<thinking-out-loud>

I’m slightly confused.

When entering the details of your friends in the Foaf-a-matic2, you can enter either their email address in the mbox field, or an SHA’d value.

But then what happens if you have “hide email addresses” selected?

This means that the value in the email address box gets encrypted via SHA. So all addresses you entered which were already encrypted get encrypted again. Surely this is an oversight?

Should there be a separate field completely for SHA’d mbox values?

I think this is the only decent way around it.

That way, when loading FOAF files, if you’d previously encrypted their addresses, those encrypted values get loaded, and don’t get double-encrypted when you re-save the file.

</thinking-out-loud>

Books.

The Blam! Review Creator, along with Blaxm! Reviews Exchange seeks to be a way of centralising reviews made by disparate people over the web (check out the format).

Now, all this was done a few weeks ago, and I’ve spent some time thinking about it; and it’s a good idea.

In the same vein, books.burri.to is a project to let people “swap books with people near you”, which works off of your ZIP code (for those who have one of course, unlike anyone, er, outside of the US).

I’ve said pretty much the same thing on the rdfweb-dev mailing list (but not got around to implementing yet – too much time figuring out how Jena works!), but surely all this would be so much better done by including reviews (or a link to a review file) from within your FOAF file, where you also specify your geo-location (all I can think of is nearestAirport at the moment, but I know I was reading about something better the other day – can anyone remind me?). You could then easily do things like “find me films I might like within 3 degrees of separation”, or “find other people who liked this book who live within 5 miles” and voila – list. If anyone else reviews ever anything, of course.

I’d also have thought that “swap books with people near you” would have been better off using GeoURL in the first place – then you get a worldwide service, instead of one restricted to the US.

In other news, the List of known ontologies really isn’t as useful as it could (should?) be. What would be better would be a list of the ontologies (as exists now), then when you click on one, you get a tree-like structure displaying the Class and Property relationships. This is what people need to be able to see RDF and how it works, at least to begin with. Just presenting a big list where properties and classes are listed all jumbled up doesn’t really help anyone.

Writing for the web bugs me.

In fact, it’s not writing for the web that bugs me. It’s marking-up text for the web that bugs me.

It’s not just IE’s rendering bugs, and its broken box model, or any of the bugs that make people proclaim that Gecko is the rendering engine of the Gods.

It’s the failure of every single browser to even implement what we consider the basics – HTML and CSS2, regardless of whether that implementation is broken or not. Maybe even parts of CSS1, I don’t know, I haven’t checked.

The thing that annoys me most is the complete absence of any support for generated content, stuff like quotation marks. How hard can it be? I mean, really? The other day Dave Hyatt asked: If you had to pick a W3C technology to implement next in WebCore, which one would you choose?

Fucking HTML and CSS2, bitch.

Oh and of course, there are supposed to be quote marks around Dave’s question. But I’m not supposed to have to type them. I’ve already used the <q> tag thanks very much. Gecko puts in the quotation marks for me. Does anything else? Fuck knows.

Now OK, hands up here, I’ve not extensively tested Safari (I don’t have a Mac), but I’m more than willing to put large amounts of money on Safari not supporting the full range of CSS1 and CSS2, and people are talking about browser support for CSS3!! (and to be fairer still, it’s being talking about not just for Safari but for a host of browsers)

There’s pressure on the Mozilla team to produce the best rendering engine out there – the most standards compliant, full ranging, all-signing, all-dancing, w3-tastic engine there is. SVG? In the works. MathML? Coming soon. CSS2? No idea.

Maybe it’s just me. Maybe I just haven’t trawled through the travesty that is BugZilla enough (I’ll save a rant about that for another day) to see the outstanding troublesome issues surrounding the remaining parts of CSS2.

Generated content? no support. Pseudo-classes? some support (hellooooooo first-child: where are you???) Pseudo-elements? sometimes they seem to work, sometimes not (ok, bit weird that one).

There’s just so much that browsers could and should do today but they just don’t. And we talk about moving forward and onto something else, just setting ourselves up for yet another unimplemented spec.

If even the most lauded of rendering engines can’t manage the CSS2 generated content, what chance is there that they’ll manage the CSS3 generated and replaced content ?

Consolidate. Make it work. Then move on. But only then.

Do I ask for too much? I think you’d better not answer that.

Based on the feedback, I dug a little deeper.

Gene says:
I think you’re missing the point. Not only did Dave Winer invent weblogs, he invented all weblog software. In 1997.

» by Gene

Man, that’s funny. 🙂

I completely hate bandwagon-jumping and just linking to other people’s stories, and becoming one of the thousands of blogging sheep who wait for something cool, and then all link to it.

Sadly for me, today Simon Fell links to an announcement in the Spring weblog about preliminary FOAF support.

Now I don’t have a Mac, but Spring looks like the kind of app I’d like – a natural, intuitive method of linking and performing actions on people, places, and sources of information. It certainly looks like the way user-centric apps should be. As soon as I can, I think I’ll see if I can try this out on the Mac in our office. (Of course, there’s always a slight worry in that Andrew Orlowski endorses it – see bottom of Spring homepage)

Simon also reports on a new feature in Syndirella, toast – that is, a small popup that displays the latest feed update in a window such as that MS Messenger displays when you get new mail (FWIW Feedreader also does this). There’s a download available, as well as diffs between this version and the original. There may be a problem with the licensing, as the code for “toast” is from The Genghis Project, the license of which may be incompatible with the GPL, but at the moment it looks A-OK.

I have a personal interest in Syndirella, because I intend to use it as a testbed for learning C#, just as soon as I get around to installing VS.NET ….

someone does need to implement CSSable RSS feeds

Well RSS is XML, and everyone and their pet monkey knows you can style XML with CSS.

Two sites that spring to mind which use CSS to style their RSS feeds if you come across them in a browser are the W3’s feed and them.ws

If the reader wants to be able to just display that feed rendered with its CSS, just give the user the option to do just that – “Displays items with feed’s associated stylesheet” or whatever.

I question why you might want to do it, but the option to do it is already there.

Jerakeen likes, but as he says, I don’t support Trackbacks. I want my new server so I can run this web log off something other than Blogger. Incidentally, if you don’t have a decent browser, you won’t notice the big UPDATE: before this paragraph, and other paragraphs in previous posts. Get with the program, people.

I just finished updating my FOAF file. Thanks Jim for the help. – Eric Thauvin

We shouldn’t have to do this by hand. We need GUI tools. FOAF-a-matic mk 2 is good but incomplete. As of ten minutes ago it now imports friends from vCard files and you can open your existing FOAF file and have the GUI updated with the info it contains.

TODO:

  • provide GUI components for all base FOAF properties
  • look into providing dynamic a GUI for properties from other namespaces (I doubt this is possible in Thinlet)

Issues:

  • App now inclues Jena libraries, and is massively bigger as a result
  • I don’t know if Leigh Dodds (the original author) has already done this work, or more, or anything. I emailed him a few days ago, but no response as yet. Does anyone know anything?