Surfin' Safari

It is HOT here. My office is 86 degrees and rising. So I just came downstairs to the back deck. A fat squirrel made his way along the trellice and stared at me for a while. (I don't do this often enough.) I swept the dried leaves fro the Japanese maple that shades the back deck. The noise spooked a large buck that was lolling around in the backyard. I kid Uta that we're letting the back return to its primordial state.

I'm rebuilding my website and I decided that it's time to bite the bullet and put together a new framework with cascading style sheets, consistent look & feel, templates, and other goodies that have come out since I put the original together with NotePad and HotDog.

Reading Macromedia's Dreamweaver and Flash sites told me more than I wanted to know about some of the things I'd like to do and not enough about others. (I'd really like a good default site to customize but I haven't been able to find one.)

Some of the O'Reilly books have caught my eye. There's a new version of Information Architecture out; the first edition is one of the more valuable web books of the four or five dozen I've read. There's a whole book on Cascading Style Sheets. There are PHP and Perl books. All adorned with those cute drawings of polar bears, meerkats, and other animals. I want a wheelbarrow full but at $25+ a pop, that's not in the cards.

Reading a review of Information Architecture II, I came upon an ad for Safari, an online book-licensing deal from O'Reilly.

    Get your first 14 days free when you subscribe to Safari Tech Books Online, with nearly 1,000 of the best technical books available from O'Reilly and other top publishers. Select up to ten books to search, bookmark, and annotate; cut and paste code examples; find your answers fast.

People kvech about reading on screen but it doesn't bother me that much, especially if it's a technical book I want to be able to search.

I'm still on the back deck,but now I'm reading chapter 1 of Information Architecture. It's good. This is simply too cool for words. I was thinking of going down to Cody's Books or the Engineering Library at U.C. Berkeley to grab this book. Instead, I've saved myself 45 minutes and I have five new O'Reilly books on my shelf!

What IS information architecture? The authors define it thus:

    in·for·ma·tion ar·chi·tec·ture n.

    1. The combination of organization, labeling, and navigation schemes within an information system.

    2. The structural design of an information space to facilitate task completion and intuitive access to content.

    3. The art and science of structuring and classifying web sites and intranets to help people find and manage information.

    4. An emerging discipline and community of practice focused on bringing principles of design and architecture to the digital landscape.

I just finished reading Cascading Style Sheets. On line. What a snooze. I will forget most of this by morning. But I learned some nifty things that I'll put to work in the new version of

Posted by Jay Cross at September 1, 2002 04:14 PM | TrackBack

30 Poppy Lane
Berkeley, California 94708

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