Mr Olsson, I presume?

Last Thursday I had the immense pleasure of meeting Tommy Olsson in person. For those who recognize his name, he’s the person behind the now resting blog that contains excellent writings, The Autistic Cuckoo.

When I first started out blogging, Tommy was one of the persons that really supported and inspired me, so I was really glad to finally meet him! Tommy lives about four hours north of Stockholm, therefore we haven’t had the opportunity to meet sooner. Unfortunately we only got an hour or so together between Tommy’s Stockholm meeting and his train ride back home, but I see this more as a beginning of upcoming meet-ups than a one-time thing. :-)

If you haven’t read his writings, I definitely recommend you taking a look. Also, the moral of this post is to make sure you meet people in real life; if you like someone’s writings, or if there’s anyone who likes what you produce, just make it happen. I think it’s important for digital friends to meet up, it’s a totally different kind of socializing that we need to combine with our life in front of computer screens.

So, if you’re in Stockholm, don’t hesitate to contact me! I love meeting people!

Have you met Tommy too? Let me know.

Posted in General |

20 Comments

  • Maarten Leewis says:

    I totally agree. It's great to meet people you met online. I have made some great friends, i'm still in contact with years after. I started with ICQ and Carracho about 8 years ago. I actually met my ex-girlfriend online, she was Swedish and we lived together in Stockholm. Stockholm was one of my best experiences ever. So i'm around occasionally to meet some of my friends there.

    Two weeks ago, i had the chance to join the TextMeet in Holland. It was great to meet some of the other people out there. Dean Allen was there and so where Anne van Kesteren and Mark Wubben. It was really nice to actually meet some people who have meant something for the internet. The biggest surprise was how young some of them were.

    The new people i have met online, have really enriched my life. And to me that really is the best thing the internet has to offer.

  • I've 'virtually met' the old-chap's voice and his cats over the phone before (actually the first person I ever phoned from meeting via the internet). He spoke to my mother before I managed to speak to him first-off, and she thought he was Scottish.

    I remember her words of wisdom: “You shouldn’t go talk to strangers from the internet; you never know who they are!” I said: “Well, that's alright because you know anyone who wants to talk via the phone to me must be either; brave, foolish or strange anyway!” I have to conclude Tommy was the former of the three. :D

    Actually, I had a rather good conversation with his well-behaved kitten recently but Tommy got rather resentful of her energy and sent her outside to go terrorising the local wildlife. So yeah, I'd consider meeting his cats sometime in the future – I assume he'd also included since they aren't old enough to drive yet.

    Though I might have to take along a bodyguard along to protect me. ;)

    I've met several web-development people in person a couple of times from around the UK that I first came across online.

  • Tommy Olsson says:

    she thought he was Scottish

    I get that a lot, actually. Must be a Northern thing.

    You're very welcome to come and play with my kitten. I'm all scratched up now, so I'm sure she'd appreciate someone with more undamanged skin to attack. :)

    Back on topic: It was a real pleasure to finally meet Mr. Nyman. He is just as nice a person as I had expected from reading this blog. If you happen to be in Stockholm, do contact him. You won't regret it. :)

    Too bad it had to be a brief meeting, but we'll do it again. I hope we can persuade Roger to join us, too. And next time I hope there'll be some beer involved! :D

  • Robert Nyman says:

    Maarten,

    Absolutely, we have the exact same view on it. And I'm happy that you got to meet those persons you mentioned… :-)

    Robert W,

    Thanks, that was really some interesting and funny reading! :-)

    Tommy,

    Good to hear that the feelings were mutual! :-)

    And yes, we'll absolutely meet again, and then hopefully R-man can join us. :-)

  • Robert Nyman: I'd love to meet you. Perhaps gather some people from around stockholm for a bigger? We could talk about the idea I mailed you and Robert about.

  • Robert Nyman says:

    Emil,

    Absolutely, I would love that! And I guess your second-to-last word should be "Roger"… :-)

  • Funny reading, yes the “…along a bodyguard along…” was slightly interesting use of English grammar. ;)

    Mr T. said: I get that a lot, actually. Must be a Northern thing.

    So we’ve found out a secret; most of the young ladies (he must have a fanclub of them) think he is Scottish. I can conclude he isn’t a Smurf.

    Anyway the Topic was also about Mr T. and don’t worry I wear Kit-gloves at home so the clawed fur-ball would get a shock.

    I’d like to add if anyone reading this ever gets chance to talk to Tommy you’ll find-out he has a good grasp of humour, even the Yorkshire type.

    Time will tell if Robert is brave enough to talk to me but you are also welcome and if I ever escape from this island for an overseas journey I’ll but you two on my hit-listing. :)

  • Jules says:

    The closest I have come to meeting any of the great personalities (outside of discussion forums, emails and blog comments) has been MSN Messenger with Andy and a couple of phone calls from Derek.

    Oh, yes, I forgot that I had attended TOEvolt last year and met Joe Clark.

    (Warning: It appears that the TOEvolt.org site may have been hijacked and the link may not be safe for work until the site has been fixed.)

  • Tommy quit blogging shortly after I got into web design, but I enjoyed reading his posts and retorts.

    And I totally agree that accessibility is about more than ensuring disabled access – though it's only fair that their rights are protected by law, whereas accessibility for all is more a question of professionalism.

  • Robert Nyman says:

    Robert W,

    Maybe one day I have worked up enough courage. :-)

    But if you ever visit our lovely country, we'll definitely make sure to meet.

    Jules,

    I speak now and then with Derek and I can concur that he's a really nice guy.

    Steve,

    Yes, the blogging scene lost a valuable personality then.

  • Johan says:

    Again a big thanks for all good articles. It is good to catch up some ideas on the way. I think conversation like this when peopl etake time to listen and give some friendly advice on the way is more than sufficient for me. As long as we can help each other, we come full circle.

  • Hakan Bilgin says:

    Robert,

    I had not visited "The Autistic Cuckoo" earlier but after browsing the information exposed there, I rapidly came to the conclusion that this was another of those never-ending-complainers; "IE sucks, other browsers rules".

    The authors claim that there is a lot of stuff that can be done and at the same time complaining IE is holding them back. But here is the funny part, I couldn't find anything they have done that can't be done in IE. If you claim something then, in my humble opinion, you sould proove it, otherwise do as these authors has done; stop polluting the internet with boring complaints.

    I admit there are a lot of stuff that can be done in FF that isn't possible yet in IE. But there are stuff that can be done in IE but not in FF as well. This is a fact but enough already, it's getting awfully boring with subjective opinions.

    There were more that bugged me but I don't care enough to express anymore opinions.

  • I'll be happy to join you next if I should happen to be in Stockholm, or wherever the meet-up takes place :-).

  • Robert Nyman says:

    Johan,

    Thank you!

    Hakan,

    I'm sorry that you experienced it that way. I'm not sure if one needs to do read a lot of his writings to appreciate the undertone, but generally I agree: it's very hard to bring out the critique without coming off as negative at the same time.

    Roger,

    You know you're more than welcome! :-)

  • Tommy Olsson says:

    But here is the funny part, I couldn’t find anything they have done that can’t be done in IE.

    Er … no. That was sort of the point with my blog: To promote web accessibility. There are subtle instances of progressive enhancement and not-so-subtle instances of graceful degradation.

    If I wanted to create a bleeding-edge site that only worked in Gecko/Opera/Safari, it would be easy to do so. But what's the point in creating something that 80+% of the browsing population cannot see?

    IE is holding us back. If we didn't have to cater for it, we could improve usability and reduce site maintenance considerably. We are, however, living in the real world, where you have to be pragmatic rather than dogmatic most of the time.

    But there are stuff that can be done in IE but not in FF as well.

    Unless you're talking about non-standards-compliant proprietary Microsoft stuff, I'd like you to elaborate. The only standard thing that IE supports but FF doesn't, that I'm aware of, is the soft hyphen (<code>&#shy;</code>).

    And there are other browsers than IE and FF, you know… ;)

  • Tommy never did complain on his blog although many uninformed people wrongly accused him of doing such while it was active for comments. The amount of times he was misquoted was fairly amazing to say the least and yes he does use Lynx, etc.

  • Hakan Bilgin says:

    That was sort of the point with my blog: To promote web accessibility. There are subtle instances of progressive enhancement and not-so-subtle instances of graceful degradation.

    Well, in my opinion, this can be achieved in many ways, I don't agree with your approach and it seems like others than me oppose to your approach.

    If I wanted to create a bleeding-edge site that only worked in Gecko/Opera/Safari, it would be easy to do so. But what’s the point in creating something that 80+% of the browsing population cannot see?

    Well, if you want to reach out and change peoples opinion than I guess you'll have expose the benefits with what you're proclaiming. Otherwise, what's the point?

    Another point of view would be that; if the majority had made their choise and a minority strive for an ideal world, who is escaping the reality?

    IE isn't holding you back, you your self is holding you back. Don't put the blaim on the colors and tools; if you have talent than you should be able to create, regardless.

    Even though MS stuff aren't recommended doesn't mean that they are all bad. And all that is recommended by W3C is good; this, the consortium has concluded themselves, because they have changed their recommendations after realizing their misstakes. Do you know what I'm talking about or just disagree for the sake of it?

    Since we're on the subject, do you really saying that all the other browsers are following the standards? If yes, then why are stuff differently interpreted?

    You can't please everybody, no mather how much you try. There is allways deviant opinions and you can't force the minority opinions to the majority. You have to choose between:

    – Let your creativity be limited by every little browser regardless clientele and try to please everybody.

    – Or put your creativity in the first place and try to reach out to as many as possible (FF + IE = 96%)

    Pointing out what works bad is good but prooving what is right is equally important. I don't judge anyone; regardless their selections but stop blaiming others because you can't create. Because if you could, you would have done it a long time ago.

  • Hakan Bilgin says:

    By the way if for instance Firefox or Safari or Opera is following the standards and is a better browser, why do the market need different browsers? Because according to you, we allready have the standrards-compliant-one.

  • Tommy Olsson says:

    Hakan, it doesn't seem to be much point in discussing this with you. You read a few posts on my blog and made up your mind about who I am and what I think. I guess there's nothing I can say that will change your mind. I'll respond to some of your statements and questions, though.

    Well, if you want to reach out and change peoples opinion than I guess you’ll have expose the benefits with what you’re proclaiming. Otherwise, what’s the point?

    If I make something that only works in modern browsers, wouldn't I be preaching to the choir? The people who are still using IE wouldn't know what they were missing, so how would that 'expose the benefits'? The only way to do that is to explain why other browsers are better (for the user and for the designers). But when I do that, I get accused of whingeing…

    I've been doing a little project that really takes advantage of what CSS2 offers. It's not public, but even if it were, it wouldn't make any difference to anyone. The only browser with sufficient CSS support to handle it is Opera. IE users and Firefox users would just see a rather boring page with very little styling.

    So I do know how to walk the walk. I'm also the webmaster of a public agency that won this year's Web Service Award, plus a special award for being the most accessible site in the survey.

    IE isn’t holding you back, you your self is holding you back.

    Because I'm not relying on features that less than 10% of the surfing population can see?

    `

    Even though MS stuff aren’t recommended doesn’t mean that they are all bad.

    OK, I think I'm beginning to see where you're coming from now. My guess is that you don't work as a web professional. Having to do it one way for modern browsers and an altogether different way for IE may be fine for a small hobby project. But it's a maintenance nightmare for a larger general-audience site.

    Since we’re on the subject, do you really saying that all the other browsers are following the standards? If yes, then why are stuff differently interpreted?

    As far as I know, there is no browser that is 100% standards compliant. And even if there were, the standards allow some latitude for interpretation (unfortunately).

    By the way if for instance Firefox or Safari or Opera is following the standards and is a better browser, why do the market need different browsers?

    Because there's more to a browser than just the parser and rendering engine?

    Some people like Firefox, because they want to control exactly what features their browser has (by installing a selection of extensions).

    Others like Opera, because it comes with almost everything built in. It's also better suited for dial-up users and for those of us who prefer keyboard navigation.

    Why do we need different browsers? Because people are different. Just like you and I.

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