Gnome vs. KDE – The Differences Between Desktops

Over the next few weeks or months, I intend to review some of the more popular Linux distributions. In order to do so, though, I feel I need to begin by offering a little bit of background into some of the more integral parts of Linux. Throughout my reviews, I will most likely make some reference to some of these items and the way a distribution behaves with a default installation. However, things like the desktop environment (which is what I’m going to focus on in this post) are almost always completely interchangeable between distributions, and should only be considered pros and cons of a distribution when discussing the default behavior of that distro.

Optimizing Web Pages

With the new Web site I’m developing drawing nearer to its public debut, and with the entire backend being written from scratch by me, I’ve become concerned with optimizing the output as much as possible.

While searching for some resources the other night (I was mainly looking for a Firefox add-on that would display a page’s load time, the way Netscape used to do – the only one I found has not been updated to work with FF3, yet), I came across two interesting resources.

Is Your Site User Friendly?

Molly at DemoGirl has created a video that takes a look at several sites and their usability. On her Twitter piece, I could add a million items but one I would absolutely add is a way to do a multiple delete on the direct messages. Deleting one at a time is time consuming and my bet is that by adding a mass/select delete option, they could reduce by millions of messages.

Check out our 30+ usability tutorials.

MeeMix Unveils New Application – MeeVideo

MeeMix has added a new application to its Internet Radio service, allowing users to watch their favorite music videos, rather than just listening to the music.

Unfortunately, the entire MeeMix application still seems to have trouble running in Firefox, greeting users with a perpetual “Loading…” screen once they try to actually do something.

In IE, though, the application seems to work pretty well, and adds a great new facet to the service.

In addition, MeeMix has turned “MeeVideo” into a Facebook application, allowing you to tag and share your favorites with your Facebook friends.

RSS Feed Creation – Development Perspective Questions

This is a question for anyone that’s worked on developing their own RSS feeds, as I am preparing to do for a few items on our new Web site.

When developing or starting an RSS feed, how did you decide how much information to include in the feed?

By that, I’m actually asking two questions:

  1. How did you decide how many updates to include in the feed? Did you decide to include all updates in the feed, from the beginning all the way up to the present, or are you only including the most recent XX number of updates; or maybe even the last XX months, days or hours worth of updates?
  2. How did you decide how to summarize the updates? Are you prompting content contributors to write a separate summary of the information; only including the first paragraph; including only the first XX characters of the article, etc.

I’m curious what other people are doing with their RSS feeds. The one RSS feed I’ve developed for private testing currently only includes the last six months of updates, and truncates the article to 500 characters or less (cutting it off at the last complete word before it reaches 500 characters – stripping out any incomplete HTML tags in the process).

Does this seem like a logical way to make an RSS feed, or should I be feeding complete content? What are your thoughts?

Why Accessibility is Important to You

What is Accessibility?

Accessibility is a term that is more associated with architectural thought, rather than web site design. There is legislation which determines the minimum standards for new buildings. As a result, new buildings today have wheelchair ramps, accessible lifts and disability parking spaces, allowing anyone with disabilities to gain access to a building, use the provided services, buy the products, and chat with the people inside.

With web sites, the term traditionally refers to the development of sites that are accessible to “all” users who may want to access them — in other words, “Universal Web Sites.”


Developer Resources