December 15, 2002

I just added RSD support to this weblog. It shouldn't effect you the reader, but it will make it easier for me to configure software to edit this site. Here's what rsd does:

Really Simple Discovery is a way to help client software find the services needed to read, edit, or "work with" weblogging software...The goal is simple. To reduce the information required to UserName, Password, and homepage URL.

If you have a Movable Type weblog and want to add RSD support, head on over here.

Posted by adam at 04:46 PM
December 11, 2002
Tons of Stuff to Read

The staff of Boxes and Arrows published a big list of book recommendations on information architecture, interaction design, user centered design, design, usability, and more!.

Posted by adam at 09:56 PM
December 01, 2002
Anonymous? Yea Right

Dave posted: "A promising new anonymous weblog. Check out the tagline. Interesting hexadecimal name."

Anonymous? Pffft, took me about 5 minutes of googling to find that the author is one <name removed at the request of the guilty> who also runs <other website removed>. Come on Dave, just cause you don't know who he is doesn't mean he's anonymous.

Posted by adam at 11:44 AM
November 30, 2002
I Am Now a LiveJournal User

Thanks to Faecrow I am now syndicated on LiveJournal. So if you use LJ add adamw as a friend.

Posted by adam at 03:45 PM
November 21, 2002
Linkidy Link Link

kryogenix has a comment about links between other places and says:

"I remain unconvinced that we need yet another addition to the sprawling world of XML-based formats that are trying to make the semantic web happen."

(This is in response to Simon Willison's posting about wanting to have a way to indicate that two links are related besides just linking to both of them in a weblog post)

Well, I'm happy to report that we don't need another XML format, it already exists: XLink. People already have a name for this idea also, its called a Linkbase

Posted by adam at 08:38 PM
November 20, 2002
Lifestreams, Microsoft, and Aggregators

Every so often I go back and try to wrap my brain more tightly around the concept of Lifestreams.

We contend that managing one's own electronic world can be a frustrating task for most computer users, requiring too many separate applications, too many file transfers and format translations, the invention of too many pointless names and the construction of organizational hierarchies that too quickly become obsolete. What is needed is a metaphor and system for organizing the electronic ``bits of paper'' we all so easily collect, whether we create them ourselves or they come to us in the form of email, downloaded images, web pages, or scheduling reminders. Lifestreams is such a system.

Lifestreams uses a simple organizational metaphor, a time-ordered stream of documents, to replace conventional files and directories [3,4]. Stream filters and software agents are used to organize, locate, summarize and monitor incoming information. Lifestreams subsumes many separate desktop applications to accomplish the most common communication, scheduling, and search and retrieval tasks; yet its machine-independent, client-server architecture is open so that users can continue to use the document types, and viewers & editors they are accustomed to.

A lifestream is a time-ordered stream of documents that functions as a diary of your electronic life; every document you create is stored in your lifestream, as are the documents other people send you. The tail of your stream contains documents from the past, perhaps starting with your electronic birth certificate. Moving away from the tail and toward the present, your stream contains more recent documents such as papers in progress or the latest electronic mail you've received---other documents, such as pictures, correspondence, bills, movies, voice mail and software are stored in between. Moving beyond the present and into the future, the stream contains documents you will need: reminders, your calendar items, and to-do lists.

This idea seems right in so many ways, but we haven't gotten near making it a reality yet. Now Microsoft wants to get in on the action:

Engineers are working on software to load every photo you take, every letter you write - in fact your every memory and experience - into a surrogate brain that never forgets anything, New Scientist can reveal

It is part of a curious venture dubbed the MyLifeBits project, in which engineers at Microsoft's Media Presence lab in San Francisco are aiming to build multimedia databases that chronicle people's life events and make them searchable. "Imagine being able to run a Google-like search on your life," says Gordon Bell, one of the developers.

News Aggregators could get in on this also with a few properly placed advances in the tech.

  1. We need to snap out of the idea that aggregators are only for news, they can also be lists of the latest mp3s you've downloaded or orders placed on your e-store.
  2. I shouldn't have to go get feeds, feeds should come to me. When I launch my aggregator it should ping the feeds it is subscribed to telling them that it is listening. Then, when a feed generates something new it should nearly instantly tell my aggregator. Besides the effects of making aggregation a real-time task this also would greatly reduce bandwidth. You'd only be downloading the new item, not the whole feed, only when it was updated.
  3. Applications need to generate these feeds for events that take place, like receiving an IM or new mail in your inbox or a friend visiting your website.

This can all be accomplished with the existing technology, xml-rpc seems the logical choice for communication between applications (either web or local) and aggregators. Yea yea, I know I should get off my ass and do it myself but I can't make application authors implement it unless I stir up some interest so thats what I'm doing right now.

Posted by adam at 11:36 PM
I Want Your Text

GetContentSize is a cool utility that will tell you the percentage of a webpage that is text and the percentage that is markup. Info for this page:

Total page size: 40882 bytes (not including images, attached scripts or style sheets)
Text content: 10811 bytes
Text content percentage: 26.44 %

That means 73.66% of my page isn't text and thats not good. I think I might edit this program to also count the percentage that is urls because they provide vital information to a page. Maybe that will give a better representation of what's important and what's garbage

Posted by adam at 10:48 PM
Weblog Editing and NetNewsWire Right now I'm using Kung-Log to edit my Movable Type weblog and I use NetNewsWire Lite as my aggregator (both in OS X). I'm really looking forward to NetNewsWire Pro which among other things will include weblog editing (screenshot). I'd be more than willing to pay a few shillings for that.
Posted by adam at 04:26 PM
Recommended Reading

Mark Pilgrim is playing with automated recommended reading again. You can get your own recommendations here.

People I subscribed to this morning:

Posted by adam at 03:43 PM
November 19, 2002
No RSS Feed :( David McCusker, is now working for OSAF, which is cool. But his weblog doesn't have an RSS feed, which is 'not cool'.
Posted by adam at 10:26 PM
October 20, 2002
NetNewsWire Lite

NetNewsWire Lite is a very beautiful and full featured news aggregator for OS X. It uses a three-paned interface like Outlook Express.

If I start using my Mac more often it may take AmphetaDesk's place as my RSS reader of choice.

Posted by adam at 04:59 PM
Testing Kung-Log

I'm posting t his from the great Kung-Log.

Kung-Log is a Mac OSX utility for posting to and editing entries in a Movable Type weblog.

Posted by adam at 04:35 PM
October 14, 2002
Bug in Movable Type

It seems that the new TrackBack auto-discovery feature downloads each URL you link to and parses it to figure out how to send a trackback ping. The problem is if you link to a large file like an mp3 it downloads that and then if your CGI provider puts limits on your CGI's memory usage you'll run out of memory and get a 500 internal server error. Best solution I've found so far is to turn off the Trackback auto-discovery feature.

Posted by adam at 05:55 PM