Frequently Asked Questions - FAQs

Who the heck are you?

Just a guy who makes Web sites for fun and for a living.

Can you make me a Web site?
Can you maintain my Web site?
Can you fix my Web site?

Why'd you do this?

Because I do it for a living and I've owned the "" domain since 1997. Figured it was long overdue, not to mention that I just like doing it.

How'd you do it?

Mostly by hand. But there's a lot of technology behind the scenes.

  1. For design, I used Adobe Photoshop CS.
  2. For some pictures, I used iStockPhoto.
  3. For code editing, I use Nick Bradbury's excellent TopStyle XHTML editor. Nick is the guy originally responsible for HomeSite, which I used back when it was free at version 1.5 and he was a guy known for Dexter on the Web. The HomeSite thing I just mention in case you doubt his street 'cred.
    • August 2007: I've switched to a Mac.
    • Love it.
  4. I've upgraded the site to HTML5. How did I do that? I changed the doctype. No, really, it's that easy.

    <!doctype html>
  5. Validated XHTML Strict

    I code and validate strict XHTML for well-formedness and semantics. It's future compatible after all.

    I know they say XHTML should be served as "application/xhtml+xml", but the specification specifically reads in it's Compatibility Issues on "Internet Media Type" (section 5.1):

    "XHTML Documents which follow the guidelines set forth in Appendix C, 'HTML Compatibility Guidelines' may be labeled with the Internet Media Type 'text/html' ..., as they are compatible with most HTML browsers.

    ...and as referenced above, in it's "HTML Compatibility Guidelines":

    "User agents that access XHTML documents served as Internet media type text/html via the DOM can use the HTML DOM, and can rely upon element and attribute names being returned in upper-case from those interfaces."

    So, basically, I'm targeting HTML User Agents due to the Content Type, and that's what it will be treated as. There's actually something like 5 references to text/html in the XHTML guidelines, I don't know what people are so up in arms about.

    I suppose it's a purity thing, and an issue where people who don't know what they're doing think they're serving XHTML as XML, when in fact, what's really happening is it's XHTML treated as HTML due to some unknown attributes. At least I know what I'm doing and what I'm getting into with regards to the DOM, etc.

    Finally, I know as time has gone on, content maintenance on the site has introduced some errors. One day I'll clean that up.

  6. Cascading Style Sheets
  7. Unobtrusive JavaScript -- I've included some code I can't take credit for, the most excellent jquery library.
  8. Textpattern with several plugins.
  9. PHP Scripting
  10. Served by Apache, Linux, MySQL, & hosted at Dreamhost.

How'd you learn all this stuff, anyway?

Self taught. And I was lucky enough to get paid to do it. Please see the previous question's answer.

Your site looks like any other blog, you're not so creative.

Never claimed to be. Not to pick nits, but that's not even a question. Sure, it's very much a "blog" in the trendiest sense of the word, but there are only so many hours in the day, and I've got a new layout coming soon. Maybe. One day.

Content is king, right? Time will tell if I nail that one.

Where are you located / Where are you from?

Born and raised in Maryland, USA. One day I'll get out.

The R.E.M. song "Don't Go Back to Rockville"? Yeah, that was where I grew up -- no joke.

In August 2006 my lovely wife and I moved to Worcester, MA, and we love it.

Did you go to school, and if so, and where?

I attended Towson State University between 1991-1995 (on the 4.5 year plan). I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in History, which I am not using professionally. I do credit the Liberal Arts education highly for my world view and how I approach things, however, so I wouldn't trade it for anything. Learn more from my resumé.

Towson State renamed itself Towson University after I graduated. I don't know that school. ;-)

Are you single?

Nope, sorry. I am married, and madly in love.

I know you're asking because this site is so damn sexy, so you figure I must be too. No comment on that.

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