Monday, December 23, 2002

"After Microsoft kills Flash, then..." Slashdot goes nuts on a rumor piece in The Register. High entertainment value, as anti-MS rants combine with anti-Flash rants, fueled by holiday idle time, and perhaps some eggnog too.

This non-falsifiable rumor comes up twice a year. "Hey, just because it was false every other time, doesn't mean it's false this time too!!!" Hint: If you break a non-falsifiable rumor on the Monday of Christmas week, then you can pretty much count on difficulty contacting any PR speakers to quote.... ;-)

The Register's piece was apparently syndicated from the subscribers-only ComputerWire, and no author's name was on the article. The article contains a number of complimentary statements ("Microsoft's own scripting efforts are regarded as relatively inferior to the cross-platform Flash", "The ColdFusion web application server is regarded as superior to ASPs and even JSPs because of its simplicity, power and completeness," eg), but also contains some wacky stuff ("ASPs" and "JSPs"? "Macromedia, meanwhile, said it was bringing its estimated 300,000-strong community of developers to J2EE, potentially expanding the pool of J2EE programmers.") We try to work on top of anything... J2EE if you're using that, .NET if you're using that, PHP or whatever you like, the Macromedia tools try to just get out of your way and let you choose the environment.
Update: On Dreamweaver-Talk, Stephanie Sullivan goes back through some of the previous iterations of this hot news items. More info available by Googling "debunking internet rumors" such as this "how to test" article at

Sunday, December 22, 2002

CompUSA: Friday I went downtown for a 256M RAM chip for my iBook. I didn't find it on the floor, found a clerk to ask, he said "Yes we have it, wait here for a manager to open the display case,", and after about 25 minutes I walked out with a chip. I repeatedly checked "This is what Apple recommends for the iBook, right?" Got home, pulled apart the computer, found it was the wrong form factor. Saturday I went back, waited in one line for a return, went downstairs to get a new chip, waited 15+ minutes for a manager to open the case, and after about 50 minutes in the store got a new chip. Got home, pulled apart the computer, it fit, but wasn't recognized by the computer... found out from the RAM manufacturer's ColdFusion application that they recommended a different model. Today's Sunday, I'm going back.

Why am I writing this here? Because now I can tell the manager I'm a syndicated web writer doing an article on the experience. Maybe I can get out in 15 minutes today.... ;-)
Blogmapper: This has apparently been in public beta since late summer, although it's news to me. Blogmapper makes interactive SWF maps from blogs -- there's a sample of blogged observations of gang graffiti in San Francisco. You embed coordinate data within a blog entry, point Blogmapper to your blog's RSS feed, and specify a background map... I think that's the routine. When someone visits the map associated with your blog these coordinates will be red dots on the map which, when clicked, called up associated text for that location.

The info page says it requires MS Internet Explorer... I assume this means IE/Win, because they have some script/object intercommunication in some pages... I viewed in Mozilla 1.2/Mac and got a hot map after a few false loads. For a single location you might as well use MapQuest, but for a pattern of locations with linked gloss this could be very handy. The project is put together by Jason Harlan and Chris Goad and Donalda Speight of MapBureau. (btw, check out MapBureau's variety of interactive maps in their gallery... their technology page links to the RDFMap spec, whitepapers on the FABL language, more... great stuff!)
[via John Robb]
Deploying SVG applications: Mike Malloch gives an unusually complete description of which browser/OS combos can communicate with an SVG renderer. Much of this can apply to Flash too, except for differences like having its own built-in interactivity (and net calls etc), and support for Mozilla script/object intercommunication, Linux viewing, etc. It's a good documentation of the difficulties in offering predictable interactivity across various operating systems, configurations, browser brands and versions.

(btw, folks here in the shop are always looking for ways that people would want to use XML descriptions of vector drawings... if there's something you're trying to accomplish in this area then please drop a note here or at the wishform, thanks!)