June 23, 2003


No doubt many electrons will be spilled as self-appointed geniuses like me pore over Apple’s new announcements. These are interesting, I agree, but I’m going to take a detour and look at Apple’s website.

Apple has long done an admirable job of presenting a clean design on its site. One thing that it always steered clear of is dynamic content. There’d be a little “hot news” animation on the front page, but that was usually it. As of today, though, there are signs of more mouseover fun. The Panther page uses some mouseovers (using old-school HTML+JS instead of way-new CSS effects), and the G5 page likewise uses these on the performance charts (one could easily miss these), and on the navigation bar for the G5 pages.

Shortly before OS X was made public, the Apple site was retooled with an Aqua look for the graphic buttons. It is interesting that it is reversing course to some extent–the buttons have a much less pronounced Aqua look (the Aqua interface itself has been toned down), but on some of the Apple Store pages, some buttons are flat ovals–not at all Aquatic.

Apple seems to be reversing course on Aqua for its software, too: in addition to all the iWhatever programs, Apple will be applying its “metal” theme to the Finder. This strikes me as dumb: the rationale behind the metal theme has always been dubious, the application of that rationale has been spotty, and I never liked the theme in the first place (so I turn it off).

I’m not sure what prompted the changes to make the site a tiny bit more dynamic and less aquatic. The website once was a harbinger of the Aqua interface on the Mac, though, and I wonder if it’ll be again. It would be nifty, from a geeky perspective, if Apple tried using modern CSS layout techniques and valid, clean HTML, but it is still a pleasure to read.

Thanks, Dick

When I’m president, we’ll have executive orders to overcome any wrong thing the Supreme Court does tomorrow or any other day

Representative and Dem presidential candidate Dick Gephardt. Makes G.W. sound like a frigging constitutional scholar and defender of democracy.

Finding Nemo

Partly on the recommendation of my sister (who, having kids, probably only sees children’s movies), and partly because I’ll see any Pixar movie on spec, Gwen and I saw Finding Nemo on Friday. A 9:30 PM show, meaning there was only one bawling child in the theater.

The movie is very enjoyable. It has a typical Disney “child-loses-parent” plot, although unlike Bambi, Dumbo, the Lion King, etc, the child is reunited with the parent. While those are always coming-of-age adventure stories for the child, this one atypically includes as much coming-of-age adventure for the parent. But we weren’t going for the plot–we were going for the visual imagination and the comedy. Albert Brooks was great, as he always is. Ellen DeGeneres was perfect. Willem Dafoe, likewise. The quality of the images was stunning, and the artistry–which somehow made the fish look realistic and still anthropomorphic–was delightful. I want to know how they do that.