Ethan Marcotte now blogs at Unstoppable Robot Ninja.


So societal

Because we all need more pinky rings to kiss.

We are the hollow men

Tags: “not bang", whimper.

An Event Apart slides are online

I just got off the stage at An Event Apart Boston 2007. Is it can be drinks tiem now plz?


Back in Boston, but missing Austin.


Yours truly has an article in issue #233 of A List Apart. Yours truly is freaking the hell out.

An Ethan Apart

One has been asked to speak at An Event Apart, Boston. One has not yet stopped doing victory laps around one’s apartment.

Joe Clark should be patronized

You know you want to.


One is back from Dallas, where one spoke at a kickass web conference. One hopes that the conference survived the experience.

Surviving color management in Photoshop CS2

Well, not so much “surviving” as “bending it to my will.” Eh.


In which everything is illuminated. Or rather, not.

South by.

Putting the mild post-SXSW depression aside for a moment.

SXSW presentation online

Who loves slides? I know you do.

Three cheers for the patent office

The Patent Office grants patent on AJAX to a little California-based company. I love innovation.

Splash screen no more

Six months after starting my freelance work, I finally get around to redesigning my portfolio site. A savvy self-marketer, I am not.

Not-so-clear Bits

A double take.

SXSWi 2006: CSS Problem Solvers

I shall be on a panel at this year’s South By Southwest Interactive. That small point aside, it should be entertaining.


You are looking for a way to post a couple thousands links to, and wish your kung-fu was up to the task of doing so. Therefore, a game.

Digital Web: An interview with Dan Cederholm

I just conducted an interview with Dan Cederholm for Digital Web Magazine, to tout his most recent book. Also, cake.

Reminder: Get NEWD tonight

Come one, come all. Boston-area web geeks, young and old. Or something.

Day zero

In which Ethan goes freelance, hyperventilates a bit, and then realizes that it’ll all be okay. Then he hyperventilates a bit more.

Time to get NEWD: August 4th

Pants optional, DOCTYPEs mandatory. (And yes, it’s far too early for me to be funny.)

Coming Soon: Bulletproof Web Design

Dan Cederholm wrote a new book. I was the tech editor. That niggling little detail notwithstanding, it remains a very fine book.

Professional CSS: now with 100% more cover

As well as 100% more lumberjack.

Performance + validation = hotness

Update: Ethan sees a presentation by Safari’s product manager. Ethan then promptly blogs about something unverified and likely untrue. Ethan would also like to buy the Brooklyn Bridge, if you’re still selling it.

Tagging out

After much deliberation, I’ve decided to leave the Web Standards Project.

A musical baton

Yes, friends: they call it a meme.

Adobe acquires Macromedia, Ethan weeps openly for SVG

Adobe and Macromedia have merged. Welcome to the world of the ├╝bercorp! Everything is shiny and doubleplusnew…we simply ask that you leave your open graphics format at the door. Many thanks, citizen.

Boston-area Web Geeks’ Meetup

28 April, 7.30pm. Don’t forget to wear pants. Please.

Speaking at MIT

Not looking forward to another teary-eyed evening watching Hee-Haw reruns over a package of Ho-Hos? Well, not that it’s an improvement, but I’m speaking at MIT tonight.

Coming soon: Professional CSS

I can finally blog about the upcoming book. One hell of an experience that I’m glad to finally announce.

It begins

Good lord, I shouldn’t be blogging after four hours’ sleep.

Keeping multiple Macs in sync

It’s kinda like pimping, though you rarely have to use the phrase “upside your head.”

New winter colors

A holiday wallpaper, just in time for next year’s holiday season. A first (and likely last) of its kind here on

IE5/Mac mattered

Macintosh IE5 users, it’s time. It’s been fun. Really.

Web Design World presentation online

I am the emperor of tardy. But hey, it’s finally posted.

Before I sleep

On public speaking, deadlines, and sleep deprivation. And now, this fanboy could stand about thirty-eight hours of sleep. A good day to you.

Adobe-Wan Kenobi

Who loves ya, baby?

Go go gadget ethnocentricity

So, I’m curious: do any of the three of you have any practical experience in which separating style from structure paid off in the internationalization arena?

While My Dadaism Gently Weeps

Apologies in advance to the WCAG and, well, anyone trying to read this.

I heart lightweight markup

Score a rather dubious point for web standards and SEO lovin’.

Splinters and splitting

Of course, few positions have changed, some have even been reinforced under duress.

I hate tables

…or perhaps, they hate me. Though at least, I’ve figured my problem out.

What I Did During My Weblog Vacation

By Ethan Marcotte, age 27.

Proper tabindex in OSX Firefox

Because of this, I now consider Kevin Gerich to be cooler than Klondike Bars.

Boston geeks’ get-together, redux

If you’re in Boston this Thursday night at 7PM, meet up with Dan and I at the Cassava Lounge.

Browse Happy

Because you know you want to.

Is Mozilla putting the best site forward?

Mozilla’s new Update site seems a problematic replacement for its predecessor.

Boba in Boston

What follows is deeply rooted in my tradition of posting hours, if not days, after I’d initially intended to do so.

Reminder: Beantown geek-out

We meet tonight. 7.00PM at Cassava Lounge, 1076 Boylston Street in Boston.

Remotely controlled iTunes

Not super-sexy, but it does the job.

Beantown geeks

Calling all Boston-area CSS junkies, web designers, and otherwise geek-esque individuals.


Staring at the BBEdit Buick, and wondering what kind of flies one could swat with it.

Several mornings after

My markup brings all the boys to the yard. Or something.

Let’s be reasonable

An alternative.

Flying car markup

As a web developer/designer/something, I consider myself a creature of habit first, a creature of requirement second.


3d-licious, to say the least.

Slouching toward redesign

Coming soon.

Blowing off steam

Validate this.

Sexily styling horizontal rules

A CSS debug session with Monsieur Orchard. Now with new Gecko bugs!

Home, happy

No place like it.

Moment of weakness

Pardon me a brief digression into a 12 year-old screaming fangirl. Thank you.


Boston could learn a thing or two.

Bound for SXSW

Hawks, handsaws…who cares?

Back in the posting saddle

Worst entry title ever.

Box model hack, redux?

Is this an acceptable, W3C-friendly alternative to Tantek’s voice-family hack? Or, more likely, am I just a raving loon?

The spirit of sharing

“That’s the way I believe the world should work. Pity that it doesn’t.”

Digging Designologue


Hawks and handsaws

“Hilarity” is the one thing missing from this equation.

Further roasting the chestnut

With sincerest apologies to the esteemed Jeremy Keith, but I needed a post title.

Doctor Who, redux

Screw my Amazon wishlist: I now want a Tardis for Christmas.

Thoughts on redesigning one’s website

Brought to you by the little bulleted list-making gnomes in my head.

Better living through standards

I still rather fancy myself a golden, fiery god. Or not.

The family that pixellates together…

16-by-16 siblings are the best kind of siblings.

Multiple installations of Windows Internet Explorer?

In what strikes me as one hell of a coup, an article has just cropped up online demonstrating how to install multiple versions of Internet Explorer on Windows.

The W3C steps into the Eolas fray

Tim Berners-Lee just fired off a letter to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, asking its director to invalidate the Eolas patent.

Start at the top

At this point, I feel like I need a Venn diagram.

All about the BUZZ

I’ve just become one of the newest members of the Web Standards Project. Once I stop hyperventilating, I’ll be ready to get to work.

Note to self

Three things every good presentation on web standards should include.

By logical extension

Just how far should we remove presentation from content?

The inimitable Zeldman

It’s not a proper week if you don’t quote The Zeldman at least once.

The Eolas matter

An open letter to Mike Doyle: bite me. Thank you.

Late-night housekeeping

Mozilla’s fixed, my apartment isn’t.

Does Mozilla heart CSS?

Is there a standards-based redesign of the site on the horizon?

Recent Mozilla CSS bug

Recent Mozilla builds are choking on some of the new background-image replacement techniques. If you’re like me and can’t hack Mozilla to save your life, vote for bug #220266.


Has Google started tracking outgoing links?

CSS only mostly stupid.

I think I found a workaround for Matt Haughey’s CSS woes. What’s it look like to you?

A dialogue list

Honestly, I’ve no idea.

Point of order

If things look a mite odd, kindly reload my stylesheet. If they don’t, well, aren’t you the bright one?


Suing a 12 year-old honor student who lives in the NYC projects for downloading music? Oh, this does not a happy sidesh0w make.

Is the Buzz still worth it?

This was a long one, but I had some serious questions I wanted to raise. Hope you can help me out.

Application Dependency

Insert obvious jokes about "dependency issues" here.

I want to believe.

I know I’m raising my freak flag even higher here, but I’m excited to be part of the "X-Philes".

Mozilla coffee

It’s…it’s like the web can hear my thoughts.

Cross-browser rich text editor.

Go on, add an image. Saucy, no?

The When, Why, and How of CSS hacking.

Why test on the least standards-compliant browser available? The game’s changed, and so have the rules.

DMXZone gets its Zen on

A new interview with Dave Shea has been posted at the DMXZone. A worthy read, for one and all.

Jersey, represent.

Out of the garden, and into the bay. I’m back from the illustrious Jersey shore, and enjoying a very Cambridge Monday.

And of course, hubris++

Unsubscribed. I got better uses for my time.

Better background-image replacement.

Filed under the "I Will Steal This Often" category.

Mo’ mezzo, less blue.

Mad ups to Dave Shea for going all-CSS, all-structural XHTML over at Not-so-mad ups to me for saying "mad ups".

Fireland has returned.

Fireland is back. Fireland loves you. Josh loves your mom. Figure that one out.

Sign of the times.

Man. If only my current job had a description like this., redux.

I’ve published a proof-of-concept version of the Harvard University homepage, using nothing but standards-compliant XHTML and CSS. Mo’ betta, mo’ standards.

RIAA Radar.

It’s about being well-informed. it’s not about looking ahead. only allows access to one browser, and on one platform: are you up to their standards?

Homeland security.

I’m still shaking my head over the Department of Homeland Security / Microsoft contract. Maybe there’s some good in all of this.

Death of Netscape, continued.

Understandably, there’s been flurry of postings on the web in the past 12 or so hours on the Mozilla Foundation-cum-Netscape dismantling.

Mozilla Foundation?

Mozilla Foundation formed. Ethan tried very hard to decipher. Ethan failed. Netscape dismantled.

More browser wars…?

Peter-Paul Koch has written an excellent (albeit lengthy) state of the browser union.

Givin’ a talk at Harvard.

On 24 July, I’ll be giving a talk at the monthly ABCD-WWW meeting here at Harvard on standards-based web design. I just got the confirmation, and I’m all sortsa excited.

If not before.

Back from Vermont. I was hoping to post more tonight, but She has offered to take yours truly out for a fine birthday dinner…back online tomorrow.

WaSP on Internet Explorer, redux.

The WaSP (finally) publishes its position on the recent Internet Explorer hubbub, and your faithful author achieves some measure of peace on the matter. Plus, he desperately needs coffee…but you already knew that.

Speak, and receive thy answer.

The Web Standards Project speaks out about the recent Internet Explorer headlines.

Such an impulse buyer

I’m such a bad man…

"DASIE, DASIE, give me your browser, do…"

Get your WaSP on.

XML, CSS readin’.

Great articles on CSS3 selectors, and on transforming XML with PHP. rocks. So do you.

All aboard the Ftrain.

In which the author gushes about Ftrain (read: "wishes to BE Ftrain").

They hit me back first.

Dave Winer mad. Dave Winer smash.


Hivelogic returns to much rejoicing on the part of the author. Poodles are pretty.

Bam Bam and his baby.

In which the author exposes way too much familiarity with the wrestling world (gleaned largely from the Saturday morning cartoons of his childhood, he swears). Various and sundry links are bandied about.

Apache rules the school. Wish I did, too.

The site is updated, yet tweaks remain. Complaints about Apache’s mod_rewrite, but nothing too well-informed (or informative). A brief run-down of personal OSCOM highlights.

Putting the "U" in "usability"

Function follows form. Take that, Sullivan.

Weep for humanity.

Zeldman asks Dave Winer to consider standards-compliant markup. Dave Winer asks Zeldman to consider a long walk off a short pier.

I put thought into this. Really. slides into irrelevance. Regexes finally make some small amount of sense. The USA, however, continues to make less sense on an almost daily basis.

Life gets so weird, art doesn’t want to imitate it.

In which the author discovers that multi-threading does not work well in the human world.

Code, delete, repeat.

In which the author learns a thing or three, and is very glad he did.

Why the web is good.

In which the author bites his thumb at the W3C.

Speaking of Opera…

Håkon Wium Lie is a pretty smart man. Yours truly, however, is not. Still, we disagree with a few of his points…

Tuesday != Fun.

The fat lady’s sung again, but the Opera’s not over. A PRElicious link. We highly recommend Vermont for weekend bliss.

Elsewhere redesigns, and is all sorts of standards-compliant. Microsoft gaffes, and yours truly snaffs.

Coffee + Coder = Fun

Fixed background images are good. Video games are bad. Bitmap font graphics are bad. Sleeping on the keyboard is bad. Suddenly, one feels the need to crawl back into bed.