Year in Review: Highlights from 2008

I’m hoping that Monday By Noon was able to gain a few more readers this year, so I’m keeping up my tradition of gathering a comprehensive list of my personal favorite articles from the past twelve months. I hope this list is also useful to existing readers in case a headline wasn’t intriguing enough. The list this year, as in previous years, is in chronological order (not in order of preference).

Improving Your Process: CSS Techniques Part 2
I love reading tips and tricks about writing CSS. From what I can see, other designers enjoy it as well. I hope to explain even more of my methods in even more detail in 2009. That is, of course, if readers are interested. Do you find these articles informative, or would you rather have more opinionated articles on a different subject entirely?
IE8, Version Targeting, and the Ruckus it’s Causing
This article reminds me of a great debate this year. To me, it’s great when the entire design and development community takes the time to offer worthwhile opinions on a subject. There was absolutely no shortage of opinion on Microsoft’s decision to allow version targeting via proprietary meta elements. There was great uproar on both sides of the fence, and I found it to be extremely enlightening to take a passive seat on the issue for a while and read what both camps had to say.
Validation Zealotry and Markup Exploitation
I love the design community. I credit so many people for everything I know, and I continue to be educated by simply reading a few articles published out of the goodness of someone’s heart. There are, however, some dark corners in the community which can make people feel unwelcome. Luckily, negative influence is becoming sparse (as far as I can see), but it’s important to remember where you came from. There was a time when you asked a foolish question, and received a helpful answer instead of a hurtful, useless comment. What’s great about the community as a whole is that many members will instead write a helpful piece as opposed to publicly ousting and pointing fingers.
Why I Like (and Use) Reset CSS
The CSS debates continued into 2008, and I’m glad for that. This past April, some waves were made concerning ‘reset’ style sheets. The division was, again, mostly even and there were plenty of arguments on both sides. I had a personal opinion to offer on the subject, and tried to be unbiased in my delivery. I got some great responses to this article, and had good conversation on the subject in other places.
Raising the Bar with Adaptive Templates
I like to pass on any tricks or techniques that I discover. I usually spend quite a bit of time trying to research whether a particular technique had already been published in hopes of trying to remain unique (and not unwittingly take credit for something not originally mine). I’m a big fan of this adaptation of Super-Easy Blendy Backgrounds I was able to implement on a client site this year. I plan to revisit the technique in early 2009, and finally provide a comprehensive working example of the subject matter.
Siding with HTML over XHTML, My Decision to Switch
The debate over choosing HTML or XHTML has been continuing for quite some time. I took some time this past year to really examine my personal list of pros and cons between the two technologies, and ended up feeling a preference for HTML over XHTML. Since publishing this article, I’ve only been able to make a complete switch in my personal endeavors. Unfortunately (for my decision) there are too many tools my company uses professionally which depend on the strict ruleset of XHTML to function properly. That said, I plan to discuss this topic in 2009, considering that exactly; are our tools preventing us from choosing HTML?
Does Higher Education Produce Web Professionalism?
Higher education is a debate the world over. Every individual has a specific opinion on the subject, influenced by personal experience. I felt it applicable to offer both my opinions and experience with higher education in professional Web design. There were some excellent responses to this article, and I’m thankful to read the great opinions left by other readers.
CSS Organization Methods and Writing Style
A small debate that found itself at the forefront of conversation for a few days was that of single line versus multiline writing style for CSS. As with all good debates, both sides had similar numbers, making for great opinions and discussions. I took things a bit further in this discussion. Seeing no feasible ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to write CSS, I offered an alternative: just reformat your CSS and put it back when you’re done.
What Works Best for Design Presentation?
Client work is another passion of mine. I try to take the things I gain from working with clients every day and transform my lessons learned into ‘future proofing articles’ to help anyone finding themselves working with clients. Client interaction can be a very delicate operation, and design presentation is a big factor in that.
Loving WebKit: The Web Inspector Redesign is Huge
I cannot wait for Safari 4. I can’t say it enough, I want Safari 4. Firefox is great, and I love it, but the latest Web Inspector is just begging to be used. I dedicated an entire article to the major revamp from the WebKit team to spread the word about the utterly fantastic work they’re doing for designers.
CSS Tools Coda Plugin
Much of my impatient desire for Safari 4 is directly correlated with Coda. I’ve been a dedicated TextMate user for quite some time now, and it is a tremendous editor. Over the past few months, I’ve been craving something more, something different, and TextMate hasn’t had a major update in eons. Panic dropped Coda 1.5 on the world and followed up with 1.6 bringing a round of changes unheard of for a free upgrade to existing users. The workflow in Coda is spot on, and I’ve found myself putting the timesaving aspects of TextMate on hold in favor of the one window deliciousness of Coda thanks to plugins. I’m usually not one to create plugins, mostly because anything I’d need has already been done. With Coda it’s a different story; plugins are brand new, and not many have been released yet. Late this year I took the time to begin porting some of my favorite features from TextMate, CSS Tools being one of them.

I hope new readers are able to find a few articles of interest in that list, and ideally you existing readers are able to find a piece you may have overlooked from the past year.

Resolutions By Noon

I’d like to give myself a list of goals to accomplish in 2009 with this website. I must admit, there were times this year during which I found it very difficult to put together an article for any particular week. Opposed to simply publishing for the sake of publishing and meeting my quota, I opted to hold off on writing until I found a subject which would be valuable and/or entertaining. I hope no faith was lost in my posting schedule, I hope to tackle that head on this year.

I’d also like to write more articles on my personal processes, not limited to design or development, but client interaction as well. Are those articles of interest to anyone, or is that information being ignored? Client interaction is a big part of my daily routine, but if that information isn’t useful to the majority, I’d much rather write about something that is.

I know I asked last year, but are Windows/Linux users put off by my publishing articles directly tied to OS X? I know my stint with Coda plugins must have been uninteresting to you. If they’re completely useless an ignore-able, I will make a consistent effort to publish those articles midweek, and restrict Monday articles to universal topics. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Thank you

Thank each of you for keeping Monday By Noon in your feed reader. It’s great that you’re able to provide your attention once a week and read whatever it is that was on my mind that week. The best part is you’ll take the time to chime in when you’re able, and I can’t thank you enough. Please continue reading, and what is more important, continue writing. See you in 2009!