Learning more about CSS Something

Learning more about CSS

Something I read today complained about the templates in “Radio Userland” being table-based vs. CSS based. Who cares? They work fine, after all. And, as someone who had recently spent some time crafting a personal site using tables, I thought that was the way it is done.

Turns out there’s another way: using CSS, naturally. (I always loved the “cascading” in CSS. Takes me to the clean outdoors with those fresh pine scents!)

Read more about it here.

Use CSS for your next web page layout or be square!


Trying to understand WSDL Generally,

Trying to understand WSDL

Generally, I try to understand new technology from the perspective of a major company CIO. After all, I spent years in that role at several big companies.

Dave seems to really dislike WSDL. Frankly, I don’t understand why. Seems like he objects to the development of a specification in advance of real-world experience with it. Isn’t that what versioning is all about?

He points to the Blogger API — which is just a human-readable page containing essentially the same information a WSDL page would contain for that interface. At least that’s how it appears to me, the non-programmer. Make that “former programmer”.

The advantage of WSDL, seems to me, is that a smart program can pick up the interface information without requiring a human read it. It’s been through the W3C standards process with multiple players (including Microsoft, IBM, Ariba and, I think, HP) involved.

What am I missing?

PS: Don’t misunderstand me re: Dave. I’m just trying to understand a particular point of view he’s expressing. He’s taught me so much over the last 3 years. It’s been a real delight watching the evolution of the technology he and his team have developed.


Radio Userland: Search Solution? Dave

Radio Userland: Search Solution?

Dave Winer has responded to my “Radio Userland” search thoughts posted here yesterday. A local Radio Userland search page would be a great start. Google for searching the hosted site is just fine!

Just took a look at Google’s free site search. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to specify a domain/directory combination — they say they don’t support searching directories.

Looks like the only other option they offer is the full Silver/Gold search — which costs almost $2 grand/month. A bit steep for the weblogger crowd!

Wonder if Userland could bundle a domain service with RU? In other words, instead of each of us having these numbered directories, we could also have a domain name pointing at our stuff. For example, could point to Then I could tell Google the domain (I think — unless Google chokes on the multiple subdomains?). Of course, this would also be cool for things other than enabling Google searches!


Today’s News Stories Business Week:

Today’s News Stories

Business Week: A Better Web through Higher Math.

“So before you dismiss a paper with a title such as A Phase Transition in the Optimum Partitioning Problem as irrelevant gobbledygook, consider that the work was done at Microsoft Research — and could lead to the software revolutions of tomorrow.”

O’Reilly Network: How the Wayback Machine Works.

“The Internet Archive made headlines back in November with the release of the Wayback Machine, a Web interface to the Archive’s five-year, 100-terabyte collection of Web pages. The archive is the result of the efforts of its director, Brewster Kahle, to capture the ephemeral pages of the Web and store them in a publicly accessible library. In addition to the other millions of web pages you can find in the Wayback Machine, it has direct pointers to some of the pioneer sites from the early days of the Web, including the NCSA What’s New page, The Trojan Room Coffee Pot, and Feed magazine.”

John Markoff: How Lonely is the Life that is Lived Online? [NY Times]

The study concludes that Internet use at home has a strong negative impact on time spent with friends and family, while Internet use at work decreases the time spent with colleagues.

GovNet: What is it good for? [Wired News]

Federal security experts will be reviewing proposals for the GovNet this week, but insiders report there is little excitement among the federal intelligence community for the project.

The Web Services Ecosystem and Vitiris. John Aloysius Ogilvie of Killdara sketches his views of the current Web Services ecosystem and describes the different ways to build a Web Services provider, including using Killdara’s Vitiris product.


SOA: Services Oriented Architectures Buzzword

SOA: Services Oriented Architectures

Buzzword alert: SOA is a new term being used to describe applications built using web services. A conference on SOA’s is being planned for June 2002.


Radio Userland: Search Solution? Today’s

Radio Userland: Search Solution?

Today’s Assignment: I’m looking to add a search capability to my “Radio Userland” weblog site. What’s the best approach?

Userland offers a search engine for Manila sites but it’s not obvious that same approach supports Radio sites. To start with, there are no prefs settings for search in Radio.

It seems that there might be two types of searches that need to be offered: 1) a quick local search of my Radio site on my desktop and 2) website search of my hosted Radio site. I’d use the local search to quickly locate items I’d like to refer to while creating new postings. The second search would be for users to use.

For the first search, there’s probably a macro somewhere in Radio that I could use to accomplish the search. After all, as I understand it, the pages all reside in Radio’s object database. We’d need to expose this on one of Radio’s pages — perhaps by adding “Search” as a new item in the top menu that runs across the very top of the page.

For the second search, it’s understandable that Userland would want something very lightweight so that their hosting servers don’t get bogged down when somebody invokes a search. Maybe Google Site Search is the way to go — since the site is already being regularly monitored by Google?


Apple Upsurge? Tim O’Reilly notes

Apple Upsurge?

Tim O’Reilly notes that Apple iBooks are now the most common laptop seen at the O’Reilly Conferences. I’ve been noticing how Unix/Java developers are rapidly adopting Macs running Apple’s OS X as their development platform. Apparently the combination of the Macintosh interface with a full fledged Unix platform is “very cool” for developers.

I was speaking with another friend on Friday who told me about a group of developers he knew who had to change locations as part of a new assignment. They were running Apple Titanium laptops with OS X and also had Sun desktop machines. They left behind the Sun desktops when they moved to their new locations — the Apple laptops were all they needed!

I’ve also noticed a lot of “Radio Userland” activity by Mac users. Don’t know what the actual statistics are, but it sure seems like more than 5% of the Radio users are Mac-based. (5% is Apple’s usual market share.)


Radio Userland: Template Changes I

Radio Userland: Template Changes

I made a couple of changes to Radio’s templates yesterday. Details logged in a story page I’ve started for that purpose.

While the page looks better with these changes, I’m still not happy. It seems to me there needs to be a better “demarcation” between stories on the page. Now the only indication is the timestamp at the end of the story. I think we need something better.

I think what I’m looking for would also include a permanent link to the top of that particular story — sort of like the little hooked arrow that Dave uses on “Scripting News”. Maybe it already exists and I just don’t know how to use it?


Today’s News Stories Amazon may

Today’s News Stories

Amazon may hit “profitability” milestone. [Seattle Times]

“The chatter among Seattle’s elite cocktail parties began during the holidays:, they whispered, had reached the profitability milestone it set almost a year ago. Not only that, it had hit the mark two months ahead of schedule.”

Dan Gillmor: The Next Frontier — Web Services. [San Jose Mercury News]

In the end, Web services are inevitable. The technology makes too much sense.

Apple tries hard to keep a secret. [San Jose Mercury News]

Why does Apple keep things so quiet, and how? It turns out Apple’s motivation for keeping secrets comes down to two things: survival and marketing.

Loans that turn a home into a cash flow. [New York Times]

“The reverse mortgage requires no financial, credit or medical reports, yet promises to put tax-free money into the hands of its borrowers. And borrowers can remain in their home without having to repay any of the loan until they sell, move out or die.”

Silicon Valley’s Underbelly. High-tech’s temp troops: Overworked, underpaid, essential [San Francisco Chronicle]


A Hawaiian Slack Key Afternoon:

A Hawaiian Slack Key Afternoon: Keola Beamer, Ozzie Kotani and George Kahumoku, Jr.

We went to Borders at Stonestone in San Francisco this afternoon for a delightful concert in the store from these Hawaiian slack key guitar players.

They’re playing in Sebastopol tonight and Palo Alto tomorrow night before heading across the US on a tour which ends in New York in February.

I find slack key guitar so relaxing — close your eyes and you’re in the islands! It’s truly stress-relieving — at least for me!

George was a high school teacher in Hawaii and recently moved to Santa Cruz, CA to get his Masters degree. He’s also quite a writer. Keola is probably the most famous of the bunch. Ozzie is the precision player — his just released CD “To Honor a Queen” is fabulous!