Wayback Wangjianshuo’s Blog

I didn’t remember I have blog interface like this onNov 25, 2002, and I have no idea about the first version of Wangjianshuo’s blog like this: Sep 22, 2002. I even have page like this on Mar 27, 2003. All these interface looks so nice to me. I wonder if they are even better than my current design. :-D

Thanks to the WayBackMachine, the Internet Archive to keep record of the history of the website for me, otherwise, I guess the design will got lost permenantly and I will never have a chance to review those old designs. The Internet Archive even keep almost all the link clickable and you can see the content of the whole website on that day!

Font Changed to Bigger

After the forecast of Upcoming Change in Font Size, I uploaded the new CSS to my web server. I have formed a habbit to link to this CSS file whenever I create a new web page, so the most basic features of my style becomes handy. These features include:

  • Verdana font
  • Font size of 12pt (the default size in IE and most browsers). It was 10pt before.
  • Colorful Headings.
  • Margin on the left and on the right

Do you like the new design?

More than Font Size

Besides the change in font size, I made some minor changes to other parts for sake of usability improvement. This the second usability improvement on this site (first Usability Improvement). I conducted Top Usability Mistakes of Wangjianshuo’s Blog) research one year and a quarter ago. I hope the site keep involving itself.

Navigation Bar

I changed the navigation bar a little bit so when you click Home and navigate to Home page, the Home does not has a link, implying you are on the page. The same applies to Archives, Directory, and Map. What is the usability guideline behind this?

Visibility – By observing, users should know where they are and what is the possible actions they can perform

Wangjianshuo’s BBS Launched

I am cautious to open a BBS on my site. One month ago, I posted: Shall I Open a Shanghai BBS. At that time, I still didn’t decide to open one. The major barrier is, I don’t think I have any spare time to operate a BBS. As everyone is aware of, to maintain a good BBS is not easy, even tougher than running a blog.

However, with friends’ encouragement, I finally step out to open one. It is to forester more voices and more topics beside the “Wangjianshuo monopoly” on my blog. :-D

More Topics, More Voices

After writing for this blog for two years, I (successfully) created a community around my ideas, my observations and topics I am interested. I will always cherish this community and keep it unchanged.

Meanwhile, with more and more visitors coming everyday, people find their questions and their needs are well beyond the scope I can touch. Imagine, there are constantly 110,000 page views every single day, 7 days a week on this site. There are all valid human actions. If you count Google bots, automatic reading machines (like RSS readers), hit rate is sometimes as high as 260,000 hits/day. Imagine how I can cover all the topics these huge number of visitors want. People are asking “I wanted to know this but I cannot find a right article on your site to post, so….” and “….so I am writing this email to you…”, or “…so I am posting here but it maybe out of topic….”.

Taking that into consideration, I am opening a new forum for people who are reading this site, who stumbled to this site via Google, to share, to help each other.

I Won’t be too Active on BBS, Though

Although I opened the BBS, please don’t expect me to be active in the BBS. I am not full time on this (if you consider that I have a very busy job to do already). To make sure you are not disappointed, I will keep the rule that I WON’T answer posts in the BBS. I expect my friends and frequent readers to help people with their questions. If I found some questions that I cannot help answering it, I will answer it in my blog. I will still monitor all comments on my blog as before. Does it make sense?


The good news is, earthmilk, and some other great readers have accepted my invitation to be be the moderates for each board. I bet they can help to make this BBS a great success.


Is there any risk to open a forum? Yes, surely there is. When I open a BBS, as a responsiable service provider, I have to make sure the data is well maintained. Nobody wants to post to a forum that disappear after one or two year. If the traffic is high, the maintaince cost well worthes it. However, if not many people come to the BBS, to maintain the forum (weekly backup the data, daily check for new posts – although this is not mine job…) will be a burden.

If it does happen, let’s say after three months, I may consider removing the links from the navigation bar of this site but still keep the data. As the usability guideline suggested, any new function is a road block for users to find the other functions. If I want to close the BBS in the future – I keep the right to do so, I will post a notice three month in advance so people can back up their articles and data. You see, to be a professional provider is not easy.

Upcoming Change in Font Size

I have planned this for a long time, from the first day of this blog till now. I am going to change the current fixed font size (10pt) of this blog to a blog with relative font (100%, 120%…) size.

This is a change according to the suggestion of this article: Let Users Control Font Size.

I didn’t change since I used MovableType’s original CSS and the change made the page almost unreadable. Now, with two years gradual change, I will launch the bigger font version tomorrow, exactly at the first day of the third year of my blog.


The first change you notice is, the font in this blog becomes bigger. Now it is Verdana with 10pt in size. From tomorrow, it will change to 12pt Verdana if you are using Intenet Explorer’s default setting. This, I hope, give people better reading experience.

The second change is, you can control the font of all elements on this website. You can point to Text Size on View menu of IE and select one of the 5 text sizes: Smallest, Smaller, Medium, Larger, Largest. According to the size you select, the font size of the website changes. This feature was disabled in my current version since I explicitly specify the font size.


Give me some feedback on how you like it. I hope the change is a positive move for most of readers. I am using this site as a usability project that continue to strike for the best usability possible.

Shall I Open a Shanghai BBS

Whenever I meet any tough decision related to this site, I turn to my readers to help me.

I am thinking of open a BBS to offer visitors another place to raise question. Thus if anyone has any question about Shanghai, they can just create a new topic. Currently, they have to select a topic I have created and post it there, or it will be off topic comment.

I have setup a forum at http://home.wangjianshuo.com/bbs, however, I didn’t kick off it yet. I know to start a forum is easy and to maintain is not. More efforts should be put into the forum to maintain it, to reply and to moderate it. So, I still not decided it yet. If I open it one day, it means I have committed it to keep it in the long run. The original PVGBBS (Pudong Airport BBS) was not a success story for me. The volume is not good. After my server migration, I didn’t move the old data to this new site yet. This is a sample of the commitment I have to make to run a BBS. Once a post is posted onto a forum, the post owner and the site owner share the ownership of the post. The site owner is expected (although not required by law) to take care of the post and to keep the URL to the post unchanged – in case there are references on other site to this entry. At least, the site owner should keep the post for reasonable long time. This is the responsibility the owner should have.

blogcn.com did very bad recently – to lose customer’s blogs and comments and shut down the service frequently. I am very careful for the decision to run hosted service (like BBS), since I don’t want to be another example of blogcn.com. Responsibility is yours no matter how big (like a BSP) or how small (like my BBS) you are.

P.S. 1

I am very surprised to see 37 comments on my last entry: Why I Don’t Have an English Name. Wow. A hot topic!

P.S. 2

If you see me going online, offline, online, offline, …. on MSN Messenger these days, don’t be surprised. I am in an environment where the wireless LAN is not stable. It seems to be running on a sin(x) curve. The indicator went from Low, to Very Low, to Limited or no connectivity, to No wireless network detected, and then to Limited or no connectivity, back to Very low, Low…. at a cycle of 3 minutes. So does my MSN Messenger. It automatically logon when network resumes and log off when connection lost.

P.S. 3

After several weeks in a big project, I found my planning skills greatly increased. I wasn’t able to plan things that is 3 days ahead, now I have to think about what I (and the implementation team) are doing the same day half a year later (that is 2005). Great. It is important to see progress everyday.

P.S. 4

Beijing is hot and wet these days, just like the rain season in Shanghai, if not hotter or wetter.

P.S. 5

I will move to Beijing Shangri-la Hotel from tomorrow. Byebye, Ressainanse, my favorite hotel in Beijing.