Just Shelley

This door swings both ways

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

Sometimes the iTunes store is spot on when it makes a recommendation, and that’s how I can to download Herman’s Hermits Retrospective–the group’s best songs, very nicely re-mastered.

I’ve enjoyed this CD immensely, with its reminders of hip-huggers, tight sweaters, and big bright posterboard flowers, shaggy hair, white lipstick, and color! Color was very big at that time. It’s odd but I’d never noticed before that among the flower-power pop-rock songs, the band had some rather non-trivial lyrics, such as The Door Swings Both Ways:


Everyones life is bittersweet
It’s a door that opens wide
And no man can call himself complete
Till he’s seen it from both sides

This door swings both ways
It’s marked ‘In’ and ‘Out’
Some days you’ll want to cry
And some days you will shout

This door swings both ways
It goes back and forth
In comes a southern breeze
Or a cold wind from the north

This door swings both ways
Lets in joy and pain
In comes the morning sun
And then the evening rain

This door swings both ways
Lets in dark and light
Every day you make the choice
To let in wrong or right

When shadows fall
You must prepare yourself for sunshine
For everything there is an end
And so my friend you must be brave

This door swings both ways
Which one will it be
Will we live in happiness
Or dwell in misery

This door swings both ways
Lets in earth and sky
Make the most of livin’
If you’re not prepared to die
Make the most of livin’
If you’re not prepared to die.

I agree with this reviewer, it’s some of the less well known songs that have better stood the test of time, including the lovely East-West, My Sentimental Friend, and Here Comes the Star. This was the last of this type of music, before pushed aside by the edgier, grittier music inspired by the increasing anti-Vietnam War sentiment and movement.

The time is ripe for a newly mastered collection of this lesser-known group. Looking at the popular Web 2.0 web sites, most would have felt at home back in the mid-60’s: big, curvy flowers, bright pastel colors, and plenty of bubbly optimism made more piquant by knowing that the hammer’s about to fall.



You say agile I say chaos

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

I skimmed through Steve Yegge’s “Good Agile, Bad Agile” piece and was thinking of responding, but luckily Dare Obasanjo responded first and said all I’d say and more–especially as regards to the ‘star’ treatment accorded to developers at companies like Google, and the employees gratitude back for being ‘so well taken care of’.

Dare writes:

I remember interning at Microsoft five years ago and hearing someone say how grateful he was for “the things Microsoft has done for me” and thinking how creepy and cult-like that sounded. A company pays you at worst ‘what they think they can get away with’ and at best ‘what they think you are worth’, neither of these should inspire gratitude. Never forget that or else you’ll be on the road to heartbreak.

We should respect the companies where we work or, at a minimum, respect our responsibilities as employees; but gratitude and loyalty, both, will eventually lead to heartbreak.


Rogers on no Spring women

Rogers Cadenhead just wrote on another conference with no women among the speakers.

It’s rather alarming how the ‘new’ technologies seem to be completely devoid of women, yet I know there are women working in these fields. Did we forget the club handshake? Miss out on when the secret decoder rings were sent around?

Anyway, I have TECH WORK TO DO, so Rogers, good luck with this battle.



PPK, writer of QuirksMode, has a panel proposal in at SxSW I wanted to point out to those of you attending. PPK is well known in the JavaScript circles and someone I respect for his good, commonsense approach to web page development–particularly with JavaScript. Yes, I am pointing you to a competitor, because he’s worth being pointed to and his sessions sounds to be one of the more interesting at SxSW.

My panel will not be technical. Instead, I’d like to address some of the social issues that face JavaScript nowadays, issues I also touched on in my JavaScript and “serious” programmers entry. Not entirely coincidentally, this entry has about the highest overall comment quality on the QuirksBlog, which means (I suppose) that people are truly interested in the subject. In turn, that means the panel could prove to be quite interesting.

It’s not easy finding the proposal when using Firefox on the Mac, because something in the panel picker causes the browser to crash if you try to expand the list. Unfortunately, there’s also no title search (which I guess demonstrates that maybe the SxSW people should consider going to this session.) Frankly, it’s not easy finding it with any browser–the interface really sucks. But I persevered and found the following:

Now that JavaScript is in fashion again, we’re facing a few non-technical issues that may be more important than the technical ones. There are two ways of writing JavaScript: the client side and the server side way. They focus on different things: application development vs. CSS/accessibility, respectively. Is one of the two clearly “right”, or is there place for both? What’s going to happen once the Ajax hype folds?

PPK lists out a set of issues related to today’s use of JavaScript/Ajax, in particular the approach the application developer takes as compared to the web developer. Among some of the issues:

The web developers’ strong points are good knowledge of accessibility, HTML and CSS, as well as immersion in the ideas of the CSS revolution. Their weak points are sloppy spaghetti-coding and a general lack of knowledge about application design.

The application developers’ strong points are strict coding practices and lots of knowledge about application design. Their weak points are a total disinterest in accessibility and sloppy HTML coding practices.

This is a discussion I’ve indulged in at my site, in particular, this new breed of JavaScript developer who is completely indifferent to standards and accessibility. I’d like to think two decades of development and a comp sci degree doesn’t mean I’m on the other spaghetti coding side, but there are people who have come to JS through the web page design who aren’t familiar with good coding practices. Chances are they’ll never become aware, because the application developers tend to be cryptic, as well as being a tad over-engineering.

This promises to be an interesting panel. If you’re going, find it and click the “Pick Me” associated with the proposal.


Stop re-inventing this wheel

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

Perhaps at SxSW, PPK can convince the new horde of Ajax developers to stop acting as if that they’ve invented the technology, all squeaky new. Via link from Ajaxian, the concept of ‘transparent’ messages from Humanized.

Issues of accessibility and usability aside–been there, done that, wrote the book (page 240 to be exact).