Websnob: It's a hostile guide to web design.

I'm a websnob. You should be, too.

Having participated in far more than my fair share of vicious debates in the comp.infosystems.www.authoring.* newsgroups, I've acquired an extensive collection of epithets. Over the years, I've been accused of being all sorts of things, including "a bithead", "a SGML bigot", "a self-proclaimed expert", "a programmer", "a purist", and "a snob". None of those are true, of course, except for the last one. I am a snob when it comes to web design, but fortunately for you, I'm at least an enlightened snob.

Confused by the concept of an enlightened snob? Let me explain: the enlightened snob doesn't look down at everyone less skilled than himself -- he only condescends to those willfully less skilled. In other words, I have no real malice towards the newbies and newcomers who haven't learned the right way to put together a web site. I do however, harbor an unending hatred for HTML ruffians who refuse to learn anything, or worse yet, seek to discourage others from learning good design by dismissing competance as elitist, and rationalizing poor design as a proletarian revolt. Bad design isn't liberation, people, it's just bad.

Websnob is where I immortalize my hostility for the ages and, at the same time, try to turn it into something productive. Websnob specializes in obssessive explorations of areas that other design sites don't even bother with, because I'm a nail-down-the-details kind of guy. You don't have to be a programmer or SGML bigot to use the advice here, but you do have to be willing to read a little.

This Week on Websnob

7 March 2004 Websnob breaks his "I am not a programmer" rule, and publishes some Perl scripts for producing RDF/XML.

More Websnob Features

I have horrible color sense, so naturally, I created a CMYK to RGB color convertor.
(Added 1 June 2002)

It's still only HTML to me, but the world loves META tags, so META Tag Snob details about half of what I know about the HTML META element. (Added 25 May 2002)

I've been using the link element since 1995, and I think you should be using it, too. A quick lesson on the link element will get you started, while a longer lesson on hyperlink relationships will help you use link to its full potential.(Added 11 May 2002)

They're the most important sites on the Web, so they get a special section to themselves: Search Engine Snob features reviews of five wannabe sites, NetInsert, Gigablast, Teoma, SurfGopher, Quick!, and Aesop.com. (Updated 22 June

Websnob's experimental section, Robot Snob, features Robotwatching: UniverseBot/1.0, Robotwatching: NetResearchServer/2.2, Robotwatching: Gigabot/1.0, and Robotwatching: Asterias®case studies of a mysterious robots that spidered these pages recently. (Added 11 May 2002)

Microsoft Strikes Again: scrollbar Properties deciphers Microsoft's newest annoying extension to CSS standards, the scrollbar properties. (Updated 2 May 2002)

Stealth Redirection: How to Do It, and Why You Shouldn't represents a rare (for Websnob) foray into HTML lessons, and explains my stand against what I'm teaching. That makes more sense if you read the article, honest. (Added 20 April 2002)

Netscape vs. The CSS 'border' Property discusses an old, weird bug in Netscape's implementation of
Cascading Style Sheets, and how to work around it. (Added 3 April 2002)

Protecting Netscape from Itself, on the other hand, is for those of you who've given up writing style sheets for Navigator's benefit. Learn how to hide your CSS from Navigator. (Added 30 March 2002)

Webnob's Recommended Software is a horribly brief list of Windows-compatible freeware that I've found useful for building web pages. I like to think that I'm living proof that a tightwad can get the job done. (Added 27 March 2002)

Everybody Needs A Name dismisses the hype concerning domains as idenities, and cuts to the real reason to register a domain name: Sometimes, you need to walk away. (Added 25
March 2002)

How To Finger Through A Web Page lists almost two dozen different methods of implementing finger(1) through the Web.

Publishing PGP Keys on the WWW explains that most people have used the worst possible method of publishing their public encryption keys on the WWW, and suggests a couple of better approaches to the problem. (Updated 12 March 2004)

Websnob's Rules for Gratuitous Hyperlinking is a mediocre explanation of my half-assed philosophy of hypertext.

Websnob's Observations About Web Traffic contains some thoughts about what increases hits on a web page, and what doesn't.

Websnob's Web Clichés is half-confessional and half-instructional, listing examples of over-used and useless ideas for web pages.

access_log For End-Users explains how users with shell accounts on NCSA or Apache web servers can extract information about their site's traffic from the central server log.

And finally, a golden oldie here at Websnob: At one point in history, one of the centerpieces of this site was its guide to implementing new features of HTML 3.0. HTML 3.0 itself is dead and buried (HTML 4.01 was published in August 1999), but you can still read about implementing BANNER, BQ, FN, and NOTE.