Hi Ho Silver – I’m back!

Wow. I can’t really believe these are my first words of blogging again in almost two months. It always feels a bit funny getting back in the saddle, but once there, I’m as happy as a butterfly on a flower!

A picture of a butterfly

At times, it’s been a warm summer here in Sweden, and at other times, just endless drizzle… We did have a peak, though, with 48 degrees Celsius/118 degrees Fahrenheit. Granted, it was in-the-sun temperature, but still! :-)

A picture of a thermometer showing 48 degrees Celsius/118 degrees Fahrenheit

Family time

With planning, economical as well as any other aspect, I am so so happy that I have managed to stay home the last few summers with my children. It’s time that is truly priceless, and I will continue to do it for as long as I can.

We’ve been traveling around in Sweden together, having a fantastic time, and my life feels so rich when I am with them!

Computer leave

As usual during my summer leaves, I usually try to stay away from the computer as long as possible. Recharge my batteries, if you so will, but mainly there are two reasons.

  1. Working/spending time with the Internet, both professionally and in my spare time, is very rewarding but also very demanding. I need to have a computer break just to get a mental pause, and to keep my burning fire for what is both my mean of income and hobby.
  2. When I have time set aside with my family, I sure don’t want to waste it checking e-mails or reading feeds. Family time is family time. Period.

This year I managed to completely stay away from the computer for four weeks (and this includes stowing away the iPhone as well). Felt really good, but it was also an important lesson in how hard everyday tasks (like finding information) becomes when you don’t have access to the Internet. Truly something for us to consider: how do we offer options to people, and how do we sell it to those not interested (besides stupid statements like “they just don’t get it”).

What happened on the web/in the IT industry

I think a lot of interesting things took place this summer on the web and in the IT industry. I thought I’d just go through a few of the most interesting ones here, and express my own opinions about them.

XHTML 2 got cancelled

By now, I’m sure the entire web development community are aware that XHTML 2 got cancelled, and that one thing that this hopefully will lead to is more focus on HTML 5, helping it to evolve. My personal take is that XHTML 2, while nice and pure in theory, completely fell on not being backwards compatible and, as far as I know, no collaboration with web browser vendors.

If we look at HTML 5, it is backwards compatible, developers can bring to the table what they already know and last, but definitely not least: web browser vendors have already started implementing it.

What really baffled me, though, is the ruckus that came out of this announcement. People started bashing XHTML and its syntax, personal attacks against Jeffrey Zeldman and others for advocating developing with XHTML in books and so on. All-in-all, a lot of bullshit and ignorance, if you ask me. Here’s the deal:

  • HTML 5 can be in HTML format or in XHTML format (i.e. quick closing of tags etc). Basically, the XHTML syntax and sending it as application/xhtml+xml isn’t going anywhere. The only thing cancelled was XHTML 2.
  • Jeffrey Zeldman’s work spreading knowledge about web standards, semantics and proper web development has really helped paving the road for a web with better code. I don’t care if his examples were HTML or XHTML – anything that educates people and makes them get better is a good thing in my book, at least.

So, just stop the crap, look into what HTML 5 offers you and move on.

A picture of an angry tiger

Google Chrome OS

Google outed that they’re working on a light-weight operating system entitled Google Chrome OS (catchy name…). It will include a new windowing system on top of Linux. I for one think this is very interesting, and with Windows and Mac OS X in mind, it will be nice with a high-profile operating system being open source (Ubuntu is the only other one I can think of that has gotten some exposure worth talking about).

At this time, there’s virtually nothing to see, but I hope it turns out well. Here’s to new options!

Mozilla Open Web Tools Directory

Mozilla announced their Open Web Tools Directory, consisting of a collection of open tools for web development. While their main interface is interesting from a technical perspective, I definitely prefer the simple version of the Open Web Tools Directory.

Not sure if it was there from get-go, but I was glad to find DOMAssistant to a part of it when I last looked. You can also contact them and submit things you think should be featured there.

Seeing a number of Firebug extensions, I thought they’d gladly accept my pretty popular extensions Firefinder and Inline Code Finder for Firebug, so I submitted them as soon as the directory was released – no word and they haven’t been added yet, though.

IE 6 supported till 2014

Microsoft have prolonged their IE 6 support four extra years, till 2014. That’s the way to go… NOT! Seriously, DROP IE 6 and help people and businesses move forward!

HTML 5 doctor

A nice site with tips, tricks and help for anyone interested in HTML 5 was launched during the summer: HTML5 doctor. It’s being run by, amongst other people, my friends Bruce Lawson and Remy Sharp, and I’m sure it will become (and actually, already is) an invaluable resource for development with HTML 5.

Why People Don’t Upgrade Their Browser

The Mozilla Metrics team wrote a very interesting blog post entitled Why People Don’t Upgrade Their Browser – Part I. It is based on the attempt to get people to upgrade from Firefox 2 to Firefox 3 back in May, and in the prompt that was presented to end users, they got the option to provide feedback.

This feedback is presented in the blog post, and it’s a very interesting read. The team then follows up in Why People Don’t Upgrade Their Browser – Part II with how they tried to address the major concerns with the Firefox 3.5 release.

I would love to see such a survey performed on users of other web browsers as well, and then having the results presented completely in the open (one particular web browser especially comes to mind…)!

A picture of a couple of Staropramen beer bottles in the sun

The Pirate Bay selling out?

The Pirate Bay has gone through a lot of commotion the last few years, including court visits and fines. In the eye of the public, though, they have always been the underdog, the people fighting for the freedom of information. It felt like they were the idealists who would continue forever.

In a surprise move, The Pirate Bay site sold to a game firm in June. This seemed to be widely regarded as selling out, and before the new owner has taken over, their Swedish Internet provider got a court order yesterday to shut them down from Internet – in my opinion, a very scary move in a democratic society, and I could list A LOT of web sites that should be shut down before a torrent tracker; money talks, I guess, and record and movie companies have them…

Naturally, life pirates always find a way, and currently their web site is up again…

iPhone 3GS

Apple’s latest version of the iPhone, iPhone 3GS, started shipping, and from what I have heard, people are very satisfied with it and its performance. Just one small thing… The name.

I mean, the S in the name is supposed to stand for speed: 3G Speed. Is that really all their marketing team could come up with? Bring back Steve Jobs! What will the next version be named? iPhone 3G SS?

Spotify for iPhone

Spotify, the great music service, submitted their iPhone app for approval to be in the App Store. Man, I sure hopes it gets let through!

Trying new challenges

During the spring this year, I had a lunch with Joakim Jardenberg In Swedish, who is best described as an entrepreneur who has done a lot of things. We had an interesting talk, and the discussion came into Mindpark In Swedish, which he is now the CEO of.

He asked me if I wanted to be part of a blog team for Mindpark, over 20 people, who write posts in Swedish there about a wide range of topics, although mostly focused on media-related things. I said yes, because it seems interesting to reach new, and other sorts of, people and it will be a nice addition to blog a little in my native tounge.

Maybe it will be great fun, or just something I that didn’t suit me. It’s good to try, though! For those of you who speak Swedish can read my first post so far: Vad är en upplevelse värd? In Swedish.

Concerts

I had the please of seeing three concerts during the summer (besides from AC/DC at Ullevi Stadium June 21st 2009 before I stopped blogging):

New York Dolls

My brother called me the day before: “What are you doing tomorrow night?” He’d found out that New York Dolls were playing at a very small club in Stockholm, and asked if I wanted to go. After just a moment of unnecessary hesitation, I said yes.

It was hotter than probably any concert I’ve been too; when standing completely still, the sweat still poured down from all of my body. The gig, though, was really nice, although I can’t say I’m a 100% into all of their material. However, their front man David Johansen, who is a spitting image of Mick Jagger, both visually and voice-wise, really makes it all worth while. All-in-all, a nice evening, and I’m glad I went!

Madonna

For the first time in 19 years, Madonna decided to play two concerts in Sweden, and being the icon she is, I felt I had to go see her. Fredrika and I went on a road trip down to Gothenburg to see the event.

Overall, I have to say that Madonna’s performance was very professional and it was a great show. I’m not really a fan of some of her music, but I have to hand it to her that she’s indeed very versatile. The problem with something as produced as this show was, though, is that it doesn’t really feel personal or unique. Great evening, though!

One thing that got to me is that she didn’t play Like a Virgin, which, to me, is one of her most famous songs. But, I guess I just have to add that to the heap with seeing Deep Purple perform without playing Smoke on the Water and Kiss without performing Heaven’s on Fire.

Rhapsody in Rock

I got to see the concert at Skansen with Rhapsody in Rock – Handful of keys 2009. It’s basically a concept show with lots of guest artists and performances, all organized by Robert Wells. I’ve seen Rhapsody in Rock once before, last year, and overall I think it was more even and better planned then. However, this year’s event had something fantastic: Glenn Hughes!

When he came on stage, he completely stole the show, with some amazing singing! It was really intriguing to see how he owned the stage, and everyone’s eyes were right at him, all the time. The songs performed with him were outstanding!

It was also an exclusive night with four artists who are very famous in China performing, and it was all filmed by Chinese TV. So, if you’re in China and suddenly think you see me sitting in the audience, your eyes aren’t playing a trick on you! :-)

Back, back, back, back, back!

My friends, I’m back! I’ve missed you and writing, and it sure is good to be here again. Please, please say hi! :-)

27 Comments

  • Marco says:

    Hey Robert. Welcome back!

    Must have been a good New York Dolls concert! The smaller venues are usually the best. We once saw Nina Hagen at the Commodore in Vancouver. Only about 100 people, but one of the best live shows I'd ever seen!

  • Rey Bango says:

    Welcome back my friend! :D

  • Matt Robin says:

    Hi Robert, good to see you back on your site again :)

    I might be about to return to blogging on my site soon as well (last post was back in March!)…

  • Welcome back. It's good to see you blogging again. I'm looking forward to what you write over the next few months.

    BTW, the Palm Pre already has a web OS running on top of Linix.

  • Martin S. says:

    Hey man, glad you've enjoyed your summer and impressed by your Internet absence!

    Also, welcome back on the bus, let's go for another ride! :)

  • Behe says:

    Välkommen till internet!

  • RobertDM says:

    and about time too!!! :-) no, seriously, good to have you back again, although this does mean the summer is almost over… :-(

  • Chris says:

    Welcome back! :-)

  • Good to see you writing again, Robert! Looking forward to the rest of the winter now ;-)

  • Ole says:

    Welcome back Robert!

    Sometimes you must write a post about how you can manage it to stay totally away from the internet (even through the iPhone). Do you have a personal trainer/psychologist who gives you a mental training to get through this time without withdrawal syndromes…?

    I believe its your familiy :-)

  • Yay! Welcome back Robert, nice to hear you had a great summer.

    I'm looking forward on new articles, especially your take on HTML5 :)

  • Volker says:

    "Willkommen zurück" :)

  • Frances says:

    It always baffles me how you manage it. Locking away the iphone is just a step too far.

    Well, glad you're back. I'm coming down in November to give my colleague, Jake, some support a full frontal – so looking forward to seeing you in the non-internet world too :)

  • Great to have you back Robert, lot's of new exciting things on the horizon :-)

  • Välkommen till internet! Vi tar emot dig med öppna armar, som vanligt :)

  • Martin says:

    Välkommen tillbaka!

  • Dave Child says:

    Welcome back, part-timer ;)

  • Robert Nyman says:

    Thanks everyone, I really appreciate it! In these days of Twitter, it's almost virtually get anyone to comment in an actual web site… :-)

    Marco,

    Yeah, it was really good, and I completely agree: small venues rock!

    Rey,

    Thank you, Mr. Bango! :-)

    Matt,

    Yeah, go for it; take the plunge! :-)

    Tanny,

    Thanks, I hope I can come up with some interesting things. Agreed about Palm Pre, but Google Chrome OS will run on computers, not just one mobile phone, which makes it more interesting, to me at least.

    Martin S,

    Thanks, at least my self discipline still works! :-)

    Behe,

    Thank you, sire. :-)

    RobertDM,

    Ha ha, yeah! When Robert starts blogging, it's a sure sign fall is approaching. :-)

    Chris,

    Thank you!

    Jeroen,

    Thanks dude, I'll do what I can!

    Ole,

    Ha ha! Well, to be honest, the first week is tough. You want to check e-mail, read feeds and just goof around on the net. After that, though, it becomes harder and harder to actually go back to using a computer. Having a "real" life is awesome! :-)

    Harmen,

    Thank you!

    Even though it's some time ago, I did write about HTML 5 in Thoughts on HTML 5. Perhaps some of my opinions have swayed a little, but that's what I felt back then at least.

    Hopefully, this fall, I'll write more about HTML 5.

    Volker,

    Vielen dank!

    Frances,

    I have a strong will. :-)

    It will be great to see you in Brighton in November – maybe this time you won't work as an usher who makes me leave the premises? :-P

    Morgan,

    Thank you very much, my friend!

    Emil,

    You have no choice… :-)

    Martin,

    Thanks!

    Dave,

    Ha ha! True! And thanks! :-)

  • Yeey! Nice to have you back. Let's go – another year!

  • Christopher Papastef says:

    Welcome back in the loop!

    We missed you too!

  • Robert Nyman says:

    Jonatan, Christopher,

    Thank you very much!

  • Robert Nyman says:

    Martin,

    Oh, how kind of you: a song! :-)

  • Richard Fink says:

    Welcome back, Robert.

    Here in sub-tropical Naples, Florida it has been the stickiest, steamiest, hottest summer I can remember, so my feelings about the weather are the reverse of yours!

    There have also been big, big changes in the world of Web Fonts, as well. It looks as though we might have an interoperable format much sooner than expected.

    There is even an experimental Firefox build supporting it that's available courtesy of Moz developer and .webOTF co-creator Jonathan Kew.

    Rich

  • Robert Nyman says:

    Richard,

    Thank you! I can understand about the weather… :-)

    It sounds very interesting about fonts, and sorry for sounding jaded, but I believe it when I see it, i.e. when it actually works across all web browsers with all options. It might just happen, though!

  • Scott Powers says:

    Saw you were back via twitter but just got the chance to make it over here… glad to see ya back!

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