Erlang vs. Java

Joe Armstrong (AL/EAB) joe.armstrong@REDACTED
Mon Sep 12 10:52:48 CEST 2005

Dustin Sallings wrote

> On Sep 8, 2005, at 20:22 , Richard A. O'Keefe wrote:

> > My first comment is that I found it very difficult to read.
> > In two senses.  I normally browse with an old Netscape, and
> > basically all I saw was a sea of black with a few dots of
> > colour here and there.

>    This isn't a valid complaint.  Although the page needs some minor changes to comply > with the standard it's claiming, it's more or less what one would expect on any modern > web site.  If your browser is ten years old (a really dark time for the web), you 
> shouldn't expect things to work well

  I disagree - it *is* a valid comment - and it is a statement of fact

  Richard said "I found it difficult to read" - the consequence of this will be
that he presumably not read the page unless he is not well motivated to do so.

  Now the best thing to is to install a favelet (or bookmarklet) such as,
for example:
In firefox you save the bookmark "Disable Stylesheets" in your favourites and
enable your bookmarks toolbar - then when you see an unreadable page click on
disable bookmarks and the CSS will be disassociated from the page - and the
page magically becomes readable.

IMHO all blogging/forum software should allow the *reader* of a page to decide the
color scheme and layout etc - very few bloggers work this way.

The stupid thing is that browsers allow the reader to change font sizes etc. 
but NOT color schemes - and I like Richard find certain color schemes very off-putting
so I just don't bother to read these pages.

When I author a web page I don't think "I know I'll choose a color scheme that
makes my page totally unreadable - I'll but a purple background image, and make my
text bright orange - and just in case I have any color-blind readers I'll make
some nice green text on a red background. Oh and when you click on a link
it will change to the background color, so you can never find it again"

This has nothing to do with standards, nor the age of the browser - but everything
to do with usability.

As Richard said - "read Nielson" - not just the on-line stuff - buy the book.

If you disagree with what I've said then please can you do one thing? - read the
book Designing Web Usability: The Practice of Simplicity (Nielsen)
before replying:

Oh and read  

The Humane Interface - Rankin
The Mythical man Month - Brooks
The Elements of programming style - Kernigan and Plauger

<< aside - I just assume that everybody on this list has read these
books - if you are programmer or software project manager or IT manager then not 
reading K&P, Brooks and Nielsen should be viewed as
profession misconduct and lead to instant dismissal >>




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