ARCHIVE: September, 2005

Web 2.0 Book

I’m happy to announce that Richard MacManus and I are writing a book about Web 2.0 for O’Reilly Media. As many of you know, I’ve swallowed the Web 2.0 bug here at Bokardo and Richard has what is probably the most popular Web 2.0 blog, as well as a Web 2.0 column on Digital Web […]

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A Glimpse of the Future: Joe Reger’s XML Schema Coolness

Boy, I wish I had seen this when I wrote my recent piece on Writing Semantic Markup. Joe Reger, who calls what he does “data blogging”, has released a screencast of him uploading an XML schema file to his blogging software, which takes the schema file and creates a new log type out of it. […]

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ThinkFree Office Online

The next wave of applications will be web-based. Many will be online equivalents to what we have on the desktop. In recent months the push has been toward applications that mirror Microsoft Office: made up of a word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation programs.

ThinkFree Office is in Beta, written with Java, and pretty darn robust.

You can try out the apps, too:

Write | Show | Calc

My New Favorite Blog

My new favorite blog is the Web 2.0 Explorer, written by Richard MacManus over at ZDNet. As many of you know, I’ve been writing with Richard about Web 2.0 Design over at Digital Web, and now he’s writing with the big boys. Congrats, Richard!

Web 2.0 Explorer Feed

Quick Overview of Greasemonkey

Paul Boutin writes a nice, quick overview of Greasemonkey, a Firefox plugin that allows you to run your own, local javascript when viewing a web page: Monkeying With the Web.

Mark Pilgrim has written a book on the subject: Dive Into Greasemonkey.

Standards-based Ajax Beats Flash Anyday

A few weeks ago I got an interesting call at work: John Fontana of NetworkWorld wanted to ask me a few questions about Ajax for an article he was working on. He had read a piece that I wrote called Using Ajax for Creating Web Applications.

The article he was writing is now online: Battle lines drawn again between browsers. In it Fontana provides an overview of the current browser tension between Firefox and IE.

You’ll find a short quote in the article from me (and thankfully it is one that I still agree with):

“I would say going forward that AJAX is going to have a ton of focus and support behind it,” says Joshua Porter, research consultant and director of Web development for research firm User Interface Engineering. “Because it is built on open standards, it is going to be the next plateau that we reach on the Web, like with HTML.”

On this note, I was listening to a podcast earlier today called The Platform Revolution that included Kevin Lynch of Macromedia. He talks about HTML not being robust enough for most web application needs, and suggests that Flash is becoming the front-end application tool of choice.

I think that developers will soon prove Lynch wrong, as they (WE) value open, de facto standards over proprietary tools.

Alex Barnett and his Shortening Tail

Alex Barnett writes: How RSS thickened my Long Tail. He wonders if RSS and other Web 2.0 aggregaton technologies can equalize page views over the long term, making the Long Tail a bit shorter.

Writing Semantic Markup

Digital Web Magazine has published Writing Semantic Markup, Richard MacManus and I’s latest article in the Web 2.0 Design column.

I had the writing duties on this one, and it wasn’t easy. What I tried to do was to use a relatively innocuous definition of “semantic” and expand on it to show how we might be writing markup going forward. I also had to balance the idea that XHTML had semantic elements but wasn’t really fulfilling that purpose, for better or worse.

Let me know what you think.

The Long Tail and Web 2.0

Ever since his excellent Long Tail article was published in Wired last November, I’ve been following Chris Anderson’s writing over at the Long Tail blog. It’s becoming an invaluable resource for understanding today’s economics. The Long Tail is about focusing on the less popular content that previously couldn’t be accessed because of some physical limitation: […]

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Microsoft could take Huge Blow from Open Data

David Weinberger points to a potentially explosive article in the Financial Times. Here’s an excerpt:

The state of Massachusetts has laid out a plan to switch all its workers away from Microsoft’s Word, Excel and other desktop software applications, delivering what would be one of the most significant setbacks to the software company’s battle against open source software in its home market.

The state said on Wednesday that all electronic documents “created and saved” by state employees would have to be based on open formats, with the switch to start at the beginning of 2007.

Documents created using Microsoft’s Office software are produced in formats that are controlled by the Microsoft, making them inelligible. In a paper laying out its future technology strategy on Wednesday, the state also specified only two document types that could be used in the future – OpenDocument, which is used in open source applications like Open Office, and PDF, a widely used standard for electronic documents.

The switch to open formats like these was needed to ensure that the state could guarantee that citizens could open and read electronic documents in the future, according to the state – something that was not possible using closed formats.

This suggests that at least one state (MA) is considering moving to open formats for all data. This is so Web 2.0, where open data is king and public access is necessary, not just useful, as government agencies are required to offer much of their content to everyone.

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