Categories: Web, Semantic Web News
11:51:10 pm Hello! HTML5 and CSS3Categories: Books & Literature, Web
If my blog posting has seemed somewhat sporadic over the last few months, I now present my excuse
No need to post any feedback here, go to the forum instead.
06:25:49 pm Create a Yahoo! SearchMonkey applicationCategories: Semantic Web News
My latest article on developerWorks is a tutorial which takes you step by step through creating a SearchMonkey application. Although it makes use of a lot of Semantic Web technologies, SearchMonkey doesn't require a deep understanding of them in order to make useful applications - if you're a little familiar with PHP and XSLT you should find it fairly straightforward. Check out my earlier SearchMonkey Developer Event post for some background.
06:16:09 pm Google Adds Better SWF Indexing SupportCategories: Web
This week Google announced improvements to it's indexing of Flash files. It seems Adobe did most of the work with the actual Flash files for them, and it all sounds quite clever:
We've developed an algorithm that explores Flash files in the same way that a person would, by clicking buttons, entering input, and so on. Our algorithm remembers all of the text that it encounters along the way, and that content is then available to be indexed. We can't tell you all of the proprietary details, but we can tell you that the algorithm's effectiveness was improved by utilizing Adobe's new Searchable SWF library.
The downside of this, for those of us who prefer the web with more substance than Flash, is that one of the easy arguments for persuading non-technical folk not to do a website all in Flash now has less weight - "this will merely encourage those who think that every Web site needs to be a multimedia extravaganza" as one reddit commentator eloquently put it.
I've had another article published on developerWorks, a short one this time, which looks at utilizing the new Microformats API in the upcoming Firefox 3.0 from within an extension. With it being a purposely short article I had to gloss over some of the background steps, so if you have any questions ask in the related forum topic and I'll try and point you in the right direction.
I've had another article published on developerWorks, this time a tutorial so you'll have to register to view it. It moves on from my previous article with some actual code examples of a lot of the stuff I talked about before. Check it out and let me know what you think!
01:12:22 pm Forum: Exploring Semantic Web TechnologiesCategories: Web, Semantic Web News
I'm now moderating a forum on IBM developerWorks:
A forum, moderated by Rob Crowther, to discuss building web pages and sites that are a part of the Semantic Web. We'll cover the main front-end technologies such as RDF, RDFa, Microformats, GRDDL and OWL. This is a community for us all to learn together about how to build the next generation of the Web.
If you have any questions about Semantic Web technologies, or just want to share your ideas, please come along and make a post.
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.
01:00:46 am Planning a Semantic Web siteCategories: Web, Blogging
I've been published by someone other than myself! Read my introductory article on applying Semantic Web technologies to your website on IBM's Developerworks site. Although it's mostly my own words, I had a lot of help from the guys at Backstop Media, who were great. This was an interesting experience for me, from frantic writing into the early hours of the morning to being interviewed through my mobile while standing in a fire escape stairwell. I was kind of nervous about the whole thing, but got great support all the way through.
If anyone's followed the link from the article back to here, then welcome! Please feel free to let me know what you think in the comments to this post (they're moderated, but I check a couple of times a day). In the meantime the potential influx of visitors is motivation for me to complete all those half finished posts I've got lying around from the last five or six months and try and look like less of a slacker
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.
06:42:40 pm Hiding the Vertical Scrollbar in IECategories: Programming, Web
Also related to my little signage project in the last post, one problem I encountered was the IE would insist on displaying a vertical scrollbar even though it wasn't required - and since I knew the exact pixel dimensions of the display I knew I didn't need one. It turns out there are many solutions to this on the internet, it's a common complaint when IE is rendering in standards compliant mode, and the solution is easy enough, just put:
in your CSS file.
06:22:01 pm Resizing the browser viewportCategories: Programming, Web
Today I've been working on electronic signage, to display meeting details on small screen outside of meeting rooms. The details themselves come from the booking system sold by my employers and the data is sucked out from the back end database by a fairly simple ASP page. The sign is really a Windows CE device embedded in a box with 640x480px display, which is configured to launch PocketIE in kiosk mode, pointing at my ASP web page when it starts up.
Nothing too complicated. However, to confirm with the client that I've developed what they actually want I need to send them screenshots. There's no facility for screenshots on the device itself, but it displays almost identically on desktop IE - from which I can easily produce screenshots. The problem is I wanted the dimensions of the displayed page in desktop IE to exactly match the dimensions of the device screen, but desktop IE has a whole load of window chrome (borders, toolbars etc.) which don't show on the device. I could have messed around trying to get the correct size manually, but I thought there had to be a way I could achieve with code.
The solution was a little harder to find than I expected, most browser resizing solutions concentrate on changing the entire window rather than the visible part, but I found a good solution at the above link. I also turned the code into a bookmarklet so I could add it to my favourites in IE by hardcoding some of the values, it should be easy enough to change if you need a different resolution.