we’re moved and all is almost well

Movable Type is not easy. It used to be, but isn't any more. But that's okay, we got everything moved and, with the exception of one bloody blog I still have to set up, everything seems to be working just fine in blogland.

So far, I am really happy with our spiffy new NetSonic webserver. I have no idea what the actual hardware is since Netsonic custom-builds their boxes. But I'm happy. Things seem to be working just swell, and the one or two buggy things we ran into early on and learned the fixes. One thing about NetSonic: tech support is awesome. Bleau is god. I killed the Interland server last night--I wish we had done it sooner. All that remains is getting two site owners to change their nameservers.

I've had a terrible time getting things done today. I think it's pretty much fallout from finishing several big projects right in a row. Or maybe mid-July-how-long-until-our-vacation ennui. I have about eight solid hours of work to do on: spit-polishing one redesign and sending them the bill; finishing two alternative home page layouts for another; updating one site I love; working on another site I'm beginning to love; and rescuing a good site from the hacks made on it by a now-gone marcom "manager." Oh, plus finishing the infopulsellc.com redesign. And adding two new designs/redesigns to our portfolio. And adding in the new ebook to puppetpress.com. All things I want to complete before starting on our next project(s), which I'm getting very antsy to begin. I think they'll be interesting.

At any rate, all of the tasks on my plate are things I like to do. So why can't I just breeze through them, and get them over with?

I've been trying catch up on all the web world stuff I've been too busy to pay attention to. It was kind of a few rounds of returning to old haunts over the past couple of days. Mainly because we finished building a big site.

I wanted to make it a standards-compliant site, not use tables, blah blah blah. It didn't quite work out that way. For one thing, there is no way the site design (visual design, I mean) could be handled without a table. The three columns have to be of equal length, and the left column has an image at the bottom. I searched and searched and read Meyer's stuff and Schmitt's stuff, but nowhere could I find how to make the classic three-columns-of-equal-height layout just using divs. Not when part of the column is empty. If I'm wrong, somebody please let me know.

Then, yesterday and today, I got to thinking: WHY is it such a holy grail to make a webpage without using tables? None of my clients give a rat's ass about being able to display their website on a blackberry or a palm or even a cellphone. And tables without all the style markup stuff aren't bloated. And if you do it right, but having separate tables for the header, content, and footer, the pages load very fast. SO WHAT IS THE FRELLING ADVANTAGE to TABLELESS DESIGN? Convince me.

I also spent some time on Digital Web and Boxes and Arrows. I can't quite figure out why Digital Web is so hard to read. Maybe it has something to do with excessive navel-gazing. For example, the first article in the TOC is "An interview with Brad Smith." Now, Brad might be a mighty okay guy, and he might be god's gift to the web world. but it would be nice to see at least a little summary of why this person is being interviewed BEFORE we get into what he did when he was 16 years old. I know most of the names of the self-appointed weberati, but who cares enough to remember them all? Give me a reason for wanting to read the interview, Nick!

Boxes and Arrows: sometimes I find useful stuff here. Many times it's obvious stuff being pummeled into inflated and dense language that's designed to make it looks like there's a there there as far an information architecture for the web goes. I've yet to see a coherent definition of it. All I can figure out is that, as far as the web goes, it's a way to organize a website so that things can be found. Uh oh, finding things is wayfinding, not IA. Okay, a way to make it easy to use websites. Nope, that's usability ... Okay, so IA is a way to organize stuff. Just that. I think. Though I always thought that organization needed a purpose. Otherwise, it's just neurotic. But maybe I'm missing the point. Will someone enlighten me? (Use simple words, please.)

I think I need a vacation right now. Or at least to get more than four hours of sleep.
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