The guys at ebay have released ql.io, which seems to be a way of using SQL-like queries to fetch and join data (typically in the form of JSON, it seems) from multiple web APIs to generate quick “mashups”.
I can’t help thinking that there are a lot of hidden issues around API compatibility and conflicts, as well as the complexity of specifying increasingly tricky business processes, though. All these issues have been encountered in the XML workflow and process modelling world.
This certainly looks an interesting way to get started quickly with quite a broad class of mashup applications, though.
A mate just pointed me at a very thoughtful article about Strategic Content Management. The title sounds dry but it is actually pretty good at helping anyone think through the issues of creating and managing a dynamic website and selecting a content management system (CMS).
A neat bit of observation from Marc McNeill at Dancing Mango.
Me-too brochureware banking.
The sad thing is that the more business which use such “me too” approaches, the more others also copy. This may be through laziness, cheapness, or a sense that this is somehow the best way. In fact, I feel a compulsion to go and re-layout some of my own websites into this pattern …
A nice little article pointing out flaws in so may of those website “security questions”.
My pet’s name is too short
In addition to the points raised in the article, I always get cross at sites which offer a set of “security” questions all of which are either (a) obvious from a bit of searching such as place of birth or first school, or (b) very likely to change such as favourite pet or sports team.
This is a neat idea, and certainly more friendly than “keyhole surgery” with ssh and vi if you need to edit files on a remote server over the web. Does not seem to have had a lot of development recently, but seems pretty usable as it is.
ecoder | home
I don’t really consider myself a Python developer, although I have dabbled. As with many of the less mainstream languages there are keen developers and thinkers trying to clear away the confusion and push the limits of what is possible.
Snakes on the Web
The article is an enthusiastic call to action for “Pythonistas”, but also a really useful summary of big problems and issues applicable to any language, framework or development approach. Read it, even if just for the excellent (and scary) summary of all the things a modern web application developer needs to be aware of.
If you have been following this blog and you are interested in the area of convergent technology, then you may want to take a look at the site I have put together to gather my scattered writings and thoughts on this interesting and rich field.
Frank Carver – a Convergent Visionary
To start the new site I have copied over a selection of the more convergence-related posts from this blog. In the future I plan to focus on software development and personal items here, and on business and convergent technology on the new site. If possible I will arrange some sort of cross-posting or notification for people who prefer to read everything in one place.
As a new site it’s not very visible in searches yet, so as a personal request, I would really value any links from other blogs or web sites. If you have ever enjoyed or found useful anything on this site or any of my others, please consider joining the discussion or linking to my new site.
From time to time I find myself forced to design a web site without being able to hand the task to a proper graphic designer. I find that I can just about produce workable layouts, but colour baffles me.
I’m always on the lookout for useful tools to help the design-challenged, and this one looks particularly cool, as it includes a way of checking how your chosen colours might look to users with different types of colour-blindness.
[ws] Color Scheme Designer.
Another summary of useful tips. This time about how to use existing software and familiar techniques to give a richer web experience.
How to Embed Almost Anything in your Website
With digital image sizes growing faster than screen space, it’s hard to put any kind of picture on the web without resizing it. There’s a great trick to use the Google Maps interface and a free “image cutter” to make zooming and panning across huge images easy.
Put Your Large Pictures in Web Pages without Resizing Them – Google Maps Image Viewer
I’m sure I could have made use of this if I had known of it sooner.
Every now and then we discuss ways of better automating the manual tests which accompany our web applications. This is especially poignant right now as both the development and test teams have been recently reduced in size. We have had some success with Watir in the past, but it was always dependent on Internet Explorer and Windows. So it’s cool to read that there is now an equivalent for Chrome.
ThoughtWorkers on Open Source: Announcing ChromeWatir release 1.0.0
There are lots of online communities, filled with active and passionate people – exactly the sort of people TV would like to court, both as consumers and as providers of (cheap?) media content. However, most attempts by TV companies to engage and participate in the on-line culture have been pitiful.
How is it that organisations with such marketing power have continually failed to make sense of this opportunity?
Scott Stead has written a thought-provoking article on the subject, and (in the manner of on-line communities) visitors have enhanced it further with their own comments.
Television and Online Communities
Mobile application development is certainly a hot topic at the moment. People seem to be climbing over one another to produce iPhone apps, and Google’s Android is never far from the tech news. But there are also other players, and several want to enable a more familiar web development experience on mobile devices.
SitePen Blog » PhoneGap, Palm Pre, and the State of Mobile Apps
Ever since the dawn of the web, the lack of a symbolic graphics format has been a glaring omission. I’ve never been very comfortable with the only option being to step outside the browser and use a plugin such as Flash, Silverlight, or a Java applet.
Now, eventually, it seems that support for, adoption of, and frameworks to use one of the contenders, SVG, are finally taking off. Take a look at these examples built using SproutCore and SVG:
Ajaxian » Who needs Flash? Having fun with Canvas and SVG
This looks interesting. Next Monday (20th October 2008) the London JAVAWUG will be holding a “Birds-of-a-Feather” session on the topic of Web applications and REST web services. Both are subjects near to my heart, so I might try and arrange a trip to “the smoke” that evening.
Anyone else likely to be attending?
JAVAWUG :: Java Web User Group :: London, UK :: Peter Pilgrim, Java Champion : Weblog
From time to time I get involved in a bout of recruiting, and part of that process is inevitable trying to sort the wheat from the chaff to decide which ones to bring in for a detailed interview. Naturally one of the first things I do when presented with details of a new candidate is to look them up on the web. Obvious things such as a google search for the candidate’s name, looking them up on LinkedIn, facebook etc.
What usually surprises me is how little use most candidates make of this. When applying for work, your name is your brand, and making sure that the best information is easily available to potential employers seems an obvious thing to do, yet so few candidates bother. Instead, the overwhelming impression for most candidates is either that they have practically no internet presence at all, or that their web footprint consists of holiday snaps and mildly embarrassing facebook/twitter chat.
My top tips if you are thinking of looking for a new job.
- Get a web site and put your real name and a brief summary of your skills and abilities on it
- Build your web site into an on-line portfolio with links, copies and examples of everything you are proud of
- Add a blog to your site and write regular articles based on things you know well
- Link to your web site from everywhere you can
- Mention your web site on your CV/resumé
Above all, remember that potential employers will be looking, so make sure you have a say in what they find
One in Five Employers Uses Social Network Sites When Hiring People
A neat little history story describing an belgian attempt to create a network of all the world’s information back at the end of the 19th century.
The web that time forgot – International Herald Tribune
Social and connection aspects of web software are becoming progressively more important to the success of the applications and businesses which create them. Here’s an article looking in particular at the idea of “widgets”.
Technology News: Social Networking: Widgets and Social Apps: The Rules of Engagement