Archive for February, 2007

Friday, February 16th, 2007

J2ME Disappointment

Sun Java Wireless Toolkit 2.5 is out of beta. Can anyone explain to me the logic of making a Java toolkit that’s Windows-only? Sheesh. -m

Tuesday, February 13th, 2007

Windows Live Search for Mobile

Spotted under the headline Windows Live Search for Mobile Goes Final, Still Great (like they were expecting it to suddenly plummet in quality?) on Gizmodo. It’s a 114k jar file that runs on my SLVR, where Yahoo! Go isn’t yet available yet, so points for that. Search suggestions show as you type, hugely useful on a klunky 9-key entry situation. They use an interesting UI to hold search results, densely packed–6 down the screen–with a status bar on top, and each search result marquee-scrolling back-and-forth as needed. A detail page can zap you in to map mode or set up a call.

My standard test search–a little offbeat but still plausible–for mead near Sunnyvale produced disappointing results. The meadery within walking distance didn’t show, and of the top 6, two were duplicates. Scrolling down to the 10th result, though, did show an interesting, useful result, albeit 60.15 miles away: Knowne World Meads. I wanted to visit the web site, but here lies another problem: there’s no web integration. None of the search results include a URL or clickable link.

For all the hassle, I’ll stick with Opera Mini and my favorite search engine, thank you. -m

Tuesday, February 13th, 2007

changes the architecture of the house, not just the color of the paint

ERH’s comments on XForms, as part of his predictions for 2007. Worth a read. -m

Thursday, February 8th, 2007

The internet is a series of pipes

Check it out. -m

Thursday, February 1st, 2007

Is HTML on the web a special case?

Some random thoughts and responses to lots of blog discussion sparked by the XML2 article, where I asked “Is HTML on the Web a special case?”

By which, I mean, if you go through all the effort of writing down all the syntax rules used by the union of browsers that you care about, then go through the pain of getting consensus within a standards body, will the resulting document be useful beyond HTML on the Web, much like how XML is useful beyond being a vehicle for XHTML?

I don’t know if Tim Bray had that same version of the question in mind, but he answers “obviously ‘yes'”.

But I don’t think so. Once you have that set of rules, wouldn’t it be useful in other areas, say, notoriously RSS on the web? SVG? MathML? In fact, I’d go as far as saying that any hand-authored markup would be a candidate for XML2 syntax.

What about mobile? Anne van Kesteren responds:

in that article Micah Dubinko mentions mobile browsers living up to their premise and all that. What he says however, isn’t really true. Mobile browsers and XHTML is tag soup parsing all the way.

He links to this page, which does a rather poor job of making a point the author seems to have decided upon before starting the experiment. If you look at the specific test cases, one tests completely bizarro markup that no author or tool I can imagine would ever produce. Another test checks the handling of content-type, not markup. On the other axis, the choices there seem a bit jumbled: lists of user-agent strings, one for stock Mozilla, and a footnote indicating confusion about what browser is really in use. If anything, this page shows that the browsers tested here, with the exception of Opera Mini, are crap. If you spend more than a few minutes in mobile, you’ll discover this widespread trend. (And I’m working on a solution…watch this space).

Look at this from a pragmatic viewpoint. Check the doctype used on Yahoo! front page vs mobile front page. Despite the poor browsers, XHTML adoption is still farther ahead on the mobile web then the desktop web.

The last thing nagging at me (for now) is whether XML2 will have an infoset. Will it be possible to use XPath, XQuery, and XML tools on XML2 content? How well will these map to each other? In the strict sense, no, XML2 won’t have a conforming infoset because it will never include namespaces. But might it support a subset of the infoset? (Would that be a infosubset?) That’s a huge open question at this point. -m