akhilesh sabharwal Ideas and Other Things

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. WordPress

Hello! Welcome to a new look for asabharwal.com. It’s pages load fast (as low as 1.4 seconds) meets web standards, and is easy to read. Its simplified and doesnt have unnecessary code. Oh, and the site you are browsing now is not running on WordPress or any other CMS; but it is a statically generated site, built using Hugo.

I have been writing and producing on this site since 2007 using WordPress. I have setup sites in WordPress for friends and customers, and have stable running sites. WordPress is a reliable and capable CMS. But over the last few months, as I tried to write more and more long form articles, I found that the features of CMS which make it powerful and an all-rounder, were coming in my way.

Continue reading...

Building a Sustainable Brand

As defined in a dictionary Sustainability is the ability to exist constantly. As we examine the world today, the principle is applied to our world and our environment and the ability of the biosphere and humanity to coexist. What, however, is a sustainable brand? Obviously an attention to the environment is key, but what is sustainability from a brand and business perspective? On the 12th of February 2020 I had the privilege and pleasure of being invited to present a guest lecture at the School of Marketing at the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi. The subject of my talk was “How to build a Sustainable Brand.

Continue reading...

My first recommendation to WordPress is now live

7 years ago, I had reported an issue on the WordPress CMS application to standardise the way of writing ‘Your Profile in the WordPress dashboard. 3 Months ago my recommended changes were integrated into the platform, with a few changes along the way.

Continue reading...

A new year

Tonight 2016 ends. I don’t know if it was a good year or a bad year. I do believe it was a year with a lot of change. Change brought about for good (or for bad) as some may believe. I lost my last grandparent, I lost a dog, I spent 10 days in New York, and I read a few good books. I found a place for myself in my own eyes and in the work I do. I don’t believe change is about resolutions. A new year is an arbitrary deadline. How will I decide something without understanding how it will affect the rest of my year.

Continue reading...

Stranger in a strange land

An unusual set of circumstances had me making some additions to my technology surroundings the last couple of days. My OS X computing serenity was disturbed by the need of running a Windows version of an app (looking at you Powerpoint Mac and your inability to embed fonts) caused me to run Windows 10 in Bootcamp. To compound that horror, today I went out and bought an Android phone. Readers of this site and those who know me, know about how I gave up the world of Google a couple of years ago after I was locked out of my Google account.

Continue reading...

The dawn of the very vertical app

A friend of mine on Facebook invited me to a FB page yesterday and introduced me to a new app GottaGo. An Android app that lets you find the nearest restroom in Delhi, Mumbai, and Pune. This got me thinking about how some product ideas are becoming more niche and focusing on doing one thing and only one thing, while trying to do it well.

Continue reading...

A different story

I had an idea for a different kind of storytelling the other day. Maybe I was inspired by the buzzword of co-creation I keep throwing out in my day job. I wanted to try my hand at telling a story through pictures and words. And for new words I reached out to friends on Facebook.

I think I have had a decent first attempt. What do you think?

Continue reading...

There's intent for that

Last week was an interesting week in the world of technology and gadgets. Google’s Android 5.1 started rolling out, bringing fixes and some new features to the popular mobile os. Google calendar is finally available as a native app on the iPhone. And Apple gave us a spring forward event to begin the season… While the event was ostensibly to give more details about the Watch, but they pulled out a surprising one more thing in the form of the new Macbook.

The two products are a technical marvel and are a testament to the engineering and design prowess that have made Apple’s devices some of the best in the world. A laptop that is so thin and — if the display is anything like the display in my retina MacBook Pro – has one of the finest displays out there for a consumer grade device. Or a smart watch which may not have been the first in its category, but with its concepts will likely reinvent the category.

Take a step back from all thats shiny in these new devices however; look under the sapphire glass screens and the aluminium unibodies, there are changes, subtle and not so subtle. Changes in how you use devices and how they work. And that… that is what is really exciting.

Continue reading...

Accessibility and the digital arts

Accessibility is the science of developing technologies and interfaces in such a way that users with limited abilities (visual, auditory or control impairments) can use tools and channels to achieve parity with those whose abilities are not. Web pages separate text from the interface and the design, so that screen readers can read out text to those who cannot read.  Assistive input devices like sip & puff devices and wands allow input without keyboards.

You would ask me, why go to such extremes of building assistive technology and capabilities into what is ultimately a short lived campaign? Our budgets and timelines would never allow for it.

Continue reading...

Varuna - the Elder God

Varuna is one of the elder gods, sovereign of the water. He is the first god of the Hindu pantheon accredited with the creation of the world. He was the first king and law giver. The prime mover of the universe, he was mostly concerned with moral and societal affairs than being a deification of nature.

Continue reading...