Small Things Matter

Usability is a big topic but sometimes it can be very small things. Say, one line of JavaScript (well, jQuery in this case):


This is a small big thing that is ridiculously easy to implement and yet so underused.

I’m currently slowing down the feature development on the MixifyRequests-site and concentrating on little finishing touches like this in preparation of an official 1.0 launch. I already did one release concentrating on reducing technical debt (by improving the codebase in general, adding more tests, etc.) and now I’m kind of doing the same with UI and copy.

This is usually the part of software projects that gets neglected the most due to tight deadlines and budgets, so it’s fun to be able to do it with no hurry.

(This post was originally posted to my other blog called Spinning Code.)

What I Hate About Web 2.0

Some of this Web 2.0 nonsense is slowly starting to get to me. One of the most irritating things about this phenomenon is the way that people equal JavaScript and "Ajax".

Not only is AJAX an acronym for Asynchronous JavaScript and XML and therefore should be capitalized, but it also does not mean any possible thing and technique that has something to do with JavaScript.

For example, John Resig (of the jQuery fame) recently made a brilliant port of the Processing visualization language to JavaScript and Canvas. It was soon promoted on with a title Amazing Ajax Animation Engine. (Yes, Digg users are not as tech-savvy as Slashdotters and don’t know better but it’s not just

The saddest thing about this is that I’m fairly certain that this is something that is not going to go away. Ever. It’s like the Java != JavaScript thing again.

Released: Star Rating Script for YUI

I just released a first version of my Star Rating Script for YUI. It’s a pretty straightforward script that uses some ajaxy woodoo for rating stuff. And, of course, it’s fully degradable so if JavaScript isn’t available, it works like a regular form.

I’m planning to extend this a little bit in near future to use it with a general Django templatetag, much like contrib.comments. That way you could add ratings to any Django object as easy as adding one templatetag to your template. At the moment this is only on planning stage, so I wouldn’t hold my breath for it just yet 🙂