Introduction to my PhD Research

It’s the nature of research, and particularly of doctoral research, that approaches change and details become clearer only over time. With that in mind this is an introduction to the topic area of my research as I see it now, right at the start of the process, borrowing heavily from the proposal document I submitted …

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ql.io – a SQL-style way of mashing-up web APIs

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”. See ql.io. I can’t help thinking that there are a lot of hidden issues around API compatibility …

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Me-too brochureware banking

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 …

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My pet’s name is too short

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 …

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Snakes on the Web: what’s really wrong with web development

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 …

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A convergent visionary

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 …

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Put Your Large Pictures in Web Pages without Resizing Them, use Google Maps

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 …

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ChromeWatir release 1.0.0

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 …

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Television and Online Communities

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 …

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Options for developing mobile apps: PhoneGap, Palm Pre, etc.

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 …

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Who needs Flash? Having fun with Canvas and SVG

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, …

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London Java Web User Group: Web apps and REST

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 :: …

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One in Five Employers Uses Social Network Sites When Hiring People

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 …

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