One-day Web course from ArsDigita


  • None.


  • None.
On Friday I went to a free course from ArsDigita, given by
Philip Greenspun of has been one of my
favorite sites for years: tons of excellent content on
photography, web/database integration, and web services.

I can't count the number of times I've gone there to read a quick
article or look something up, only to get stuck there for the
next 4 hours following more and more links to other articles or
browsing through his photos.

The course I attended was:

   One-day Web Course

>   What You'll Learn
>     * ability to distinguish between good and bad Web service ideas
>     * ability to decide what tools are appropriate to realize a Web
>       publishing goal
>     * ability to select and hire a team of developers to realize a Web
>       service design
>     * ability to identify portions of Web content that are amenable to
>       formalization and structure
>     * ability to design a site that will be properly indexed by public
>       search engines such as AltaVista
>     * ability to select software and policies necessary to accomplish
>       specific site activity and user tracking goals
>     * ability to put together an image library to be used across
>       multiple Web services
>     * ability to understand how a relational database management system
>       supports Web-based collaboration
>     * ability to understand the dimensions of building an ecommerce
>       service from scratch or grafting ecommerce onto an existing retail
>       business
>     * ability to contribute to building a future where people can take
>       full advantage of computers and Internet without becoming mired in
>       system administration

It was really good. I expected Philip to be as arrogant in person
as he comes across on his web site, but he wasn't at all -- he
seemed very friendly and generally like a nice guy. (he has a
constant smile on his face when he talks, like Jerry Seinfeld.)

Some photos I took are here:

Next to him in the first photo is Eve Andersson, his girlfriend
(I think) and one of the people behind one of my earliest Web
influences, The Asylum. (which is offline now, but mentioned on . Lots of cool interactive games and toys.)
Her site is . (spot the
hidden link to the Barney Fun Page!)

When surfing around their sites in the past, I remember finding a
whole bunch of stuff I wanted to talk to both of them about, but
couldn't think of anything on Friday. (Philip has an office at MIT
on the floor above mine but I've only met him once, in the elevator.)

ArsDigita ( ) seems like it would be an
extremely cool place to work if I wanted to work 60+ hours/week.
(probably more like 80+, actually.)

I had signed up for another course on Saturday on web tools:

but skipped it since I wanted to sleep in and I have too much
packing to do anyway.

Oh... in the morning, they gave away the ArsDigita Prize, $1-10k
for kids for developing useful web services:

A couple of the finalists were 13-year-olds.

News coverage:

Gerald Oskoboiny <>

HURL: fogo mailing list archives, maintained by Gerald Oskoboiny