Where the semantic web breaks down

We’re using semantic web technologies for a lot of cool stuff in Logos Bible Software, and I’m coming to appreciate the tools and structures, especially when you control  both the data creation and consumption. It’s also cool to see more semantic data showing up in web pages, microformats, etc. Hearing Clay Shirky speak this week …

Google destroyed the web

I don’t mind advertising supported content. But I’m sick of the heaping mounds of garbage that clutter the Internet in an attempt to generate “passive income” on 0.000001% click-throughs of Google AdSense ads. Today I searched for the answer to a question. The top hit was a useful article written by a subject-matter expert. (Good …

Platforms need to get the basics right

Everybody is building a platform these days. Software isn’t delivered on top of an operating system anymore, it’s delivered on top of a platform that does what the OS used to (and, to be fair, usually a lot more). So instead of a Windows or Mac app, there are now Ajax, XUL, WinForms, WPF, Java, …

Pragmatic versus idealistic product evolution

Once again, Joel explains it all. I wrote some MS-DOS utility programs back in the 80’s. They run just fine on Vista, and I even use one of them once in a while. 25+ years of backwards compatibility. I can’t even load up my old Apple IIe or original Mac software. Microsoft has gone to …

Streaming video needs fast forward

I think Microsoft’s Silverlight is pretty cool, and I’m glad we’ll have a way to leverage XAML/WPF/C# for rich UI on the web. But the trend towards Flash and Silverlight video players is killing my favorite feature: “Play Speed > Fast” Being able to watch one-hour technical talks at 1.4x speed is real value-add. The …

Visual Syntactic Text Formatting

Years ago I saw some framed Bible verses made with scraps of paper and wire in a way that emphasized the structure of the text and specific words. (Gift products distributed by Zondervan — but I’ve forgotten the name.) It got me thinking about how text might be arranged on screen to enhance reading, and …