When I teach Silverlight 2, I stress an important lesson that I thought that we (as developers) had learned the importance of linkability of the web. Early usage of Flash was the first time I noticed this. A number of those sites would create nested functionality that never changed the URL. If the URL doesn't change, i can't bookmark it. Most Flash guys learned their lessons pretty quick, but now I am inundated with AJAX driven sites that try hard to not to do post-backs. That's cool, but if the URL doesn't change I can't link to it.
I've noticed this happening a lot with support sites. The first time I saw with an AJAX site was using the Intersoft's Developer Portal (http://www.intersoftpt.com). They treat the developer to a desktop-like experience, but if I can't send a link to my other developers for the latest patch, why bother making it on the web?
After making my readers crazy with duplicate RSS's several times, it looks like things have finally been fixed. I have my new Rant URL's in place. The old style viewrants.aspx?id=XXX still work fine. But in addition, each rant now has an URL that starts with the date of the URL and the title is now the name of the resulting page. For example:
I was trolling the Microsoft's Live Search today to see how it was faring against Google. I had not seen the Image Search before and I am very impressed! There are neat features like picking image size (which I know Google does too), but also pick the size of the images that are shown on the page. But the real key feature to me is the feature of when you click on an image, it navigates to the page in a center frame and keeps your results on the left size of the page so you can quickly see the image in context. Here's a screenshot (click on it for a full size image):
I got into the beta today and I really like where it going. While I can't show you what it looks like, I can say that there is a lot to like about SoapBox (Microsoft Live's Answer to YouTube). The experience of viewing, commenting, and tagging of video is a better experience and looks really nice. If you want to go the link, you can sign up for the beta. I like a lot of how they are handling video that is better than Google and YouTube.
Here are a collection of some new web sites I've ran into that I think everyone should visit (don't worry, no religion or politics here):
MousePrint: A site that collects and reports on deceptive contract/advertisements (e.g. New Car Deals in Boston for $9,500 if you pay $7,500 down payments.)
It used to be that getting /.'d was the key to both getting buzz and taking down your web server. But most of the news I've read there in the past few months appears on other sites way before SlashDot. I find that these sites usually have the news I find interesting way before it ends up on Slashdot:
I've been using ActiveWin.com (and their XBox companion site) for years to get new information about Microsoft on a daily basis, but their draconian use of pop-unders on every page request has finally gotten the better of me. I am boycotting their site.
Anyone know of a good replacement for Microsoft related information that is timely and not driven from Redmond? I know of great XBox/360 sites, just no good Microsoft related ones. The Microsoft sites I find are usally either fan-boy MS sites or M$-hater sites. Neither of which are particularly helpful.
Now that Verizon has been ordered to rat out their users to the RIAA, Internet privacy is over...but maybe for the better. Sure I loved the high-flying days of song swapping, but where is the line between privacy and intrusion.
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