johnk's blog

Nobody Cares about InfoPath

InfoPath Rocks
InfoPath Sucks

"Rocks" is beating out "sucks" 189 to 119, but the fact that it seems like nobody cares about InfoPath is the really interesting fact(oid).

A GUI Trip Down Memory Lane

Operating Sytem Interface Design Between 1981 - 2009 has a lot of great screenshots.

There's on omission of history. The Start Menu, wasn't the first "start menu". Apple's System 7 allowed you to put folders into the Apple Menu, and people would put folders full of aliases (shortcuts) to their apps. Next also had a unified menu that listed apps.

Sitemeter Tracks Clicks

Just figured out that tracks clicks. It's not something they tell you in their free reports (which are pretty good btw). So, when you click on a link, they know where you're headed. This isn't that hard, technically - it involves attaching a handler onto A tags - but so far, sites don't seem to be doing that. The reason probably stems from the fact that tracking clicks will gather stats on sites that haven't put a Sitemeter counter onto their pages. Seems like a gray area.

So bye-bye Sitemeter. Nice knowin ya.

Social Categorization of Images into Taxonomies

This is an idea, not something that exists, but I'm putting this out there to thwart future patents.

Heuristics are Nice : (working toward) Facebook-style Previews

I was thinking about how facebook updates parse out the url, then construct a nice looking preview. I think what it takes is scanning the textarea for a url, and then using ajax to tell the server to fetch a summary of the page at the url. get the data back, and insert it into a template, and reveal it.

History of the "Bowl"

In the past few years, there have been an explosion of "bowl" meals at different fast food restaurants.

Another Lame Patent War: Phone Number Tapping

Apple busted HTC on a patent for a tech called "data tapping".

Making the Tumblr "Well" Layouts with CSS

So I was puzzling over how to make the "Well" style layout in Tumblr without Javascript.

Haskell Name Game

Main> nameGame "alonzo"
"alonzo, alonzo bo blonzo bonana fanna fo flonzo fee fy mo mlonzo, alonzo"
Main> nameGame "haskell"
"haskell, haskell bo baskell bonana fanna fo faskell fee fy mo maskell, haskell"
LOLz. Here's some real beginner-level source code for a version of the "Name Game". The Name Game was a song from way back. It's silly.
Sources after the jump.

Reused a Variable Name

I accidentally reused the variable name $count twice in a function.

Strike Network Postmortem

I'm publishing this to help other software developers who write applications to support community actions. The article was originally written on November 2, 2011.

iPhone Cable Pin Colors

I bought a cheap iPhone cable, and it broke, as expected. The soldering in the connector wasn't secured, so a wire snapped. The order of the wires is red, blue, white, green.

All Your Parsers Are Belong to Us

Getting Started with Exploratory Parsing. Describes a system where you can write your parser by analyzing huge bodies of text. In short, a system for writing all the parsers required to analyze the text on the internet. (In English.) (Ward Cunningam invented the idea of the Wiki.)

Learning the Facebook API

For the past few months I've been working on web apps. The first was a mobile site based on jQuery Mobile. While it was "cool", it quickly dawned on me that it wouldn't get any significant usership. For one, it was like a clone of 4square and Scvngr - and who really uses that? I'd peer into the lists of checkins, and it wasn't looking too encouraging. People use it when they're bored and alone, and my scenario didn't involve either of those situations.

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