…and at the end, on the “What will it take” slide he is talking about an information system not design or architecture at all! It then occurred to me that there is a potential use for RDF an the semantic web here. If you can design some metadata that can describe all the important features of the 3000 designs Cameron has on his laptop then you might be able to create a search interface that can find best designs for any given environment.
Its a big leap to first describe the designs adequately with a certain meta description but I feel you just have to start and then it will get better as you figure out whats needed.
Even better than search is that you might get machines to take certain situations/problems (i.e. this much space, this much power, this much water efficiency etc) and automatically find design solutions to solve the problem(s). You might need to assemble a hospital/school/basic housing in the desert/jungle/mountains with only scrap wood/metal/bamboo with 2 people working on it who are only proficient in hammer&nail/tying-rope/chopping-wood etc
This is the first real-world use for the semantic web I’ve every thought about and once you realise what its useful for (i.e. making the real world machine readable) you can apply it to anything!
I need to start doing some research and getting into it!
This is a great TED talk from Tim Berners-Lee who created the internet. Here he talks about Linked Data and the importance of sharing and linking data.
Just as with his first break-through, the hyperlink, he realises that its the links that make things useful. To take this on step further the linking is how we embed mean into web documents. The same applied with data. Data by itself is not as useful as data linked to other data and this linkage is meaningful.
Linking was only half the story and Tim doesn’t talk about the importance of standardising the data format, which by the way he also underestimated with HTML and why web developers have had a nightmare with different web browsers interpretation of HTML. Data formats is the less exciting half of the equation but is going to be just as critical. Especially with numbers like dates, currencies, measurements (and their metrics) etc. I’m thinking (hoping, praying) that we’ve learnt our leasons from HTML and people know when and how to draw up a standard for data formats before this thing explodes.
There are a multitude of problems with embedding Flash into valid mark-up. Basically:
You can’t use the EMBED tag now days and has been dropped in favour of the OBJECT tag. You actually can use the EMBED tag but its not future compatible and your page won’t validate.
This presents problems because IE and Netscape/Firefox based browsers handle the object tag differently. If you manage to get a single object tag to load a flash movie in both browsers then IE seems to not stream the movie anymore.
Helped out Jamie the other night with his thesis project by doing what I like to call ‘Gorilla Web Development’. In the space of 2 hours I whipped up a page that takes a string of words and allows you to upload images for each word. Two pages of PHP.
Nice and easy and has fun results. Reused my FileUploader and Image class to get the files and resize them with minimum pain.
Community segmentation is going to become a growing need for large online communities where some parts of the community will not want to encounter other parts for various reasons, ether for content rating issues or because there is too much information from a certain part of the community that a member might not be interested in.
Community segmentation is going to become a growing need for large online communities where some parts of the community will not want to encounter other parts for various reasons, ether for content rating issues or because there is too much information from a certain part of the community that a member might not be interested in. Continue reading “Visual Community Segmentation”
I like most of the artists on the Warp Record website. Loves ’em I do. So it was only natural to go to their website and check it out. They keep a pretty low profile but have a huge cult following:
“People will look at Warp in 20 Years like people look at Blue Note or Motown now.”
So you figure they could have a huge community driven site, really hyping up the fans, who are all pretty hard core really, but sadly this is not the case. In fact they have a site that not only has music in the front page that you can’t stop (and being a music fan I’m always playing my own so I want to get off the front page in a hurry every time). In a panic I hit the ‘Albums’ nav link which, thank god, makes the music stop but you are presented with a piece of genius user interface design.
A grid of squares with one corner lopped off with a seemingly random colour coding. There are 146 of these squares, each representing an album. The only way you can find an album is to drag your mouse over each one which brings up the artist, album and catalogue reference serial. The ordering of the albums and the colour coding seems to be random.
Its assumed that there was some sort of ‘idea’ behind this interface. The little maimed cubes pop up when you mouse over them like sifting though a second hand record collection in an obscure shop somewhere. The trouble is if your looking for something specific it seems to maximise the time it will take for you to find it. At least a record shop has its albums sorted by artist. There is no searching or way to chose sorting, nothing.
Considering its there interface to their online shop you might think they would make it easy for you to find what your after.
Apart form that, there is no community driven stuff on the site, which a label with such a cult following would benefit enormously from.