September 19, 2008 by bealers
Last weekend I attended my first barcamp ‘unconference’ in Bath called, unsurprisingly, Bathcamp.
It was absolutely brilliant.
There were around 60 attendees a number of whom are now listed on the bathcamp blog and the split was around 70%/30% web geeks and educational/knowledge management types.
There were three areas at the venue and the talks varied from the more standard technical web development techniques (which I mainly attended) to how to make a good Espresso and my personal favourite which was Frankie Roberto’s dead-pan delve into the world of the serious Lego geek.
Siftware sponsored the booze for the evening at the venue and I put on a ‘tub quiz’ with prizes, amongst others, of a $50,000,000,000 note. The quiz seemed to go down rather well; I know I enjoyed putting it together.
Kudos to the organisers of the event whose forward planning ensured the weekend went very smoothly. A particularly big shout out to Mike Ellis, Tim Beadle, Frankie Roberto, Lisa Price & Steve Pope who I’m sure didn’t sit down for the 2 days.
I made some great new friends, put faces to names I’ve known for 10 years and have not laughed so much in ages (you know who you are!). Overall I came away on Sunday feeling inspired and with that warm glow you get after putting another good time in the bank.
A few other attendees have blogged about the day or posted their slides. I’ll add them to this list as and when I get the links:
Here’s the quiz slides with answers, as requested by a few people. Apparently it was too hard?
Here’s the answer sheet.
Tags: bathcamp08, industry | Comments (5)
September 2, 2008 by bealers
Today Google released its new web browser called Google Chrome as a public beta, you can download it here.
You could ask why bother releasing a new browser when there’s IE 8 in beta, Firefox 3 recently released, Apple’s Safari and at least 10 people use Opera. They pre-empted this perfectly reasonable question by releasing a really well done comic strip explaining their reasoning, prior to today’s launch.
First impressions after the speedy install and it automatically importing my Firefox bookmarks (particularly the toolbar & without adding extra rubbish) are good.
- Speedy rendering (though to be fair Safari is also based on WebKit)
- Folder like tab that one can drag out into a new window (with page preview)
- The magic auto complete address/search bar seems pretty clever and I’m also liking the colour coding in the addresses
- Text areas in web pages are stretchy
- There’s a task manager showing what each tab is doing/using
- Gmail hasn’t crashed yet
I’m not so keen on:
- No taskbar, though I see that mousing over links brings up a small tooltip at the bottom of the screen
- Find is Ctrl-F and I so love the ‘/’ of Firefox matching Vim’s control
- Really missing right-click and left for back (using mouse gestures)
- No web developer toolbar (another FF extension) or ability to see at a glance if a page validates though to be fair it’s very early days
- Really surprised to see that zoom has taken a step backwards and doesn’t zoom images.
So in reality my only dislikes are that I’m missing some Firefox add-on features which for a browser only released in the past few hours isn’t too shoddy at all especially as I could ‘make do’ with the in-built debugging support.
I’ve set it as my default browser and we’ll see how I get on for a extended period, first signs are promising, though.
Tags: industry | Comments (0)
It was nice to see today that the custom tag that I built for CMS Made Simple has exceeded 4000 downloads.
Random Global Content Blocks enables the template editor to specify a range of content blocks to show and then the tag does the work of deciding which one to display per page load. It even supports a regular expression syntax so as long as a given naming convention is adhered to new items can be added through the CMS without the need for template modifications.
This would mean that any global content block starting with the name starting case_study_ would be included in rotation, randomly.
You can download the tag here or read more about Siftware’s CMS Made Simple installation and customisation services.
Tags: cms, php, smarty | Comments (0)