Monthly Archives: March 2002


Paolo at eVectors wrote up his deployment of the Radio Community Server.  Every person at his company uses Radio on the desktop.  They publish personal weblogs to the Intranet via an RSS server.  They use Radio categories to publish topic specific weblogs.  Their Intranet server aggregates RSS feeds from the multiple employee weblogs (both their main weblog and their category specific weblogs).  The Intranet server also integrates data from their accounting system (this could be generalized to extend to any source of application specific data that is aggegated centrally via web services), hosts discussion groups, manages task lists, and serves as centralized document store.  Their Intranet is a portal to all the information, people, and feeds that are available.  Nice. [John Robb's Radio Weblog]

B&A: Taking the You out of User and Summit Wrapup

B&A: Taking the You out of User and Summit Wrapup. New in Boxes and Arrows.

 In “Taking the You out of User” Meg Hourihan explains how she and the Blogger team made Blogger so darn easy to use…with personas!

 Also, we've done an *in-depth* review of the IA Summit in Baltimore. Now you can learn the IA gang sign, get some Advanced Common Sense with Steve Krug and see what happens when librarians attack. [ia/ – news for information architects]

Top 10 Tips For Usable Flash

Top 10 Tips For Usable Flash. Stephanie Reindel, ao-author of Flash 99% Good, summarizes her tips.

    Flash in and of itself is not the problem. After all, Flash is merely a tool, and a powerful tool at that. When used wisely, Flash can be an effective tool for engaging and retaining users. With it, designers can highlight products and key concepts, reinforce navigation, and create helpful interactive tutorials.

[ia/ – news for information architects]  Michael Eisner quotes Lincoln as a defender of intellectual property rights.  He is probably right about that.  However, he would have choked on the idea that term of protection for copyrights would last 95 years or more!  That's more than the life expectancy of 99% of humanity or nearly 4 generations of Americans!  This is the equivalent of saying that a copyright's protection lasts until “hell freezes over.”  Certainly this isn't what the framers had in mind when they enshrined the protection of intellectual property for a “limited time” in the constitution.  There isn't a reading of the constitution that could conclude otherwise.

“In an 1859 speech, Lincoln said that before there were patent laws, “any man might instantly use what another had invented; so that the inventor had no special advantage from his own invention. The patent system changed this; secured to the inventor, for a limited time, the exclusive use of his invention; and thereby added the fuel of interest to the fire of genius, in the discovery and production of new and useful things.” As Michael Novak, of the American Enterprise Institute, has pointed out, those principles explain why the US constitution includes a clause guaranteeing the right of inventors and authors to royalties for patents and copyrights.” [John Robb's Radio Weblog]

Public TV gets nasty

Public TV gets nasty.  Maryland public TV (MPT) fired Wall Street Week host, Louis Rukeyser today, given his on-air promotion of a new show that he was developing last week.  Louis' actions were motivated by MPT's behind the back decision last week to end Louis' 32 year relationship with the show. 

Get this.  Wall Street Week has 2.6 m loyal viewers.  About the same as it did 5 years ago.  It is the most popular financial show in history.  Louis created, wrote, and managed the program for 32 years.  He is the soul of the show. 

Sooo, what did MPT do?  The media moguls in Owens Mills Maryland thought that the demographic of Louis' show was too old and that the sponsors would like it better if they jazzed it up.  I don't know if it was MPT or Fortune that pitched the idea, but a managing editor of Fortune magazine is going to host the show. 

Public TV has hit a low with this action.  MPT's greed, lack of vision, disrespect, and disloyalty is a showcase of what public TV isn't supposed to be.  Fortune's desire to steal Louis' show also reflects badly on the magazine.  Granted, the publishing industry is having a tough time right now, but this isn't the way to make money. [John Robb's Radio Weblog]

Dear Senator Hollings

Mary Wehmeier's Radio Weblog – Dear Senator Hollings.

Obviously you have little knowledge about the technology you wish to regulate so tightly. This lack of understanding about the technology you are proposing to control will write off small business people like me and countless other film, video and music editors who work outside the corporate entertainment workplace.

An open letter from a private self employed video editor and producer about the: “Consumer Broadband and Digital Television Promotion Act” (CBDTPA) . [Privacy Digest]

Red Hat Announces the First Enterprise-Class Linux OS

Red Hat Announces the First Enterprise-Class Linux OS. Red Hat Linux Advanced Server is the new powerful enterprise platform for mission-critical server deployments. Backed by Red Hat Network and Red Hat Professional Services, Red Hat Linux Advanced Server will support high availability workgroups with a serious level of security.

Benefits include:

Performance and Scalability Enhancements.


All this for US$800 per server sounds very cheap – and it supports 8-way SMP too! For comparison, Microsoft is selling this functionality in Windows 2000 Advanced Server for US $3,999. I also noticed Dell, IBM and Compaq are partnering with Red Hat to provide the hardware. Does that leave Sun in the shadows?– John  [PHP Everywhere]

DevShed: Error Handling in PHP

DevShed: Error Handling in PHP. No developer, no matter how good he or she may be, writes error-free code all the time. Which is why most programming languages – including PHP – come with built-in capabilities to catch errors and take remedial action. This action could be something as simple as displaying an error message, or as complex as heating your computer's innards until they burst into flame (just kidding!)

Now, you might not know this, but PHP comes with a full-featured error handling API, which provides you with a number of options when it comes to trapping and resolving errors. Not only does PHP allow you to decide which types of errors get displayed to the user, but it also allows you to bypass its internal error handler in favour of your own custom functions, thereby opening up all sorts of possibilities for the creative developer.

My job over the next few pages is to educate you about these possibilities, first by offering some grounding in the fundamentals and then by showing you how PHP's error-handling functions can be used in real-world development. So keep reading. — Icarus  [PHP Everywhere]