A 2004 Best of the Year Post

Earth is really full of things. — The King of All Cosmos, in Katamari Damacy

It’s New Year’s Eve, and I didn’t play as much Katamari Damacy or World of Warcraft over the holiday break as I wanted. I was working on this end of the year post.

Here’s my stab at a ‘best of the web’ for 2004:

Articles on Web Development

I ended up writing plenty of JavaScript this year, so the blog posts and articles I appreciated reflect that:

Separating Behavior and Structure
Peter-Paul Koch’s article on using late binding with JavaScript changed how I write it. The key: don’t embedd JavaScript in the page. Use the JavaScript DOM API to attach the onclick and other event driven controls after the page loads.
Closures and executing JavaScript on page load
Simon Willison wrote an introduction to closures, showing how and why to use them when implementing Peter-Paul Koch’s late binding techniques.
Zebra Tables
Peter F. Miller’s ALA article on ‘striping’ tables demonstrates Peter-Paul’s technique nicely.
Semantic XHTML
Kevin Marks and Tantek Çelik’s presentation on using XHTML ‘to show what you mean’ changes how I write markup.
Tinderbox Category Factory
One reason I may well just switch this blog to Tinderbox. Doug Miller’s awesome hack from the San Francisco Tinderbox weekend.

Other Web Writing

Ikeaphobia and its discontents
Adam Greenfield’s defense of the popularization of Scandanavian furnishings, and coffee that doesn’t taste of soap.
Namarie Sue
It’s from last December, but I must include Teresa Nielsen Hayden’s guided tour through the wilds of authorial self-insertion.
Adbuster’s Fables of the Reconstruction
Worldchanging’s criticism of fantasies where you destroy civilization in order to save it (after all, it certainly isn’t helping Iraq.)
The Elitism of Despair
Bellatrys’ letter to the Fabians
Superlegitimacy: passion and ecstasy of a Tokyo train driver
Nick Currie on Japan’s superficial resemblence to the West

My own favorite entries

We may be on the verge of nothing important
Bruce Sterling’s Long Now Foundation Talk on The Singularity
Lossless XHTML
My notes on Tantek and Kevin’s talk mentioned above.
Really, Catalogs Matter
My misadventures with XML Catalogs and PHP 4′s DOMXML extension.

The neatest web thing: autocompletion with the XMLHTTPRequest object.

And here’s some other things I liked:


  • Bebel Gilberto
  • Franz Ferdinand
  • DJ McSleazy’s Mashup of the Beastie Boys and Franz Ferdinand
  • Last Exile
  • Haibane Renmei
  • Shawn of the Dead
  • The Incredibles
  • The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Funny Stuff

My best wishes for a happy and better 2005. I thank you for reading this old weblog.