Using the app has another great side benefit as its compiler flags errors it finds in the code and tosses up a Growl notification with a brief explanation of the problem — so not only am I writing CSS more efficiently, I’m also writing much more error-free CSS as a result. Win-win.
Who else is using LESS (or its contemporary SASS) to write and simplify CSS?
Glad to see someone still remembering how powerful it can be to get notified of social media over IM. It’s still a real shame Twitter never brought back its XMPP bot.
Head over to im.wordpress.com and get the bot if you’re into being pinged about blogs — you can subscribe to my blog using the command sub jaredwsmith.com.
WordPress 3.3.1 is now out. Upgraded here without a hitch. It fixes a security problem so be sure to update sooner rather than later.
Internet Explorer 6 usage share in the US is now below 1 percent according to Microsoft. If you’re still expending energy trying to design for IE 6, it really is time to move on. It turned 10 last year. For some perspective, the other active browsers at the time of IE 6′s release included Netscape Communicator 4.7, Netscape 6, and Opera 6. Do you still test for those?
If you’re using Internet Explorer 6 by choice, stop. You are missing out on the best the Web has to offer. If you can’t upgrade your machine from Windows XP or earlier, there are still working versions of Firefox and Chrome available for you (and IE 8 works on Windows XP, too).
And if your corporate IT policy demands Internet Explorer 6, your corporate IT department is knowingly running an insecure browser (Secunia reports at least 15% of IE 6′s known flaws remain unpatched). Who in the world would think this is sane IT policy?
IE 6 had a remarkable run largely at the expense of the advancement of Web standards. Fortunately, Mozilla disrupted things and kicked Microsoft out of cruise control and back to competing (a position from which Microsoft has historically done its best work). IE 9 was a massive improvement over any previous version of IE to date, and IE 10 is expected to be pretty fantastic standards-wise, so even if the open source alternatives aren’t palatable, Microsoft is doing a much better job on this front and should only continue to improve.
I’m trying to get into Path more. While the idea of a social network with an extremely low friend limit (150 friends) is hard for me to grasp given my assumptions that anything I publish online is for public consumption, I’m won over by its excellent design — indeed, it has a timeline implementation that Facebook could only dream of — and its ability to be a universal publisher to the big four social sites (Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare and Tumblr).
By far the most interesting use of Path I’ve seen so far is by Jon Mitchell on ReadWriteWeb, where he uses Path to illustrate a story on his experiences serving on a jury and what they mean for the social Web. It only works, too, because Path is so well-designed and thought out.
It will be fun to watch Path’s path. It could be quite a contender in 2012.
In a column for his SuperSite for Windows explaining why he has never covered the BlackBerry, Paul Thurrott makes a damning case for RIM’s demise:
RIM didn’t declare bankruptcy or exit the market for smart phones or anything. What they did announce, however, was that their next generation mobile OS, now called Blackberry 10, won’t ship until the end of 2012, a full year from now. This comes on the heels of one of the worst years I’ve ever seen any tech company experience, and I’d remind you that this happened during a time in which both Yahoo and HP were stumbling around blindly, looking generally foolish and without aim. RIM makes both of those companies look like huge successes by comparison.
RIM’s downfall started with the BlackBerry Bold 9000. It was a great phone, but it looked like an iPhone with a physical keyboard and was the first BlackBerry I owned with serious stability issues. RIM became reactive with the 9000 and it’s been all downhill since then.
RIM succeeded with consumers for a while because its Facebook integration outclassed everybody. If you wanted to use Facebook on a phone, you got a BlackBerry. The Pearl and the Curve were immensely popular with college students in particular in the mid-late 2000s for this exact reason. As a power smartphone user with a notification fetish, the BlackBerry more than fulfilled my purposes (and I think it may still be unmatched). Great notifications, though, are a drop in the bucket against the power and stability of modern iOS- and Android-based smartphones. The fact that the BlackBerry is still difficult to build apps for and the BES duplicates functionality and adds overhead at an enormous cost are just the nails in the coffin.
Updated at 5:15 PM with a little more context in the first graf.
WordPress 3.3 “Sonny” is out. I haven’t upgraded here just yet and might wait a few days to see how the plugin situation shakes out. There are some fantastic improvements in this release, including a drag-and-drop uploader and improvements for multi-user editing. Here’s the full changelog. I’ll let you know how my multisite installation here goes (I also run Somnambulonimbus on this instance).
Update 8:16pm EST: WordPress 3.3 is installed and running. Fast upgrade as always. If you’re using W3 Total Cache and hosting your wp-includes files on the CDN, you’ll probably run into trouble with the new toolbar (formerly known as the Admin Bar) if you’re caching aggressively. It took a few minutes for my new files to finish pushing to CloudFront, but after a couple refreshes, the proper CSS was in place and everything looked good.
Update 10:21pm EST: The WordPress download counter is always fun to watch after a new version is released. At the time of this update, it’s already been downloaded over 64,000 times. This includes in-place upgrades and .zip/.tar.gz downloads from the site, but not Subversion checkouts or one-click installs on web hosts.
Flipboard is now on the iPhone, and what a remarkable piece of software it is. Flipboard is already how I prefer to browse social media and RSS on the iPad, and I can see myself doing more of the same with the iPhone version. Check out John Paul Titlow’s review at ReadWriteWeb.
Early Lion adopters, 10.7.1 is now available via Software Update. The update I’m being pushed is only 17.4 MB — that’s it. It should fix the Safari video bug, the Wi-Fi bug for periodic disconnections (one I have been getting hit with frequently), and some other assorted issues. Check Software Update now or get the combo updater.
Today is August 2, 2011 — or 08.02.11, which geeks the world over are proclaiming as “Wi-Fi Day,” paying homage to the IEEE spec 802.11 which defines wireless networks.
I vividly remember the first time I used a wireless network. In the spring of 2003, I was working as a student worker in a computer lab at Lander University in Greenwood, SC, and our lab had gotten a test access point and PC Card adapters (remember those?). Imagine my amazement when I put in the card, installed the drivers, and was online. It was, in a sense, magical. No being tethered to a network cable (or a modem, for that matter). It was so incredible that when I left for the summer I demanded my parents get a cable modem and wireless equipment for the house — and the rest was history. I haven’t lived in a Wi-Fi-less place since — who would want to?
I challenge you to think of another technology that’s had more of an impact on our culture than Wi-Fi over the last 10 years. Without Wi-Fi, mobile adoption of social networking would likely have been stunted. Wireless connectivity — especially Wi-Fi — has likely been a huge part of why Apple is successful again. (Imagine the first EDGE-only iPhone without the Wi-Fi option — yuck!) The tablet computer is likely not even a thought without wireless networking.
Many of us take Wi-Fi for granted now, but it has brought us — and will continue to help bring us — wonderful new technologies that build on top of it. So here’s to you, Wi-Fi, on 08.02.11. Thanks for being there for me (most of the time, when I’m in range).