Just a quick note to let you know that I fixed the Adobe Feeds web services. Also, just a reminder that if you’re seeing "header length too long" error messages, clear your cookies, and the problem won’t come back.
Oh, I also fixed the FAQ on Safari, so if you Mac users have been dying to read the FAQ all these years, now you can. Of course, you probably figured out the answer to your question by now.
A few of us went up to the Digg offices the other day to show them Apollo, and had a really good meeting. I demoed an application I wrote called Maptacular which Kevin Rose mentions in the latest episode of Diggnation. There’s also an interview with Kevin Lynch at the end which was conducted at Apollo camp and is worth watching for a quick summary of Apollo, and a brief history of how and why Apollo came to be.
If you watch the entire episode of Diggnation, I feel I should warn you. Apollo has the distinction of being mentioned in the same episode as "Craziest Urinals From Around The World" and something about a woman’s foot that I’m not going to elaborate on here. May or may not be work-safe, depending on where you work.
Maptacular is a Flex and HTML Apollo application which lets you drag vCards from your local machine onto a Google map in order to map them. I’m going to release the source pretty soon — I just have to find the time to clean up the code a bit.
Just curious — anyone know how Maptacular got its name? Nobody has mentioned anything about it yet. Hint: it’s related to Mike Chambers’ MP3 player application called Ascension.
As promised yesterday, the MXNA 2.0 web services have been updated. You can find the details in yesterday’s post. If you have an application that uses the MXNA web services, you should probably check to make sure it still works. If you have any questions or problems, post them here.
Supporting so many different languages with MXNA 2.0 has forced me to learn a
great deal about character encoding, which I’m very thankful for. I have been
writing US/English-centric applications for too long, and I’m very happy to now
be supporting the international community. We are now aggregating 55 non-English
feeds in 16 different languages, and I have about a dozen more in the queue
waiting to be approved. I’d say we’re adding non-English feeds at a rate of about
25 per week, at this point.
This level of support has not been easy. Unfortunately, parsing, storing, and
displaying information in any language takes a fair amount of work, even with languages
like ColdFusion and Java. I have fixed several encoding related bugs over the last
few days, so if you have seen character encoding problems, please go back and try
again. Specifically, I have fixed the following:
When servers do not report a specific character encoding, or report the wrong
encoding, MXNA can still parse the feed.
The character encoding for the generated
RSS feeds and OPML files should now be correct (utf-8) and all characters
should be rendered properly.
The character encoding for MXNA
Mobile is now correct, and
all characters should be rendered properly.
Everything in MXNA 2.0 should be encoded as UTF-8, and all languages and characters
should be supported with no exceptions. If you see any encoding issues, please let
me know so that we can continue to provide the international community with the
best support possible.
Oh, and if you happen to see some non-English posts that you don’t think are appropriate
for MXNA, please let me know. We’re counting on the community to help police
and approve content.
It’s no secret that I like Macs. I even like the controversial Apple Mouse, not
because it only has one button, but because it’s the most ergonomic mouse I’ve
found, and that one button has a great feel with great feedback. But only
having one button is kind of lame and terribly outdated. Frankly, I can’t even
remember a time on Windows or Linux that I haven’t had at least a two-button mouse,
if not a three or five-button optical with a scroll-wheel.
But now I have the best of both worlds. I was at MacWorld a couple weeks ago,
and I discovered "The Mouse" made
by a company called DVForge. DVForge describes
their design goals for "The Mouse" like so:
"To build a state of the art USB [or bluetooth] mouse, especially for Apple
computer owners who want the gorgeous Apple-like look, but who also want the
functionality of multiple buttons and a scroll wheel. Make it have a familiar
clear over white, high-quality appearance. Add a model with a silvered inner shell,
to match nicely with Apple’s Aluminum Powerbook and G5 look. Make it work and
hold up really well."
I bought the USB version shortly after returning from the conference, and I’ve
been very happy with it. It has a lot of the feel of Apple’s one-button mouse —
and in fact, only appears to have one button — but if you press down on the
right side, it registers a right click. It’s actually kind of strange. There is
also a very smooth scrollwheel in the center. The optical sensor works better than
that of the Apple Mouse as it works on my white desk surface which seems to incapacitate
my Apple Mouse. The feel of the buttons aren’t quite a crisp as the Apple Mouse,
but having two buttons and a scrollwheel are worthwhile tradeoffs.
What kind of mouse do you use, and do use it because you like it, or because you
got it for free and you’re too cheap to replace it?
I’m not going to get into specifics since Mike Chambers and Kevin Lynch have blogged most of the details, but I will say that it was a very good keynote, and an excellent crowd. The ColdFusion stuff was great. If you’ve seen or spoken to Ben Forta in the last few months, you’ve seen the Flash forms stuff he showed this morning, but I don’t think anyone has seen any of the SMS functionality yet. At the beginning of the keynote, we did a mock presidential election via SMS, then later created a Flash, FlashPaper, and PDF report out of the results, all with ColdFusion. (Yes, SMS functionality, built into Blackstone.)
I also really liked the Flash Player 8 (Maelstrom) demo that Mike Downey did. Basically, the next version of the Flash player is going to emphasize performance, expressiveness, and development standardization, although that description doesn’t even come close to doing it justice. What that translates into is that the next Flash Player will be very fast and extremely slick, and in my opinion, the most important and impressive version yet. Kevin Lynch helped put it into perspective by saying that we are putting more engineering effort into Maelstrom than all the previous versions of the Flash Player combined.
I haven’t been able to blog as much as I would have liked because connectivity has proven to be a challenge. I found a solid network in the speakers’ lounge, though, so I’ll try to get caught up.
The MAX reception was last night from 5 to 7, though it went much later. There was great New Orleans cuisine and music, and hundreds of people to get caught up with. Lot’s of fun, lots of food and drink, and lots of schwag. Macromedia certainly knows how to throw a party.
After having a late dinner, we decided to check out the Xbox suite. Metaliq (Beau Amber, Grant Skinner, Danny Riddell) rented a huge room at the hotel and stocked it with networking and gaming equipment. We brought a couple of Xboxes, so by the end of the night, we were playing team Halo, Star Wars Battlefront, and Project Gotham Racing across four Xboxes and four projectors. We were pretty tired from traveling all day yesterday, so sitting in front of an Xbox (or, better yet, four Xboxes), was about all we felt like doing.