Linkdump: Games People Play

Well, it’s been a couple of weeks since my last post. What have I missed?

  • Bulwer-Lytton 2004 is out. Get it while it’s hot.

  • Anne van Kesteren is back from vacation, and he is on fire. What’s the deal with XHTML? Does XHTML really save bandwidth over HTML? Day by day, bit by little bit, we all edge closer to markup sanity.

  • Meanwhile, Jacques is back too, and he seems rather underwhelmed by all the hype over the Stephen Hawking’s now famous black hole information loss wager. After all, as Jacques reminds us, “Anyone who hasn’t been asleep for the past 6 years knows that quantum gravity in asymptotically anti-de Sitter space has unitary time evolution.” Actually, what I find even more interesting is the fact that Jacques’s post is titled, “No Information Lost Here!”, and is sitting at the URL Coincidence?? I think no– oh, heck, it’s probably a coincidence.

  • The World of Warcraft Beta developers are hard at work, furiously redesigning the in-game auction houses. Seems like they’re spending a lot of time on this, particularly since someone else has already done most of the design grunt work for them.

  • In other MMORPG news, City of Heroes has implemented capes. What I really like about this is that they tried to fold this into the story. It’s not that the developers didn’t quite get capes working in time for the release — no, no, no, it’s because all the heroes had been in mourning over one of their fallen comrades. Nicely done! Although come to think of it, why didn’t Sony ever try this with Everquest? For example, rangers sucked for the first three-and-a-half years of the game not because of a development problem, but because they were all in mourning. They were all holding back, see?

  • Well, forget all these fancy-schmantzy MMORPGs. I’m holding out for Peasant’s Quest.

  • Finally, via Russ, I found out that fellow ’97 HMC alum Joe Beda is a development lead on Microsoft’s Avalon team. Right on, Joe! For the record, I’m not even a little bit jealous of Joe’s incredibly important and prestigious job. Although that’s probably because I can take comfort in the fact that I still have all my hair.

I Need a New Hobby

It’s been interesting to see the backandforth discussion between CSS guru Eric Meyer and lead Safari developer Dave Hyatt on Apple’s proposed Dashboard extensions to HTML. At first Eric nearly hit the boiling point, but he is now working constructively with Dave to help him extend HTML in as safe a manner as possible. I’m glad they’re working together on this, because this is pretty important to get right. HTML could certainly use enhancement, but we can’t afford to implement these enhancements and in so doing FUBAR validation entirely.

The really exciting thing about Dashboard is that Apple clearly intends Dashboard widgets to be as easy to write as possible. This is one of the main reasons that they’re targeting HTML, as opposed to XHTML exclusively. Dave points out that:

“First, it was suggested that the widgets be written in XML rather than HTML and that all of the new tags and attributes be namespaced. However, this would have dramatically increased the complexity of crafting Dashboard widgets. People know how to write HTML, but most of those same people have never written an XML file, and namespaces are a point of confusion.”

This has of course drawn out legions of Markup Experts to snigger that XHTML isn’t so hard, Apple should do things properly in XHTML, Apple is just being “lazy”, how dare they muck with rotten old legacy HTML, any developer worth their salt can write XML, et cetera. For amusement, I bounced around the web this morning checking out these arguments. I validated five pages in a row. One hundred percent were serving up their arguments as non-well-formed XHTML.

Replication of this experiment is left as an exercise for the reader. In the meantime, I’m thinking of taking up watercolor painting.

Posted in Web