I have an oddly vivid memory of when I discovered A List Apart. It was a sunnily gorgeous day in lower Manhattan, and I was sitting at a borrowed desk in my then-job’s New York studio’s then-office. I was slurping down something caffeinated, and munching absentmindedly on something pastried. The day was shaping up to be rather uninteresting; a few deadlines looming later in the week meant that my stellar time management skills could kick in, and idly procrastinate for a few hours. So when my friend Matt sent me a link to John Allsopp’s “A Dao of Web Design,” I wasn’t really expecting much: maybe the website of a Turkish man threatening to kiss the women of the world, or a few photos of cats wearing pancakes. You know, dot-com detritus: entertaining, but not something that’d tear a man away from his latte.
If you’ve never read it, John’s article is — well, just stop reading this dreck and spend your time with some real writing. Seriously. It was enough to knock me off my schedule, and I subsequently spent the better part of the day poring over the magazine’s archives. I’d been looking for a place where people about design and development could write about these things with the same level of fire, and I’d finally found it in ALA. To grossly understate things, I was hooked: The first fix was free, and they never jacked up the price.
Since then, A List Apart has always held a certain Zeus-like position in my pantheon of web geekery. If ALA were to walk into a crowded room, I’d likely be That Guy, and start stammering about how much I loved that thing it did that time. I’d then offer to buy it a drink, then forget how to walk on my way to the bar.
So it’s with great pride (and no small amount of fanboyish, undignified, and quite possibly unmanly squealing) that I’d like to announce my first article on A List Apart, a little ditty called “Where Our Standards Went Wrong.” Don’t worry: it’s considerably less incendiary than it sounds. I was going for “group hug” over “hellfire,” but I’d enjoin the three of you to take me to task in the discussion. And if my little rambling isn’t your cup of tea, then Daniel Mall wrote a brilliant article that should make this issue worth your while.
The entire Happy Cog team is a joy to work with, but I’d especially like to thank Erin Kissane and Jeffrey Zeldman. By all rights, they should probably have coauthorship credit; their comments really shaped helped me sand down a lot of rough edges, and I owe each of them quite a bit.
Right then. If you’ll excuse me, I’ll be in doing cartwheels down the street for the rest of the evening, and trying not to get arrested. A good day to you.