Understanding Web Design

Nice article about web design, and the fact that ultimately many sites will adhere to some common layouts, which leaves the designer to do the best he can and still be creative…

The inexperienced or insufficiently thoughtful designer
complains that too many websites use grids, too many sites use columns,
too many sites are “boxy.” Efforts to avoid boxiness have been around
since 1995; while occasionally successful, they have most often
produced aesthetically wretched and needlessly unusable designs.

The experienced web designer, like the talented newspaper art
director, accepts that many projects she works on will have headers and
columns and footers. Her job is not to whine about emerging
commonalities but to use them to create pages that are distinctive,
natural, brand-appropriate, subtly memorable, and quietly but
unmistakably engaging.


London Review of Breakfasts

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, experts say so, it's also one of the few meals that the British can be really proud of.

Doing the “full English” just can't be as easy as it seems – because finding somewhere that gets it right isn't always easy. Keeping everything warm and delivering the whole lot it in a reasonable amount time are the basics. I've walked on breakfastless from places who don't get that bit right. It also probably the meal with the most variations, there's always someone who doesn't want mushrooms, but that's not really an excuse – especially if the waiter is not even writing it down.

The trick of finding the good breakfast is now made easier with The London Review Of Breakfasts. There reviews caustically berate any establishment getting the breakfasts wrong..

” The so called scrambled egg – which presumably in their minds is the
key to the ‘Eggworks’ name – had been microwaved in a round mould the
shape of the bagel, so that it bore not even a passing resemblance to
the (doubtlessly battery) hen’s egg it (hopefully) originated from “


Monarch Relaunch

Tonight in Camden Town the pub formerly known as the Misty Moon (and probably a much better name before that) is being re-launched as The Monarch, despite the nearest pub to it being called The Monarch up until four years ago… confused.. you don't need to be.

Camdenites just get your self down to see if the new place is any good… free entry, beer on tap, and with No One Died DJ team/Camden Slags on the decks from 12:30 to 2:00 how bad could it be..

The Monarch (formerly The Misty Moon)
40-42 Chalk Farm Rd
London, NW1 8AJ
020 74822054

Click here for map to The Monarch, Camden

Fasthosts no longer supports Subsonic

Yesterday I noticed one of the sites I'd developed had stopped working, despite no changes or development on it by my self for several weeks. Turns out Fasthosts have made changes to the server configurations that prevent the popular DAL Subsonic from working. So now my clients site is down and to all extents which reflects badly on me, not Fasthosts.

There was no notice of these changes as far as I am aware. Emails back from them said they were sorry but they recommend only using Microsoft components. Well it would be nice if Microsoft offered anything as useful as Subsonic.

Fasthost say the changes were made for security reasons and unfortunately couldn't offer an alternative hosting solution – as part of keeping their prices down.

Fasthosts are cheap, and they are big, but they certainly aren't flexible. This blog is run on one of there servers, Blogware offers themes, but for some unknown reason Fasthosts have turned those off. I contacted them about that ages ago. No real reason given, and a promise that they might change this policy and would let me know if they did.


Update – 29th December 2007
I've finally got Subsonic working on Fasthosts. It's not ideal, but it's fine if your tables and stored procedures are stable.

Use the Batch Class Generator to generate the class files for the tables. These .cs files are then put into the \app_code folder of the website and remove the buildproviders section from web.config.  I also had to update to lastest version of Subsonic 2.0.3 (which allows batch generated classes to work fine).