Alex Barnett blog


Geek Juice

Yup, I've definitely been missing my feedreader (and now FeedDemon is free I really have no excuses to catch up).

So much good stuff out there, so little time! Here's a sample of the good stuff I've been running into...

MVC, I know what you're thinking...

Haacked shares his MVC joke - "So A Model, A View, and a Controller Walk Into a Bar"...ok, so that's a bad start.

Less of a joke though, more the future...I think therefore I click - Microsoft's investigation into the subconscious, studying thought patterns as part of battle against Apple, Google:

"When a Microsoft Corp. patent application for a method of sorting brain waves surfaced late last year, it drew quips that the company now plans to read PC users' minds, in addition to selling them software."

But that's a while off. I think.

Build it!

In the meantime, back to some semi-reality - here's a good Facebook app primer on How To Build A Facebook Application...and now you can add your own very own virtual realty into Virtual Earth: 3D Models in Mashups. Customize your own Virtual World on your website!

"In this release we added the ability to load custom 3D models as part of a Collection right in your own web applications"

Ship It!

Skyfire has emerged from stealth mode, this video shows the Skyfire mobile browser enabling Flash video through server-side rendering

"While the mobile phone industry scrambles to adopt faster graphics platforms for rendering video, a startup may have bypassed everyone with an approach so simple, you wonder why nobody tried it already"

It looks pretty slick and could well...It just needs to ship! Something else that needs shipping, and pronto...The World Wide Web Consortium releases draft of HTML 5:

"In its final form by 2010, HTML 5 is intended to bring the markup language forward into today's richer Internet environments, with new application programming interfaces to control audio and 2D video content."

And along the shipping theme, Tommy Williams of Microsoft's Data Programmability team describes how he takes a finished software product and gets it up on the Web for people to download.

Trends It!

Here's a comment left by a Brian Campbell re: Tim Bray's 2008 Prediction 1: RIA vs. AJAX post.

"Well, one of the big trends is actually getting AJAX to be able to do what the RIA platforms can."

Yup. Lots more to do here.

And what consumer trends to we expect this year? How about the Expectation Economy? I read this, liked it, but thought: Isn't this really describing the experience economy?

A personal trend for me...How about enjoying the NJOY Electronic Cigarette. My wife got me one of these. I haven't got the balls to try this publicly yet...but my time may come.

And this year, how are devs really going make money with Web 2.0? I agree with Phil Wainewright's prediction:

"a groundswell of smart developers are going to use DevPay to make money under the radar screen"


Subscribed to Steve Gillmor's podcasting series - The Gang ยป Audio. It includes a fair amount of stuff I'm not really into, but some very good stuff that's right up my street. Just got to be selective about which episodes I'll listen to.

I liked this tool, FlickrDown - download and save your Flickr pics to your hard drive - pics by username, tags or group. Windows only. Sorry! Maybe Mac support in a future release?

Letting your customers know where you're going with your product, what criteria you're using to float some features / improvements to the top of your roadmap is obviously important when you're dealing with developer customer base.

But that's easier said than done. It's a balancing act - on the one hand you don't want to risk over-promising and under-delivering (in fact, you want the opposite) and yet you want provide the best level of visibility you can, so I liked how Ning is carefully introducing its future roadmap to customers in this post - January Product Roadmap - What's Next.

Defining Community

Having clearly defined and agreed term is generally a useful thing (Web 2.0 anyone?) gets us all on the same page when we're trying to figure stuff out together. Bob Rebholz of Microsoft's Community team is doing his bit to define the "Community" bit in Social system design part 1: defining terms

"Defining community should be easy right? And it is, sort of."