Oct 03 31 2003

More on Macros

Experimenting with macros suggests some interesting little tricks. For example, the little "badges" I use to tell people about RSS feeds and such look like pictures but they're actually complex little bits of stylesheet magic. Here's an example:


This used to be done by typing a long and messy bit of magic HTML, but now all I need to do is type a macro


And Tinderbox does the rest.

From Boinx Software (great name!), iRecordNow is a handy little tool for the iSight camera. For $15, it records desktop movies.

Oct 03 26 2003


The latest experiment in Tinderbox Labs is macros. From time to time, I find myself adding repetitive HTML to a Tinderbox note, just so I can get a specific effect when I export.

For example, the movie list on the main page is a nice souvenier but it's got to be compact and easy to extend. Right now, I wrap each new title in a span and apply a corresponding style. The macro tool lets me write this more simply

^do(goodMovie,The Red Violin)

This tells Tinderbox to plug the movie title into the appropriate markup, and gives me a single place to tinker with the markup.

It's a small convenience, and it adds substantial complexity; it will be interesting to see if it proves worthwhile.

update: Gordon Meyer comments:Such a good idea that I wish I had suggested it ....The complexity will surely befuddle some users, but I'm hoping it makes it out of the lab and into the product soon. "

Oct 03 17 2003


Anders Fagerjord has published a Web Design Course (in Norwegian). It's made with Tinderbox. Notice particularly the nice sidebar navigation scheme. The three-column layout is entirely stylesheet-based, with no tables or frames. Overall, extending and revising this with Tinderbox should be exceptionally easy and pleasant.

Yesterday, Microsoft was issued a patent for "customization of network documents by accessing customization information on a server using unique identifier numbers."

The patent appears to cover most shopping carts, as well as nearly all Internet-capable adaptive hypertext systems. Research in adaptive hypertext is expected to resume in November, 2020. Thanks, Rosemary Simpson.

Tinderbox was a finalist for the 2003 ClickZ Marketing Excellence Awards in the Best Creative Application/Technology category! Thanks!

Microsoft recently lost a patent suit which, in principle, could force it to eliminate plug-ins -- destroying Flash, Real, Java, and essentially everyone else in the Web client space. Zeldman suggests that Microsoft wanted to lose the case.

I think it unlikely that the Eolas patent will stand up, but it's perfectly plausible that Microsoft might try this on the off-chance that it could use its browser monopoly to get de facto ownership of broadband media. That's the upshot of making Windows/MSIE/MediaPlayer a monolithic standard; Windows would effectively have to be built in to every TV system. The target here wouldn't be Macromedia and Real, but CBS and ABC/Disney; Microsoft could end up owning a toll-booth on the broadcast and cable television highway, and that's a mighty big brass ring.

Aug 03 19 2003

Hypertext Maps

Les Carr sends the URL of this very interesting citation map of the papers from Hypertext '03.