Archive for the ‘Commentary’ Category


Thanks, Starbucks!


Published in: CommentaryPosted by Tyler on 08/21/06


Delicious Monster, the company behind the fantastic Delicious Library app for Mac, has made it a point to thank the coffee shop that they work out of. With good coffee, big desks, and friendly employees who needs an office? It sure saves on rent. Following in their lead, I think it’s high time to thank the Starbuck’s I spend a lot of my time in. I’d wager that 60% of Snipplr was born right here in this store.

What Starbucks am I speaking of? Why the one on Harding Road here in West End Nashville. The desks may not be very big, but there are plenty of outlets and above all a friendly staff that always makes me feel welcome no matter how long I stay.

Harding Road Starbucks

(Photo courtesey of Starbucks Everywhere)


A Note on Importing Snippets


Published in: CommentaryPosted by Tyler on 08/03/06


In my last two posts I mentioned that Snipplr can import snippets from other websites. I’ve had this feature ready to go for a while now, however I’ve been a little hesitant to deploy it. It’s a touchy subject. I mean, you could argue that I’m stealing content from other websites. Right? Maybe.

There are two reasons that finally made me decide to roll out the update – that made me see this as an “ok” thing to do:

  • First of all, I’m not the one initiating the snippet transfer. It’s entirely up to Snipplr’s users to import their snippets. If a user wants to convert their old account on another website to Snipplr, I’ll happily do it for them – but I won’t just grab all the snippets from every site. That would be stealing. What Snipplr offers is no different than GMail importing users’ Yahoo! address books. Or Firefox offering to import your Internet Explorer bookmarks.

  • Snipplr (unlike the other websites) is a two-way street. We have an open API that lets people do whatever they want with their snippets. It’s their code afterall, right? People are free to export their snippets whenever they want. You can get your code out of Snipplr just as easily as you put it in. Offering an import script for the other snippet websites doesn’t put them at a disadvantage since they’re free to do the same as well. In fact, I even give directions on how to do it :-)

I hope you find the import option useful. I’m sure some people will flame me for doing this. Maybe even call me a thief. But in the end I think this benefits users rather than any individual website.

As always, comments, questions, and flames are welcome below.


Popular Snippets


Published in: Commentary, NewsPosted by Tyler on 08/01/06


One of the most requested features from users has been a Snippet rating system. I agree that there needs to be a way to weed out the popular snippets from the crappy ones, but I don’t think a rating system is the best approach. From the beginning I’ve made no secret that Snipplr is modeled after del.icio.us. With that in mind, I’ve created a new Popular Snippets section to solve the problem.

The popular list orders snippets by the number of people who have marked them as favorites. It’s an easy, indirect way of determining which snippets are the best. You can further sort the list by language, tag, or even both. Just like del.icio.us. (imagine that!)

As usual, please let me know if you notice anything strange happening on the site after this new update. And keep sending in your comments and suggestions.

Switching gears for a moment, I’d like to take a moment to address the future of Snipplr…

I have a lot of exciting ideas that I want to implement to make Snipplr even better. Private snippets, sharing snippets only between friends, more plugins, and even a way to host Snipplr on your own server just to name a few. The problem with this is that it takes a lot of work. Snipplr is just a side project I do in my spare time, so I’m not able to devote the amount of attention to it that I’d like. Fortunately, I’m in talks with a company that is interested in picking up Snipplr’s tab and allowing me to continue development on it as part of my day-job.

What does this mean for you?

More features. Better uptime. And possibly a new and better layout.

Nothing is for certain yet. I just wanted to give everyone a heads-up of what’s going on behind the scenes here in Snipplrville . . . I mean Nashville.


Why I Love Snipplr


Published in: CommentaryPosted by Tyler on 07/05/06


Snipplr is incredibly useful to me. It’s become an integral part of my workflow over the last few months while I was developing it. But that’s not why I love it.

What makes Snipplr such a great site to work with is its audience. Previously, I ran the net’s largest Stephen King website. As you might imagine, that catered to a totally different demographic. While running that website I had to hold myself back and not do anything too crazy because I had to ensure that the website worked in Internet Explorer. Afterall, IE accounted for 85% of my traffic.

Browserchart

Snipplr, however, is totally skewed in the other direction. A quick look at the stats show that Internet Explorer is a measly 12% of our traffic. Firefox completely dominates. Even Safari is edging out the Big Blue E. This makes my life as a web designer / programmer so much easier. I can build Snipplr according to web standards and feel confident that it works in all the browsers that matter. Now that IE is the minority, I just don’t care any more. That’s not to say I won’t look for a fix if something is totally broken in the browser – I want Snipplr to be functional no matter how you choose to access it – but I’m not going to sweat over a few misplaced pixels here and there.

For those of you who enjoy building websites and are just as frustrated with Internet Explorer as I am, I invite you to dig around in the HTML of Snipplr. You’ll see that I’m using two stylesheets. One for Firefox and Safari, and then a secondary smaller one to fix the things that IE renders incorrectly. I think you’ll enjoy the name of that second stylesheet. First person to post it in the comments gets mad props.