How do we make software more network aware?
Over the past few days, I’ve been doing some research for an easy-to-use web-based open-sourced content management system. The basic system needs to be usable by several people and needs to be simple. In the process, though, I have learned that simplicity is hard to do. The main challenge comes from the fact that most software developers are too knowledgeable to really create easy to use system. As a result, new features are created daily for open source tools but little attention is being paid to making the overall tools easy to use. The challenge is that simple interfaces are hard to design and largely present a challenge that is woefully underappreciated. A good interface is one that is so in tune with user expectations that it becomes essentially invisible. As a result, the balance in product development always happens between fewer features with an easier to use interface vs. large feature set with increased complexity. Weblog tools seem to manage a careful balance between the two but are unfortunately tied to a particular model, based on entries and list of entries. More complex sites, with different sections and other functionality do not fall well within that mold. Let me…Read More
It seems that the Apple music store is now encrypting their XML files. I’ve confirmed that it is indeed doing so and wonder what this means in terms of changes to the XML files (more info on the content of those XMLs up until yesterday can be found in a previous entry. If anyone out there knows why Apple is now encrypting what looked like an open standard, please drop me a note (I’ve noticed that a few readers are coming in from Apple.com and would be interested in knowing what the “party line” is on this). This is a bit worrisome as it seems to close up more information on the Apple store. Does that mean that Apple is seeing its seeing as a closed one? If that’s the case, it’s a real shame.Read More
It seems that what I am trying to do will not work. The concept of trying to mix RSS with XHTML seems to be flawed, as illustrated by the W3C feed. While it does validate as proper RSS, it fails miserably when it comes to validating as an XHTML document. This brings up an interesting point in trying to create files that are modular and can be used in multiple name spaces. If XHTML is truly a modular language, then the assumption would be that it would be possible to have it validate as a proper web page by referencing the proper XHTML namespace. However, it does not seem to be so. The problem arises out of the need for a DTD to be specified as part of the XHTML core structure. The same problem exists in XHTML 2 which could be a problem moving forward. What is needed is for XHTML to chuck this dependency and rely solely on namespaces for the purpose of establishing conventions. After all, if an XHTML 2 document is reformulation of HTML in XML, why would it need a DOCTYPE ? If it continues doing so, it could jeopardize its modularity and will not…Read More
According to recent research, the digital divide may include people who are not interested in getting online. The implication of this are enormous, impacting areas like E-government initiative. The idea of providing more services online allows corporations and government to reduce costs by encouraging self service. However, if a number of people decide that there is no value in being online, how does one offer them service? Would prodding, in the case of corporations through increased fees, work? And how would governments, which are supposed to offer services for free (well, almost, since those services are paid for by tax dollars), reduce costs. These are issues that need closer attention and I believe there is a need to better understand why people drop out. According to the wired article, some of the reasons have to do with complexities related to going online. In order to resolve those issues, the industry needs to play closer attention to user experience and start figuring out how to make things easier. Return on investments in technology will increase if more people use a system. More people will use a system if it’s easier to use. However, few companies pay close attention to those kinds…Read More