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Issue № 1

Where we started, what it's all about.

Writing for the Web

by Jeffrey Zeldman · 1 Comment

When Brian and I launched the original LIST APART in January '98, we had two goals: to create a noise-free, high-level discussion list for the web; and to cover all the bases of webmaking—from pixels to prose, coding to content. Posts in the digest have begun that work. It continues with this article, the first in a series. The scarcity of online writing about online writing is baffling when you consider that most websites consist of words.

Redefining Possible

by Lance Arthur

I come to stir up the quiet, solemn waters of backwards compatibility and lowest-common denominator coding. I come not to praise one-size-fits-all site design, but to demean it. I am here before you today shielded with tomato-proofed Teflon coating, ready for the shouts of indignation and hurled epithets from you in the front row while all you quiet types in the back nod your heads in silent agreement because I want you to go out now and f*ck sh*t up.

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About five years ago, I bought a cushy couch for my office. (Okay, yes, I did get the model that could flatten into an emergency nap station, but let’s just say that I plan for contingencies—it sounds more professional that way.) Our projects required a lot of office-to-office visiting to discuss situations in person, and eventually, said couch (and therefore, my office) became a veritable beacon, attracting anyone looking for an excuse to decompress. Such is the life of a one-couch, 50-chair business.

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As a freelancer, I work in a lot of different code repos. Almost every team I work with has different ideas of how code should be organized, maintained, and structured. Now, I’m not here to start a battle about tabs versus spaces or alphabetical order of CSS properties versus organizing in terms of concerns (positioning styles, then element layout styles, then whatever else), because I’m honestly not attached to any one system anymore.