[thelist] a malicious site?

Steven Streight steven.streight at gmail.com
Tue Nov 28 08:05:09 CST 2006


You bring up some really important insights into this strange site, a site
that raised red flags in my mind.

There's nothing fascist about general guidelines and even some iron-clad "in
most cases most of the time" rules. We find such rules in netiquette, rocket
science, and web design. I am unaware of any exceptional case where it would
be valid to force users to adopt a special technology just to view or
interact with a site.

Yes, I'm rather adamant and inflexible about this, and even am disappointed
with, say Revver in that you must download their video uploader software, to
upload videos to their site, when YouTube and others don't require such

But I am not a web designer, I am a usability specialist and web content
writer, so I may be missing some info regarding special cases where plug-in
may be acceptable.

The general rule that seems good to me is to avoid making users do anything
out of the ordinary, that is time-consuming, difficult, or can even
introduce a security vulnerability. I thought that plug-ins can be used by
malicious sites to inject malware.

So it's not just arbitrary subjective design principles, but usability and
security concerns here.

On 11/28/06, Barney Carroll <barney at textmatters.com> wrote:
> Steven Streight wrote:
> > Any site that must be viewed
> > and interacted with via special plug-ins is a very stupid and poorly
> > designed site.
> It's important we remember that they're avoided not through spite but
> simply because it's too much hassle. It's user patience, not designer
> sympathy that should get us through the day.
> Let's consider a few things: the prompt appears that way when using
> Windows. It's standard practice for Windows to make everything look
> dangerous because it always is. Windows Media files can do all sorts of
> stuff without your express permission.
> On my Mac I get no prompt, and when I come to the site it's a very
> specifically geared animations depository. The internet can do a great
> many things apart from clear legible documents in html and css, and even
> if those are what I specialise in and enjoy most, it would be arrogant
> and short-sighted of me to deny other purposes and technologies the
> right to flourish.
> Design is art within constraints, and this is an art-based site. A lot
> of my favourite music and films are inaccessible, too. I don't hold it
> against them because their content cannot be compromised - a thoroughly
> accessible version of this site would be an exercise in futility. By its
> nature it is impossible for it to degrade gracefully.
> If we push rules and uniformity without being able to argue how the case
> in point might benefit, we're at serious risk of being branded joyless
> fascists.
> Regards,
> Barney
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Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate
Web Usability. Universal Content Utopia. Share Economy. Destroying the MSM

Vaspers the Grate

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