Archive for March, 2007

Thursday, March 29th, 2007

Mobile search compared

Here’s a great comparison site. Try out some searches you might run from your phone and let me know: which one did you prefer? Why? -m

Monday, March 19th, 2007

Yahoo oneSearch launches on mobile web

Today Yahoo! launched oneSearch on their other front page, m.yahoo.com. OneSearch has been available for a while, but only from within Yahoo! Go. Now it’s available to millions of mobile devices equipped with a data connection and XHTML browser.

The basic premise behind oneSearch is to replace the tri-modal search box, where you have to say whether you are searching the web, local, or images, with a single all-knowing search box. Available context information, such as your zip code, is used to guide the search. Internally, the application is smart about figuring out what kind of things you might be looking for. For example, someone searching for “pizza” in a mobile context is probably more interested in a list of restaurants (with reviews) than in a list of hyperlinks. Behind the simplicity of a single search box, there is a great deal of work going on to make your life easier.
Ever since Yahoo! Go betas (and gammas) started coming out, folks have been asking me how else they could get access to this application. Now it’s easy.

Not too long ago, the front page relaunched simultaneously in 19 countries. The new design was simple, and based on a new platform called Sushi, as mentioned in published sources. OneSearch shows off the power of this approach, even though this launch didn’t cover 19 countries…yet. (Getting access to local data for movies, restaurants, sporting events, and so on is no small feat.)

As I said before, this is only a small part of an overall strategy that has been years in the making. Much more to come. Watch this space. -m

Thursday, March 15th, 2007

Feed readers get namespaces wrong

Big surprise, huh? More evidence that the XML namspaces spec is out of touch with the reality of developers ‘on the street’, a.k.a. it has cracks in the foundation.

I disagree that aggregator developers are “bozonic”, as the title of the first cited article indicates. Why should any developer need to keep all that extra complexity bouncing around in their head? Optimize for people first, machines second. -m

Tuesday, March 13th, 2007

Entertaining phone review

Go read it for yourself. Unfortunately, this kind of thinking is all too widespread in the industry. -m

Friday, March 9th, 2007

HTTP question

OK, RESTafarians and HTTP experts, here’s a question. Is it kosher to send a Location: header back with an ordinary, say 200, response?

Scenario: the server knows better than the client what the client needs. ‘I realize you asked for http://foo.com/x, but instead I’m sending you http://foo.com/y — ready or not, here it comes..’
-m

Monday, March 5th, 2007

Personal Everest vs. Finishing What You Start vs. The Infinitely Growing Backlog

Last week I did something pretty foolish: I placed an order with Amazon. A few days later six new books arrived–two on math, two on brewing, Dreaming in Code, and one on guitar playing. All of these went directly to my toread list, a huge library of books that probably wouldn’t remain standing if I put them in one pile.

If you look at the sidebar on my site, you can see my “What I’m Reading” list. It hasn’t been updated in a while,  but sadly it’s mostly accurate. And not because I’ve stopped reading–I still read small amounts every day. It’s just that I haven’t been finishing many.

The author of the music book likes to use the phrase “Personal Everest” to refer to a goal set too high. But this isn’t an Everest situation. More like a personal peanut butter manefesto. -m