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You and the stu nicholls guy

by Matthias Willerich on February 9 2009, 10:25

It amazes me time and time again how much emotion goes into our work life. Not that I can exclude myself, I don't even want to: I'm proud if I've achieved a great end result, be it in code or in planning an application, I'm happy when my machines and applications run as expected. Equally I feel the discomfort of a bug that's down to my sloppiness, or worse, a conceptual error that has me repeating or redoing my work, because I couldn't be bothered to fully understand a concept or the implications of a decision made early.

To avoid the latter, I've never stopped learning, reading up on how it's supposed to be done, and trying to see the benefit in generalizations others have suggested.

Web Standards and the people that actively try shaping them is such a subject. Over the years I've followed a number of blogs and web publications, and looked at how they do it, taking on suggestions when they seemed to make sense, trying to work out the benefits when the don't. Lucky me, living in London, even had a chance to see, and at times even chat to some of them, the people who seem to have so many good ideas.

One of them is Dean Edwards, who I've met several times at the Pub Standards, when his and my occasional attendance overlapped.

Now, he's forgotten to renew his domain, and the reminder didn't reach its intended target. That's kinda stupid, but I can confirm that although it has so far not happened to me, I'm uncomfortable about this subject every 2 years, because my registrar has such a bad user interface that I'm never sure if it updated credit card details, if a changed status means that everything is (going to be) ok, etc. (feel free to suggest a registrar that tells me in simple words where I'm at)

Maybe I'm just too forgiving, but imagine: Somebody who has been publicly, on the web and elsewhere, trying to standardize and improve his work universe, forgets something important. That's crazy, and clearly deserves a telling-off, throwing everything in except the kitchen sink.

Oh, it's so funny, I have to quote it here (who knows, maybe it'll be taken down). So, on the erroneously titled subject of a lost-and-snatched domain with unlicensed content replication, someone called "gmn17" had this to say:

man oh man what happens to you guys?, you and the quirksmode guy and the stu nicholls guy, you guys get burned out and then whore yourselves out and can't handle what you created and started, putting down people for using tables and innerhtml like the guy who explains how different the internet and the world wide web are so different, trying to create an atmosphere of holier than thou web design and make people feel like crap for using tables and document.write, it's hard to feel sorry for you, you yourself said many times on that site that you only use it sparingly or can not update it as frequently, and that stu nicholls guy, man what a sellout, someone needs to tell him his javascript is horrible, you just have to be patient, I always liked your site too, lots of nice stuff, can't believe you can write code like that and get into a situation like this, what a world,

Amazing! I mean, it's hilarious, it looks so menacing! I wanted to only quote one sentence, but, there is no full stop. I'm interpreting a lot of pent-up anger in there, and the chance of a lifetime. Ironically, his comment wouldn't have been too out of place at Ajaxian, where a discussion about CSS (or tables)for layout was reheated and served.

I'm sure you'll find a lot of flak in the comments, too, maybe even some condescending advice. But as far as I read, they only get as personal as "you're probably a backend dev" or the general denial of professionalism on the part of the original author. A great week for making the web a better place, that's for sure.


  • Dean Edwards' unfortunate loss of domain name reminded me of what happened to David Airey a while back. He managed to get the domain back, even though it seemed like he wouldn't have had a chance because his domain had also expired and was registered by someone else. However, some good chaps at GoDaddy (the squatter's registrar) were very understanding and let David have the domain back. Any news on how Dean is getting on with it?

    by Paul Decowski on February 9 2009, 17:23 - #

  • I only know as much as what he wrote on reddit, and that his site still has google analytics set up, something that he claims he didn't set up. David Airey's story sounds terrible! Good for him that he got his domain back.

    by Matthias Willerich on February 17 2009, 11:48 - #

  • I use Network Solutions for domain registration, they offer auto-renew, and I get emails about 6 months before the domain is set to expire to remind me. Also comes with a free Domain Protect service:

    "When turned on, Domain Protect helps to block the transfer of your domain name to another Registrar. It provides protection from "domain hijackers," or others who may attempt to authorize a transfer of your domain name registration."

    You can also choose to have your WHOIS record made anonymous too, though other providers may also do this...

    by Paul B on February 19 2009, 16:22 - #

  • I refuse to use Network Solutions for one reason, which is actually very on topic here.

    I use DreamHost for both hosting and domain registrations. They've got brilliant domain and DNS management tool (custom built). It allows you to lock the domain from transferring away too. They also have domain proxy (WHOIS anonymisation). And if you want to transfer your domain(s) away then you've got your AuthCodes for each domain right there in control panel — no phoning/e-mailing the support, and certainly no sending request faxes on a company headed paper (which has happened to me in the past).

    They're not so brilliant for hosting, though, so I'm moving to (mt) soon. Mind you, they're good, but it's only a shared environment and I really need a VPS. I know they also offer VPSes but they seem a bit fishy.

    by Paul Decowski on February 20 2009, 09:20 - #

  • I found this article while searching for Stu Nicholls related articles. Although this might be slightly off topic, I was kind of wondering if anyone else thought it was weird that he considers his CSS 'unique' and that people should pay him for using, what amount to, not very revolutionary techniques. Considering that throughout his site, he covers MOST CSS techniques, does that mean that anyone who uses CSS should pay Stu Nicholls? I can think of more than one occassion where I've solved a particular problem on my own, only to find that Stu Nicholls had a similar solution on his site that he considers 'his'. Little bit pedantic if you ask me.

    by Whut on July 28 2009, 16:02 - #

  • Great article! Someone who forgets to renew his domain or just doesn't see the notice must be crying. I mean some people, like writers and bloggers, put so much of themselves in there, it becomes their world, they skip meals to add a little something else, they think about it all day and their work is taken from them in seconds. Great food for though to read your article, maybe the solution is to pay in advance for 20 years, who knows :)

    by Patty Robertson on September 21 2009, 22:13 - #

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