Links 2007-02-03

Microformats - rest/ahah
AHAH is intended to be a much simpler way to do web development (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_development) than AJAX (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ajax_%28programming%29): “Asynchronous JavaScript and XML.” Strictly speaking, AHAH can be considered a subset of AJAX, since (X)HTML is just a special kind of XML. However, it is a subset with some very specific and useful properties:

  1. The lack of custom XML schemas dramatically reduces design time
  2. AHAH can trivially reuse existing HTML pages, avoiding the need for a custom web service
  3. All data transport is done via browser-friendly HTML, easing debugging and testing
  4. The HTML is designed to be directly embedded in the page’s DOM, eliminating the need for parsing
  5. As HTML, designers can format it using CSS, rather than programmers having to do XSLT transforms
  6. Processing is all done on the server, so the client-side programming is essentially nil (moving opaque bits)

In fact, for any content that is destined to be viewed by the browser, it is virtually impossible to imagine any advantage to sending it as custom XML rather than structurally-correct HTML (with appropriate CSS-friendly class names, of course).

The Anti Team
Everyone is always talking about their ideal development team. The Anti Team is a tongue and check commentary that in my experience hits close to home. Funny!

Visual Security: 9-block IP Identification
Personally, I’ve never liked avatars/gravators. This idea is a bit simpler. Create a unique icon based on the sender’s IP address. Automatic, colorful and interesting (in a geeky way). Jeff Atwood at Coding Horror has coded up a .NET version.

Nice looking directory listings for your IIS
Do you hate bland directory listing pages that most web servers have these days? The Internet has gone through many evolutions, yet web directory listings somehow got left out to the point where sometimes they appear to predate the HTTP protocol itself (gopher, anyone?). This IIS module fixes all that.

The Newspaper Clipping Generator
This is just plain fun. Enter a few lines of text and it generates an image of a newspaper clipping with your text.

E-mail from the grave?
n this culture of instant information, some Microsoft Corp. researchers are pursuing a radical notion – the concept of saving messages for delivery in decades, centuries or more. The project, dubbed “immortal computing,” would let people store digital information in physical artifacts and other forms to be preserved and revealed to future generations, and maybe even to future civilizations.

Battery Breakthrough?
A Texas company says it can make a new ultracapacitor power system to replace the electrochemical batteries in everything from cars to laptops.

Ford Edge Uses Plug-in Technology
The power train, which Ford calls its HySeries Drive, is a somewhat different design than past fuel cell efforts. The car’s motor gets electricity from a 336-volt lithium-ion battery pack. The battery recharges from either a wall outlet or from its onboard hydrogen fuel cell. With a fully charged battery, the car will go for 25 miles before the hydrogen fuel cell kicks in. Because of the power train design, Ford could replace the hydrogen fuel cell and tank with any other method of generating electricity, such as a small diesel engine.

Makes business cards on line. Quick easy and effective. You can print them yourself using pre-cut Avery Business card paper or on your own paper using our cutting guides. Useful.

Bookmarklets, Favelets and Snippets
Everything you never knew about bookmarks and favelets. From our good friends at Smashing Magazine so you know it’s good.

Microsoft Live Labs: Photosynth
Photosynth takes a large collection of photos of a place or an object, analyzes them for similarities, and then displays the photos in a reconstructed three-dimensional space, showing you how each one relates to the next.

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