Posted: August 9th, 2006 | Author: Matt Croydon | Filed under: Apple, Open Source, Python, Web Services | 73 Comments »
As soon as Gruber pointed out Darwin Calendar Server I felt like I had to check it out. I’ve played with Darwin Streaming Server in the past and love me some Webkit. I was pleasantly suprised to find that Darwin Calendar Server runs on top of Python and Twisted.
So away I went. I checked out the source and began to poke around. I managed to check out the source before the README was added so I did a fair amount of head scratching and wheel spinning, but it turns out that getting up and running is pretty easy:
That sets up the server, downloading and building some prereqs as it goes. I already had some prereqs installed system wide so I can’t guarantee that this works, but I’m pretty sure that it has worked for others. I should take a second to qualify that I’m running OS X 10.4 with Python 2.4 installed. From there I copied over the sample config file (
cp ./conf/repository-static.xml ./conf/repository-dev.xml) and immediately started troubleshooting SSL errors. First I installed PyOpenSSL and created a self-signed certificate. That yielded a brand new error:
OpenSSL.SSL.Error: [('PEM routines', 'PEM_read_bio', 'no start line'), ('SSL routines', 'SSL_CTX_use_PrivateKey_file', 'PEM lib')]
After doing that and getting some guidance from the folks in #collaboration on freenode I decided to hack away at the plist and disable SSL for now (change
false instead of
true). From there I could run the server (
./run) and bring up a directory listing my pointing to
From there I subscribed to the example payday calendar and the holiday calendar. It appears that iCal won’t do two-way CalDAV until Leopard, but in the meantime I was able to successfully set up and test Chandler.
This is some absolutely amazing tech in its infancy. I can’t wait to see where this goes and I’m excited that it’s built with tools that I’m familiar with (Python, Twisted, SQLite, iCal). It seems to me like this open source app is but the tip of the iceberg of collaboration features that will be baked in to OS X 10.5 desktop and server.Â I would also kill for a mobile device that spoke CalDAV natively so that I can replace my duct taped google calendar to iCal to iSync to 6682 workflow.
Posted: July 13th, 2006 | Author: Matt Croydon | Filed under: Web Services | 2 Comments »
Gizmo Project for the 770 dropped today.Â I found out when Russ called my mobile from his 770.Â The voice quality wasn’t as good as a landline to landline or landline to mobile but it was definitely better than the quick test I did with Jeff 770 to 770 using GTalk.Â I was also pleasantly suprised to notice that Gizmo’s calling within the USA is down to a penny a minute and prices to a couple of places in Europe are under 3 cents a minute.
Posted: June 22nd, 2006 | Author: Matt Croydon | Filed under: Web Services | 2 Comments »
Update: I have moved this list over to the maemo wiki which will contain the most up to date list of repositories.
I’ve been loving every minute of the release of the 2006 OS beta for my Nokia 770. Everything is just that much zippier and there are more built-in features including contact management, jabber/jingle support, and a boatload of other things.
One of the new features that I absolutely love is the new application manager. The 770 is built on a custom Debian build, so package management is done via APT. In the 2005 edition you had to point the package manager at individual .debs, handle dependencies yourself, and all that not-so-fun stuff. The 2006 OS ships with an enhanced package manager that you can point at repositories to handle everything for you.
Here’s a quick list of the repositories on my 770:
Web address: http://repository.maemo.org/
Web address: http://gnuite.com:8080/nokia770/
Applications: Maemo Mapper
Web address: http://only.mawhrin.net/fbreader/maemo/
Web address: http://www.kernelconcepts.de/~fuchs/nokia770/ex_2006/
Applications: GPE Calendar, GPE Contacts, GPE Todo
Web address: http://maemo-hackers.org/apt/
Applications: maemo-gaim, osso-xterm, osso-statusbar, xchat
Web address: http://maemo.org.br/platform/apt/
Applications: Python and related bindings
To add new repositories to your 770 running the 2006 beta, hit Tools -> Application Manager, then hit the title bar or menu key, select Tools -> Application catalog… and away you go.
Update: Two new repositories ship by default with the final version of Internet Tablet OS 2006:
Web address: http://catalogue.tableteer.nokia.com/certified/
Applications: Maemo-blocks, themes
Web address: http://catalogue.tableteer.nokia.com/non-certified/
Applications: Hello world app, Maemo development examples
Posted: May 28th, 2006 | Author: Matt Croydon | Filed under: Mobile, Web Services | 14 Comments »
I was catching up on reddit this morning and stumbled upon a link to GCALSYNC, a j2me app still in its early stages that allows you to sync your mobile phone’s calendar with your google calendar. I immediately got excited and went to try it out as a replacement for my current iCal/iSync setup.
I navigated over to wap.gcalsync.com using Opera on my Nokia 6682.
While I’m on the subject of Opera, if you’re using Opera for S60, run don’t walk to the 8.60 upgrade, it’s really amazing!
I downloaded the GCALSYNC jad, the installer launched, and I went through the usual “this is untrusted, install anyway?” dialog. This is something I’m used to, but I wasn’t ready for the “Authorization Failed” popup to end my install process.
I’m not sure if the install is failing because of a problem with the JAD/JAR or if the phone is refusing to install it because it uses the calendar API (or possibly another security API). My gut is telling me that it’s the latter because of an entry under known bugs on the GCALSYNC web page:
SecurityException: On Cingular (US mobile operator), the phone calendar is not available due to Cingular security restrictions. “Test” fails with a SecurityException whne testing phone calendar if you have this problem.
The workaround (if you ever manage to install it) is to bypass login information and link to your private calendar address, only allowing GCALSYNC to download information from your calendar, not upload information to it.
So what gives? Is the phone that I paid a decent chunk of change for (on contract) so locked down that I can’t use this compelling J2ME app on it? Is there any way that I (as an end user) or the developers of GCALSYNC can get around it?
I sure hope so, because this app looks totally awesome.
After catching up with me in the comments section of the GCALSYNC reddit post, Thomas has released an updated version which asks “pretty please” for permission to do something.Â With that modification GCALSYNC now installs on my phone.Â Thanks to Cingular’s lockdown though, I can only get at my calendars via the private feed which still means read-only data.
Posted: May 20th, 2006 | Author: Matt Croydon | Filed under: Web Services | 13 Comments »
I’ve been watching Planet XTech from Kansas just dying to read slides and papers. I spotted Simon’s slides and notes the other day but didn’t notice the full papers on the XTech site until last night. More for my sanity than anything else I’ve compiled a list of papers and slides from XTech. Let me know if I’ve missed something.
Slides and notes (off-site):
Full papers (from the XTech site):
- Jeremy Keith: Hijax: Progressive Enhancement with Ajax
- Jim Melton: SQL, XQuery, and SPARQL: What’s Wrong With This Picture?
- Michael Kay: Using XSLT and XQuery for life-size applications
- Di-Ann Eisnor: Collaborative Atlas: Post geopolitical boundaries
- Roland Alton-Scheidl: StreamOnTheFly network
- Ralph Meijer: Publish-subscribe using Jabber
- Daniel Parker: Markup for Flat-XML Processing
- Vladimir VukiÄ‡eviÄ‡: Canvas, SVG, and More: Rich Graphics Capabilities For Web Applications
- Tristian Ferne: Chopping Up Radio – collaboratively annotating radio programmes
- Henry Thompson: Efficient implementation of content models with numerical occurrence constraints
- David Baron: Layout algorithm improvements for Web user interfaces
- Paul Prescod: Implementing DITA: Considerations beyond Specialization
- Ian McKellar: Revolutionizing the browser user experience
- Stefan Letz and Roland Seiffert: XML Offload and Acceleration with Cell Broadband Engine
- Daniel GLAZMAN: Etna, a wysiwyg XML RELAXNG- and Gecko-based editor
- Salvador Ledezma: The Viper Solution: A Data Persistence Model using XML and PHP
- Leigh Dodds: SPARQLing Services
- Mark Birbeck: Building Rich, Encapsulated Widgets Using XBL, XForms and SVG
- David Megginson: Ditching the database: XML and the PHP webapp
- Eric Prud’hommeaux: Adding SPARQL Support to MySQL
- Brendan Quinn: Content modelling at the BBC using RDF and OWL
- Katie Portwin and Priya Parvatikar: Building and Managing a Massive Triple Store: An Experience Report
- Ryan King: The Intelligent Design of Microformats
- BenoÃ®t Marchal: UML modeling for XML, a practical example
- Bradley Bebee et. al.: A high performance RDFS store using a Generic Object Model
- Mark Birbeck: RDF/A: The Easy Way to Publish Your Metadata
- Donna Benjamin: ODF: Our Open Document Future
- Tim Finn: Search engines for Semantic Web knowledge
- Felix Sakasi, et. al.: Internationalization and Localization of XML: Introducing “ITS”
- Ben Lund: Social Bookmarking For Scientists – or The Best Of Both Worlds
- Bijan Parisa et. al.: Building the Semantic Web at NASA: People, Organizations, Projects, and Skills
- Werner DonnÃ©: Managing Multilingual Legislation With XML
- Erik Bruchez: XForms: an alternative to Ajax?
- Oche Ogbuji: Chameleon XML models
- Michael Smith: Bringing Web 2.0 to Mobile Devices
- Eric van der Vlist: Treebind: an API to bind them all
- HÃ¥kon Lie: Mobile Web Applications
- Mikel Maron: GeoRSS: Geographically Encoded Objects for RSS feeds
- Dave Raggett: Slidy – an web based alternative to Microsoft PowerPoint
- Oleg Parashchenko: XSieve: extending XSLT with the roots of XSLT
- Andrei Popescu et. al: Mini Map – A web page visualization method for mobile phones
- David Becket: Semantics Through the Tag
- Peter Ferne: Sharing Places â€“ find, remix and share located media with the world
- Michael Leventhal: The End of the Open Internet?: Network Service and Security in Web 2.0
Posted: April 24th, 2006 | Author: Matt Croydon | Filed under: Web Services | 13 Comments »
I’ve wanted a Bluetooth GPS device for a long time now. I know it’s a totally geeky thing, but there are so many things that I’ve wanted to do that involve getting a hard lat/long reading. Don’t get me wrong, cel tower information is nice, but nothing is better than knowing *exactly* where you are.
I decided to spend some tax return money on a nice (but inexpensive) Bluetooth GPS unit. Jim Ley was kind enough to share what he knew about them with me in #mobitopia. After talking to Jim and examining my options, it sounded like I had to choose between feature sets in my price range. I could either have the SiRF III chipset, which by all accounts rocks, is small, low power, and extremely accurate, or I could do on-device logging.
My decision quickly came down to either the DeLorme Bluelogger with on-device logging but a previous generation SiRFStar IIe chipset or the Holux GPSlim 236 which has the newer chip but no on-device logging.
I ended up snagging a Holux 236 and a USB data cable for a little over a hundred bucks after shipping on ebay. I’ve since been tinkering with hooking up the GPS to both Meaning and ZoneTag to geocode my flickr photos. They’re the ones filed under geotagged. I’ve also been having fun with the NMEA info python app, Christopher Schmidt’s GPSDisplay, Microsoft Streets and Trips on my wife’s PDA, and GPSDrive on the Nokia 770.
Now that I’ve had a chance to use it a little, it would be nice to be able to do on-device logging. It’s not the end of the world but in hindsight it would have been nice to log my path on the device and download it later rather than haiving to keep a bluetooth connection open on a second device. I’m still glad to have the latest and greatest chipset though.
The Holux 236 has been one of the most hassle-free bluetooth devices I’ve used. It doesn’t require explicit pairing before use and getting it to work with various platforms and applications has been a breeze. I do have some trouble getting a fix to transfer from time to time, but it’s extremely well behaved by Bluetooth device standards.
I hope to play around with this some more but also do some real stuff with it too. I can’t wait to poke at it from within Python for S60 and an open street map of Lawrence would rule. Speaking of Lawrence, you should definitely check out where Tim Hibbard is. He’s been geolocating himself around town with a nice Google Maps interface for some time now.
Posted: April 23rd, 2006 | Author: Matt Croydon | Filed under: Web Services | 7 Comments »
I spent part of yesterday cleaning up and organizing the den (the last holdout of the rebel packing box forces) and found quite a few things along the way. Among old papers, reciepts, notes, and general crap there were some interesting stuff. Here is a sampling:
- 5/31/2000: Invoice for my AMD Athlon 750 CPU. That CPU in an Abit KA7-100 motherboard treated me quite well.
- 8/05/2000: A packing slip for several Billy Pilgrim albums from the (long gone) MP3.com. I wish that I had snagged a few more before MP3.com went under.
- 1/3/2002: Registration confirmation to watch a Steve Jobs keynote via satellite at Apple’s Northern Virginia campus.
- 7/5/2002: My reciept for Radio Userland 8.0.8. That’s also the day that I switched my tech content from LiveJournal to my Radio blog.
- 7/20/2002: A printout of my Amazon Web Services developer token.
- 8/26/2002: Windows Beta product key for ITX (.NET Server RC)
- 10/12/2002: An Airtran bording pass from BWI to Boston for the Web Services DevCon East.
- 2/28/2003: packing slip for my newly ebay‘d Intel ISP 1100 1U server. I also found reciepts for the processor, memory, and hard drive that I stuck in it.
- 10/03: In the margin of class notes I wrote down some thoughts on mobile wikis and mobile FOAF.
- 11/03: Some notes on weathermob, a mobile webapp that I’ve thought about off and on again for years but have never done anything with.
Per usual, I spent way too much time looking at stuff and not enough time actually cleaning. A trip down geeky memory lane is quite nice every once in awhile though.
Posted: April 6th, 2006 | Author: Matt Croydon | Filed under: Journalism, Web Services | 8 Comments »
The new free Baltimore Examiner tab dropped Wednesday, with a bigger circulation than the Baltimore Sun.
How awful must it be to wake up one morning and have your paper suddenly and abruptly be #2? It could happen to anyone, any time, and with little or no warning.
We do our best to be painfully aware of that at the Journal-World. Dolph Simons Jr., Chairman of The World Company is quick to remind us, “No one can afford to be complacent as there always is someone who can come into town and beat you at your own business if you do not remain alert and strong.” That quote is on our about us page, though he echoes similar statements in a recent interview with The Kansan, KU‘s newspaper.
Still, this gutsy move by The Examiner should remind the entire industry to keep on its toes.
Posted: April 5th, 2006 | Author: Matt Croydon | Filed under: Projects, Web Services | 56 Comments »
I’ve been contemplating writing a wishlist app off and on for a few months now but have never gotten around to doing so. While I have an Amazon wishlist, there’s a lot of stuff that I’d love to have that Amazon doesn’t sell. After finding myself keeping a seperate list and periodically e-mailing it to my wife, I though tit would be cool to be able to put together a wishlist using any item that has a URL.
I waited too long and it looks like gifttagging has done at least 80% of what I was hoping to do. It has the web 2.0 look and feel and a tag cloud on the front page and everything. I have a feeling that I won’t actually use the service but it definitely does almost all of what I was planning to do, so if I tried to pull it off it’d be something of an also-ran.
A couple of weeks ago I brainstormed the concept (in a rather conversational tone) with the hope of motivating myself to get started on it. That obviously didn’t happen so I thought perhaps I’d share the brainstorming session in case it’s useful to someone.
So you have an amazon wishlist, and a wishlist with this other site, and you want some stuff that you can’t put on a wishlist. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could put all of this wishlist stuff in one spot? Cue wishlist 2.0 (or whatever it’s called). It gives you one URL you can send to your friends who want to know what you want. Of course it does stuff like pull in (and keep in synch) your Amazon wishlist, but it also works for so much more, like that doodad you want from whatsit.com. It lets you set priorities, keep notes about particular items, and it’s really easy to share with your friends. They can subscribe to an RSS/Atom feed of the stuff you want, you can send them an email linking to your wishlist, they can leave comments and OMG you can tag stuff too.
So lets get down to some details. You sign up. Confirm your email address, cause you have to have a valid email address (even if it’s mailinator.com). After you confirm you’re sent to your “dashboard” screen. You know, the one you get every time you log in. It lists your wishlist items in whatever order you prefer (but you can reorder them). Since it’s your first time there’s a little bit at the top asking if you’d like a tour of the place, or if you’d rather, just import your shit from amazon.
The import process is pretty painless. We’re up front about needing some information about you in order to get your wishlist from Amazon. So we get that info from you say “hang on a sec” and go grab your info using Amazon’s APIs. We come back with “Hey, so you’re John Whatshisname from Austin, TX, right? You want this, that, and the other thing. That’s you, right?”
After we confirm that we’re not pulling in some other dude’s wishlist, we prepopulate your wishlist with the stuff from Amazon. Your quantities and ranking come over, plus everything gets tagged with “amazon”.
If you don’t have anything to import from amazon, we take you in the other way and show you how easy it is to add items to your wishlist. All stuff needs is a URL in order for you to add it. We’ll do our best to guess what it is, but you can always override that. It gets your default “want it” value unless you override that, plus you can tag it with whatever you want “del.icio.us-style”.
From there we can point out that “hey, your wishlist has an RSS feed. Or an Atom feed, if that’s how you roll.” You can also do other stuff like tell your friends, browse stuff from other peoples’ wishlists, or access your wishlist from a mobile phone.
I guess the browsing and social aspect could be fleshed out a bit. Each wishlist item could be able to tell you what other people that want this want. You know, if you want a pink RAZR you might also want a fashionable bluetooth headset. Stuff like that. You can also look at the latest stuff that everyone is wishing for. If you’re on somebody elses wishlist page and you see something that they want that you also want, you can just click “I want this too” and you can add it to your wishlist.
Posted: April 4th, 2006 | Author: Matt Croydon | Filed under: Web Services | 3 Comments »
I’m reminded of this every time I try to retrieve a bookmark from del.icio.us: tags are for the community, not for you.
No really. Every time I go looking for a link from a few months back I search a tag that I *know* I must have tagged it with. A tag that I always tag stuff like that with.
Nine times out of ten I forgot to use that tag, whatever it was. They’re really usless for information retireval. But they sure do help out the community.
Posted: April 2nd, 2006 | Author: Matt Croydon | Filed under: Web Services | 4 Comments »
Yesterday Amazon’s new S3 service served up nothing but service unavailable messages for nearly 7 hours.
I give Amazon full credit for hopping on their user forums last night and letting us know that they were working on it and letting us know when it was fixed. At the same time I’m a little frustrated that such an outage occured so early on in the history of the service. The whole point of S3 is to treat storage like a utility, metered in gigabyte-hours and gigabytes of data transfered, much like you would treat your water or electricity service.
How mad would you be if the power company turned off your power for several hours without warning, or if you woke up in the morning to find that you couldn’t take a shower? Pretty mad I imagine. I was just a little bit annoyed last night because my flickr backup wasn’t working. I couldn’t have retrieved anything from S3 if I had wanted to, but thankfully I didn’t need (or want) to.
What if I were building out a Carson-style startup using S3 for storage? That would have been 7 hours of downtime for my app too. Hopefully the beta testers weren’t too pissed off. Hopefully I wasn’t showing a demo of it to anyone.
Now might be a good time to read the Amazon Web Services Licensing Agreement and specifically the section on Amazon S3. You’ll note that there aren’t any guarantees about availability or uptime. You can’t count the nines in their SLA.
I know that Amazon strives to keep S3 and their other web services up as much as possible, and over time they have done an extellent job at it. S3 is still very young and I’m sure that they’re tweaking and improving the service on the fly all the time.
This incident is by means an indication of long term stability. Just remember that there are no guarantees.
Update: Amazon continues to keep communication channels open and are taking strides to make sure that this doesn’t happen again. David Barth writes:
A short note to let you know that we are taking the outage this weekend very seriously, and that once things calm down here we will post something to this thread letting you know what steps we will be taking in the future to ensure this doesn’t happen again.
Update: David Barth gives us a more detailed update:
We were taking the low-load Saturday as an opportunity to perform some maintenance on the storage system, specifically on some very large (>100 million objects) buckets in order to obtain better load-balancing characteristics. Normally this procedure is entirely transparent to users and bucket owners. In this case, the re-balancing caused an internal transit link to become flooded, this cascaded into other network problems, and the system was made unavailable.
Read the full post for more on what Amazon is doing to prevert further outages.
Posted: March 22nd, 2006 | Author: Matt Croydon | Filed under: Open Source, Projects, Python, Web Services | 711 Comments »
I love that I now have an Amazon S3 billing page that reads like a really cheap phone or water bill. I think that they’re silently changing the game (again) without telling anyone else. I really like the implications of this magepiebrain post and decided to start using S3 “for real” myself last night.
The first ingredient was James Clarke’s flickr.py. Getting a list of my photos is pretty simple:
me = flickr.people_findByUsername("postneo")
photos = flickr.people_getPublicPhotos(me.id)
The second ingredient for getting the job done was a pythonic wrapper around the Amazon example python libraries by Mitch Garnaat called BitBucket. Because it builds on the example libraries, there’s very little error checking, so be careful. Check out Mitch’s site for some example BitBucket usage, it’s pretty slick.
Once I was familiar with both libraries, I put together a little script that finds all of my photos and uploads the original quality image to S3, using the flickr photo ID as the key. Here’s the complete code for flickrbackup.py, all 25 lines of it.
After uploading 160 or so photos to Amazon, I owe them about a penny.
Getting photos back out is really easy too:
>>> import BitBucket
>>> bucket = BitBucket.BitBucket("postneo-flickr")
>>> bits = bucket[u'116201243']
Posted: March 19th, 2006 | Author: Matt Croydon | Filed under: Linux, MySQL, PHP, Web Services | 61 Comments »
A few weeks ago I was tasked with moving boards.kusports.com from an old, overloaded XServe to a newly appropriated Xeon box. The boards were notorious for going down after big games and during big news events and usually took other things on the same server down with them.
Thankfully that is no more. A week or so before the Big 12 and NCAA tournaments we finally bit the bullet and committed some time to move the boards over to their own box with more horesepower and more RAM.
I put the ubuntu-server version of Breezy Badger on the box and took the opportunity to see if I could get UBB Threads running under lighttpd and php fast-cgi. I’m glad that I took the time, because it’s smoking fast.
The process was quite painless thanks to the Ubuntu packing system. I had to build lighttpd by hand but everything else was installable with command-line tools (aptitude/apt-get). The changeover process consisted of little more than shutting down the boards on the old box, doing a dump/restore of the database to the new server, updating DNS entries and issuing temporary redirects to get the board users through the day.
The best thing about the conversion is that lighttpd, mysql, and php-fcgi barely register any load on the server, even at peak usage. While we were scrambling with stom coverage the other weekend, the boards box quietly registered a new high water mark for usage. After a painful first-round loss in the NCAA tournament, the boards registered yet another high water mark (1134 simultaneous users). The server barely flinched with a load anywhere from 0.00 to 0.20 with plenty of resources free. Previously a third of that number could potentially bring the XServe to its knees.
While we were turbocharging things, I also installed eAccelerator on the box, which was equally painless and yielded about a 20-30% performance increase.
All in all I’m gaga over lighty, mysql, and php-fastcgi for when the situation warrants it. It really is insanely fast. At the same time I’m really glad that I work in Python all day.
Posted: February 24th, 2006 | Author: Matt Croydon | Filed under: Web Services | 3 Comments »
I’m down in Dallas at PyCon 2006 recovering from a late night slide completing session for the talk I gave today: Python in Your Pocket: Python for S60. I used docutils to transform ReST in to a purdy S5 presentation (ReST source is here).
I’ll be here through Sunday night so if you’d like to hear more, feel free to find me. I’m also going to whip together a Django lightning talk for tomorrow. While I recover a bit and take some notes, keep an eye on the pycon2006 flickr tag which I’ve been juicing with Meaning metadata.
Posted: October 15th, 2005 | Author: Matt Croydon | Filed under: Web Services | 1 Comment »
The deal could mean a lot more downloadable TV programming for Web users and more online advertising for Viacom. “We’re…excited about the partnership potential with our established brands like MTV, MTV2, MtvU, Comedy Central, SpikeTV and VH1,” an MTV executive said in a statement. Video via the Web got another boost this week when Apple Computer unveiled a new iPod that plays videos. The company also plans to sell TV episodes, music videos and short animation through the iTunes music store.
Effective immediately, iFilm.com will stop showing online movies. To view movies, you will have to tune in to iFilm2.com. I’m kidding of course. This seems like a pretty big deal and on the surface feels like a knee jerk reaction of “buy it before someone else does.” At the same time, CSI reruns on a video iPod would rule. It seems a bit weird for Apple to have started offering music videos for download from the beginning while MTV feels like a bolt-on.
“I heard you on my wireless back in ’52…”
Posted: October 3rd, 2005 | Author: Matt Croydon | Filed under: Web Services | 409 Comments »
Writeboard went live over the weekend. Solution Watch has a nice review of it. While I was hoping that there might be just a little more to it, I love writing in Textile and I’m really quite gaga over its integration with Backpack.
If you log in to your backpack you should now see a Writeboard tab. You can create new writeboards from there and have them linked to your Backpack account. You can also associate existing Writeboards with your backpack account. While at first this might seem like 37Signals is undercutting themselves (Unlimited Writeboards is one way around Backpack’s free page count), they are really adding a ton of value to their existing product and creating more loyal customers.
If you trust and honor your customers, they will return the favor.
Update: See David Heinemeier Hansson’s comment below, as it clarifies that you can associate two Writeboards with your free Backpack account. That still rocks and makes a ton of sense. Thanks for the clarification and comment!
Posted: September 11th, 2005 | Author: Matt Croydon | Filed under: Python, Web Services | 2 Comments »
The PyCon 2006 Call for Proposals is out. In addition to the regular sessions and less formal lightning talks, PyCon 2006 will feature longer tutorial sessions on February 23. I’m not sure if I’m going to be able to make it this year, but PyCon is a total blast. Last year it was great to map faces to names and to learn about so many new developments and projects. It’s time to get writing so that there is an excellent and diverse selection of talks again this year!
Posted: September 4th, 2005 | Author: Matt Croydon | Filed under: Web Services | 7 Comments »
Kiko is very ajaxy. It’s getting tons of buzz. Is it just me, or is kiko completely unusable? It’s definitely cutting edge 2.0 ajaxy stuff, but could you actually plan your day or life with it?
I don’t mean to pick on kiko. It’s obvious that they’ve put a lot of time in to the project. I just think that we’re falling in to some kind of dot-com trap where we’re using Ajax for anything and everything, weather it’s appropriate or not. Projects and products are being judged on how well they make stuff appear and dissapear on screen rather than their actual usefulness.
At the same time there’s a huge list of apps that are better apps because of their use of Ajax. I love Backpack, Google Maps, and many other Ajax-enhanced apps that I use throughout the day. I’m constantly amazed at what is being done by keeping an eye on The Ajaxian Weblog, Signal vs. Noise, the Ruby on Rails weblog and the myriad of other sites that I see Ajax mentioned and taken to the next level throughout the day.
I really like it when existing apps with solid backends get an Ajax boost. I flipped out when I saw the screencast for an Ajaxified Hula. The great thing is that Hula kicked butt even before Ajax was applied but rocks even more after.
I’m fascinated with the idea of single-url-as-webapp. Ajax gives me goosebumps (in a good way). But please, please, let’s not think of presentation first, usefulness later.
Posted: August 24th, 2005 | Author: Matt Croydon | Filed under: Linux, Web Services | 5 Comments »
So I’m cautiously optimistinc about Google Talk rocking the house. Their choice of protocols is superb. The voice stuff is very cool but is something I will probably have to do without until the chat protocol is documented and/or the fine folks ag Gaim add it to their app.
Unfortunately talk.google.com is a bit of a walled garden, though it looks like they’re going to open up gateways with a few select partners, including the I-think-they’re-cool Gizmo Project. What would be really cool though (and is not mentioned at all in the FAQs) is a Skype/Gizmo/Etc-style GoogleOut and GoogleIn service. Perhaps this could be as simple as a partnership with the Gizmo guys or as intricite as rolling their own solution.
For now anyway, talk.google.com is one of many (now seven) different IM servers I connect to every day. I had a need for a home and away AIM account before that was baked in to that service, and now I answer to both, so they’re there. I don’t actually use my jabber.com account a whole lot but the others (MSN, Yahoo!, jabber.org.uk) get enough use that I should really be connected to if I’m online.
Sure, I’d love to connect to one server and have everyone on the planet be able to reach me, but until that happens, I’ll be on all 7.
Posted: August 24th, 2005 | Author: Matt Croydon | Filed under: Web Services | 1 Comment »
(23:13:21) gmail.com: The broken link has been fixed. Thanks for being our first users!
Let the talk begin! I used these instructions for Gaim to get online last night after Russ popped on and let me know that all the cool kids were using Google Talk.
Per usual the official client is Windows only, but since they’ve done the smart thing and used XMPP (Jabber), you can point just about any client at it and away you go. The setup (at least in Gaim) is a bit non-standard, but it works.
I really want to sniff some packets on a windows box to see how they’re integrating the VOIP stuff over XMPP. Hopefully they’ve done the right thing again and are using SIP.
Update: At this time it looks like Google does not provider any server to server connections and (to my knowledge) no gateways to the outside world. Please stay within the walled garden, and don’t stand on the grass. This seems to contradict a lot of the “user choice” and “open communication” bits scattered throughout the rest of the page.
Their developer FAQ is interesting though. They’re using custom XMPP signalling to a soon-to-be-documented peer-to-peer chat protocol that just happens to work with iChat. They support a bunch of protocols too and are thinking about speex too.
It looks like their first connections with the outside world will be federations with Sipphones Gizmo project and EarthLink’s Vling services. There’s no GoogleOut or GoogleIn at this time.
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