I agree with Dave Winer on this one. Even with the disclaimers about newsreaders and such, there’s still a pretty good chance that the reader will wonder why there are two versions of the blog homepage. At the opposite end are the readers who “think the link is broken” when they see all those angle brackets. Here’s my claim: it’s okay, people will figure out that all those angle brackets make their life better and will eventually forget about them. That is, they will disappear into the background, but not because we went out of our way to hide them.
Before dismissing me as technology-elite, take a listen to this talk by Malcolm Gladwell at IT Converations. He talks about peoples’ reactions to new products and ideas. Quote:
|There’s a class of products that are difficult for people to interpret. Some things really are ugly, and when we say that they’re ugly, they really are ugly and we’re always going to think that they’re ugly. Right? They’re never going to be beautiful. But there’s another class of products that we see and we don’t really know what we think. They challenge us. We don’t know how to describe them. And we end up, if we’re forced to explain ourselves, calling them ugly, because we can’t think of a better way to describe our feelings. And the real problem with asking people what they think about something is that we don’t have a good way of distinguishing between these two states. We don’t have a good way of distinguishing between the thing that really is ugly, and the thing that is radical and challenging, and simply new and unusual”|
It’s probably a stretch to equate XML with the Aeron chair, but perhaps they’re not so different.