (use the support form as it doesn't cop the spam trapping that other addresses do, not cause I don't want you to have my email address)!


December 6, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack