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"Views for Sure" Should website GUIs be configurable?

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  • User profile image
    jamie

    We all bug charles to open up c9 - but in reality NO sites (really) let you view them how you want.

    Should the new york times allow you to upload your own css?

    should microsoft.com - become the windows of websites?

    As users that go to sites daily - should we not have total control over what we see?

    why is there no Windows TM standard (logo program) for websites? (Views For Sure)

    * there seems to be no defined way for users to build their own web experience and apply that to all sites.. if ms released 40 starter templates - that worked with ie and asp (aspx) id use them

    (- not like those starter templates off msdn/asp.net that didnt work when you downloaded them)

    perhaps a feature like this could be written in - and become a "viewing" standard 

    ie specific - but released open spec?

    (edited title)

  • User profile image
    PaoloM

    Well, we already have that. It's a syndication format, namely RSS.

  • User profile image
    Manip

    Site hijacking.

  • User profile image
    jamie

    PaoloM wrote:
    Well, we already have that. It's a syndication format, namely RSS.


    for info - not look and feel

    theres no windows website gui rss-like spec?

    * i wish ms would publish a spec that it used - that i could use - that would enable a WHOLE feature set of mobile options - gui options - built in to all "Designed for Win" sites (like an ASP SPELLCHECKER)

    i would for sure design all my sites to support it - and hopefully it would end the pile of HORRID asp portal/blog different usability designed sites out there everyone uses

  • User profile image
    Maurits

    jamie wrote:
    Should the new york times allow you to upload your own css?


    Firefox already allows for a user.css

    A quick trip to www.nytimes.com leads me to believe any entry in user.css beginning with

    body[onUnload=~setClientSizeCookies] /* (sic) */
    { /* ... */
    }

    would effectively be new york times-specific

  • User profile image
    jamie

    well it would need to be more than that - like a framework - but not programming only this time - websites - ui - layout

    FP could support it as well as vs.net

    a website framework - ms specific - for sites that want extra functionality..  im there Tongue Out

  • User profile image
    Maurits

    jamie wrote:

    ASP SPELLCHECKER


    For typing info into a textbox?

    Good idea... though it would be an IE thing, not a server-side thing like ASP

    Javascript spellchecker is a Great Unsolved Problem

    On the other hand it doesn't seem like it would be too hard to write a browser extension that ran <textarea> content through a dictionary onsubmit of a <form>

  • User profile image
    jamie

    how ever they do it is fine by me  - we need it
    (universal Website GUI specs showcasing the best of IE/ms)

    ps - i might have mentioned the spell checker thing in a few previous posts...

    ..and the ie7 code validator site ..

  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    Internet Explorer supports user stylesheets as well, don't forget.

    Options > General > Accessibility > User Stylesheet

    iframe.ad { display: none; }

    Muwhahahaha Smiley

  • User profile image
    Maurits

    Very cool - too bad IE doesn't support
        a[b=~c]
    CSS syntax
    Some sites do a
    <body id="www_w3_org">
    to allow
        body#www_w3_org
    CSS syntax

    Too bad NYTimes doesn't

  • User profile image
    jsrfc58

    Jamie, I think this is a great idea (for some websites, but not all).  One of the things we discovered in doing some internal usability testing with our intranet sites is that many users have their own distinct ways of how they like their information presented.  This means GUI features, how catalogs are sorted (alphabetically versus by category), etc.  To come to a "one-size-fits-all" consensus is not always the right way to go.  Most of the time from what I have seen the UI ends up being what the designer thinks is best, but not necessarily what serves the staff best...especially those whose jobs depend daily on tools available on our intranet sites. 

    One of the pet projects I was working on in my spare time was to develop simple Javascript-driven drop-down menus that could change their appearance (with a button click) between alphabetically-sorted menus to category-driven menus.  My thought was to use some type of XML configuration since ASP/ActiveX is frowned upon where I am at, and I am limited in what I can put out there for the staff.  With XML, too, I could simply update the drop down items in one file and let the drop-down menu do the sorting work...instead of coming up with two versions of the menus and trying to synchronize them both.

    As far as CSS, I think it would work to some extent...could a browser-plug in be built for this purpose?

  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    jamie wrote:
    why is there no Windows TM standard (logo program) for websites? (Views For Sure)


    If there was they'd be a massive outcry from the DoJ etc, proving that Microsoft has a some vertical bias with its own sites and IE.

    Besides, the purpose of being a good web-designer is to make a site that works consistently accross all major browsing platforms. This is just a ressurection of the "Netscape Now" / "Best viewed in IE" website sticker wars we had in 1996-1998, I pray I won't see it happen again.

  • User profile image
    lars

    jamie wrote:

    Should the new york times allow you to upload your own css?
    As users that go to sites daily - should we not have total control over what we see?


    What you do with the information once it's on your client is up to you. You can build your own browser, screen scrape, use RSS or whatever you like, and read it upside down if you find that interesting. You have total control on your machine.

    As a webmaster I pay for putting content online. I decide what the default look and feel should be. And that is the content and look and feel that I am responsible for. 

    jamie wrote:
    (Views For Sure)


    It's called W3C.

  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    lars wrote:

    jamie wrote: (Views For Sure)


    It's called W3C.


    Seconded.

  • User profile image
    Stitch 2.0

    lars wrote:
    As a webmaster I pay for putting content online. I decide what the default look and feel should be. And that is the content and look and feel that I am responsible for.


    First of all: Seconded!!!

    I think you have scratched a very interesting point there. How much personalization should be allowed to the user?
    After all, the webmasters are responsible.

    I'll post some thoughts on that on my blog tomorrow....

    And no, I'm not trying to get traffic, just need to sleep over it... Tongue Out

  • User profile image
    sbc

    Maurits wrote:
    jamie wrote:
    ASP SPELLCHECKER


    For typing info into a textbox?

    Good idea... though it would be an IE thing, not a server-side thing like ASP

    Javascript spellchecker is a Great Unsolved Problem

    On the other hand it doesn't seem like it would be too hard to write a browser extension that ran <textarea> content through a dictionary onsubmit of a <form>

    A spell checker would be better client side. Perhaps XMLHttp could be used though, but may be taxing on the server. This kind of thing is better done by the client (more immediate response, save bandwidth, user defined dictionary).

    Firefox can spell check via SpellBound (free):
    http://spellbound.sourceforge.net/

    There is ieSpell for IE as well (free for personal use only):
    http://www.iespell.com/

  • User profile image
    sbc

    W3bbo wrote:
    jamie wrote:why is there no Windows TM standard (logo program) for websites? (Views For Sure)


    If there was they'd be a massive outcry from the DoJ etc, proving that Microsoft has a some vertical bias with its own sites and IE.

    Besides, the purpose of being a good web-designer is to make a site that works consistently accross all major browsing platforms. This is just a ressurection of the "Netscape Now" / "Best viewed in IE" website sticker wars we had in 1996-1998, I pray I won't see it happen again.

    Some still seem to still do that. jamie uses IE specific features (he loves the browser), probably more to the use of Frontpage rather than ignoring the fact that some use other browsers. WYSIWYG editors really need to generate standards compliant markup. 'Best viewed with a standards compliant browser' (i.e. most modern browsers, IE to a basic level) sounds more reasonable than 'View with IE'.

    Would be good if a high profile/popular site delivered a better experience to users when they were not using IE - although it would still function in IE. If a site looked really good in alternative browsers, people would use them. Microsoft is lucky there are people who fix bugs in IE, and improve its CSS support - like IE7 by Dean Edwards (perhaps it needs a new name due to Microsoft working on a new browser?),

  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    sbc wrote:
    Some still seem to still do that. jamie uses IE specific features (he loves the browser),


    I did catch him dissing IE's rendering and praising Firefox in another thread somewhere, so just remember that Wink

    sbc wrote:
    probably more to the use of Frontpage rather than ignoring the fact that some use other browsers. WYSIWYG editors really need to generate standards compliant markup. 'Best viewed with a standards compliant browser' (i.e. most modern browsers, IE to a basic level) sounds more reasonable than 'View with IE'.



    Come to think about it, VS2005 will be the first "mainstream" IDE that writes compliant XHTML, highly ironic considering Microsoft's stance. I'm fairly sure there's some kind of munity going on inside the ASP.Net/IIS department.

    In either case, Jamie needs to drop Photoshop 3 and FrontPage and try something more modern and high-end. FrontPage is targetted at SOHO and all that, Dreamweaver isn't, nor Visual Studio, just my $0.02 really however.


    sbc wrote:
    Would be good if a high profile/popular site delivered a better experience to users when they were not using IE - although it would still function in IE. If a site looked really good in alternative browsers, people would use them. Microsoft is lucky there are people who fix bugs in IE, and improve its CSS support - like IE7 by Dean Edwards (perhaps it needs a new name due to Microsoft working on a new browser?),


    Well, a lot of the "CSS Bloggers", like Dave Shea and the rest already do this... but their sites get like 60% Firefox anyway.

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