Archive for February, 2007

Archive for February, 2007

Error: Blogger Disassemble

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Just FYI to my readers – I cannot access the Blogger posting interface. This has been a problem on and off for the last six months and seems to be a problem with my ISP. I’ve used a proxy to get around it in the past, but Blogger’s new security features make that not work.

I can edit my template, but I can’t edit my posts. I’m posting this from Flock. Flock does not support Blogger labels, and thus all I am getting are Technorati links in my post footer. Old posts that should be updated with new information cannot be. I will try to do some of that from school, but I cannot from home.

I apologise for the inconvenience.

FreshTaggy Goodness

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FreshTags’ core has been without update for quite some time (and, I believe, does not even render properly on the New Blogger. My version has not fared much better (although I did upgrade it to work with the new blogger 🙂 ). Now it is time for some improvements!

For Blogger
Full integration with the New Blogger labels system! You have to paste a small code into your sidebar, and then FreshTags will pull its data directly from your local labels! Great for new users or people who have fully migrated. Best of all, to install this takes only a few steps on the wizard. Select ‘Blogger’ as the data source, enter your blog URL, change any other settings you might want, and click ‘Generate Code’. Copy the code presented into your sidebar and then click the generated button to instantly install the widget with your settings! (Does not work on FTP blogs.)

For Everywhere
There are now three wizards for my version of FreshTags. There is one to generate the JSON for individual widgets (hackers). There is one to generate the full code for anywhere (some knowledge necessary). Finally there is one that generates a one-click button (or instructions and a button) for the New Blogger.

For MediaWiki
That’s right. Go over to BloggerHacks to see it in action. FreshTags for MediaWiki! The wizards (above) can generate the code, but it’s a bit hackier to integrate with the sidebar. Check out the BloggerHacks Sidebar and Header Section to see how I did it (click the view source wiki tab for wikicode).

For WordPress
I have updated FreshTags for WordPress (with the help of my friend, Trevor Creech) to work as a WordPress Widget. If you don’t have widgets on your WordPress blog, don’t worry! It still works the old way.

Recently on the Microformats Mailing List

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The microformats-discuss mailing list reached an impossible signal/noise ratio for me awhile back. My inbox was just too flooded with discussions I did not find interesting and I archived 90% of it without even opening it. Well, today I went browsing through the archives and here is some of the interesting stuff I found summarised for those of you with similar issues:

  • Scope was discussed again, some arguing that rel-tag needs to be defined as to where it applies. The upshot (which I fully support) was documented on the wiki.
  • There was some discussion surrounding microformats detection and false-positives. Discussion concerned using the profile attribute of HTML to get around this, but since parsers should check for validity of uF as well as root class existence, it shouldn’t really be a problem.
  • There is a bit of ongoing discussion which I do not 100% grok. It could have to do with saying an hCard is for the owner of a page, but that is determined by whether or not it is in an
    element. It could have to do with two hCards being for the same person, in which case I agree that class=url, rel=me on both of them pointing to each other demonstrates that very well. Or it may have to do with seeing if an hCard is useful at all… I don’t get that.
  • There was some discussion caused by the announcement of Videntity’s hCard and XFN integration (yay!) Great potential there.
  • There was the age-old ‘my rel-tag URLs are crap’ issue brought on by a Blogger-FTP issue. The Blogger problem makes sense and probably will not be ‘resolved’ except by removing rel=tag from FTP blogs. Blogger-FTP is crap.
  • Someone questioned the value of XOXO itself! They were kindly directed here 😉
  • There is a presentation (S3!) about AHAH. Of course, AHAH is built on AJAX and thus subject to cross-domain issues. They need a JSONP version.
  • Finally, another bit on proving two hCards are for the same person. In a more dangerous way.

WebOS Again

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I wrote once before about the existing WebOS systems. I planned to follow that post up, but time did not allow. Now I will follow it up twofold.

I have come to use WebOS in a broader sense than I once did, which seems to be the ‘catching’ way to use it these days. That is, defining WebOS to include things such as Netvibes and BoxtheWeb, Omnidrive and, Zoho and Google Docs. I have been asked by some how I find WebOS useful at all, or if it is just an interesting experiment. I will attempt here to answer that.

Online storage is amazing. Work at home, save online, work at school, save online, etc. It is far more convenient than carrying flash media everywhere I go. I have used YouOS, Google Docs, and Gmail for this, but the result is basically the same.

Online office is similarly useful. I can work on and access the same document across computers at my house, or on campus, without any real hassle. Open, edit, save. Collaboration features just make it that much more fun! SVN for documents 😉

AJD (ala BoxtheWeb or Netvibes) is something I really love. I use BoxtheWeb, being the project originator, but there are many out there. I have many feeds, but I still like to be able to glance at them all at once. See what my contacts are reading these days, access my, and search, all from one page. There’s something to be said for that convenience.

Last but not least (and I’ve likely forgotten others) : YubNub. I couldn’t live without it. The amount of time saved being able to type ‘g singpolyma’, ‘tet microformats’, ‘hwdial’ is amazing. And the development stuff is fun.

As for full-scale webtop integrations. I haven’t been using the full-fledged features yet. There’s something there though… just not ready yet (or maybe I’m too geeky to see it past the GUI 😉 ).

I mentioned in my last post the need for standards. If I could run Netvibes widgets on my BoxtheWeb page while integrating my YouOS storage, that would be very most awesome. The companies themselves seem to be organising, but it’s private and they’re not taking input. So, as always, the community needs to get their foot in the door before the industry runs on its course and we have many too many products and it takes years to create standards.

Drawing inspiration from the Microformats process, research into existing practices/standards should be present before suggesting something new. To aid the community in organising such research and development, I have created a wiki and a discussion group.

Perhaps not all of us are geeky enough to do the research and formal stuff for the wiki, but anyone who uses any of the products listed above, listed on the wiki, or related products, as well as those interested in Simile and related projects can contribute to the discussion on the discussion group. Anything from observations about how things work, suggestions as to how things should/could work, or even pointing out projects that may have been missed is welcome. Feedback from users as well as geeks is necessary to make this project work.


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So if you read any blog besides mine (and surely you do) you’ve by now head of Yahoo’s Pipes application. Mashups without programming, and a team that’s promising more and better things to come.

One of the immediate uses to the Blogger community occurred to virtually all hackers at once. Sorting the feeds. This has never been a problem for me (I screen-scrape my feed via hAtom), but for others the fact that Blogger feeds sort by when they were updated is annoying.

Aditya suggested creating individual pipes, but I wrote a sorting pipe, as did Ramani (who beat me to blogging about it and has a nice how-to written). Ramani discovered an issue that causes this solution to be a bit buggy just yet. It has to do with ATOM being stupid and RSS 2.0 being cool (yes, that’s a partisan statement and not entirely true 😉 ). Basically the publishing date is not being copied from the ATOM format to the RSS format correctly. Vote on Ramani’s suggestion to get this fixed. I also discovered a less critical issue with the UI that may confuse some less geeky users. Please vote on my suggestion to get that fixed.

I also wrote a pipe for mixing together Google Calendars (for those of us who track events from more than one) into a nice, sorted feed of upcoming events. The email alerts system provided by Y! is dumb though, at least for this application. I want the next 5 events emailed to me every day… likely gonna have to write my own emailer for that…