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A gifted mimic, he nonetheless eschew[ed] regional accents for comic effect.

They’re waxing utopian, over at mastodon, and who wouldn’t really, nowhere to go but up, but somebody went and posted a link to a ca. 2003 Dave Winer pæan to the power of the link, and while it’s perfectly inoffensive and utterly unfalse, still: one wishes for a sour snap, a bite, something not so blandly self-congratulatory as a dig at the New York Times (even then). If we’re reaching back fifteen, seventeen years, why not go for someone with panache, like—

—and here I admit I googled, because one does like to be sure, and I was right, about the spelling, but what caught my breath was the past tense in the little Wikipedia preview over to the side, there—

Dean Cameron Allen was a Canadian typographer, web developer and early blogger—

Back in January. —I’m just hearing about it now because we live in the future, where we are all wired together and interconnected and no news of any import escapes our sight.

Everything here and at the city runs on Textpattern, which he began, but it’s no exaggeration to say that every time I think about how to write on the web, and how to present that writing on the web, I think with Dean Allen; I think my way through what I picked up from how he went about what he did, clean and simple and rigorous; a way of being online that was what I wanted to be when I grew up. (Even down to such fine points as the use of en-dashes in the flow of the story over there, rather than the usual em.)

People who knew him better have said better things about him, and the Globe and Mail’s obituary was achingly personal, but maybe it’s best to let him have the last word.

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