Month: <span>May 2001</span>

Sjoerd Visscher: “To be able to try some XML-RPC calls, I built a simple interface around the XML-RPC client, so that there is now an online XML-RPC debugger. Then I found out that Graham Dumpleton had one available already, including introspection.”
7:59:41 PM  

CNET: Sun loses two key executives. “The server giant is losing two key executives on the eve of the company’s most public conference devoted to its Java software.”
7:57:35 PM Egg-Faced News Divisions Stick With VNS Despite Election Fiasco. “The networks and Associated Press decide to stick with Voter News Service, cited as the culprit for last November’s election night screw-ups. None would pay for an alternative.”
5:07:52 PM  

CNET: offers $50K for cybersquatter capture. “The owner of the porn portal is offering a $50,000 reward for the capture of a man who cheated his company out of money by illegally co-opting the site for five years.”
1:51:56 PM  

Jake's Brainpan

Comments closed

Brent: “The software industry is sick in bed with the flu, a thermometer sticking out of its mouth, its pillow cold with sweat, an untouched glass of flat ginger ale on the nightstand.”
5:03:34 PM  

Sjoerd: “The good part is: you don’t have to do complex things. The web has a new simple interface standard. 3 user actions: scroll, click and type. And one feedback option: content replacement. That’s the interface your grandmother understands. She doesn’t understand drag-n-drop or overlapping windows. And this simple interface standard is very easy to do with DHTML.”

While I agree that the three user actions Sjoerd lists are easy enough for my grandma, I’d have to add that even my grandma understands pulldown menus. Anyone with rudimentary computing skill knows what to do with a pulldown menu when they see one, since nearly every Windows and Mac application has a menu bar.

The fact that web users only understand scroll, click and type is, I think, a result of the fact that richer UIs are so difficult to design in (D)HTML. If menus were easier to implement, they’d be much more common (and users would know how to use them). When used consistently, they can add lots of value to a user interface, while saving valuable screen real estate, IMHO.
1:10:32 PM  

BBC: Air pollution: The view from space.
12:55:13 PM  

Wired: Laid Off — Got Mail?. “The dot-com downturn has wrought many casualties, from CEOs to mail clerks. How are downsized companies dealing with the glut of mail and e-mail still arriving for former employees?”
12:54:49 PM  

BBC: Genetic clue to schizophrenia. A gene that reduces brain performance may be linked to a slightly increased risk of schizophrenia.
12:54:19 PM  

A year ago today, I was working on DHTML pulldown menus, which work like the menus you get in standard Windows and Mac applications. I made an observation then, about the web browser and DHTML as an application framework, which still holds true today:

“I can barely believe how difficult it is to design complex user interfaces in DHTML. Simple stuff is — well, simple — but complex things (even if they conform to common user interface standards) seem to just suck the life out of you. When will the browser guys get their act together? This stuff is ancient history in any other application framework.”
1:21:03 AM  

BBC: E-mail users warned over spy network. “Firms and individuals should encrypt all e-mails if they want to avoid a massive UK-US eavesdropping system, say Euro-MPs.”
1:04:49 AM  

Jake's Brainpan

Comments closed

CNET: Bertelsmann to buy Myplay. “The German media giant’s online retail division will acquire the online music locker, according to people familiar with the negotiations.” Interesting. I know a former Sonic‘er who went to MyPlay. I wonder what he thinks about this…
9:08:35 PM  

CNET: BMG: Artists to receive money. “The record label says it will share damages–estimated by industry sources to be $20 million–from a lawsuit against the online music company with all of its artists whose copyrights were infringed by the company.”
3:09:51 PM  

Mom: “Those were happy times. everyone was glad to be past WWII and still alive. We anticipated increasing prosperity, peace, with education and houses for all…”
12:50:14 AM  

Jake's Brainpan

Comments closed