Posts Tagged ‘dan cederholm’


Monday, February 6th, 2012

I’m not at An Event Apart: Atlanta. Which is a shame because by all accounts I missed some wicked banjo playing by Dan Cederholm. And I love listening to some good banjo.

However, I am following along via Twitter, and saw this announcement by Jeffrey Zeldman, web design godfather and co-founder of An Event Apart:

.@simplebits just unveiled Pears, an open source web design pattern library/WP theme. #aea looks like a convenient little tool for web designers to bookmark, a library of sorts where commonly needed HTML/CSS patterns for common page elements like navigation, lists and such can be quickly grabbed and used. I’m sure you’re all so amazing that you don’t need it for your markup, but I also think for prototyping some page elements this might be a good resource to go-to to quickly grab and paste. You might also find a few new ideas on how to arrange your markup or CSS, too.

Check it out.

Comic Update: An Ovation Apart

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

An Event Apart: DC is running at this very moment. I am not there, sadly, but I am living the experience vicariously through A Feed Apart (which is awesome and you should check it out now) Via that very feed, I learned of applause, as unlikely as it sounds, that Dan Cederholm led the crowd in for IE9. Today’s comic memorializes that event, and also includes Eric Meyer and Jeffrey Zeldman, the two dudes without whom this awesome conference would not exist. (It turns out they’re also very awesome in person. Really. They don’t bite or anything.)

Seriously, if you ever can get to an AEA event, I implore you to go. It’s an awesome experience being surrounded by like-minded web geeks getting leading edge advice and techniques for that thing we do with making the web.

Look, let’s drop the issue of tribe for the moment: IE9 is a better browser than IE8, period. I won’t make it my steady gal, but it’s helping push the web in the right direction by getting Microsoft’s behemoth back on track with everyone else. I’m glad someone at AEA decided to lead the crowd in acknowledging that fact.

Comic Update: Push To Dispense Free Cheese

Sunday, April 18th, 2010

Today’s comic continues the storyline started by the last episode in a display of continuity rarely tolerated here. It continues the celebration of my attendance at An Event Apart: Seattle by showcasing many of the speakers of that groundbreaking event: Andy Clarke, Nicole Sullivan, Jeremy Keith, Eric Meyer, Aarron Walter, Jared Spool, Luke Wroblewski, Jeffrey Zeldman and Dan Cederholm. Also making a noteworthy appearance is Naepalm, the chinchilla alter-ego of Mindfly Web Studio co-worker Janae.

It also is my response to Jeremy Keith’s challenge (made at the event) to create an icon for “Push to Dispense Free Cheese.” I dare anyone else out there to do better.

No, really. I want to see that.

For the past couple of years I’ve followed the going-ons of An Event Apart through the Twitterscape. The inaugural comic of CSSquirrel featured AEA: New Orleans 2008 (and Andy Clarke’s underpants.) This year was the first opportunity I had to attend in person. It blew me away.

Let’s start with the speakers. They are top notch, cream of the crop, cutting-edge members of our website-making industry. They aren’t just paving cow paths (HTML5 philosophy notwithstanding). They’re kicking down the door of the future and lighting up places we’ve never been before. Even better, they’re sharing these cutting-edge thoughts with the rest of us.

I am fully incapable of transcribing in a single blog post what I learned there. It took me eight hours of working alongside Janae to figure out how to compress this information into what became four hours of presentation for our esteemed Mindfly colleagues, and that was with access to informative slides. So instead, let me point you towards some online writings that sum up the event and the lore contained within:


As awesome as the speakers were, another amazing component of the conference was the attendees. I live in lovely Bellingham, WA. It’s about two hours north of Seattle, is nicely sandwiched between mountains and the bay, and is a great place to live. It is not, however, literally crawling with web designers in the same fashion as large cities like Seattle or New York. So to be standing shoulder-to-shoulder with hundreds of invested, devoted website-making peeps is a heady experience. With people coming from design studios, universities like UW, and even sites like I Can Has Cheezburger, it made for a great opportunity to talk shop with people of all different web design backgrounds.

At some point in the recent past I saw someone ask on Twitter if it was worthwhile to pay for a conference for information they could get later on a blog. I can say for certain that yes, it is. There is a quantity of data being that is shared in live meetings that any attempt by myself or others to fully regurgitate in writing is incapable of matching. Speakers absorb earlier comments by their fellows, incorporating ideas into their own presentations. Crowds at lunch and after-parties discuss the merits of the ideas discussed, bringing the focus of several hundred minds to the same issues in one short period of time. Friends known online become real concrete people with a firm handshake, a booming laugh, and other qualities that engrave the real feel of who they are.

Note to self: I forgot to actually acquire one of Dylan Wilbank’s excellent business cards. Dang it.

There’s one more comic that will finish this year’s AEA storyline. But knowing the quality of this event, having finally experienced it firsthand, I can tell you it won’t be the last time AEA gets the squirrel treatment.

Meyer, Zeldman and everyone else that made my two days in Seattle so awesome: Thank you.

Comic Update: Slowing Down at the Pilcrow Public House

Monday, December 21st, 2009

Today’s comic features a rather large cast of web designers (Eric Meyer, Ethan Marcotte, Dan Cederholm, Elliot Jay Stocks and Jeremy Keith) doing nothing involving the web. Rather, each of them has traveled to the Pilcrow Public House for a tall drink and a leisurely respite.

Although I’m deeply in love with the Internet and its delicious offerings, I find that the 21st century is running at a pace that is accelerating and doesn’t allow for much leisure, even during your leisure time. My own plate is rather full, even outside my work hours, with various online and offline activities that result in my bitter laughter when someone asks what I’m doing with my spare time this week.

If, as a web developer, I were to fashion a pub, I’d probably call it the Pilcrow. I’m blaming all the typography nuts that are in my feed reader. Hence it plays stage for a look at what I imagine leisure would be like in the middle of nowhere, preferably without any wifi or 3G signals, leaving you with no choice but to put down the phone and look at who’s next to you.

True to the premise of slowing down, this comic was inspired by some older posts on the blogs of the notables above. When Dan Cederholm updated the design of SimpleBits, he spoke briefly in his post Woodpress about his desire to start writing posts more often, and not for search engines or tutorials, but for conversation.

Ethan Marcotte picked up the thread in an entry by the same name, complimenting Dan’s redesign and realizing that his “quasi-tumblog” wasn’t entirely cracked up as he wanted it to be.  He then quoted a sentence from this post by Merlin Mann that really hit me where it counts: Jesus, I miss paragraphs.

Amen to that. I love Twitter. It’s a great way to get an idea out quickly, to share links and views among peers when time is short or when dealing with a keyboard the size of my thumb. But sometimes I feel like I’ve lost the ability to take my time and write at length because of that need to get the ideas out quickly.

The clincher for me was Elliot Jay Stocks’ contribution to (the web designer’s advent calender) entitled A Pet Project is For Life, Not Just For Christmas. It’s a great read, discussing the need for our own pet projects as a form of relieving work pressure, collaborating with friends, and improving our quality of life. I couldn’t agree more. CSSquirrel is in essence a pet project, but lacks that collaborative nature that can be so addicting. I need to find some quality geeks and a wacky idea and get rolling. To me, these sort of projects are an equivalent the fixer-uppers in the garages of our fathers. They’re there for some peace and the opportunity to play with your toolset.

So I don’t know about you, but one of my New Year’s Resolutions is to find a way to slow down where it counts, and tinker more where it doesn’t. Or the reverse of that. I’m not sure which.

(Regarding Meyer and Keith’s presence in the comic: Eric Meyer wrote on Twitter about applying to truck-driver’s school on a day off. Fictitious or real, I found it hilarious. I also recently re-discovered the Salter Cane website, featuring a band including one Jeremy Keith on bouzouki. I’ve found the music rather enjoyable, and may have to purchase one of their albums.)

Comic Update: Ampersand Lust

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

Edit (12/05/2009): I’ve created a vector version of this comic. If you’d like to see the old, hand-drawn version, it can be seen here.

Today’s comic is hand-drawn, and hastily at that, so please forgive the roughness. I’m breaking in a new Windows 7 machine at work, and have had zero free time at home thus far this week. However, I had to provide a comedic take on designers, ampersands, and their unending lust for one another.

If time permits, this will be re-cast in the forge of vector.

I took my inspiration for today’s frivolty from Dave Shea’s recent tweet on the topic, hence his presence in the comic. Dan Cederholm fits well as what we’ll call Exhibit A. His site’s very banner features an elaborate, carefully cared-for member of this strange, storied symbol. His actions in the comic tend towards the vulgar, but I’m pretty sure that if ampersands walked about, at least one designer would try to jump them in this fashion.

As for me, I find our little “&” friend to be a fun part of our typographic heritage. But I know so little about typography that I haven’t been infected by this particular syndrome (ampersandphilia?). I try my best to fit in amongst those who crave it, like a teetotaler carrying a cup of ginger ale when socializing with drunks, but sooner or later someone’s going to notice that my heart’s just not in it, at which point I’ll need to flee like Frankenstein’s monster ahead of the pitchfork crowd.

Now, bacon on the other hand…