Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Does presentation matter?

Ben Metcalfe asks a good question. Here's the best part:
Or does it go out of the window entirely? With RSS there is presentation. It’s just user-selected presentation – either explicitly through a custom stylesheet or implicitly through the choice of newsreader used (and it’s look and feel is uses to render the content). Either way, it’s no longer under the control of the content provider, so why bother?
User selected presentation is increasingly important. One of my favorite Firefox and Safari features is "ctrl +" to increase font size on certain pages to make them readable for me. Like RSS, it's all about control.

This also makes sense from a web services perspective. If you are writing a service, you presentation is an XML stream. If you are consuming that service via some sort of gadget or web part, then you can present that information in whichever way makes sense. The user of that gadget controls whether and where it is displayed in a portal interface. You might even give the user of your gadget the option to change how the information is displayed by the gadget.

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