Flock you, Ninger!

Lately, I’ve been saying Ninged a lot.

It’s shorthand for a chasm in usability. Though you’ve created new market space, the share of that market that’s valuable in the real world is tiny; though many might want to use this set of services, only geeks can use them – you’ve built a better mousetrap, but only guys like this can figure out how to use it.

There’s an obverse to being Ninged – being Flocked.

Flocked is shorthand for a chasm in needs. Though everyone can figure them out, they create little market space: only geeks want these services – you’ve built a better mousetrap, but it only catches very, very small subset of mice.

I really like that quote from The Two Chasms of 2.0, both Flock and Ning are theoretically very good, but neither are particularly useful.

JavaScript slides, Yahoo! JavaScript and Microsoft JavaScript web stitching

ETech 2006 has kicked off and of the presentations I’ve looked at so far today, two have stood out in particular:

Simon Willison’s A (Re)-Introduction to JavaScript should be compulsory reading for every single person doing JavaScript as part of their job. It covers almost every aspect of the language I can think of, and does so well. It’s 111 slides, but is actually very short for the wealth of understandable, to-the-point material it contains.

Ray Ozzie (of Microsoft) has worked with a Concept Development team there and come up with Wiring the Web, a way to copy an individual structured item on a page (such as a person’s contact details, an event, a photo, whatever) from the web, and paste it into a desktop application (he’s called it Live Clipboard). This is really good stuff and should have come along much sooner – it’s just how people have expected the web to behave for years now.

In order to get a really good idea of what he’s done, watch the screencasts

By the way, a lot of idiots are talking about Ray’s demo without actually, you know, watching it or understanding it, so please do take the time to watch the screencasts before you post to your site saying how stupid this is.

In addition, Dustin Diaz has written a great review (with sample usage code and explanations) of part of Yahoo’s new JavaScript library: Forget addEvent, use Yahoo!’s Event Utility. We’ve started using some of the Yahoo! code at work, so I’m sure this will come in handy.

Moving from FeedOnFeeds to Gregarius

After a mail from Rod Begbie I’ve finally decided to move to a free, open-source aggregator which actually has active development: Gregarius. Sorry FeedOnFeeds.

My FeedOnFeeds database contains around 30,000 posts – is it worth importing them into Gregarius? That’s a whole lot of content, some of which may disappear from the web in the future, and possibly available for some kind of analysis.

I’ll have a few FoF customisations to port to Gregarius plugins, but a lot of them are now core features in Gregarius or already available as plugins.

Atom extensions and FOAF

James Snell has posted a new Internet Draft for expanding the details of an atom:author called Atom Syndication Format Person Extensions. In it he gives examples of embedding details with hCard like so:

<pe:profile type="xhtml"
       <div xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
         <div class="vcard">
           <a class="url fn" href="http://example.org/">
             John Doe
           <div class="org">Example, Org</div>

He also gives an example of how to link to a more detailed FOAF file:

<pe:profile type="application/rdf+xml"
       scheme="http://xmlns.com/foaf/0.1/" />

I’m not sure if this is really a good idea or not. I can see how it would be useful, but is it the right solution? The only alternative I can really think of is a <link> from an HTML page referenced in an alternate in the feed, but then this would only work for entries which do have an HTML alternative, and perhaps doesn’t deal with cases when you might also want to use one of his other Atom-related drafts such as Syndication Format Revision Tracking where a user might have made changes in the past, but their contribution isn’t available from an alternative HTML version.

The return of the 1990s

It’s been brewing for a good twelve months, but all the Britpoppers can finally celebrate: the mid-1990s are back in force. Whilst walking around the shops the other day I heard Elastica, Oasis, Blur, James and the Boo Radleys.

It almost makes me want to cry. I’ll decide on the emotion later.