Some links I picked up when doing some cursory research for Jabber Reminders (not all necessarily so related!):

JAlbum is what I used to make my online gallery of the photos I took when in Rome, and it uses JSP-based skins to generate the index and individual pages. This means, of course, that with a simple RDF-skin you can provide an XML description of your gallery. Below is the skin I used to generate mine (I’ve not finished writing all the comments yet!) – for it to work well it requires you to do two things: 1) add a comment (which will get stored in the JPEG header) to each image in the “edit” tab as shown in this screenshot (click to enlarge)

2) add some custom variables as shown below with these names in the “advanced” tab (click to enlarge)

Do a publish and voila! Not only will you have an online gallery, but an RSS 1.0 file describing it, and each photo in it! All that’s missing is somewhere to stick FOAF codepiction data, and whilst JAlbum is closed source, it has a documented API so it should be easy enough to knock up a simple GUI along the lines of KimDaBa which lets you add people, locations and keywords to images (KimDaBa looks like an excellent app in its own right, btw, and definitely one to check out if you’re in Linux!)

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="iso-8859-1"?>

<rdf:RDF xmlns:rdf="http://www.w3.org/1999/02/22-rdf-syntax-ns#"
            xmlns:dc="http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/"
            xmlns="http://purl.org/rss/1.0/">

<channel rdf:about="$location">
<title>$title</title>
<link>$location</link>
<description>$description</description>
<dc:creator>$creator</dc:creator>

<items>
  <rdf:Seq>
    <ja:rowiterator>
      <ja:coliterator>
        <rdf:li rdf:resource="$location$fileName" />
      </ja:coliterator>
    </ja:rowiterator>
  </rdf:Seq>
</items>

</channel>

<ja:rowiterator>
  <ja:coliterator>
    <item rdf:about="$location$fileName">
      <title>$label</title>
      <ja:if exists="comment">
        <description>$comment</description>
      </ja:if>
      <link>$location$fileName</link>
    </item>
  </ja:coliterator>
</ja:rowiterator>

</rdf:RDF>

Link to the index.rdf file now fixed!


Modification to template to only display <description> element when there’s content to display

My girlfriend’s just received some SMS spam (this one in fact), and came to show it to me not because she was going to call it, but because the “sent” date is approximately five hours in the future.

Of course, a quick google of the contents retrieved the page on Grumbletext I linked to above, which tells of people who even called the number and were charged £11 for the privilege. Honestly, it’s almost as bad as this woman.

Anyway, for all those receiving SMS spam in the UK, here’s what the GrumbleText guys recommend:

Our advice: 1) report it to ICSITS on 0800 500212 and 2) delete it – you should only consider attempting to ‘unsusbscibe’ if you start getting loads of the same text – services tend to send out in batches over a period of a few days so be patient and see if they die off.. Oh, and the last main way that we know they use to get hold of your number is: if you call one of these so called 090-type ‘prize’ numbers, you will often be asked – in order to be able to ‘claim’ your ‘prize’- to input using the phone keypad a friend’s mobile number. If you make one up, as many people must do, well, it may turn out its yours, and that’s why you started suddenly getting a stream of junk!

In addition, despite our harsh spam filters at work, I’ve just started getting a couple of spam mails a week arriving in my Inbox which is pretty surprising seeing as it’s not given out to anyone outside the company ever. I suppose it must have just popped up on the brute force “possibly valid email”-ometer.

Not waving but drawing.

Or some other bad pun.

GeoURL is becoming more and more useless to me as it gets clogged up with more and more deviantART home pages.

Take any random search in the UK, for example, and in the top 100, I’ll guarantee at least 50 are pointless deviantART home pages.

For example: here I am and a quick grep reveals no fewer than FIFTY-ONE in the top 100.

Centred on my home city of Bristol there are also 51.

I’m all for art, but for God’s sake! Some kind of filter! Please! I know there’s an xml feed, and if I wanted I could implement something on that, but as the site gets clogged with more and more of these effectively useless pages, its efficacy and entire reason for existing comes into question.

Just say NO to Microsoft (via Cheah Chu Yeow) is a site listing alternatives to MS software for all (as far as I can tell) of the domains they have a product in: from OS to word processor; WebTV to Exchange. It’s nice to have a list that you can point people at when they ask “well, just what else *is* there?”. It’s a shame (but unsurprising when you consider the breadth) that some of the alternatives pages are lacking in detail due to limited author experience.

Perhaps people who’ve used packages which are, for example, alternatives to Visio could give the author some details?

Thunderbird 0.4 is out, and I’ve been using it for the past 24 hours or so, and it’s definitely an improvement over 0.3.

Lots of little bugs have been fixed (hopefully as well as some larger ones ;), and the default icon set is a lot more professional than the previous one. Sadly, the default icon for the application still looks like a new piece of mail, which could do with changing – taskbar confusion ahoy!

I also owe an apology to Hotmail Popper which I dissed slightly in a comment on one of Simon Willison’s posts.

I said that it didn’t delete messages from your Hotmail Inbox when you deleted them in Thunderbird – it does, of course, but only once you’ve removed them from your Trash folder.

However, messages don’t seem to have the “unread” flag unset in Hotmail once you’ve read them in Thunderbird, so as soon as you use the web interface, Outlook Express or whatever, it lists “50 new messages” or whatever. Annoying, but bearable, currently.

Two years ago, I was mad on mobile technology, I had just about every SDK and emulator available. I coded Java games for fun, written in MIDP 1.0 and god, whatever else there was around at the time. I enjoyed myself. Until I started to actually move the work I’d been doing onto actual phones.

Then it all stopped working.

I was pretty disheartened, but persevered for a while until I realised that not only was the technology only getting better at an absolute snail’s pace, but the emulators still weren’t reflecting what was actually going on. Some more time passed and I realised that not only was I disappointed by the poor level of support given to developers but also that as newer phones came out I wasn’t going to be able to try out my new code on them (I was only a student, and whilst this gave me plenty of time for writing code, it gave me no money to buy the gadgets to run it on!).

So I stopped. Completely. I didn’t see the point.

Fast-forward to now. Phones are probably at about the level I wanted them to be two years ago. Emulators have improved a lot, and advanced phones (especially with Java support) are starting to become a lot more common; but I just don’t have the time any more. Not to re-learn the APIs, learn all the new features of MIDP 2.0 (which according to Sendo still isn’t stable enough to use) and certainly not anywhere near enough time to write new apps, let alone rewrite all my old ones.

But all of this is likely to be moot.

This Christmas I’m likely to be receiving an iPaq. Specifically an iPaq 1940 running PocketPC. It’s only a lowly model (although more than enough for my needs!), and so I can’t put Linux on it (the Familiar distribution, from handhelds.org). Originally, I’d wanted a Zaurus, but they’re just too pricy, and I wanted something with Bluetooth built-in.

So, from originally doing some small development for phones, I’m hoping that developing for PocketPC will be a lot easier. Ideally of course, I’d like whatever I do to be easily portable, so maybe something based on Qt would be good, although I strongly suspect that there’s not going to be anything available. In the meantime, I’ll keep on looking for tools and hope that my experience is going to be a lot better than it was with phones.