If you can wait until October, you should get Transcending CSS . Andy showed me some of it at WWW2006, and it’s really cool. There are only a few designery standardsy books I own, including the orange bible and Dan’s second book and The Zen of CSS Design. This one will join ‘em on the shelf.
I’ve been good, I swear. Maybe it was the carpaccio last night. Maybe it was the chocolate mousse. Maybe it was something else, like the amorphous blob we had for lunch yesterday. Anyway, I skipped the end of Supernova today to spent some quality time with the hotel bathroom.
Last night, I went out to dinner with Kristin and Jessica and we had a lovely time at The Steps of Rome (where we had the carpaccio, the best bruschetta ever, and some lovely prosciutto and mozzarella). The food was amazing, and surprisingly cheap for the quality and quantity. After dinner, we walked around Little Italy for a little while, and got dessert at Stella’s Pastery. Yummy yummy chocolate mousse!
This week has been pretty good. Mashpit was a great experience, and will help me in a couple weeks. We’re running an internal Mashpit at AOL to work on module, and it was nice to get a “real” Mashpit experience under my belt before I try to replicate it at work.
The Supernova workshops on Wednesday were very interesting, and I think our Decentralized Data panel went really well, and so did my short talk on Modular Web Development that I hope to expand into a real proposal or set of best practices. I get to work on refining it a little bit more before Mashup Camp. The panels yesterday were a disappointment. It was mostly “my company believes in these buzzword and I’ll say them over and over again and ignore what anyone else is saying.” The best stuff was happening in IRC, where the snark overflowed.
That’s what I’ve been up to this week. Tomorrow, it’s back home for a little while before Mashup Camp, and then I’m really taking the rest of the summer off from traveling.
They’ve actually given me shwag this time! Since I’m the shy retiring type and don’t like going up to people and shoving crap into their hands, I’m going to make you come to me. I’ve got cool little AIM
Running Man pins. If you want one, find me at the conference and I’ll give you one (or two if you’re nice). I’m the fat guy…
If you want it, in all its brief glory, it’s over on the presentations site.
This panel’s all about how we can keep up of all the information that comes in every day. We’re
h4. Dalton from imeem
* We’re reaching some limit as to the amount of information we can handle.
* imeem creates both an IM client and web client
* Instant messaging is useful as a communications tool, but about presence. Presence is actually the most important part of IM clients.
* They’ve got real-time notification of new blog posts, profile updates, etc.
* They have groups to “aggregate people around particular topics”
* Trying to manage all forms of digital information, can pull in data from other services
* They have a unified tag space across media types (eeenteresting). I wonder how that plays out with users. People tag different content differently, do users of imeem use consistent tags across media?
h4. Yael from eSnips
* They have mainstream users, not teens.
* Social, but focused on content, not people
* It’s for sharing interest and passions but lets you go one step further
h4. Ben from Plaxo
* 5 year-old company
* Synchronized address book
* People have on average:
** 3-4 phone numbers
** 2-3 e-mail addresses
** 2-3 physical addresses
* And this information is always changing
* 33% of mobile phone numbers and 24% of e-mail addresses change annually
h4. Tariq Krim from Netvibes
* Create a single place for your entire digital life. Another personal portal.
* They have an open API for module developers.
* They have a public wiki for users to request features and report bugs
* They have a really cool live translating tool
* So they want to use “open standards”, but didn’t really say which ones
h4. Hans from Plum
* Connect with each others “heads”, not with dates.
* Collect data of all types and drop it into buckets
* “Communities of Knowledge”
* Tiny little application that runs and allows you to add anything you read into a collection.
* Wow… this is really cool. Collect anything from your desktop and throw it up into a collection. Neato.
* Everything is indexed and searchable.
* Works great on the Mac too. Yay!!
* Also allows you to connect to people with similar collections to yours.
* They dig microformats as well.
* They use Amazon’s S3 for the data.
* Collaborative Filtering
** imeem uses collaborative filtering to decide how popular or “good” something is. Compared to PageRank
** Plum called on “big” companies like Yahoo and AOL to come up with a good scheme for licensing documents or declaring document license. Time to go read up on rel license, isn’t it?
* Lot of talk of ownership while avoiding completely the topic of lock-in and open API’s. Oh well, we’ll talk about it in the next panel.
Since it launched yesterday, I can talk about it now. With the whole microformat thing, we’ve started thinking about the pages created in AIM Pages as mini web services, and the first step to doing really cool things with that is being able to pull out modules from the page so you can use them in other modules. You don’t want to have to grab the whole page just to get a piece, so today, you can request a particular module on the page and get back an XML document that contains just that piece. You could also request it with all the scripts it needs to run so you could embed your Buddy Gallery on your own web page if you wanted.
How do you do it? If you wanted to get my buddy gallery, you’d grab:
If you wanted to get it with all its scripts and CSS, you’d grab:
Now, this opens up all kinds of possibilities for new modules that I can’t wait to start playing with. I hope you’ll beat me to it…
update: There are a couple “quirks” with it at the moment. When you use aspage, the module’s onload isn’t being called, and there’s a lonely little double-quote in the body element. Not sure what’s up, but we’ll get it fixed. Getting just the module’s markup works fine (which is really the important bit, right?).
Is anyone else sad that the “bleebleeblahblahboo” went away?
Things at AOL are changing, and it feels great to be in the middle of it. Every day, it becomes more and more clear that a small number of people are driving gigantic changes all throughout the company, and I’m both honored and a little nervous to be considered part of that group. It makes me a little self-conscious, to be honest.
It just feels like everything is coming toether. Last week, I was asked to speak at a conference for the first time (thanks, Tantek!), which is a huge honor for me, especially considering who asked and who is on the panel. This week, I did training on semantic markup and CSS to a handful of designers, with the goal being to get the rest of the designers through the course by the end of the summer. I also found out that I’ll be speaking at Mashup U in July. And just today, I was asked to join a small group doing something extremely cool that I don’t think I can talk about publicly yet (maybe never, I’m not sure yet). This is all on top of the privelage I have to work on AIM Pages.
I’m extremely lucky to be in the position I’m in. I’m not quite sure how it happened, or really where it will lead, but I love it. I work with the best people, get to play with and develop the coolest stuff (cool to me, and that’s really all the matters), get to share what I’m passionate, and feel like what I do affects and influences other people.
I’ve been at AOL for eleven years, and this is the most fun I’ve ever had. I can’t wait to see what happens next!
I do a lot of presentations now, and because I’m the “web standards guy” I can’t go around doing them in Powerpoint or Keynote (I’ve tried using both and yuck, they’re not made for writing). Over the past year or so, I’ve tried a couple different things, but here’s the system I’ve got down, and the technology pieces that make it happen:
# Movable Type – I love MT’s template system. I don’t have to write code, and I can make them do pretty much whatever I want. And, if I run into something they can’t, there’s either a plugin to do it, or I can write a teeny bit of PHP glue to fill the gaps.
# Textile – I love it. It’s the easiest of the pseudo-markup languages out there (Markdown is the other well-known one).
# S5 – Eric Meyer is a genius. It’s got everything I need from Powerpoint or Keynote in an HTML page.
# MarsEdit – Best blog editor ever, does what I need without getting in the way with things that I don’t. The preview is nice too.
I created a Movable Type archive template out of S5 (which you’re free to use if you want), a lot like I did for Instiki a while ago, and now all my presentations go up on my little presentations site. Now, I can get to them from anywhere, they’re publicly available and stored somewhere other than my laptop (the problem with doing them all in my locally hosted copy of Instiki).
I start with all the slide titles as an outline, move them around, tweak, etc, and then go back and add the bullet points, most of which end up being removed. Then I publish and run through it quickly to make sure it all makes sense. Then I’m done! With Textile, there’s no real markup to write except to go back and wrap things up in the slide divs. If I know exactly what I want to say, I can go from idea to completed presentation in about 10 minutes.
Here’s what a typical slide looks like:
h1. My Slide Title
* This point is spectacular
* Can I get an "Ooooh" from the audience?
* Give yourselves a round of applause!
And the best part is, they all come out as standards-compliant, semantic little presentations without me having to write all the markup (which as fun as it is, takes time to get right, time that I’d rather spend thinking about what I’m going to say).
You’re free to use the archive template and make your own little presentations site. If you do, send me a link!
In case you didn’t know (and I didn’t until I got e-mail this morning), there is a Democratic Primary tomorrow (6/13) in Virginia where you get to pick who runs against George Allen in November. So, if you care about such things, and you probably should, show up at your normal polling place and vote!