Saturday 06 November 2004

Marking up a conversation between a DBA and a Developer

I found this conversation via the daily wtf:

DBA
Do you want usernames to be unique?
Developer
Yes

(next day)

DBA
Should passwords be unique as well?
Developer
No

(later that day)

DBA
Shouldn't we require passwords to be unique?
Developer
No
DBA
Are you sure?
Developer
<15 minutes of explanation as to why different users are not required to have different passwords, just usernames>

(next day)

DBA
Your procedure doesn't return a specific error message.
Developer
It's a security issue, and should only return "Invalid Username/Password Combo."
DBA
So if they get the username wrong, but the password correct you're not going to display a specific message?

I chose to blog this conversation between a DBA and a Developer because I wanted to play with definition lists as a means of marking up dialog and this conversation seems as good as any.

The first time I noticed conversations being marked up with definition lists was on Dunstan's blog with his drunken article titled Being Single which is one of my favorite blog posts by the way. But it was only today that I noticed that the HTML Specification also supported marking up dialog with Definition Lists with each dt naming a speaker, and each dd containing his or her words (see section 10.3 of chapter 10).

The CSS for styling the conversation is adapted from Dunstan's with some further ideas from Maxdesign.

I didn't have much success styling the conversation on my own.