Kerry Buckley

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BarcampLondon3

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As you may have guessed from my other postings over the past few days, I spent the weekend at BarcampLondon3, at Google’s offices in Victoria, London.

This was the second Barcamp I’ve participated in (‘attended’ is probably too passive a word for a Barcamp), and was even better than BarcampBrighton in September. This was, of course, largely thanks to all the efforts of Ian and the other organisers, and to the wonderful hospitality shown by Google. From my own point of view, I think I also benefited from not going with a group of colleagues, which forced me to overcome my natural reticence and speak to people I didn’t know (it helps that the Barcamp crowd are a friendly bunch!)

If you have any geek tendencies and have never been to a Barcamp, I highly recommend it.

Oh, and as a footnote, I experimented with blogging some of the talks more-or-less as they happened. That’s why the posts were a bit rough, but at least they’re there – I still have notes from Agile2007 back in August that I haven’t got round to writing up.

My photos from the weekend are on flickr.

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Written by Kerry

November 28th, 2007 at 10:35 am

Posted in web

[BarcampLondon3] JQuery in 30 minutes (Simon Willison)

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I didn’t take any notes, but JQuery looks pretty cool. Maybe even cooler than Prototype and Scriptaculous!

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Written by Kerry

November 24th, 2007 at 6:40 pm

Posted in web,Web 2.0

[BarcampLondon3] Caja/OpenSocial (Ben Laurie)

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Caja compiles Javascript into different javascript, allowing you to put untrusted gadgets in trusted container pages (eg OpenSocial). Removes potentially evil code (eval etc), and passes in an object representing the global scope (document etc).

Ben’s writing a Caja wrapper for OpenSocial. Lots of hairy stuff with closures wrapping callbacks in functions, then wrapping the response in more functions. I haven’t really looked at OpenSocial yet, so some of this is flying merrily over my head.

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Written by Kerry

November 24th, 2007 at 1:55 pm

Posted in Software,web,Web 2.0

[BarcampLondon3] Raising the Social Bar (Mark Simpkins, BBC)

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Many pages on bbc.co.uk allow comments, but they tend to be trivial (“Mylene’s dress was a bit short”), are heavily moderated (which costs a lot of time), and are tied into the BBC site. Many of the comments people make are actually direct contacts regarding participation in the programmes, which end up going to the production team rather than on the page.

Mark is experimenting with allowing/forcing people to post their comments to their own blogs, and linking them back (like how the real Web works ;-) ). As well as solving some of the issues mentioned above, this would help the BBC fulfil its remit of encouraging participation in the Web (as opposed to treating the BBC site as a walled garden.

Apparently the message sinks in when people are shown Technorati results for their pages, when they realise how many people are commenting on them without them being aware of it.

In the Q&A afterwards, someone mentioned disemvowellment, which is an interesting technique I haven’t heard of before.

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Written by Kerry

November 24th, 2007 at 1:55 pm

Posted in web

[BarcampLondon3] Tom Morris on GRDDL

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Screen-scraping HTML is evil. APIs are better, and can return structured XML, JSON or even SOAP (everyone laughs at the latter!)

If page is marked up semantically using microformats, an XSL stylesheet can convert it into RDF. Put the stylesheet on a profile page and link to it from the HTML (<head profile="...">), and triplr can generate triples from it in various formats. This can then be parsed using SPARQL.

The end result is custom microformats, possibly specific to your site, or something like class="nsfw" to mark up stuff that’s not safe for work, which Tom uses on his blog.

GRDDL allows

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Written by Kerry

November 24th, 2007 at 11:58 am

Posted in Software,web