Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I would have commented but I can't (Joel Spolsky comparing Gmail to Lotus 1-2-3)

Joel Spolski at the end of a long and interesting article eventually gets to a point where he compares Gmail to Lotus 1-2-3

He claims that AJAX optimized applications are doomed to fail if they don't start working off a known SDK, as Lotus failed because it wasn't ready to win the spreadsheet war due to too much focus on optimization.

Well... His point would have been a valid point if you were to ignore the existence of such SDKs and the fact that Gmail is in fact rumored to be using (and in fact the force behind) one of the major ones.

Currently we have the following SDKs:
Dojo sdk - one of the first and a very good one
Google is pushing GWT
Microsoft with their own ASP.NET Ajax (and affiliates)

They are all quite good, each with its own approach to the issue - personally I used two of the three, and "got" Dojo the best (That doesn't necessarily mean anything)...

Also unnoticed in the article is the fact that most AJAX applications are already in fact sort of standardized (at least on the data side) as they all (most) work with JSON or XML + HTTP as the transfer layer. AND a single defacto language of choice (JavaScript).

Obviously IE and Firefox (and Opera and the rest of them) aren't going to agree on anything soon, but these SDK/Libraries are doing a fine job of solving these issues for all AJAX Developers and including useful additions (Google Gears, Dojo Offline) to take AJAX applications to the next level (the Desktop). The future looks good for web developers.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Google Webmaster tools gets a (small) facelift

I might be the first one blogging about this, but probably not...
In the last few months I've started using the Google Web Master tool suite to see how my new website (a website about woodworking in Hebrew) was doing in the crawler.

It is a ver nice tool with a range of options to see what's hapening with your website.
Today when viewing some things I noticed there was a slightly different look to the site, so here is a screen shot for your pleasure, there doesn't seem any functionality change just looks

UPDATE: just noticed that someone published way before me, and also noticed that they indeed did add somefunctionality (track google application subscription to your feeds). I guess it's not my fault since I haven't been connected for the last 72+ hours due to the Jewish New Year. Shana Tova to all...

Sunday, September 9, 2007


Hi all,

this time I'm writing so you can avoid a very anoying website. I'll start by saying that I am not working for any of their competition, I'm just a poor fellow who got an invite and decided to try out a new social network.

I'm usually a carefull man, I try to read the little letters of the contract, especialy if I'm a little worried.

A few days ago, I joined this service (don't want them to get to much google juice), through a incousous invitiation recieved from a friend.

After I joined a standard screen for getting my contacts appeared (at least standard in social network sites). I again filled the details, understanding that this is just to provide me with an easy way to invite friends to join - which is fine.

The list arrived after a few seconds, and I chose to invite only one person that was already on the website (not the one that invited me). and submitted. I then explored a little and like many new such sites - I understood that there was nothing new or interesting, so I left, thinking well, it's just going to be another dormant account like many I have, with the occasional email reminding me it's there and waiting.

A few days pass, and suddenly I get in my work email an invite from me (my other account) to join the service. I certainly didn't invite myself... A few more hours pass by and suddenly my inbox is filled with messages from friends, family and auto-responders + support addresss - all saying we recieved an email from you about this service... is it good? SHIT!!!! I realized they used that address book to send to everybody.

Now I don't care if it's a bug, or on purpose, or whatever... I think it is just rude and hurtful to do such a thing. Some of the entries in my address book are business contacts or other contacts that I would never dream of inviting to my network, not because I don't like them or something like that, but because it's just not the type of relationship we have, or maybe I just wrote them once to comment on their blog and gmail put them in my contact list - but I never would be considered by them as a friend - and such a mail would just be SPAM...

Now I don't know on how many blacklists this has put me, I apologize for being to trustfull of a shady company. I don't really know how to fix this - another email from me (since the website put my name as the sender and reply to address) - would probably be even more trouble...

Just after being hit, I finally googled and cam up with these (top ten after the company url),1759,2179181,00.asp

And this is just the begining.

To all my friends and contacts, I apologize for this un-solicited email, I hope something can be done about these disgusting spammers!

Shana Tova!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Feeling stupid... actually anxious

Just now, I opened my feed reader (Google Reader) which I haven't done for the longest time...

One of the first messages on the home page was one from the Google Reader blog - "We Found It"
The message talks about the new Search feature in Google Reader - long awaited by me...

The post shows a screenshot with a search box - I was anxious to try it out AND the new fix they also announced in the same post (ability to minimize the side-pane). Being the fact that I was using Google Reader at the same instant to read the post - I raised my eyes looking for the search box - nothing.
Tried to click the separator to minimize the side-pane - nothing...

Tried to refresh the whole browser window, nothing, tried browsing to different views in reader - nothing.

Last change - going to settings, looked for a setting to turn this on perhaps - nada!

Deep down I know this is one of the slow release things google does from time to time (usualy Israel is one of the last) but they tend to anounce that sort of thing...

Well I'll be waiting for it to apear later on...

See ya!

Quick Update: it came on 5 minutes later, guess the anouncment was just a little premature... Yay! Also the feature is working quite nicely - I love the ability to hide the side-pane - now I can read the sunday Dilbert comic in ease without guessing what is at the right side end of the strip :-)