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