full time at redfin

Oh, yeah. It happened so fast I forgot to mention. I've gone from contract-to-hire to full time at Redfin. My first day was monday.

can the w3c give us a standard browser to test with?

So Joel on software has this big long post about Web Standardsists vs. Web Pragmatists. He seems to like the idea of standards, but thinks they'll never really work. Part of it is because we're already too far down the Many (browser) to Many (website) path. But I think the crux of his argument is this:

"...you can’t have a standard with just a spec–you must have a super-strict reference implementation, and everybody has to test against the reference implementation. Otherwise you get 17 different “standards” and you might as well not have one at all."

Ok, there has to be One Authority, I buy that. Joel implies that since we don't have that now we can never have one. Maybe I'm being an idealist in my own way, but why can't we have this super strict implementation? The w3c has some resources, right?

Can't the standards people pressure them to create this reference implementation? It doesn't have to be fast, or have any features or anything. It just needs a viewport, back button, a way to point it at an url and to be Official. (also, scriptability would be awesome). It wouldn't fix old web pages, but it could stop the spread of new problems.

Hmm. On second though, it's probably more likely that the w3c would give us all ponies...

How about this: nobody use html 5 until we've got our reference. Promise?

Casa RakkaLeff is moving

As if I wasn't busy enough.

We're not moving far. Just upstairs, actually. At the end of the month. Seems crazy, I know.

But it's a bigger place. And it has a view of trees and the street, instead of a brick wall. And it's on the third floor so we don't have to worry about people peering in the window.

But really, it is crazy. It comes down to this, too much time in one place and I get the jimmy legs. Maybe it comes from moving every few years when I was coming up, but anything longer than about two years feels like a looong time. We've been in this apartment for 2 and a half.

So, based on that initial bit of crazy, moving up stairs actually makes a lot of sense. Both Rakka and I really like this building, and the building manager too (the first time I've ever been able to honestly say that about a building manager/land lord). This way, we get what I hope is the perfect balance of keeping the good and still getting shiny new.

leff and the big project

Work's been hella busy lately. So much so that I feel completely justified using the adjective 'hella'. On monday night at about 2am it finally paid off. That's when the release went out. There was a bunch of stuff that went out; my bit is not directly user facing so it's not even mentioned in the press release.

My bit was to implement a CMS that covers the bulk of the informational sections of the site. Before, most of the content lived in JSPs that were just part of the system. Which meant we had to do a push of the whole thing just to fix a typo. Which is a big deal involving a bunch of people. With the CMS in place we can push content by running a single shell script. It's a good thing it's easy; we've done it twice more this week.

In the process I ended up redoing all the html and a lot of the css on those pages, so I guess I do have some user facing stuff. You can see it in the about, buy and sell sections. Of course, I didn't do everything there, just the data definitions in Bricolage and the Mason templates that build pages from them. I'll talk more about that on the Redfin dev blog sometime. I had a ton of help and I send a big shout out to everybody; you know who you are.

If this sounds like a "I'm done. I can finally relax." post, it's not. Now that it's so easy to do, we're pushing content once a week. And I still have a bunch of stuff in the next big release. So, if anything, it'll be more hectic. I think we're past the 11 hour days for a while though. *whew*

Hooray for Zipcar

hooray for zipcar!, originally uploaded by Rakka.

So there was flexcar and zipcar, and then they merged, and now we just have zipcar. I've been meaning to sign up for a couple years. I think I shied away because flexcar, who operated here in seattle, seemed to not have a good deal with Tennessee, which is where my records are. I've dealt with Tennessee and records. I didn't want to do it again.

So then zipcar merges with flexcar, and zipcar has no problem with Tennessee. So they approved me over last weekend. They send you a card which unlocks the doors and stuff; this came thurs. So this weekend we rented a car named Izzo and headed out. We just did some targeting, but it was kinda fun to be out under our own power.

It's the entire motoring experience encapsulated in one service. I love that.