Archive for May, 2006

The Kiwi Project = Read/Write Web Components for Flex

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Today the Kiwi Project was officially unveiled :

With the rising interest in AJAX and RIAs, it became important for us to understand how to empower our Flex environment to create read/write web applications. This means developing Flex components that understand specific Web 2.0 technologies such as RSS, blogging, tagging, and microformats. And with hints of Apollo emerging, this means understanding how to build Flex components that work both in the browser and on the desktop.

Our first proof-of-concept, called NoteTag, was just released on Adobe Labs, and you can read more about NoteTag on the Kiwi Project blog.

Adobe looking for bloggers for user study

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Adobe has put out a call for bloggers to participate in a research study:

Adobe User Research is inviting bloggers to spend about an hour at our offices in San Francisco trying out pre-release software. Interested? We know your time is valuable, so we will show our gratitude for your participation with $75 in American Express gift certificates.

If you would like to be considered for this study, please fill out the questionnaire…

More information and the questionnaire can be found at http://www.craigslist.org/sfc/art/162354798.html

The relentless pursuit of shrinking attention — part 1

The Blackfriars Blog wrote:

The relentless pursuit of shrinking attention — part 1

Advertising as a business made sense when content was scarce and attention was plentiful. But with the boom in content and the decline of attention, the tables have turned.

Hints of RSS at WWDC 2006

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Apple released more details about its upcoming WWDC this summer.  Interesting sessions include:

  • Casting with the .Mac SDK – Would you like your customers to share data from your application without having to worry about networking, servers, permissions, latency, dropouts, or bandwidth? Come see how the .Mac SDK lets you "cast" in four simple method calls and learn other tips and tricks as well.
  • Podcasting Solutions for IT – Podcasting can be extremely useful for Information Technology professionals looking to serve and archive self-paced content of all sorts. Come discover some of the custom and turn-key solutions in use today and see how they can be easily incorporated into existing server configurations.
  • WebObjects and Web 2.0 – WebObjects provides the perfect foundation to build powerful Web 2.0 applications. You’ll learn the latest techniques for integrating AJAX, Syndication, and other Web 2.0 technologies into your WebObjects applications.

After the keynote, I wouldn’t be surprised to see other sessions appear that expand on this list.

Subscribing via Web or Desktop

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As reported in Mozillazine, a future version of Firefox will allow users to subscribe to RSS feeds via both desktop- and web-based rss aggregators:

 

Inside Firefox – The Inside Track on Firefox Development

 

Firefox build showing feed preview page

 

Kudos!

MS & Yahoo not thinking about Publishing?

Read/Write Web wrote:

 

Microcontent Design, Part 1

 

Microsoft and Yahoo are two big Internet companies putting their weight behind RSS 2.0, as I’ve documented at length over the last couple of years. But there are also a lot of advocates for Atom, an alternative RSS format that is said to be more extensible. Indeed at the Microsoft Mix ’06 event yesterday, Google employee Patrick Chanezon (an Adwords evangelist) said in an interview that Google is “very bullish” on Atom.

 

I’ve been staring at this reality for some time now, yet it only just hit me.  Sure, RSS is good enough… for syndication.  But it is an absolutely horrible format for publishing (via the blogger/Metaweblog API).  And so by implication, Microsoft and Yahoo are apparently not thinking about the pain involved in publishing content, whereas Google most certainly is.

BCM, WebDAV, and Atom

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AIIM E-DOC Magazine published:

 

Basic Content Management and WebDAV

 

James Till January/February 2006

 

Increased security and compliance requirements, coupled with growing problems associated with email-based collaboration, are forcing many organizations to find new ways of helping users manage and share information. Analysts have cited increased workforce mobility, task complexity, and employee/trading partner interdependence as key workplace changes that are causing organizations to seek improved collaborative solutions. While enterprise content management systems have traditionally filled the role for managing most kinds of unstructured information, these applications have generally been limited to a select few users within organizations due to their cost and complexity.

 

A new category of document collaboration applications has recently emerged that is intended to meet the needs of the everyday user. These lightweight content management applications differ from traditional ECM (enterprise content management) systems in that they were designed from the beginning to leverage open standardsbased Web protocols, such as HTTP and WebDAV (Web Distributed Authoring and Versioning) which together can expose a core set of document management functionality as Web servicesÑaccessible through a growing number of client and server applications. As a result, core document collaboration features including document check-in/out, file access, and version control become available from within common Web browsers and desktop applications. As users gain access to these features, they quickly become accustomed to the advantages of being able to store their documents on enterprise servers and use WebDAV features to exchange file links (URLs), instead of struggling to send file attachments via email.

 

I’m glad to see this meme spread.  WebDAV is a great protocol, an over-achiever to be sure.  And from my own interviews with enterprise customers, basic content management is exactly what they want.

 

But WebDAV is only part of the BCM picture; Atom complements WebDAV so that organizations and vendors can provide both multi-dimensional content authoring solutions:

 

WebDAV Atom
files

database

HTML XML
place time

 

Unfortunately, it has taken almost a decade for WebDAV to find its voice and its business proponents.  Let’s hope that Atom doesn’t take that long.

GData – Google BCM protocol

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Earlier this week, I wrote about Atom being a key component of Basic Content Management services.  Google is poised to make this happen with their unveiling og GData. Web 2.0 Explorer wrote:

 

GData – Google’s new syndication protocol

 

Google data APIs ("GData" for short) is a new Google protocol for "reading and writing data on the web". It’s described here: "GData combines common XML-based syndication formats (Atom and RSS) with a feed-publishing system based on the Atom publishing protocol, plus some extensions for handling queries." So GData is a new protocol, but "based on Atom…"

 

Very interesting.  My first perusal of the GData docs gives me hope that Google is doing good things here.  Some thoughts:

 

  • Queries – this is a big missing piece from Atom, which seems stuck in a File/Folder organizational mentality.  The query expressions in GData aren’t very deep, but there’s more than enough to be very functional.
  • Categories – The query syntax for categories (http://deeje.com/musings/-/xacti) is different than for other fields, and is just shy of being like technorati tag queries (http://technorati.com/tag/xacti).  Ug, why not just go with tags and be done with it?
  • Optimistic concurrency – APP has purposefuly sidestepped the question of author locking, and GData’s solution is elegant: build a version number into the Edit (action) URL, and if a newer version shows up, then you can’t perform your action anymore.
  • Authentication – GData provides authentication methods for desktop apps, and authentication methods for webapps… but what about app models that start to blur that distinction?

 

As a client developer, my first question is… when/does this work with Blogger? And my next question is, who else is on board? SixApart? Roller? WordPress? My third question is, what does the APP IETF working group think of this?

Web Composers

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Do you have more than 5 blog entries in draft mode, waiting for editing or epiphany?  Do you use a desktop text processor to compose your blog thoughts before you post?

 

Do you know a blogger this like?

 

If so, Adobe is looking for you.  Blog about your authoring workflow, insert the tag "webcomposers", and we’ll find you. And more importantly, you’ll find each other.

Blogging in an international phenom

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Dave Sifry posted another state of the blogosphere entry today, focusing on language and tagging usage. As you can see below, blogging is a truly internaltional phenomenon.