Archive for the 'web2.0thebook' Category

Monday, July 21st, 2008

Review: Web 2.0: A Strategy Guide

Actually, instead of a review, let me quote the opening testimonial from the inside-front cover.

Competing globally with dynamic capabilities is the top priority of multinational executives and managers everywhere. Rethinking strategy in a highly networked world is the big challenge. How can your company navigate successfully in this turbulent, highly networked and socially connected environment? …

If this does it for you, I couldn’t recommend this book more highly. -m

Monday, April 30th, 2007

Why does ‘rich client’ equal ‘bad separation of presentation from content’?

I started writing this post back when doing tech editing the “Rich Client Alternatives” chapter on Web 2.0, the book. Now, with Apollo getting some attention, it’s worth revisiting.

What do XUL, Yahoo! Widgets, OpenLaszlo, Silverlight, and Apollo have in common? All of them mix content with presentation to some degree. Years of experience on the web have shown that a properly-done CSS layout gives you:

  • smaller, faster pages
  • better accessibility and user control of rendering
  • better adaptation to different screen resolutions
  • easier repurposing of data, including microformats
  • better mobile compatibility

Initial HTML browsers didn’t have these advantages, and gave in to early pressure to implement things like blink and font tags. Today, most webfolks would admit that these presentational tags were a mistake, and contemporary web design avoids them.
So what is it about “rich” clients that’s different? Are developers missing out on the hard lessons learned on the web? Or is there something inherent in the definition of “rich clients” that changes the balance? Your comments are welcome. -m

Thursday, September 28th, 2006

11 Best Practices for URLs

Article (with a non-best-practice URL) from seomoz. If you’re into this kind of thing, Web 2.0 The Book has an entire chapter on it. Nitpick: Also note how normal folks say URL, not the even-more-geeky URI. -m

Wednesday, August 16th, 2006

Web 2.0, The Book on Amazon

Listed with a pub date of December 6, 2006. (Eric let me in on this link.) The tech editing is out the door, and things are moving along. -m

Tuesday, August 8th, 2006

Datacratic

Still tech editing the final pieces of the Web 2.0 book. Such a huge part of what people mean when they talk about Web 2.0 is the ugly term “user-generated content”. As many have pointed out, all three words comprising that phrase are inaccurate or obtuse (or both). We need a better term.

How about datacratic, or rule by data?

By itself, “data” isn’t such a descriptive word, but I like how it fits in here. Also the so-called users aren’t directly mentioned, except by reference to demos from a similar, if overused, word.

Could you see yourself using the term? -m

Monday, June 5th, 2006

Still crazy after all these years

Part of tech reviewing means dusting off a Windows machine again. I haven’t done more than check email or run Quickbooks online on a Windows machine since I was writing my book in 2003. Remarkably, Windows XP is still the latest desktop OS available. But it needs updates.

Checking my update history, I had 37 updates installed, with Windows Update insisting on installing three more things including “Genuine Advantage”. Reboot. Yay, now I’m advantaged. Apparently the main new feature in Windows Update is a five-minute “Checking for the latest updates for your computer…” screen. Next Service Pack 2, which has to be installed separately.

This is taking a while, so I have time to re-appreciate the nuances of the Windows UI. In the system tray, I see room for six icons, but only four present. (Clicking the little arrow, though, causes a wiggle, with six icons showing in the same space; after a second, another wiggle and back to four). All of the icons are blurry, two of them enough that I have no idea what they’re supposed to represent.

I couldn’t make stuff like this up, but it blue-screened 73 minutes into the ordeal. Unbelievable. On the bright side, it did recognize that the whole Service Pack didn’t need to be downloaded again.

As an aside, the crash tool suggested that I run the Windows Memory Diagnostic tool, so it’s possible the blue screen was hardware related. Amusingly, the Windows Memory Diagnostic tool is exactly 640kb. If you don’t get the tragic coincidence, post a comment and I’ll tell you. :)

The second run through installing Service Pack 2…blue screens again, this time with some USB error. Upon rebooting, a Windows Setup screen draws little dots for several minutes while “restoring previous configuration”, and the desktop warns me ominously that the system is in an “unstable state”, and that I need to go to Control Panel -> Add/Remove Programs and uninstall SP2. The uninstall program helpfully warns me that lots of programs, including “hearts” and “solitaire” toward the top of the list, might stop working, but I bravely press on.

Reboot again. 640×480 resolution, and all kinds of messages like “found new hardware — disk drive”. On the change resolution screen in Control Panel, the “OK” and “Cancel” buttons are off the screen. And another reboot to get networking set up again. At this point I’m three hours wasted, six reboots, and I have nothing to show but an even more unstable system and Genuine Advantage. Wheeeee! At what point does Microsoft throw the “rewrite from scratch” swich? The saga continues, check comments on this post. -m

Friday, June 2nd, 2006

Web 2.0, The Book

Still in development, but I have clearance to blog about a forthcoming Web 2.0 book. So far I haven’t seen a good book that covers all the technical angles of Web 2.0, from designing URL spaces to Ajax to proper use of HTTP. I’m tech reviewing this book, so I have high expectations for it.

Far more impressive than my meager contributions, however, is the list of authors (in no particular order):

  • Eric van der Vlist
  • Alessandro Vernet
  • Danny Ayers
  • Joe Fawcett
  • Erik Bruchez

That’s a lot of XForms folks. Hmm. :) As you’d expect from a Web 2.0 book, we have tags.

I’ll have more details later–chapters are already rolling in and I have work to do. Keep your eyes open, it’s coming soon from Wiley. -m