Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Happy 50

50 posts already. Wow.

UXT has been a great exercise for me, in terms of publishing web content. It's also been an experiment to see how capable Blogger is as an application - and it has some great innovations, for sure.

Of particular note is the autosaving of posts, with expandable 'labels' (or tags) section, and generally a good, clean UI throughout. However this platform isn't really where I want UXT to be in the future - it has limitations that I think could hold back what I want to share with the world.

I've tried out many blogging platforms locally, and I'm not satisfied enough with any of them to start a 'serious' website tailored to my needs. So, I'm writing my own.

I will also stop posting article links on a regular basis, as I feel that there is an imbalance between what I have written and what I have linked to. I may or may not continue to post my own thoughts here... but watch this space.

Hopefully I'll have a new publishing system out there early next year. Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Redesigning eBay's Registration

Obviously, it's all about the little things - and how they can make a big difference. (via)

Friday, 9 November 2007

Your reading level?

I'm a genius! No, really! Check for yourself.

I don't believe it, personally. What's your reading level? (via)

Applications or Actions 2: Duplicate my functionality?

It's very hard to create an application that has all of the features that all of us want, without anything we don't want. In fact, you'd have to make it so simple that it could only support one feature.

So instead what we have are many applications all doing the same thing, but differently. Why? Why do we need 20 different media players on our systems? Because each one has functionality that we need, we like, or that does something peculiar we might need every so often.

Currently on the Mac I have a few media applications - system ones such as iTunes, DVD Player and Quicktime, then ones I installed like VLC, and Windows Media Player. What bugs me about this is that I effectively have 4 video players - when all I want to do is just play video.

VLC is great and is a much better replacement for me than Quicktime - it handles QT movies efficiently and is supposed to handle WMV effectively too, but it doesn't. That's where WMP comes in, but that's useless for me as it can only play 1 video at a time (no playlist queue), and it breaks one of the best parts of OS X as well - closing the video window quits the program. Which is silly - if I want a browser running but I have nothing to look up yet, I should be able to hide it until I do need it.

I'm going off topic here. OK, then next there is DVD Player which I can only use for DVDs. I think I prefer it's interface to the rest, but again, DVDs only.

4 applications, each doing different tasks, but each doing the same task overall. VLC is the only one that does playlist management, WMP the only one doing WMV files, DVD player playing only DVDs, and poor QT, shunned but I still need it on my system!

What I need is one interface that can manage playlists of video, can play DVDs and WMVs too, and has a nice UI that's clean and easy to use. I'm sure this is what other people would want too - although perhaps with a different featureset. This is where application fragments come in.

Having 4 applications to achieve the same end result doesn't seem to be the best way any more.

Thursday, 8 November 2007

Ask 37signals: How has open source helped or hindered?

Open source provides an incredible amount of technical leverage for small companies. No matter who productive your rock-star programmers are and no matter how much judo you apply to your problems, solid infrastructure takes a long time and benefits immensely from broad involvement. It really does take a village to raise great infrastructure.

Nice read.