I’ve learned a few things in the last few days.
1) If you submit a CPAN module with unit tests that require a module not in the standard core, you will get over a lot automated emails telling you the tests fail on various platforms. (For the record, this is extremely useful. Seriously, CPANTS rocks.)
3) The wp-cache plugin does a great job of reducing server load.
4) When you taunt their beloved Scribd, the Internet trolls will come out of their myspaces caves and fill your blog with various forms of droll.
The feedback on Scribd was pretty interesting. There were too many comments to respond to individually, so I thought I’d recap a few things in a separate post.
First, about half the comments or so were able to see the big picture and agreed that Scribd was a bad idea. DRM-controlled text files is not something the web wants nor needs.
The other half seemed to either fully or partially disagree.
Those who partially disagreed either acknowledge “but yeah, it still sucks” or seemed to think one detail won the argument.
If you’ve dealt with geeks, you’ve probably had arguments before were the forest is lost for the trees. E.g., Paris Hilton is a vapid waste of space, and with her MTV reality show, constant media coverage by outlets that attempt to pass drivel for news, horrible songs and the rest, it would really would be for the best of society if we feed her into a wood chipper. The response by these idiots would be “PARIS HILTONS REALITY SHOW WUZ ON FOX, NOT MTV!!! EPCI FAIL!!!!!!!!1!!!! PARIS RULES!!!!!!!!!!”
Which was the spirt of a whole series of comments.
“YOU IDOIT!!! YOU CLICK THAT BOX BETWEEN THE OTHER BOXES TO COPY AND PAST!!!! YOU ARE FAIL!!!”
“U USED THE WRONG LINK!!! U DON”T DUE THAT IN FULL SCREENZ MODE!!!!!!! EPIC FAILZ!!!!!!!!!!!”
Seriously, it’s like there’s a whole new generation of biff babies run around.
In every app I use there is a set paradigm on how to copy & paste. I select text, Cmd-C, and it’s copied. It works like this with text files, with Firefox & IE for HTML, Preview for PDFs… even Google Spreadsheets, a web app, does an amazing job following this paradigm.
Scribd does not.
Instead, you apparently either need to be told or fish around in their app for a while and become a power-user to figure it out? You have to click an icon, then you can select text to copy?
There’s one app that I know of that works like that: the Microsoft command prompt.
They mimic the UI of Microsoft’s command prompt (circa 1990?)
I hardly call that progress.
If that’s not Web -0.5, I don’t what is.
Which leads into another batch of comments — that some how it’s my fault for Scribd having a bad UI. That I should have known the URL provided to me restricted functionality & instead should have visited another URL. That it’s my fault they cut off functionality in one mode but not another.
(And so much for their ever doc having a unique URL slogan, eh?)
Listen, kiddies, it’s not the responsibilities of your users to become power users. It’s your job, as app developers, to make the damn thing usable. Stop blaming others for your faults.
The other batch that baffled my mind where people who advocated Scribd where that it didn’t require a non-standard PDF plugin. How’s that again? Scribd is better because instead it requires a non-standard flash plugin? Listen a non-standard plugin is a non-standard plugin. It’s like saying “PDFs suck because it kicks you in the left nut, Scribd rules because it kicks you in the right nut!”
Nobody cases if they get kicked in the left or the right nut. A kick in the nuts is a kick in the nuts.
Add to the fact you can view PDFs on the rapidly growing iPhone, but not Flash, means that all of the documents posted on Scribd is now blocked off from one of the fastest growing drives.
Which is always going to be case with proprietary formats.
Which is why they’re a bad idea.
Which is why Scribd is a bad idea.
In a way, I have to admit I’m somewhat surprised by Scribd’s popularity. But then again, I’m surprised by Paris Hilton popularity.
Which perhaps is fitting, as they both have another thing in common: they’re both a waste of space.