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Archive for the 'Hardcore' Category

Thursday, May 4th, 2006

SPARQL And The Semantic Web

“SPARQL is way interesting”

Jim Rapoza over on Publish.com today has an inspirational post up - SPARQL Will Make The Web Shine - about the Candidate Recommendation over at the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) called SPARQL. Its pronounced sparkle. Or more precisely SPARQL Query Language for RDF.

OK that sounds way too geeky and a thousand eyes just glazed over with a link to the specification. For that I apologise in my geeky glee at having some hope of a bigger and better web oneday. Jim writes

The ability of database queries to pull data from giant databases is pretty much the basis of a large number of enterprise applications. No one argues about the value of being able to write a query in an application that can pull relevant customer and product data.

Now, imagine writing a similarly small application that does the same thing—only with data stored across the entire World Wide Web. Imagine being able to query all RSS feeds, every image site, Google applications, individual Friend of a Friend files, and on and on.

and later in the article he points out this won’t require big changes on our end

Even more encouraging is that, unlike some other promising Semantic Web initiatives, SPARQL doesn’t require a big change in the way content is created or used, thanks to the rise of Web 2.0 technologies. Once it’s out of the gate, SPARQL should work as well with most Web 2.0 sites and applications as it does with those that were designed specifically for the Semantic Web.

So why am I full of geeky glee on a cold morning with a mountain of snow right outside my back door? SPARQL is way interesting - and I just have to get my butt together to finish this university degree so I can devote myself to building something way kick arse wonderfully awesome using it. Hell yeah.

Monday, February 13th, 2006

Russ Weakley - Be Courteous Or Leave

“A playpen for 12 to 20 hardcore specification readers”

I remember when the Web Standards Group mailing list was younger it seemed more focused on helping people adopt and understand web standards. In the past year the few times I’ve raised my head with a question I’ve either been ignored or berated on or off the list and I know of several others who have had the same issues. I stay subscribed and I read the information but to be honest its as far as I go.

Don’t get me wrong Russ and the crew provide a marvelous service and I’m not knocking it. But I’d say the list nowdays is pretty hardcore and anyone asking a simple question is pushed aside or sent to the archives. Its also more of a playpen for 12 to 20 hardcore specification readers who would argue for days on the meagrest point. So it was nice to see Russ Weakley post Be Courteous Up or Leave on the list yesterday.

As one of the many who’ve been made to feel stupid or inadequate by a few of these regular hardcores its nice to see some semblance of decency is on the agenda again. This elitism and abusive behaviour is more harmful to web standards than using tables, writing tag soup or even god forbid serving one markup as the other to appease Internet Explorer. We’re all at different places on that learning curve and even the person who has just come to the list for the first time with NO IDEA about web standards should never feel they’ve asked a stupid question.

So thanks Russ for seeing this is an issue and I hope it becomes more helpful on the list in future. I know I sent a young guy over there for advice last month - Lloyd is a student making a University Guild site for free in Perth - and he was sometimes totally ignored or got a hard time. That’s shameful. Lloyd is a student wanting to learn something and improve and he’s a future mover and shaker in web development. He’s exactly who its beneficial to be educating about this stuff. And I feel I wouldn’t be so far behind the curve ball if I felt comfortable asking questions too.

This is a good resource which has done a lot of good for a lot of businesses but it has the potential to become a closed club for technical isolationists to hammer the finer points of the specifications and letters of dispute rather than being useful to the rank and file businesses who work 9 to 5. I’m very glad to see that post Russ. Thankyou.

Recent on Pig Pen

Encoding Ampersands

September 10th, 2006

Encoding Ampersands to please the validator might be more important than you've been led to understand - thanks Roger.

Accessibility Role At Google

September 10th, 2006

Accessibility Role At Google is advertised and Joe explains why they're only paying lip service to accessibility. They need a department and 10 men - not all programmers!

What's On At Target?

September 10th, 2006

What's On At Target? Remember they're being sued for having an inaccessible website. Joe Clark has an update.

Update: 10/9/06
Slashdot have a post on this pointing to an article on Business Wire.

BBEdit 8.5

September 10th, 2006

BBEdit 8.5 - professional HTML and text editor for Macintosh.

Asian Mobile Web

September 9th, 2006

Asian Mobile Web is years ahead of America's - only 1.5 years though.

Paris Hilton On South Park

September 9th, 2006

Paris Hilton On South Park is funny, I must have missed this episode.

Best Web Based Applications

September 9th, 2006

Best Web Based Applications for small business from Forbes. (via Slashdot)

Happy Birthday Star Trek

September 9th, 2006

Happy Birthday Star Trek - wow 40 already! (via Slashdot)

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Recent on Norty Pig

Business Issue #1: Silos

September 8th, 2006

Fast Company asks Do you suffer from silo dysfunction? We all live in silos and so its natural they exist inside organisations but if you know they're there you can break the down the barriers. Ken Yarmosh's article Why Web 2.0 Matters To Your Business - Knowledge Sharing is worth a read too.

Businesses Should Know...

September 1st, 2006

Roger Johansson's article 10 Things Businesses Should Know Before Building a Website adds to some others on the subject. If you're hiring or building a web site you should read this.

Gov't Work Postponed

August 30th, 2006

After a phone call with the relevant manager the public sector work will be postponed, so if anyone needs to use my services for 2 half days per week you need only use my contact page to reach me.

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