30 Jul

On Search: Metadata

Tim Bray:

"Historically, the difficulty of collecting metadata at source has been generally large enough to outweigh the (potentially huge) benefits from collecting it. But I for one am not ready to give up on this approach. There are, after all, domains where metadata is at the core of the business proposition, and the process works there. For examples, the editorial staff who produce the Wall Street Journal add metadata as they go along, identifying people, companies, stock ticker symbols, and so on."

28 Jul

Prototyping with Style

Digital Web:

"CSS can be ideal for use by information architects and interaction designers for rapidly developing prototypes for usability testing, review, and analysis. […] For those who want to get more advanced with rapid prototype development, data-driven pages and database queries can be simulated by storing data in XML and using XSL/XSLT to apply designs. Since XML can be processed automatically in some browsers, it is possible to create a prototype simulating a database interaction without database or server access."

This all sounds very attractive, but having CSS to properly work is such a PITA that people might waste precious time debugging prototypes, which seems like the last thing you want to do. Give me more wizard-based WYSIWYG "I don’t need to look at the code" support of CSS and XML data islands in authoring tools, and yes, such smart prototypes that actually do something would kick ass.

21 Jul

Amazon Plan Would Allow Searching Texts of Many Books

NYT:

"Executives at Amazon.com are negotiating with several of the largest book publishers about an ambitious and expensive plan to assemble a searchable online archive with the texts of tens of thousands of books of nonfiction, according to several publishing executives involved.
Amazon plans to limit how much of any given book a user can read, and it is telling publishers that the plan will help sell more books while better serving its own online customers."

It’s all about the search engine.

19 Jul

The Web’s Amish

Matt Haughey:

"These people scour the web for new interesting sites, constantly adding, editing, and tweaking their huge handmade taxonomy of all things web, while in the background millions of robots do their job better. Yet in the face of that, they keep pressing on. On the Information Superhighway, Yahoo Surfers have orange triangular safety reflectors on the back of their buggies while the Googlebots whiz on by."