Did you ever wonder why we put scrollbars on the right? I always thought that they just feel better there because they are a fairly heavy-weight UI component and it makes sense for them to live in a fallow area.

“The Gutenberg Rule, first proposed by typographer Edmund Arnold in the early 1950s, says there are four quadrants on a page: the Primary Optical Area (POA; top left), the Terminal Area (TA; bottom right), the Strong Fallow Area (SFA; top right), and the Weak Fallow Area (WFA; bottom left). The theory says that the eye enters a page in the POA and moves by the most direct route to the TA, via what Arnold calls reading gravity.” — from a Deakin University class

Alan Dix’s article tells a different story. He provides a historical perspective describing systems that positioned scrollbars on the left, and introduces some interesting theories that support the modern convention.

“In the real world, perfection is held as an ideal we humans always disappoint; on the web, perfection just gets in the way.” — Small Pieces Loosely Joined

David Weinberger devotes a whole chapter to perfection: how people pursue it in the real world, but must leave it behind on the web. As my friend Max Carlson noted, giving up perfection is the price the admission. With software incompatibilities, inconsistent bandwidth and connection time, and the ubiquitous 404 error, you quickly learn that sometimes things just don

“I know you don’t write, but do you read?” my grandmother once asked me. These days I find myself reading several books at once. All Consuming has created a nify gutter snippet that lets me keep track of and publish my reading list.

Reading lists should be viral. The blogging trend has created fertile ground for a number of sites that help people publish lists. I noticed this one on mamamusings. I like its layout — all I need to do is type in the title and my comments, then it finds pictures, authors and links.