Entries in category “Usability”
Back in March when I read about Ryan Tomayko’s redesign, I had two immediate reactions:
- Wow, that’s hardcore!
- I should try that myself sometime.
Of course, at the time I was busy working on a book and so couldn’t really spare much effort for doing redesign work. Once that was in its final stages, though, I sat down and started thinking about what I could do to reduce the amount of cruft hanging around my weblog. Many revisions later, I have something I’m close to being happy with; of course, I don’t think ...
Batteries sold separately
At first glance, Google’s App Engine looks like a great way to build the next big web application; you get access to a massively scalable infrastructure, you get access to a huge existing authentication system, you get baked-in stats, you get all sorts of cool goodies.
Oh, and you get Python, which is a great language for writing web applications, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t take some pleasure in Django being available out of the box.
Personally I don’t really care one way or another about hosting code with Google ...
Once upon a time, I was doing a server setup at work, installing all the various prerequisites and utilities to support the things we use. One part of that involves installing Jing, which we use for XML validation; Jing is written in Java, and so we use
gcj (the GNU Java compiler) to compile it for use, ending up with a nice little binary we can call from anywhere.
Now, we’ve standardized on Ubuntu for our servers, so installing
gcj should be as simple as
apt-get install gcj (or, more often ...
When Steve Jobs announced the iPod touch at the beginning of the month, I knew I wanted one: it looked like the perfect little device for my assorted mobile needs. I spent a week or so thinking it over, then placed an order, and Friday morning as I was stepping out of the shower a FedEx delivery guy rang my doorbell to deliver it. I’ve spent the last couple of days playing with it, and so far I’m quite happy. What follows are my observations, which may or may not ...
The other day, the Dojo blog announced the public beta of Renkoo, an “evite killer” which relies heavily on the asynchronous features of Dojo and “Comet”, the name that’s been given to the use of long-lived HTTP connections to provide instant updates of state in event-driven web applications.
Except I can’t check out Renkoo in my browser of choice — Safari — because I get automatically redirected to their “unsupported browser” page. They have a brief write-up on their blog of why Safari support is problematic, though I can’t help thinking ...
So today I got to wade through the joyful experience of cancelling my account with a business which shall remain nameless (unless, of course, they didn’t actually cancel the account — in which case they shall be named and shamed and several other things as well).
The experience was less then pleasant both for me and the poor customer-service rep who had to take my call, so I’d like to suggest some general guidelines on how this could have gone better. If you want me to be a happy customer, even ...
Trying something new
Well, hot damn!
Installing the GIMP
Anil Dash has written up some complaints about installing the GIMP on Windows.
Special care should be used while reading that, because he does go through several very valid points:
- The GIMP should bundle the GTK libraries it requires, and install them if they’re not present.
- The process of choosing a mirror from which to download a package, while extremely common for software which doesn’t come from companies with multi-billion-dollar market caps, could easily be hidden away by an automated system.
- The GIMP installer screen are hideous to look at and badly designed.
But his ...