Tag: web apps

Pinboard.in suites me just just fine

About a month a go I wrote a quick rant about Delicious.com and why it could have been a sucessful web2.0 business (relatively low costs and lots of opportunity for advertising and pro/paid for features). At that time I said I was moving to pinboard.in, especially as delicious.com’s future was being questioned at the time.

This is how I use/used the two sites

  • When trying to find a site, page or link – often for a product/app/site with a name I don’t remember – I will use Pinboard’s (and used Delicious’) search feature with a keyword to try and find it, hoping that I either tagged it using the word, or title/description included it. This is my primary use case.
  • My second use case was picking a tag and browsing by it for the same reason.
  • Third use case was having no idea what I can search for, so just browsing through my entire bookmark list, perhaps picking roughly the time period I might have saved it.

I’m not looking back. I like:

  • It’s fast, clean and simple.
  • It has the features I use from Delicious and not those I was not interested in.
  • I never used the Delicious, nor can I think if a good reason to have them. Pinboard does not have them by design.
  • Automatically adding favourite tweets is a brilliant idea, I, like others, use the favourite tweet feature more as a ‘read later’ option for interesting links.
  • I use pinboard (and used delicious) as a cross browser, access anywhere, bookmarking system. No browser plugin or sync feature comes close.
  • When I searched delicious it would show three of my bookmarks and the the rest of the page would show bookmarks with the search term saved by others. This was useless to me, and just created an extra click for me to select ‘show me all bookmarks that match this search. I have one less click with pinboard which does not show me other people’s bookmarks by default.
  • I quite like the pay a little to use it concept. Even with freemium sites (which have a free option, normally the most popular, and a pro version) you are ultimately paying for both you and the cost of those using the free version. There are often anti-social users, who devalue the site and add to the cost of running it. Not so with pinboard, if you can’t be arsed to spend a few quid (or dollars) on the service then, no offense, go elsewhere. I like the fact that anyone using the site has shown a small monetary commitment to it. It makes it not another site where the whole world signs up and then forgets what it is (god knows I get enough emails a month from web2.0 services keeping me updated about their service which I have no idea what they do or why I signed up).
  • However I do find the concept of the signup cost going up with each new user somewhat strange. It might encourage early adoption but it will mean the site eventually becomes too expensive that many will choose not to sign up.
  • Likewise it’s a one off cost for a service which will have ongoing costs. So new signups will have to fund the service. Perhaps move to a $4/yr model (perhaps with multiyear discounts $10 for three years) to provide a consistent and ongoing income.

In summary pinboard keeps things simple, fast and is created by committed developers. Suites me just fine.

webpad : a web based text editor

So I have WordPress (and in fact Drupal, Joomla, mediawiki, Moodle, damn those Dreamhost 1-click installs) as a way of running my website.

But there are still many pages which are outside of a content management system. Especially simple web app projects (such as ircount and stalisfield) and old html files.

It can be a pain to constantly ftp in to the server, or use ssh. Editing via ssh can be a pain, especially over a dodgy wireless connection, or when you want to close the lid to your macbook.

But trying to find something to fit this need didn’t come up with any results. Many hits were either tinyMCE clones which are WYSIWYG html editors that convert input in to html, do good for coding.

Webpad screenshot

Webpad screenshot

Until I came across Webpad. It not only suited my needs perfectly, but it is well designed and implemented.

After a quick install (more or less simply copying the files), you simply enter a specified username and password, and once authenticated you are presented with a line of icons at the top. Simple select the ‘open’ icon to browse to the file you wish to edit on your web server and you’re away!

It’s simple, yet well written and serves its purpose well. If there was one thing I would I suggest for future development it would be improved file management functionality. You can create directories and delete files from the file open dialog box. But I can’t see a way to delete directories, or move/copy files. Deleting directories is of use, as many web apps (wikis, blogs, cms) require you to upgrade the software, edit a config file, and then delete the install directory, or similar.

Oh, and it’s free!

Check out webpad by Beau Lebens on dentedreality.com.au