Category: Technology News
02:46:07 pm Yahoo! Search to support MicroformatsCategories: Technology News, Web, Semantic Web News
This might be big news for the Semantic Web, or it might not mean much at all. In one way, this doesn't change very much - Yahoo! is very much niche as far as search engines are concerned (in the UK at least), MSN/Live has overtaken them in terms of referrals on the websites I work with (probably because of all the new installs of Windows which have that set as the default search provider, rather than because their search is better), but both are dwarfed by Google. In another way, it might be enough benefit to make people think it's worthwhile to start adding more semantic markup, which in turn might lead into a virtuous circle which quickly ramps up the amount of semantic web content available to a critical mass.
06:17:02 pm Google Gears on Mobile DevicesCategories: Technology News, Web
Web as ubiquitous computing platform got a boost today as Google announced a version of Gears for Windows Mobile 5 and 6 devices. Google Gears is a browser extension which lets web applications work offline, which is a crucial requirement if you're planning on doing any serious application for a mobile device where the connection is likely to drop in and out relatively often (compared to your desktop PC). It's a shame that they've not started with Symbian, the most widely deployed smartphone OS outside of the US, but hopefully they'll get to it shortly.
And while on the subject of Symbian based OSes, Microsoft also made an announcement in the mobile device space today - they have agreed with Nokia to write a version of Silverlight for Series 60 (which is Symbian based) phones. I admit I hadn't really taken Microsoft's 'cross platform' claims for Silverlight that seriously up until now, because they weren't even as 'cross platform' as Flash, which is hardly the gold standard, but a few more announcements along these lines and they might convince me.
01:03:38 am GMail now available via IMAPCategories: Technology News
Following up on the increased storage (now over 4Gb) and the improved support for mobile phones, this week Google rolled out IMAP support for Gmail. I access all my other mail accounts through IMAP, so I don't need to be convinced of the benefits - mostly (for me) a consistent view of your entire inbox (including sent items) across all the mail clients on all the different PCs I use to read my email (currently six, and now my mobile phone). If you're not so sure, try reading "Why IMAP is better than POP" or "POP vs IMAP for Inboxes."
11:45:28 am Security Update for Windows Safari BetaCategories: Technology News, Web
Apple have released an updated version of the Safari for Windows beta, fixing three security holes announced within hours of the launch earlier this week.
Apparently the Apple Software Update service will do everything automatically, but I downloaded the update manually and installed it over the top of my existing install, which also seems to have worked. Unfortunately it overwrote my
Fonts.plist file so I was back to the font problem from before, but at least I knew what to do this time...
01:23:21 pm Safari for Windows - Font Issues AboundCategories: Technology News, Web
The Safari 3 Public Beta has launched and now there's a Windows version! Of course I immediately downloaded it but I found it something of a disappointment - when I ran it there was no text getting displayed anywhere at all (the title was blank, the menus were blank and no text on the page - I couldn't even type into the address bar). I tried re-installing, and I tried using Apple's newly provided update utility, which for some reason kept demanding to install iTunes, but no luck.
The solution was in Apple's support forums, delete the fonts from the Safari.resources folder. This at least got me a usable browser, but there are still some issues with fonts. The browser chrome is now rendering in Times Roman, which I'm sure is not the look Apple is going for, and it seems anything which is using particular font (like, for instance, whatever font is used by the admin theme on this blog, and whatever WebSense is using to tell me I'm wasting time at work) doesn't render. Although others have issues with Apple's font rendering, it seems to be only a few people having issues which are not cosmetic.
Even with the font issues it still looks quite pretty, but the other vices of Apple software are still present. Aside from a mindless insistence to install iTunes, updating Quicktime installed a quick launch shortcut without asking, added new links to my start menu without asking me where I wanted to put them and re-activated the status bar icon I have to turn off after every update. Similarly Safari inserts itself into the root of the 'All Programs' list without asking if I might have a better idea. All in all I think I might wait until the final release before attempting any serious use.
Update: Found a better solution to the Safari font issues - I replaced my
Fonts.plist file with one from a colleague's working install, put the Lucida font files back, and now my chrome is rendering properly. Still missing fonts on a few web pages though.
11:50:13 pm Google Developer Day 2007Categories: Programming, Technology News, Web
I spent today as a guest of Google, and I can highly recommend the experience - if nothing else it's worth it for the free lunch I'll do a more 'complete' post with reviews of all the talks I attended at the weekend, but for now I'll present some highlights:
- "What's good for web developers is good for Google!"
- Google Gears - enable your web apps for offline use in an incremental way
- Google Maps Street View - photos integrated with maps, I'm sure I've seen this sort of thing before, but the real-time 3D-style interaction was very neat
- Mapplets - presented as a 'meta mashup' technology, allowing you to mashup mashups, overlaying the results of several different mashups on the same map control
I also attended a session on the GData APIs and a very informative talk on developing web content for mobiles. I'm going to check out the video of the KML talk when I get the chance as, from what I heard about it in asides during other sessions, it seems like it could be really useful. Anyway, check out the videos for yourself, and I'll be back with further comment later...
11:24:05 pm Fred FishCategories: Technology News
I was saddened to hear today that Fred Fish died at home last week. I'd never met him, but his 'Fish Disks' were a big part of my Amiga infatuation, and my introduction to shareware and open source in general. The internet is very convenient, but getting the latest software by swapping 3.5" floppies at my local ICPUG meeting was more fun in some ways.
06:32:20 pm Accessibility Petition - The PM RespondsCategories: Technology News, Web
The Prime Minister (or at least, his staff) has responded to the accessibility petition I mentioned a few posts ago. It sounds a bit like empty rhetoric:
The Government is committed to ensuring that all government websites are accessible and easy to use for people with disabilities.
If the government were actually demonstrating this commitment, there wouldn't have been a petition in the first place. The response concludes with:
This strategy is to be implemented by DTI with support from OGC and eGU (now the Cabinet Office Delivery and Transformation Group). A cross-government review of the Digital Strategy is currently under way under the supervision of the DTI).
Since the DTI couldn't even commission their own website to meet the Government's accessibility standards, does it seem likely they'll be able to present a strategy for the rest of our government to do so? Conversely, maybe they now have more experience than any other government department...
01:38:46 pm LinkedIn Launches hResume SupportCategories: Technology News, Semantic Web News
While the user has the ability to turn off Public Profile publishing altogether, only a small percentage have chosen to do so and with just the information listed [in the Basic View profile], the minimum requirement for hResume is met. In essence, we just launched ~9 million hResumes.
12:51:05 am Firebug 1.0 ReleasedCategories: Programming, Technology News, Web
Started up Firefox just now and the automatic updater told me that Firebug 1.0 is now available. Of course, I immediately upgraded. The visual look has definitely seen some work and there are a number of new features - see the screenshot to see a loading time breakdown of all the elements of this page.
This, coupled with the 1.1 release of the Web Developer Toolbar (my favourite new feature - it is now possible to validate local pages) and the release of Prototype 1.5 (now with documentation!) last week, makes it an exciting couple of weeks for web developers everywhere.
11:20:17 pm Latest: Google set to rule worldCategories: Technology News
Blog posts are a bit like buses, wait for ages for one to turn up then two come along at once! Anyway, Robert X. Cringely has been one of my favourite columnists for a long time and this article is a very interesting analysis of what Google's long term plans might be.
Of course, in true internet tradition, when I say 'world' it means 'the US' If you want a bit of perspective after reading that then let Eric Sink explain to you why that isn't as important as you think it is.