February 17, 2007

Oh so intricate

Been a while. A few things have changed.

Last time I wrote I was still working in retail, three days a week. That went out the window on July 31st 2006, roughly two weeks after I handed in a shortened version of my resignation. Not much fanfare from anyone about it — sad in a way — but I was happy to escape the downward spiral of Coles.

So I bummed around for a few months, played a lot of WoW, gave job searching a go, did some contract work through my mother-in-law’s business for Minchinbury Dental Care, got slightly concerned about another downward spiral, and signed up for a course at Wentworth Falls TAFE.

And so, in circumstances that I’ve come to smile about while God points and laughs, I’m doing the same course that Michael did when he left The Warehouse about two years ago: Cert IV in Web Design.

Yes, the core stuff of this course is the things I’ve been doing since 1994 in my spare time. And it relies on some skills I got from my last TAFE course in 1995. But, heh, I finally have some solid work to concentrate on instead of the occasional contract, and I’ve got plenty of gaps in my education.

At this stage of the course (three weeks in) I’m still enjoying the structured learning side of it, and to a lesser yet significantly large extent, the social aspect. And I can say that I’m enjoying using skills I had no real outlet for in the last few years — PHP in particular. I’m enjoying getting back into Javascript, although I still have memories of how shaky client-side programming was back in the day.

Which kinda led to why I’m up at 6:45am again. I’ve been doing the right thing for the last month or two and going to bed before 1am. Today I got up and just read throughout the entire day — blog, articles, references — clicking through endless links until finally I found some sort of closure by running over things I’d read earlier. It appears that in the last month I’ve missed a few interesting things happening with our good friends at the W3C.

HTML5/XHTML5. Woot. Big congrats to the WHATWG on getting recognised. If only Mozilla was owned by Verizon, it’d be a Candidate Recommendation by now…

Directly or indirectly lead by Joe Clark, I ended at Maguire vs. Socog, an accessibility court case involving Sydney’s Olympics Committee. Following the link chain I loaded up IBM’s Accessibility site, and to put it franky, was fucking horrified.

It actually made me angry. In my feedback I described their site as a self-parody. Sentences like “Walking the Talk”, with a nearby “Learn more” link leading to an all-tables page… and even better, that page containing a section entitled, “Marketing: Sending the right message.” The right message, apparently, is to use invalid XHTML Trans and a table layout.

I’ve gotta get some sleep. Michael’s heading over to Ray’s for the whole day and I won’t even be awake to enjoy the comfort of singing to Fall Out Boy loudly and off-key without retribution.

posted by Andrew