Pinging

ping – to contact, usually in order to remind of something;

In weblog terminology, pinging is the act of sending a small notification to a central server that says “Hey, there’s new stuff!”. In most blogging applications, this is fully automatic.

Currently, Noscope is divided into main content (you’re reading it), and sidenote content (in the sidebar). That’s where it gets complicated. I ping, to notify you – readers or linkers, that I’ve added new stuff. Until now, I’ve pinged for main content only, but it’s a hassle to comment out the ping URL every time I post a sidenote. I actually miss Movable Type on this point; MT has a checkbox in the post admin section that allows per-post ping settings. That’s why I once again ask you:

When should I ping? For main content only? Or both main content and sidenotes?

The Curse of Eternal Change

Any web-developer or individual working in a creative field knows of the curse.

It costs an undisclosed amount of money to web-development companies worldwide.

It is a two-edged sword. It’s often good for the end result, yet it’s tiring at times. I am speaking of course, about the inherent possibility of changes & improvements in all graphical things.

When is a piece done? Could it become better? Always.

I’m sure any programmer has re-written a piece of functional, even if not properly formatted, code. As have any graphic designer tweaked the placement of that same pixel, over and over again.

But is it essential to your piece? Does the improvement justify itself by adding value/functionality to your piece?

Knowing when to stop, is essential, if to spend ones valuable time on things that truly matter.

In my, although short, experience, i’ve learned that distributing improvements into categories can help. On my part:

  • bugs / showstoppers
  • value-adding improvements
  • improvements that will pay off in the future
  • non-essential, but nonetheless improvements
  • “nice to have”

For instance, just the other day I uploaded the very blogging system you’re reading from right now. I considered it a value-adding improvement, and so, even though it’s still bug-ridden, I put it out.

But with that fixed, it was only the tip of the iceberg. Some of the remaining issues are:

  • Re-implementing “About”, “Music”, and “Layered TIFFs”.

    I consider these value-adding improvements.

  • The horisontal scrollbar that you should be seeing.

    This is a bug, and this, i’ll try and fix asap.

  • Making usability improvements to “what section is active” in the flash header & issue news areas

    These are improvements that will definately pay off in the future.

  • Adding small thumbnail previews to the Archives and Current issue sections of the flash navigation

    These would be really nice to have.

  • All sorts of nice improvements to this blog, such as fixing the search template, renaming the “join” button to “submit”, and making sure the proper archives are loaded for each month

    These would also be nice to have.

But this is only a few ideas. When/if these should be fixed, tonnes of new ideas could take the above lists place, and in the end … in the end? Would there ever be an end?

Today I made a decision, that since there is no end, I’ll relax and watch TV.