Defining the Semantic of Markup

Semantics in regard to HTML markup is a murky water. This is because web pages are usually not an essay style document, which HTML was designed to markup, and contain information that is not actually relevant to what the page is about. Examples would be: menus, shopping cart information, summaries of forum activity, and the other half of HTML design: user/human interfaces. To say or even think that HTML can encapsulate all the “meanings” that human language structures can come up with (which are actually infinite), not to mention the non-language structures found on web systems representing a computer system interface, is naive. It is also an assumption that has never been backed up by any standards body in argument and thats because its simply wrong. The Microformat standard and now POSH process seem to be unwittingly dealing with the problem without understanding it. This is actually an applied philosophy problem!

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Why WordPress can’t be shared

Aim

I have about 6 different WordPress installs on my host. One for me, one for my company TSD and 3-4 for friends and family on sub domains. The issues I have with it are:

  • Upgrading is a pain
  • Sharing plugin-ins is a pain
  • Gets worse for every new blog I install

So I tried to modify the WP code so that it could be installed (and upgraded) in one place and then used for many blogs on the same server. I found out that as it stands WP‘s design doesn’t scale very well. I guess it wasn’t meant to, but when you work with it you get the feeling it could…
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A definition of Consciousness

Suppose ‘consciousness’ could be defined as the ability of a ‘being that can learn’ to understand how its self learns. Thus it then has to ‘decide’, a rudimentary idea in our perception of ‘consciousness’.

I think this explains to a degree then our ‘personality’ which we use to direct our experiences in the world and thus our learning. We, in a manner, feed our learning what it likes best: pleasurable experiences.

If this is true, what does it say about the ‘Turing test’ and there for the way forward for AI research.

Nationalism is so last century

Giant soccer ball in the skySo I’m in Berlin and things are going well. Have a large unfurnished room on the 1st of May with at least one über cool flatmate (the other to be found in the next few weeks) and a broken arm due to my experimenting with “bicycle catapulting”, a new sport I hope to put my name to. I have also made progress on the social front and have meet many super friendly, young Germans, all busy doing their thing and doing it well, as far as I can tell. Also, they have painted the TV tower at Alexander Platz like a giant pink ‘fussball’ (see photo, thanks to bollin @ Flickr).
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Never trust Microsoft again

Declan had a funny rant about the latest of Microsoft’s attempts to win our web development hearts back and flamed a Microsoft Stooge in the process. But why do they need to win our hearts? You don’t see Apple playing this game and Mac people are almost on par with Mormons when it comes to ranting about their shiny toys.

The major complain I have against Microsoft is that they are followers. They want to control the market place but don’t know where to take it. Open Source and the Standards groups have been leading the way with web technology since Mozilla.org started up. Microsoft is still in beta with their IE7 that touts the ‘latest technologies’ (i.e. RSS, tabbed browsing, CSS1) that FireFox has had for a couple of years now, and even Safari, the product of a much smaller company, is already up to speed. Hell, even Opera is leaving IE behind in the browser game.

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MetaWeb is born!

Ideas for using comments on del.icio.us bookmarks and how this could add a layer ontop of the web.

I use Sage to manage the RSS feeds I like to track. I track my friends del.icio.us links RSS feed. When you add a URL to del.icio.us you get to leave a comment on it, like a note. This note comes up with the link in Sage. What I’d like to do is reply to this comment. Comments on del.icio.us bookmarks. Could be in interesting idea.

I heard about a technology that lets you leave notes on URLs for you friends. A Firefox extension could be developed to get all the comments that have been left for your current URL.

Also would be handy is if del.icio.us let you bookmark RSS feeds and then acted as an aggregator for you. I guess this would be pretty server intensive, like a universal cache for all the webs feeds worth bookmarking. People could then leave comments on all the articles coming though. It would be like a web on top of the web: MetaWeb!

Amateur media

As the media becomes more restricted by the powers that be independent amateur media might be the way forward for democracy.

I remember I had a long and ugly debate with Bernard and Sara one night over a couple of bottles of wine. I proposed that with the advent of cheap media devices, and internet community sharing sites, we would not have to rely on the commercial main stream media completely anymore for information on current events. As the media becomes more restricted by the powers that be independent amateur media might be the way forward for democracy.

Examples from the recident London bombing:

  1. The London Bomb Blast Pool
  2. Wikipedias ‘7 July 2005 London bombings‘ entry was up to the minute
  3. London Explosions @ Londonist

Update: Seems I’m not the only one thinking this way.