Well, I've been doing a bunch of Atom content for developerWorks, so they asked me if I would host an Atom and RSS forum to help answer any questions people have, and I'm happy to do that. My XQuery/XPath 2.0 forum has been going pretty well, so they thought they'd have me do another one. Tyler's been in charge of a form to get XForms help, but it's been a little quiet. (Which is too bad, because if people have questions, they'll have his full attention. :)) Apparently, they've also been featuring my XForms Sudoku series on the home page for several weeks, which is unusual. I'm pretty excited about that. They're probably pushing it because of the podcast.
I think I was almost more interested in seeing the interview from this perspective than actually doing the interview. Scott Laningham is really a great interviewer; he's great at putting people at ease, and I learned a heck of a lot from the experience.
And I've never been compared to Buckaroo Banzai before, which was funny. But is it pathetic that I wound up actually referencing my own blog?
I kind of balked a little bit at this week's Geekend. The topic is which OS would be used by various SF characters such as Darth Vader, Mr. Spock, and Dr. Who, and I was a little miffed ad the choices -- until I read the analysis. Right on! A little geeky, but hilarious.
Well, once again my Ruby on Rails talk, "Unified Modeling
Language on Rails: From Diagram to Web Site in Record Time", has been accepted for the IBM Rational Software Development Conference, so sometime between June 10 and June 14, I'll be presenting in Orlando. I don't have the date yet -- they'll let me know after 2/28, apparently -- but I'm excited, so I thought I'd let anybody know might care know. :)
This was a fun experience last year, so if you're going to the converence, stop by and say "hi"! Or let me know and maybe we can get together.
I'm absolutely stunned, if a little late to the party. After almost single-handedly making it obvious why Web services are a good thing and providing who knows how many programmers with their first experience with SOAP, Google has discontinued support for the SOAP API that fuels who knows how many applications. Yes, there are alternatives, and I will cover them in a future post, but this warrants commentary.
If you already have a key, you can continue to use the API, but for how long? And since you can't give out your key, and they're not giving out any new ones, it means that only you can use your application. Unless it's on a web site, of course.
My mind is reeling with what this is going to do to the Web services ecosystem. Sure, most Web services applications don't use it, but I would venture to say that most of us programming the stuff started out learning on the Google API. Were we supposed to do now, switch over to the Microsoft Live API? Or is this supposed to be a way of promoting REST?
Yahoo has a REST-based API that is still functioning, presumably for the long term, but who the heck knows at this point?
To be fair, Google has always said that the service was "beta", and it has never really been officially supported, and that it might be discontinued at any time. But, come on, they certainly can't have failed to notice its popularity.
I have seen several theories on this. One mentions that many of the applications built on this technology have been Search Engine Optimization applications, many of which are commercial applications and people have been making money. One mentions the fact that by forcing people to use the Ajax API, they will be able to shoehorn in both ads and paid results. Both of these are probably true.
But these are not the only uses for which this API was suited. The inability to get at the actual data using the Ajax API means that Google data can no longer be included in mashups. (Yes, I understand that if you already have an application, you can continue to use it. I'm talking about new applications going forward.) The API can no longer be used to research information. You can no longer use it for trending. You can no longer use it for data mining.
I make my living telling people how to do things. I'm good at it. Very good at it. But I spent a lot of my time thinking about uses for these technologies so I can explain why it's important for people to learn them. For Google to pull the rug out like this makes me physically ill.
I feel like entire avenues of progress have been cut off by the loss of this capability. Will other search providers follow Google's lead and lock up their data? After all, if darling Google can do it, why can't everybody else?
You may think that I'm overreacting here, and maybe I am, but you don't see what I see. And now, apparently, nobody else will either.
This incredible video called "Web 2.0... the Machine is Us/ing Us," is deeply moving and incredibly smart. The creator is Michael Wesch, an assistant Cultural Anthropology Prof at Kansas State U, and he has strung together a bunch of animations, text, and screenshots in order to tell the story of "Web 2.0" -- and why it matters, and how it's changing the world. This is as starry-eyed as techno-optimism gets, and it might just choke you up a little, if you care about this stuff.
Now that I have my laptop and it's clear that I'm not going to be switching back and forth between it and the laptop, the lowest-ranking computer has been granted to the kids, but since it's in the bedroom, there will be no internet connection. But I still want them to do more than just play video games, so it was nice to find Scratch, a programming environment that lets kids build interactive games, art, etc.I haven't actually built anything yet, but from that I see, it seems pretty much like natural language programming. I may use it myself. :)
The need to transform XML is so common that Extensible Stylesheet Language Transformations (XSLT) is considered one of the basic XML specifications. This tutorial explains how to create XSLT stylesheets. It also covers the basics of XPath, which enables you to select specific parts of an XML document. Finally, it gives you a look at some of the more advanced capabilities that XSLT offers.
This tutorial is for developers who want to use Extensible Stylesheet Language Transformations (XSLT) to transform the XML data into other forms without the need for to program in Java™ or other languages.
Now that I'm keeping up wtih my favorite feeds via email, I'm developing a notion of what's worth reading and what's just worth checking once in a while. Read/Write Web is definitely in the first category. Commentaries are consistently well thought out and cover a wide range of technologies involved in web development, from mobile to throwaway identities to Ajax to OpenId and lots more.
OK, I have no artisitic talent, I admit that. But every once in a while I need something that looks nice for a project, and I've always been in awe of those glassy looking buttons. Especially now, with the new Vista interfaces, I knew I was going to have to figure out how to do that, or really regret it. Fortunately, I just found a tutorial on making those glassy looking buttons.
I am determined to get it together this year. (Yeah, just like every other year.) One of the things I need to do is decide what to do with this blog. The last couple of days, while researching stuff for work, I added a whole bunch of posts, and circulation took a nosedive. I choose to believe this is because you all are just not interested in so much technical stuff, rather than believing it's just that you are not interested in what I have to say. (Hey, you're reading this, aren't you?) So while I try and figure out the direction this thing should take, here is a list of 41 ways to market your blog in 2007.
Okay, everybody, I'm trying an experiment. For the life of this blog, I have published an RSS feed, but it has been a "partial feed", on the premise that people should come to the site to read the actual post. However, I'm beginning to think this is not such a good idea. Part of it stems from the fact that I have finally discovered a good way for me to keep up with all of the feeds I want to read - RSS2Email -- and I've discovered I personally prefer full feeds. That means the whole posting is in the feed, or in my case, the e-mail. After reading Why I publish full feeds? at chilibean my mind was made up to at least try it. if you hate it, let me know. If you love it, let me know that too.