2006, the year that was

So, 2006 is almost over and it’s time to look ahead at 2007. Will it be an exciting year? No doubt, we have to wait to see just how riveting it can get! I thought I’d go through some notable things that happened in 2006, not just web-related, and scribble down some words about them…

Actually, maybe I should’ve planned this post, with a list of important things to mention etc, but I prefer this way: just off the top of my head, more spontaneous (probably boring as hell, too, but at least I hope someone finds it read-worthy). I could write about which of my posts this year that I thought was best, or a long 200+ name-list (with links, so Technorati would have to work overtime…) with people who have inspired me, but hey, those are posts that you will read all over from other bloggers so I’ll humbly refrain from that.

But yes, I will at least mention some names, and if you’re not in there, please don’t think that you haven’t been important to me. It’s just that I (as well as the other three family members) have had a terrible cold for five days (and counting) now, and with small children, there really isn’t any time to rest either, so I’m a bit dazed and confused. If you’re not in here, it is solely for the fact that I’m desperately trying to get this post together and my mind might wonder. Sorry.

Anyway, some things I’d like to mention:

O, Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum…

During the morning, I went out with the trash and saw a Corvette; not exactly the kind of car you see in Sweden during winter, but I guess it just goes to show you how ridiculously mild this winter is… After that I washed my hair with extra volume shampoo (no, I’m not kidding) and got ready for all the guests.

Our Christmas celebrations went down really well, and it wasn’t at all noticeable that our house was crammed with people. Emilia and Filippa got an extreme amount of gifts, and everyone seemed to really enjoy themselves. And, of course, as is tradition in my household, we got a big-ass Christmas tree as usual: about 4 metres high!

A picture of our Christmas tree

My MacBook Pro

In march, I got my MacBook Pro, and while it hasn’t always been a sweet experience, I’ve decided that I really like the platform and the hardware. Besides, through Parallels Desktop, Boot Camp and similar solutions, if you want to run Windows or any Linux flavor on it as well, there’s nothing stopping you (actually, Linux might not work through Boot Camp, but it works like a charm through Parallels Desktop).

A picture of my MacBook Pro

All in all, I must say that an Intel Mac is really the most complete platform; when it comes to hardware design (and often performance as well), possibility to run a multitude of platforms and eye-pleasing, I don’t think it has got any match on the market. At work I still use a Dell laptop, but I’m almost a 100% convinced to get a MacBook Pro next time around.

Also, don’t get me wrong, Windows also has some advantages, but I wouldn’t want Windows to be the sole platform on any computer I use. For a way more thorough review of my switch to the Mac, please read my My MacBook Pro – first-time Mac owner.

First Swede in space!

If you’re Swedish, there’s no chance that you’ve missed that we have now had the first Swede in space. Christer Fuglesang went on a NASA trip to the International Space Station, ISS, and successfully performed his missions. No doubt, the media coverage here has gotten overwhelming and a bit too much for some people, but please don’t blame poor Christer for that.

A picture of Christer Fuglesang

Christer has been dreaming and training his entire life for this event, and it has taken him many years to reach his goal. I sincerely respect his stamina and strong psychological will to pull this through, and it was so enlightening to see him in interviews from space, extremely happy and joyous! There aren’t many better things in life than to see a dream actually come true for a person.

My trip to SXSW

In March, actually just before I got the MacBook Pro mentioned above, I went to the SXSW Interactive conference in Austin, Texas, USA. I did have a great time, although I really wasn’t swept away with the panels and talks. Sure, they were ok, but not challenging, and basically just talks to an audience agreeing with everything that was said.

I’m partly to blame for this, myself, too, though. I went to all the panels with the most well-known people, instead of the ones where the topics seemed interesting. I remember one specific occasion when I just came out from a panel and bumped into Nathan Smith, and he told me about the one he had been to. Man, it sounded intriguing!

Overall, though, I’m not too sure about the panel format. Personally, I’d prefer more nitty-gritty hands-on talks for at least a couple of hours, giving the speakers a possibility to really dig into their topic. At least I got the chance to meet such special and influential people such as: Jeffrey Zeldman (Jeffrey, any time you want to visit Stockholm and Gamla Stan again, just give me a call!), Eric Meyer (just to shake his hand and thank him for all the inspiration) and Molly (for meeting such a strong woman who have become a role model for so many).

Yes, folks, that was namedropping, and yes, I normally hate that. But in reality, lots of people have met the ones mentioned above, so really, it’s nothing to brag about. Please rather just see it as a tribute to some genuinely talented and humble people.

In the end, I must say that what did make my trip was meeting some people in person for the first time, and also making some new friends. Carl, Shane, Stuart, Chris, Dave; thank you! You really made my time there and I owe you all! Thanks for being the persons you are. If I ever go back to Austin, though, I’d much rather spend seven days discovering Texas and and the general Austin surroundings, together with the names just mentioned, than to it inside at some web conference.

A picture of a nice dinner

Honorable mentions (yes, here comes the list I promised I wouldn’t write…) should also go to Jakob Heuser, Eric Shepherd, Erik Sagen, Dave Seah, Snook, Derek Featherstone; thanks for making it through my “jokes”!

In Austin, I also got the chance to briefly meet and talk to an idol of mine: Henry Rollins! Henry, thanks for your time and all you have done. I hope to see you next time you’re visiting Sweden! :-)

A picture of Henry Rollins

And last, but definitely not least, between panels, I had gotten a voice mail from my beloved Fredrika, telling me to call home. So I did, and she happily told me that we were expecting our second baby! :-)

And lo and behold, little Filippa was born on November 24th!

Babies all over

Funnily enough, two other friends were also having children in November, and they both beat us to it! My family’s best wishes to Stuart and Jim In Swedish!

Parental leave

All in all, I’ve had about five months of parental leave this year, four during the summer and one during the winter, and it has without a doubt been the best time in my life! If you have children, make sure to spend time with them! Don’t waste your life on stupid CSS bugs, and web browser incompatibilities.

IE 7 was released

While it’s miles better than IE 6, to me it’s still a disappointment. Don’t get me wrong, they’re going in the right direction and I’m convinced that they have worked a lot on it, but to me it’s missing some vital features. Where this leaves is now that we have just yet another additional web browser to test for quirks in and make workarounds for where it doesn’t support basic standards (recommendations, if you will) that have been around for ages.

The IE team took IE maybe 70-80% of the way, leaving us with both IE 6 and IE 7 to develop for a looong future. Yay. Can’t wait to waste even more hours covering up for flaws and poor standards support, instead of building cool web sites…

And for the record: no, I don’t dislike IE because it is a Microsoft product. I just don’t like it because it’s sub-par.

Poor web standards adoption

Although many tool makers focus more and more on web standards, there are still a vast amount of web developers out there who doesn’t get it. Large as well as small companies release such crap and superfluous code that takes up important bandwidth all over the Internet, while striving to be as inaccessible as possible. Please spread the word; teach your friends, colleagues, relatives, enemies.

Also, please read The web standards war is far from over by yours truly.

Best web developer tools

The new Firebug beta is outstanding! Together with Web Developer, support for web developers have never been so good. And, naturally, these are both tools for the best web browser out there, Firefox. :-)

2007 predictions

Here are just some things that I find very likely to happen during the next year:

  • Google will release an online storage service which will be as brilliant as Gmail and Google Calendar.
  • Web applications will become more and more advanced, trying to replace desktop applications. It might be a great thing, but is just as likely to go overboard and deliver something web browsers just can’t cope with and what they weren’t designed to do in the first place.
  • Apple will release some serious competitor to Windows Media Center (because we all know Front Row is far from it; it just looks good, and that’s about it…). They will also release some kind of cell phone and a video iPod with a bigger screen.
  • However sad it sounds, accessibility won’t reach the broad mass of web developers. People might begin to validate their code, and if we’re really lucky, they might get the hang of semantics as well. Accessibility? Forget it.
  • SEO companies will still have a lot of business, although they’re superfluous in 90% of the cases if you just have good web developers and good copy writers.
  • At least a 100 even worse Content Management Systems will see the market, probably hand in hand with WYSIWYG tools that will make you cry…
  • IE 8 is released, and this time they get it right… ;-)

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, or Gott Nytt Ã…r, as we say it in Sweden! Thanks a million for reading, for your support and insightful tips, comments, feedback and help!

 

PS. I will start writing more regularly around January 10th. Stick around, or subscribe to my RSS feed, and I hope I can continue to entertain and help! DS.

12 Comments

  • RobertDM says:

    first of all: I hope you all get releaved from your colds quickly… so when you get a bit dazed and confused around new year you'll know it's the alcohol quickin' in, and not some nasty bugs… :-)

    2006 got me my first usable mac…a powermac g4 (secondhand), and it's convinced me to make the switch in the furture. Altough it's 6 years old, it still runs studio 8 and CS 2 like a charm.

    where IE6 and IE7 are concerned: I think the big issue in getting rid of IE6 asap will be convincing companies to make the switch on the company computers. That's where IE6 will linger the longest.

    Happy New Year to you and your family!!

  • Arjan Eising says:

    In 2006 I developed myself really fast, and I look forward for what is going on in 2007 :)

    From The Netherlands I wish everybody:

    Een voorspoedig, gezond én gelukkig 2007 ;)

  • Thanks for some very entertaining posts throughout 2006. Keep them coming, because you are one of the few bloggers left who's new posts I do not hesitate to read. :)

    As for your 2007 prediction related to Apple's competitor to Windows Media Center — if you do not need to record shows from TV and just want a smaller and more convenient extension of your digital media on your computer network to your TV, then I seriously recommend looking into the open-source Xbox Media Center. I highly doubt Windows Media Center, Apple's iTV or anyone else's will come even near its greatness.

    Take care in 2007!

  • Dave Seah says:

    Hey Robert! It was great meeting you also! I have such a bad memory for names when I meet people, but I think I only called you the wrong name 5, 6 times before I got it! That's pretty good for me :-) Have a great 2007, and congratulations on the new addition to your family! :-)

  • Henry says:

    Oh, Fugelsang you're my man now! I jymden!!

  • Nathan Smith says:

    "I remember one specific occasion when I just came out from a panel and bumped into Nathan Smith, and he told me about the one he had been to. Man, it sounded intriguing!"

    Oddly enough, I cannot remember which panel you're referring to. I'm sure it was good, but forget which one it was! If I had to guess, it was probably the one by Kathy Sierra.

  • Carl Camera says:

    Robert, Best wishes to you and your family for 2007. SxSW was just as special for me because I met folks like you, Daniel, and the other folks mentioned here.

  • What do you dislike about IE? I read a lot of posts complaining about IE and saying how everyone should switch to Firefox. However, as an amature web designer, I hate Firefox. There are tons of really basic stuff (like table border colours) that cannot display property in Firefox. I did all my design and testing in IE, got loads of complaints from Firefox users, and had to revisit hundreds of pages to remove basic code that Firefox didn't display.

    Sometime later a had a professional designer creat a new web template for me with great drop down menus, using really simple code. Again, could not display in FireFox, so when I went back to the desiger he had to replace it with much more complicated code that is much harder for me to maintain.

    So, for me, I wish everyone used IE and compared to FireFox I find it is much better.

    I know that your post was about IE and not FireFox, but I'm really struggling to understand why people complain about IE when it has so many advantages over the leading competition.

  • Robert Nyman says:

    Ok, I have now recovered from the instant shock of spilling water on my MacBook Pro keyboard… Man, that was scary! So, time to honor your comments with replies!

    RobertDM,

    Thanks. I’m almost well now, but probably as confused as usual. :-)
    I hear you about IE 6, but I just wish that they would’ve held out six months, or hell, a year. Compare that to having three different versions alone of IE with varying support to cater to.

    Happy New Year!

    Arjan,

    Keep on going, knowledge is a beautiful thing!

    Jeroen,

    Thanks, man! Also, thanks for the tip about Xbox Media Center.

    You know you should always be in my lists of people to mention. Thanks for your support and friendship throughout the year!

    Dave,

    Ah, it wasn’t too bad! :-)
    A great 2007 to you too!

    “Henry”,

    Ah, clever! But you misspelled Fuglesang’s name and linked your name to another web site than the one of Henry Rollin’s. :-)

    Nathan,

    I cannot exactly recall what it was, but something on the line with web standards vs. a more pragmatic approach where making things work under tough circumstances is priority number one (but yeah, I missed Kathy’s talk too, which also seemed interesting…). However, I’m not sure you liked it as much as I found it interesting when you told me about it! :-)

    Carl,

    My love to your wonderful family! Next time I hope to see you in Sweden, or at the very least, Europe! :-)

    Robert Stewart,

    When it comes to web developing and the myriads of web browsers, platform and devices we have out there, we need some kind of standards to develop accordingly by; it is virtually impossible to test in everything that can access the web.

    Such guidelines exist and are referred to as web standards (they are, in reality, web recommendations), and there is an organization which all the major web companies in the world work with (yes, including Microsoft) called W3C (World Wide Web Consortium), who publish these.

    The problem with Microsoft and their Internet Explorer is that they are amongst the web browsers on the market with the poorest support for these. Granted, IE 7 is a lot better than its predecessors, but still far after its competitors (Firefox, Opera, Safari etc).

    For me working professionally with web development, I can almost exclusively develop a web site according to web standards (covering HTML, CSS etc) and it will work just off the bat in nearly all web browsers, but Internet Explorer then needs a number of workarounds to cover up for its flaws.

    More information about web standards and why they are important can be read in my The web standards war is far from over post.

    For a list of of bugs in Internet Explorer, please see Explorer Exposed! , and for my thoughts on the timing of the IE 7 release, please read IE 7 – is catching up good enough?.

    Other good reading for learning how to develop with web standards are:

    Developing With Web Standards

    Using Web Standards in your Web Pages

    Web standards checklist

    When it comes to scripting in web pages, basically every web browser out there supports something called DOM (Document Object Model) methods (and Internet Explorer has done so too, ever since version 5), so for everything (but handling events), you can write the same code for all web browsers. Please read W3C DOM -Introduction to learn more about the DOM.

    For more information about event handling, please read my Event handling in JavaScript – an alternative addEvent solution post.

    Conclusively, I hope all this information helps you to discover the world of web standards and how it makes web developing much easier and more fun!

  • kartooner says:

    Robert, it was very awesome to finally meet you and see the man behind 'Robert's talk'.

    Even though we joked about Norwegians and Swedes, all said and done, Scandinavian people rock. It's as simple and straightforward as that.

    I hope you have a great new year in '07 and look forward to taking up on your offer someday if I (or my family) is anywhere near your neighborhood someday.

  • Kathy says:

    Happy holidays to you and your family! Congratulations on your beautiful new daughter. Enjoy your time off! Am looking forward to reading your posts again, so don't stay away too long. :)

  • Robert Nyman says:

    kartooner,

    I hope to see you soon then! :-)

    Kathy,

    Thanks! I hope you had some nice holidays too!

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