Books of Note

Practical Common
LispThe best intro to start your journey. Excellent coverage of CLOS.

ANSI Common
LispAnother great starting point with a different focus.

Paradigms of Artificial Intelligence
ProgrammingA superb set of Lisp examples. Not just for the AI crowd.

Friday, July 16, 2004

Okay, okay, I'm guilty of CSS font overspecification! 

I read Brian Mastenbrook's recent blog entry about overspecifying fonts in CSS with amusement. I have been watching the form vs. content war surrounding HTML and web presentation for about a decade now. Remember when Netscape added the various presentation tags like CENTER and FONT to Navigator and everybody went crazy? The computer scientists hated it because anything other than serif text on a gray background seemed unnatural. The graphics arts crowd loved it because they could finally get a web page to look about like the way they designed it. It has been pandemonium ever since.

Anyway, then I read Markus Fix's Lispmeister entry from today and felt guilty. My template had hardcoded a bunch of font entries. So, I caved to the mounting pressure and stripped it all out. The thing that pushed me over the top was that I noticed that most of the font information on the web is Windows specific and didn't do anything for anybody else anyway. Given that almost half the Finding Lisp readership is non-Windows-based, I decided the change was warranted. (Update: I just checked my web logs for this month and Windows is now the dominant platform for Finding Lisp readers--about 75% or so. Oh, well. Finding Lisp readership has been growing substantially each month and Windows users seem to represent the bulk of that. Interestingly, Mozilla usage has stayed flat at about 50% through that same timeframe.)

On a side note, Exploit Explorer looks like it is still being used by a few people. If the bad CSS bugs didn't get you before, maybe the recent hullabaloo over security issues will. I have been using Mozilla at work on Windows for about a year now and I have to say that it's great. While Explorer used to be the leading browser with Navigator falling behind, the same thing is now happening in reverse. Explorer is rapidly becoming an obsolete program. People say that Firefox is also good, but I have never tried it. At this point, anything non-Microsoft is good for me. It looks like people are generally getting this hint, too.

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