Mon, 24 May 2004

Little. Orange. Stupid.

That icon really does suck.

Robert Scoble: Why can’t you all use the XML icon?

  • Ugly. Really, really ugly. Has anyone ever designed a site that looked better because it had a scrunched up, retangular orange turd with all caps, unkerned white Arial Bold sitting on it? I mean, really, orange and white?

  • Inaccurate. Imprecise. Yes, syndicated feeds are XML. So are about a dozen other things you might reasonably find linked on a modern weblog.

  • Bright orange screams “click me”, right? What happens if the user clicks it? Well, depending on what content type the feed is being served with, whether the publisher has styled the feed with XSLT or not, which browser the user is visiting with, and about a dozen other variables beyond the publisher’s and the reader’s control:

    1. The reader is presented with a screenful of unreadable gibberish, with redundant bits of the weblog content he was looking at just a second ago embedded in it. Reader thinks she’s broken something.

    2. The browser silently downloads the feed into the reader’s download directory, where it is instantly buried amongst the other 400 files already there, never to be seen again.

    3. The reader is presented with the same content on the weblog page, but styled differently. The reader thinks “what the hell was the point of that?”

Listen, I’m going to type r-e-a-l-l-y s-l-o-w-l-y…

Feed autodiscovery is the only thing that makes sense.

If your aggregator can’t handle it, throw it out and get a new one. If your publishing software can’t handle serving it, join the rest of us here in the 21st century and get some software that does. If you need to serve multiple feeds (full content versus excerpts, or comments, or whatever), explain that inline (with, gasp, text) or on a separate “Feeds” page.

But for heaven’s sake, don’t try to shame the rest of us into foisting any more copies of that 36 x 14 abortion on the world.

:: 11:34
:: /opinion/technology | [+]
::Comments (0)

Name:
E-mail:
URL:
Comment:
The Magic Word:
The two elements in water are hydrogen and ______




[Astrology is] 100 percent hokum, Ted. As a matter of fact, the first edition
of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, written in 1771 — 1771! — said that this
belief system is a subject long ago ridiculed and reviled. We’re dealing with
beliefs that go back to the ancient Babylonians. There’s nothing there….
It sounds a lot like science, it sounds like astronomy. It’s got technical
terms. It’s got jargon. It confuses the public….The astrologer is quite
glib, confuses the public, uses terms which come from science, come from
metaphysics, come from a host of fields, but they really mean nothing. The
fact is that astrological beliefs go back at least 2,500 years. Now that
should be a sufficiently long time for astrologers to prove their case. They
have not proved their case….It’s just simply gibberish. The fact is, there’s
no theory for it, there are no observational data for it. It’s been tested
and tested over the centuries. Nobody’s ever found any validity to it at
all. It is not even close to a science. A science has to be repeatable, it
has to have a logical foundation, and it has to be potentially vulnerable —
you test it. And in that astrology is reqlly quite something else.
— Astronomer Richard Berendzen, President, American University, on ABC
News “Nightline,” May 3, 1988