Unstoppable Robot Ninja

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Let’s talk nostalgia for a moment. I’m good at that.

For a too-short but delicious year starting in 2000, I worked in Boston for a Manhattan-based design studio (yeah, don’t ask), and spent my fair share of weeks in the SoHo office. At the time I was slinging more spacer GIFs and font tags than was probably wise, working twice as hard to get pages working in, well, basically two horribly incompatible browsers—as most of the three of you were, I’m guessing. Still, I like to think I got pretty good at my job: I developed some proficiency at anticipating the usual pitfalls, and how best to mangle my markup to dance around them. If you can call that a skill. But whatever: it worked, it met deadlines, and it made clients happy. “Version 4.0 and higher” was the song we sung back then, and our little studio sung it pretty damned well.

Then, in the span of one insane October week, I discovered Zeldman, the Web Standards Project, and A List Apart. Here was a guy who insisted there was a better way of working and, more importantly, that our current methods weren’t cutting it. Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the most acute individual working online: it took me a full month to “get” the CSS Zen Garden, and I wholly blame the literature major for that one. But when Jeffrey told us exactly where we could send those awful, broken browsers, it struck one hell of a chord. I was hooked. A convert. A fan.

Fast forward a bit. The intervening years have brought plenty of the sturm and drung, but throughout it all I’ve remained a fan of the web standards community, and of Zeldman’s involvement specifically. That’s why it’s incredibly exciting (and not a little intimidating) to have been asked to co-author the next edition of Designing With Web Standards, Jeffrey’s little orange green bible on how to build a better web. Based off our initial plotting phone calls, there’s going to be quite a bit of new, awesome material in this refreshed edition, and I can’t wait to get to work.

So: I’m beyond flattered and deeply humbled. But most of all, I’m excited: it should be a fun few months, to say the least. Stay tuned, and thanks—as always—for reading.

This is a blog entry posted on day 11699 in the Journal.

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