Monday, June 20, 2005


I don't like how Planet Perl looks. There's too much content, its too vertical. And it doesn't help that PlanetPlanet is showing stories from last June.

Over the past few days I've played with trying to only show short summaries, alternate sidebars and fancy javascript controls. But I didn't find anything I liked.

In a few days I'll come back to this. Anyone got any new ideas?


  1. Well, look at what this blog does differently. It uses an attractive non-default font family (Arial/Helvetica is a horrible choice for screen, by the way); it uses the entire width of the screen, trusting the sidebar to keep the content to a managable width; it takes control of the text's size, with a smaller font size and more line spacing; it sticks to a simple, attractive color scheme; it uses font size to indicate which text is important and which can be ignored by the casual reader.
    Perhaps most importantly, it keeps the page's size manageable, trusting archive pages and such to help users looking for older content. Perhaps the best thing you could do is modify the software so that it displays only one post per author, offering links to any other recent posts. Or maybe that's not the right approach to paring down the content on this page; I'm not really sure what would do it.

  2. i have to say that i like planet perl as it is. i'd be much less likely to keep following it if it only showed short excerpts, or filtered out all but the most recent post for each author.

  3. You might want to take a look at does the layout. Usability-wise planet.perl and planet.gnome are pretty much the same - the other just looks nicer graphically.
    Generally you do NOT want to use the full width of the screen. There is a reason why books use 40 character lines.
    I read the whole posts on Only showing summaries is hateful, in RSS feeds and on WWW sites.
    Changing font size is usually not a good idea. Some legacy browsers (IE5) don't manage font sizes well.

  4. I agree with Jim on the full content / no filtering thing. Wouldn't be useful without that IMO.
    (but then I set it up that way :-) )
    - ask