SXSWi 2007 – Friday – Day 1

Friday wasn’t too bad of a day, initially. Luke gave me a ride to the airport and we listened to a comedian that I’d never heard before – Daniel Tosh. Funny stuff. The flight to Dallas was fine, with the exception that some ass told me to turn my ipod volume down so he could sleep. Once I got to Dallas, I had the wonderful present of a delay. Only about thirty minutes, but I could certainly have dealt without it. Eventually I got to Austin. Thankfully, my bag was one of the first to come off the carousel. My cab driver was from, what I suspect to be, somewhere in Eastern Europe. He technically spoke English, but his accent was so thick that I couldn’t understand him. Which wasn’t that big of a deal, except that he kept asking me questions. I simply replied ‘Yes’ to all of them and that seemed to placate him. Despite the 20+ dollar fare, the cab ride itself was nice because we took a road through a very colorful part of town. Lots of pink and sea foam green buildings.

The Raddison is a nice hotel, I got checked in really quick and dropped all my stuff off in my room. My bed can change its firmness with a little button control. Neat. After that I made my way to the Convention Center to get my badge. The line was atrociously long. Though, someone said that it was much shorter than earlier in the day. Lucky me.

After I acquired my badge – orange this year, compared to green last year – I made my way to Six. Six is a cool lounge bar with an outside patio above the lounge. I proceeded to relax and drink my free white russians until Jeff and company arrived. Then I proceeded to drink more white russians. Eight white russians later and a huge collective of nerds had amassed, we left. We went to Buffalo Billiards just down the street. I feebly attempted to play pool with Chris Kavinsky, who beat me, though I think if I were sober-er I would have done better. After a while of that we decided to call it a night. But not before stopping and getting a big slice of pizza.

After a bit of confusion, I found my hotel and proceeded to call Becky before going to bed. She apparently felt it necessary to put our conversation on speakerphone for her friends. I don’t know what all was said in the apparent ten minute phone call because I recall it being about a two minute phone call. C’est la vie.

SXSW 2007, W00t

Well, it looks like it’s almost spring time, so that means I get to go to Austin again! This will be my second year going to South By Southwest (SXSW) and I couldn’t be more excited.

After reading all the panel descriptions, I think I’ve come up with a pretty good itinerary. Not to detract from last year, but I think this year’s line up of panels will be better than last years. I’m not really sure if it’s that the panels appeal to me more this year versus last year or perhaps it’s the speakers, I don’t know. Regardless, I’m excited. It certainly doesn’t hurt that my hotel this year won’t be miles away from the convention center like it was last year. I’ll be staying at the Hotel Raddison at Town Lake – a mere six blocks from the convention center.

The following is a tentative listing of what I plan to do during my time In Austin. I’ll update this later to include what parties I plan on attending as well.

  • Friday, March 9th
    • Arrive: 3:40pm
  • Saturday, March 10th
    • 10:00 am – A Decade of Style
    • 11:30 am -How to Bluff Your Way in Web 2.0
    • 2:00 pm – Web App Autopsy
    • 3:30 pm – Grids Are Good and How to Design with Them
    • 4:05 pm – Ruining the User Experience: When JavaScript and Ajax Go Bad or Web Hacks: Good or Evil (or: Welcome to Web 2.666)
    • 5:00 pm – High Class and Low Class Web Design
  • Sunday, March 11th
    • 10:00 am – Designing for Convergent Devices
    • 11:30 am – Design Workflows at Work: How Top Designers Work Their Magic
    • 2:00 pm – Everything You Always Wanted to Know About the Mobile Web…but Were Afraid to Ask
    • 3:30 pm – AJAX of Flash: What’s Right for You?
    • 4:05 pm – The Future of JavaScript
    • 5:00 pm – Uniting the Holy Trinity of Web Design
  • Monday, March 12th
    • 10:00 am – Barenaked App: The Figure Behind the Top Web Apps
    • 11:30 am – Scaling Your Community
    • 2:00 pm – The Growth and Evolution of Microformats
    • 3:30 pm – Bullet Tooth Web Design: Plan Your Web Site like Pulling off a Robbery
    • 4:05pm – Design Patterns: Defining and Sharing Web Interface Design Languages or Javascript: The Big Picture
    • 5:00 pm – Nothing?
  • Tuesday, March 13th
    • 10:00 am – Browser Wars Retrospective: Past, Present and Future Battlefields
    • 11:30 am – After Bust 2.0: Ten Years Later, Where Will We Be?
    • 2:00 pm – There’s no Such Thing as the Mobile Web (Or Is There?)
    • 3:30 pm – The Truth About Mobile & The Future of Personal Devices
    • 4:05 pm – Nothing?
    • 5:00 pm – Nothing?

WordPress Plugin: Search Term Tagging 1.0 Beta

I read this post on Blogging Pro about some needed WordPress plugins, as suggested by Chris Pirillo. As I was reading through them, I thought, “Damn, I could do that fourth one pretty easily.”

For reference, the fourth one was as follows:

What about a plugin that takes incoming search terms and auto-tags the post based on those terms (with or without moderation)? So, if a user searches for KeywordXYZ on Google and ultimately visits one of the blog entries, that blog entry will have the KeywordXYZ added to its tag list (via UTW or something).

And so I wrote it.

Presenting Search Term Tagging 1.0 (Beta, of course)

You may download the source here:

I’ve only tested on my WordPress, version 2.0.2 (I know I need to upgrade), installation. No guarantees on anything working or breaking.


  1. Download Source (above)
  2. Activate the plugin
  3. Add this code to display it wherever you want it to be seen on your blog:
    /* Search Term Tagging Plugin */
    echo "<div id=\"searchTermTagging\">n";
    echo stt_terms_list();
    echo "</div>n";

Any questions, comment here. There isn’t a whole lot to it. So, what would you guys like added to it? Also, I’m not really tied to the name for this plugin, any better ideas?

Previewing Internet Explorer 7 (IE7) Beta 2

I subscribe to the IE Blog RSS feed and this came across the wire today: IE7 Beta 2 Preview Available. I’ve been meaning to check out the new Internet Explorer 7 (IE7), but I just haven’t had the time. Well, the time is now! And I bring to you, dear readers no one, my first reactions to IE7.

  • As any sensable web user, I use Mozilla Firefox as my de facto web browser. This posed to be a slight problem, really just an irk actually, when I went to install IE7. The IE7 installer requires validation that you are using a valid Microsoft Windows installation. It does this validation by way of the Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) Program. Basically, WGA is just an ActiveX control that has access to the Windows product key. You must validate your Windows installation before proceeding. To do so, you press the Validate button and it will open up a Microsoft web page that will run the ActiveX control. Only problem, Firefox can’t run ActiveX. At least not natively. The web page it took me to said I could download some file to install that would do the check, but I decided to just change my browser settings to say IE was my default browser (A cold shiver runs down my spine). And the page then opened up in IE. Validated and moved on.
  • After the install I had to restart. Damn it.
  • The new IE7 icon looks neat, I guess. It replaced all my IE6 icons. Sure would be nice if IE was a stand-alone program and not integrated into the OS. C’est la vie.
  • Upon going to my first web site – Yahoo! – I was prompted to turn on a phishing filter. I’m smart enough not to go to any phishing sites, but I can easily see how others could get confused. So, good job there.
  • IE7 apparently got rid of the main toolbar present in nearly all GUI programs. You know “File, Edit, View…”. Gone. More space for the viewport I suppose.
  • Navigation buttons are rearranged as well. The Back/Forward buttons are to the left of the URL dropdown box. The Refresh and Stop buttons are to the right. To the right of that is original-in-Firefox search box. Functions just like Firefox as far as I can tell. Default search provider is MSN Search.
  • IE7 finally got tabs! And they did some stuff right! And by right I mean better than Firefox. First, there is a sort of mini-tab to the right of the tabs that, when clicked, opens a blank tab. I like this. Although I use Ctrl-T to open new tabs in Firefox, this mini-tab could still be very useful. For reference, Ctrl-T also works in IE7. Also, as you add more than one tab, you get a little X (Close Tab) button in the corner of the tab. Why Firefox hasn’t done this yet remains a mystery to the entire universe.
  • Along with tabs, IE7 has an Apple OS X Application Switcher-esque Tab Switcher/Viewer. This switcher/viewer is represented by a button that has four small rectangles on it and sits to the left of the first tab. When you click it each tab is shown as a cropped screen shot of each web page. Pretty neat feature.
  • Another Firefox feature in IE7 is the text-scaler. This feature is in the bottom right corner of the browser. If clicked, it will zoom the entire page, not just the text. If memory serves me well, I believe this is how Opera does zooming. The button also has a dropdown associated with it and it has zoom from 10% to 1000%, plus a custom zoom. Also, the Ctrl++, Ctrl+-, and Ctrl+0 keyboard shortcuts work, as they do in Firefox.
  • There is a built in Feed Subscriber in IE7. I personally don’t like to subscribe to feeds with the default browser subscriber, but people may like it. Also, if you just click the feed button in IE7, it will load the feed and display it for you. You can’t click on the RSS Feed link embedded in the web page, but the button will load it and display it. Nice feature, I suppose.
  • It also seems as though the IE team was truthful when they said they had fixed the IE CSS bugs listed at I can’t seem to find any that break in IE7.
  • Also PNG alpha channel support seems to be working. W3C PNG Test here.
  • :hover support seems to be working. Eric Meyer’s pure CSS menus seemed to work, but they didn’t look like they do in Firefox’s, not exactly sure if this is explicitly related to :hover, though.

Internet Explorer’s Hidden Reset Abilities

Let’s say you’re using Internet Explorer (IE) for web browsing. First off, stop it! Use Firefox!

Ok, for sake of argument, let’s say you have to use IE. Say you happen upon a form that you decide to fill out.

If click on a text input box and start typing text and hit Esc, it will erase the contents of that input box. This behavior also seems to exist for other text-entry form controls, i.e. password input boxes and textareas. Now, if you Tab or click to another form element, then come back to to that original input box and hit Esc, it doesn’t erase the contents at all. The single-input erasing seems to only work on your initial focus of that input box.

One more thing, if you hit Esc and then hit Esc again, it will reset the entire form to its original form.

I found all this out after playing with some AJAX additions to some forms I’m creating.

Comments are welcome.