Posted by Dave Mark on Dec 3, 2009 in webdev
This screen shot is from a particle generator written completely in HTML5:
The screen shot really does not do the site justice, as it’s the movement, tracking, colors, and the fact that this is HTML, as opposed to Java, C#, ObjC, etc. that implements the particle generation and animation. If you’re into that sort of thing, here’s the link to the web page. Be sure to slide the sliders and click on the set of presets on the upper-left of the set of controls…
Posted by Dave Mark on Oct 21, 2009 in Uncategorized
I’ve got a pet peeve I’d like to share. If you are going to prompt someone to enter a unique identifier, something they’ll enter to come back to your site in the future, please use an email address instead of a username.
Here’s the problem. Suppose two people named Dave Mark sign up for the same service. The first one grabs the name “davemark” and the second one has to settle for “davemark1″ or some such. Now switch views and think about the likelihood that you have, at a minimum, twenty sites to which you’ve created usernames. It’s a pain to remember which site has “davemark”, which has “davemark1″ and which has some third option, perhaps an email address or some other bit of info.
Point is, if you are building a web site or service that requires login, make the user name an email address, or at least offer that as an option. After all, the email address is already unique. And everyone remembers their email address. In addition, I can set up a custom email for signups, so all marketing material that flows to that email address can easily be redirected by my email client using the simplest of rules.
Thank you for listening.
Posted by Dave Mark on May 15, 2009 in Business
From @iTod, this article summarizes the count of the data centers with the largest number of web servers. Here’s the list:
- 1&1 Internet: 55,000 servers (company)
- Rackspace: 50,038 servers (company)
- The Planet: 48,500 servers (company)
- Akamai Technologies: 48,000 servers (company)
- OVH: 40,000 servers (company)
- SBC Communications: 29,193 servers (Netcraft)
- Verizon: 25,788 servers (Netcraft)
- Time Warner Cable: 24,817 servers (Netcraft)
- SoftLayer: 21,000 servers (company)
- AT&T: 20,268 servers (Netcraft)
- iWeb: 10,000 servers (company)
I find this a bit shocking. 55,000 servers? That’s an incredible number. Let’s say they are all rack-mounted at 20 per rack. That’s still more than 2,000 racks. Well, that’s not quite the way it works. The report is produced by Netcraft, is available for a fee, and counts hosted domains, not actual servers. Still, an interesting list…
Posted by Dave Mark on Mar 13, 2009 in Business
Big thanks to Matt Drance: This site uses unicode characters to produce the smallest URLs possible.
For example, this is the URL for a story I was reading on the New York Times front page today:
and this is the Tiny Arrow version of the same URL:
The arrow and the square are unicode characters. They look funny, but they work just fine.
For comparison, here’s a TinyURL version of the same URL:
But Dave, why would I care about any of this? Great question! You care if you use a service like Twitter, which limits you to 140 characters per post. If you wanted to post the Times story, you’d have used most of your character count with the original URL.
You might also care if you are pasting the URL into an email and it wraps around to a second line and no longer works.
Tiny Arrows is the most efficient URL crusher there is.
Posted by Dave Mark on Feb 25, 2009 in Apple
One thing I really miss about Safari 3 is the blue status bar that appears in the address bar to tell you a new site is loading. That has been replaced by a small, spinning status icon to tell you Safari is working to load a page. This seems to be a smart addition to, but not a good replacement for, the blue status bar that tells you how much of the new page is loading.
Clearly the blue status bar was not perfect. It rarely reflects the real status of the page load. The real value it brings to the table is it’s visibility. When I am typing in a page and I hit return, I don’t have to look up to know that my return key has caused a new page to start loading. The big blue bar tells me something is happening. With Safari 4, I have to hunt down that tiny little “is loading” icon to make sure things are moving along.
I miss my big blue bar.
Posted by Dave Mark on Feb 19, 2009 in webdev
Have you ever had to work out a color scheme for a web site? This web site will help you make smart color choices…
Posted by Dave Mark on Feb 6, 2009 in webdev
Have you ever wanted to learn how to use cascading style sheets, also known as CSS? Here’s a great tutorial that really breaks this subject down just right.