Dave Johnson on open web technologies, social software and Java
http://blogs.sun.com/roller/page/<username>. For some reason, this prevents Firefox 1.0 from logging in (via standard Servlet Authentication). All other browsers work fine and if I turn off mod_rewrite Firefox 1.0 works too.
Charles Miller: "if you develop web applications and you aren't looking today for ways to include dynamic interface techniques like those made practical by XmlHttpRequest, you're going to end up losing to someone who is."
I gave my blogging and Roller talk to the combined Orlando and Gainesville Java User Groups last night. I think the talk was pretty well received among the 30 or 40 Java users in attendance, but I've only given a half dozen presentations so I felt a little wobbly. There were a couple of times where I could not find quite the right words to complete a thought, but overall I think I'm improving at public speaking (I just noticed that Sun-U offers a course called "executive presentations" -- maybe I should sign up for that).
The talk was really two talks in one, a blogging talk and a Roller talk. I call the blogging talk "Blogging: What's the Big Deal." It covers the basics of blogging and includes newsfeeds, newsfeed readers, web services API, blogs at work, K-logs, Cluetrain in a nutshell, and blogs for community building. In my opinion, the big deal is simple: blogging technologies make it easy for people and programs to read and write the web. That empowers writers of all varieties and creates lots of opportunities for software developers.
The Roller talk is designed to give potential Roller users an overview of Roller features, the status of the Roller project itself, and Roller architecture/internals. I also include some lessons learned about performance and scalability. The Roller talk is informative, but much less thought provoking than the blogging talk and that was reflected in the number of questions I recieved.
The questions were pretty interesting and almost all concerned blogs at work. Here are the questions and answers I remember:
Q: What role does ownership play in blogs and wikis? Is it really important that you put your name on your blog?. Ownership and identity play an important role in blogs and wikis, but more so blogs. Putting your name on your blog is how you get credit for your writing and the cool links you are pointing out. That said, anonymous bloggers play an important role too. Anonymous bloggers can safely speak more freely than named bloggers and this can be very important in some situations. Anonymous bloggers get credit too and can gain trust and authority by writing well, being honest, gaining readers, and earning links from other bloggers.
Q: Isn't there a risk that employees will be judged by the quantity and quality of their blogs, and we will therefore discriminate against introverts, people who'd rather work than write about working, and folks who's blogs are just not that cool? I guess there is some danger of this. As we do now, we'll have to trust folks to understand that people are different. Some people are quiet and private and prefer to work rather than to write and talk about work. I think this is mitigated by the fact that some folks who are introverts in a social setting might not be so introverted when online or writing in their blogs.
Q: I can understand allowing your employees to blog publicly, but was is the benefit of supporting them by providing them with company servers and support to do so? This question came before I got to my Cluetrain in a nutshell slide, so my answer was that providing employees with public blogs is a way to encourage them to blog and once I explain the Cluetrain you'll understand why I say that is a good thing.
Q: Blogs are essentially UseNet newsgroups "minus minus" without easy way to search all posts on a topic and without threading. Usually, with a new communications medium we move forward, not backwards. Are bloggers concerned about that? Yes, bloggers are concerned with this and there are efforts to make it easier to search blogs (e.g. Feedster) and to support threading of blog-to-blog "conversations" (e.g. permalink based threading in BlogLines and SharpReader). But blogs are a different medium and they don't replace newsgroups and forums. Subscribing to a blog is different that subscribing to a newsgroup. With newsgroups, you subscribe to a topic but with blogs you typically subscribe to a person or a group of people and topics can vary widely. I think that is a good thing; people are more interesting than topics.
Q: Is it possible for a blogger to sell subscriptions to his blog content? I admit that I have not been following the blogging for money discussions very closely, but after some mumbles I managed to come up with a couple of answers.
But, newsfeeds are lossy aren't they. I mean, what happens if a user is offline for a couple of days and the user's newsreader misses some entries because they have already scrolled off the bottom of the newsfeed? Users that are paying for a subscription are going to much less forgiving about missing a couple of items.
That's all the questions I can remember. Slides should be available soon in PDF form on the Orlando JUG site.
I was doing some Roller testing today and I found that the old
Midas-based editor for Mozilla/Firefox is broken. I searched around for
docs on Midas and found out about RTE,
written by Kevin Roth, an open source cross-platform WYSIWYG editor
that works with recent versions of IE, Mozilla, and Firefox (sadly
Safari is not supported). Instead of fixing editor-midas.jsp, I
replaced it with editor-rte.jsp. So now, thanks to Mr. Roth, Roller 1.0 will include a cross-browser
WYSIWYG editor. Here's a screenshot to prove it:
Surfing With a Linker Alien: "With Solaris 10 you can no longer build a static executable."
Amazing. I had no idea. I was definitely in the "thought of static applications as being a means of insulating themselves from system changes" camp. Now, I'm in the hope I never have to write another makefile camp.
Microsoft's messiah of blogging Robert Scoble and friend Shel Israel are doing a book together about corporate blogging. They're going to break some rules along they way as well, by developing the book in public and on their blogs. When they finish they'll sell the book on eBay to the top bidding publisher. Very interesting. Sounds like they are going to focus on public blogs rather than the private k-log style blogs that John Robb suggests. For now, Scoble calls it the red couch project.
Before I had kids, I never got really angry. I did't yell and I didn't get into knock down, drag out arguments with anybody. But, as every parent knows, kids can make you crazy and kids can make you angry. I've got good control over my temper and I think I'm a pretty mild mannered guy, but with three young sons, I've got plenty of opportunities to yell, and to say things I never thought I would ever, ever say. I get angry now (and, of course, that is not entirely bad).
I've got a theory about why kids can make parents so angry. They don't realize it, but kids emulate their parent's verbal and physical mannerisms all the time. As you watch your child you can see bits and pieces of your own personality. They pick up on the little phrases that you repeat. They repeat them too. When your kid starts to fuss or throw a tantrum or otherwise behave like a jackass, he does it in a way that reminds you of yourself, your mannerisms, and your personality. You see your own inner jackass reflected in the actions of your child. Your kid learned how to be a jackass directly from you, it shows, and boy oh boy does that piss you off.
I've only raised kids up to the age of seven, so I don't know the full range of anger that a child can induce yet, but I think I'm onto something here.
CookieCulture: Don't ask me how but Shatner and Folds really pulled it off here. A smart sincere album that's funny in the right places.
Cookie hasn't learned the art of linking so here ya go Has Been, William Shatner