Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Distasteful Blog Pattern

Lately I’ve noticed patterns: Ajax patterns, design patterns, UI patterns and others. I’ seeing another pattern. I’ve noticed different lightning rods in the blogosphere and how people respond to them. I’m calling it the distasteful blog pattern.

Here are a few cases. The latest is the pile on O’Reilly about a cease-and-desist letter over Web 2.0 as a Service Mark. Prior to this were charges against Michael Arrington about alleged conflicts of interest and other incredible stuff. Both of these remind me of the ongoing noise level of negative comments about Dave Winer as discussed in WikiPedia (Relationship to the public). And Joel Achenbach and other bloggers are continually being smeared in the blogosphere.

First, I think it is unfortunate. Second, all of these dust-ups involve complicated issues that require more that a screenful of text to explain. We use to hear print journalist complain about the sound-bite not explaining an issue. Now we have screen-text. So third, I think this is a matter of where the technology, in this case a (screenful) blog entry, is getting in the way. Now if you want to be a technology determinist, then that is the way it is going to be. But, if you think that our culture can rise about the technology, maybe will start reading more thoughtful responses built on the cultural wisdom of journalism, solid debate and common decency.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

MochiKit Doesn't Suck

Probably when Bob Ippolito of MochiKit was born the word suck was still considered close to profanity. To him the browser sucks, JavaScript sucks, this sucks, that sucks. Anger can be a useful thing to get the energy to act. I don’t know him to know if really is angry, but it seems like it.

Regardless, he has a nice JavaScript library and if I was using Python on the server, I’d probably be using MochiKit. But I’m using Rails. I understand his issue with Prototype and namespaces and the importance of clean libraries. He has a point. But Fairchild built a better game machine than Atari but does anyone remember the Fairchild game machine? Great design is not always the winner in the marketplace.

Announcement at Ajax Experience

Kevin Lynch from Adobe gave the keynote after lunch. After all, Adobe is the Gold Sponsor. He announced that Adobe has release an open source JavaScript library called Spry. This looks like a good second step for image manipulation. He said the aim for for designers but I’m skeptical until I get some hands one. In fact I’ll have to take a good look at the whole and see if I should hold onto my stock.

But no time time. Next session is about to start up.

Ajax Tool Kits

Thomas Fuchs talks about prototype and JavaScript libararies. Then Stuart Halloway talked about making an Ajax architecture choice which boils down two thing: libarary and data transfer mode. His demo case used prototype and So big overlap in the talks. But I plan to go to Stuart’s Rail talk later.

Stuart and Thomas emphasised that unlike all the Ajax books, don’t write this code on your own. Pick a libarary and let them deal with this issues the new browsers will bring to Ajax. So is it prototype/ or dojo? Since the dojo sessions were at the same time, I need more information.


Have you ever been Ajax Experienced?

Opening night was not all that Hollywood, but certainly new SF style. Drinks of caffeine or bottle water. Typical nearly all guy event and everyone seemed to think that was normal. Meet guys from Seattle, Bay Area, Maryland (near home for me) and England.

Dion and Ben had a great stand-up with poking some fun at the name of the conference if the Ajax term had not be coined. They pointed out that creativity comes from constraints. (Look at the ‘blue’ period of several painters.) We have all be quite creative with the not so old constraints of XHR et. al. They see Comet as being a big change and expanding the constraints, but I don’t see that yet. The Comet Experience next year? They’ll probably podcast the stand-up and it would be a good listen to Dion and Ben.

Then the had a panel of about 10 people from the speakers at the show. I couldn’t help think about how un-unconference this was. Too bad. Maybe it was the late out (midnight EST) but did not take anything away except there are more Firefox debugging tools that I should be looking at.

So onto the marthon this morning.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Ajax Experience

After many hours inside metal shells of planes and trains, I’m in SF at the Ajax Experience. I brought my [z] shirt and after a little rest time I’m into to the show.

Not sure how I’ll blog the show. My battery does not last long, so maybe at breaks. I’ll let the Ajaxians know to take a look here. Hope to show a few people behind the curtain of in the next few days.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

TechCrunch on Squidoo

Since my picture made it on the screen capture in Michael Arrington’s review of Squidoo on TechCrunch, I thought I’d comment. (I’m the guy next to the smiley face.) He explains “Why Squidoo Won’t Work” in some detail comparing it to WikiPedia and blogs then stating that “no one person can really be authoritative on a given topic.” I’ll have to mull that over. 

Two months ago I wrote a review of Squidoo. Up until that time I had been fairly active on Squidoo with a couple of top 10 lens. Later I was asked to be on the Squidoo review board. So I’ve more than “kicked the tires” on Squidoo. In the last two months I’ve not done much on Squidoo because of work on my own project.

I’ll repeat from that review that “I believe that Squidoo needs to involve lens readers more.” Others have made many suggestions on how to do that. But that is the first area I’d look to if I was on that crew.  Second, it seems that Squidoo was always a bit cold, that lensmaster pages are secondary. My other suggestion to Squidoo is to add more social networking to the lensmaster pages. The lenses themselves are fine, but I’d concentrate on the lensmaster pages. Why can’t I modify my page like I can a lens. (Compare for example.) See if you can get the lensmasters to take pride in their “home” page and build the community from there. Where are the comments?

In short I think Squidoo still has legs but I agree that it will need some changes to more forward. This crew has already moved Squidoo quite a ways since November and they can probably keep moving it. We’ll know for sure when I do my SuperBowl Ads for 2007.


Beta signup for starts

Tonight I got the front page of to accept email addresses from those people who want to participate in the beta program when it is ready.

Zlides is about displaying and creating presentation blogs. Examples will be available in early June.