Mucky Foot Closes Up

According to a report by Computer And Video Games, a great UK game developer, Mucky Foot, has closed shop. They created the highly entertaining and unique space station simulator, Startopia. It is one of my favorite real-time strategy games out there. It’s a shame to see a good developer go down. While not as bad as Looking Glass dying, Mucky Foot had unique talents that ranged back from the Bulldog days. Hopefully the people that were laid off are hired by other reputable and good development studios so the PC game industry continues innovating and creating fun PC games. R.I.P. Mucky Foot.

Typography & Font Sizes

If there’s one thing that is confusing to a web designer is why is text on a webpage and on a myriad of setups, so difficult to implement consistently across every visitor’s screen? After all, you could use a default font size of 75% or 0.75em or 11px and it would display correctly in one browser, but would be too big in another. That’s like creating a painting with a yellow sky, and one viewer would see it as being red and wouldn’t know that it was supposed to be yellow.

On text sizing – up the garden path, one guy got fed up and took a ton of screenshots to see just what all the differences are on a collection of browsers. It’s a fascinating read, and one that’ll boggle you as to why these software developers keep making things difficult for us designers. We have web standards, but now we could use font standards.

Good Blimey! is using font-size: small for the body and regular text throughout the size. Text that needs to be larger or smaller uses medium and x-small respectively. I considered using em’s and % both, but settled to just keep things simple. For even more information on care with font sizes, check this page on W3C’s website.

What Is A Wiki?

I’ve heard of wikis, and always thought they were systems for developers to track bugs, but it looks like it’s much more than that. In fact, it’s pretty exciting. Sitepoint has an article online today that explains what a Wiki is, the history, the uses of it, and why it’s both simple, yet powerful at the same time. You’ll definitely want to read up if you’re not familiar with Wikis.

If you just want to jump right into the world of a wiki, then definitely check out Notebook. It’s pretty easy to use, and useful for many purposes. In fact, I’ve found many uses for it; a personal journal, a to-do list, an address book, note-taking, a grocery list, a database, writing a story/poem, or all of the above combined. Very nice! All of this in a single, small, 1.69MB file that doesn’t require you to install anything, set up any complex code, or anything. Just start it up, choose New Notebook, name it, and check out the interactive tour for information on how to use Notebook.

A Journal Entry, Expelled

There’s a story on CNN with details of a 14-year old girl being expelled from her school for writing a fictional account of a student falling asleep in class and dreaming of killing her teacher in her journal. While this isn’t an online blog, it is still the same thing, in many ways. I think this is a knee-jerk reaction with no merit, other than publicity and confusion over students having abilities to unleash their creative energies at such a young age.

After all, do we stifle kids from writing fiction? Imagine what would’ve happened had teachers tried to block Stephen King from his desire to write horror novels. He wouldn’t have become famous and rich, and millions of people wouldn’t have had the opportunity to enjoy his fictional worlds. Same with Anne Rice, and millions of other writers out there that write about killing, robbing, flying through space, saving damsels in distress, finding the cure for AIDs, and so on.

Which brings me to these schools having “no tolerance policies”, where they don’t give students second chances. Life is full of second chances, making amends, learning from your mistakes, and moving on. Yet that kind of policy does not reinforce the real-world notion of those qualities about how the world works. It teaches students that if they mess up, that’s it. That’s entirely wrong, and not a good way to introduce a kid to the world.

“[She was removed] from her second-period biology class — with an armed officer,” Boim said. “They had the option of calling us, of asking us to come in with Rachel to talk about the situation, but instead they had an armed guard take her out of class.”

And parents wonder what’s wrong with our school system? That should be the highlight of the day, on the pathetic choices some people make for our children.