- Brittle Systems — More than two decades ago at Sun, I was convinced that making systems ductile (the opposite of brittle) was the hardest and most important problem in system engineering.
- tota11y — accessibility testing toolkit from Khan.
- Locust — an open source load testing tool.
- Impala: a Modern, Open-source SQL Engine for Hadoop (PDF) — CRAP, aka Create, Read, and APpend, as coined by an ex-colleague at VMware, Charles Fan (note the absence of update and delete capabilities). (via A Paper a Day)
:focus'ing on users.
Editor’s note: The author would like to acknowledge her co-author, Brian Kardell, who contributed many insights to the ideas presented here, along with a substantial number of the words.
Web developers and web standards authors alike strive to live up to the promise of “universality” — the idea that the web should be available to all. This concept drives many innovations in web technology, as well as being fundamentally built in to the philosophy of the open standards on which the web is based.
In order to achieve this, we frequently find that having some carefully chosen information about how the user intends to view the content (a concept we’ll refer to in this article as “user context”) allows web developers to create more flexible and useful user experiences. In this post, we’ll lay out a case that it’s time to expand our view of user context to include the concept of modality (how the user is interacting with the page), but before we flesh that out, let’s take a look at “user context”.
The integration of the Web's diverse communities broadens horizons and technology.
Web projects are integration projects, combining skills from a number of disciplines. Lousy interfaces can obscure brilliant code, and ingeniously engineered back-end systems can still fail when they hit resource limits. “Content” lurks in many guises, requiring support not only from writers and illustrators but from video specialists, game designers, and many more. Marketers have built businesses on the Web, and influence conversations from design to analytics. You don’t have to be a programmer to do great work on the Web. The Web stack is vast.
Web development models include far more than code. Creating great websites and applications demands collaboration among content creators, designers, and programmers. As applications grow larger, supporting them requires adding a cast of people who can help them scale to demand. As projects grow, specialization typically lets people focus on specific aspects of those larger disciplines, supporting networking, databases, template systems, graphics details, and much more.
In some ways, that’s a recipe for fragmentation, and some days the edges are sharp. All of these communities have different priorities, which conflict regularly. Battles over resources sharpen the axes, and memories often linger.
At the same time, though, often even in environments where resources are scarce, different perspectives can reinforce each other or create new possibilities. Sometimes, it’s just because the intersection spaces have been left fallow for a long time, but other times, the combinations themselves create new opportunities. Read more…
New reading devices, multimedia storytelling and accessibility needs made EPUB3 a necessity.
EPUB3 is more than just bug fixes and tweaks from the last version. It represents a major change in what an ebook can be. (This is an excerpt from the Tools of Change for Publishing report, "What is EPUB3
Workshops on publishing standards and HTML5 caught the attention of TOC attendees.
TOC recap: Publishers were very interested in the HTML5 workshop, and the publishing standards took a broad stroke look at the changing scene, including accessibility issues.
Dave Gunn on how ebook tech helps readers with disabilities and opens a new publishing market.
Dave Gunn, technical manager at the Royal National Institute of Blind People and a speaker at TOC 2011, discusses the bright future of accessible publishing and how it offers moral and financial benefits.
More than 800 O'Reilly titles are now available in DAISY format. If you've already bought an oreilly.com ebook, you can find the DAISY files on your account page.
Today brought news of the release of a "Save to Daisy" add-in for Microsoft Word, and while a new Word add-in wouldn’t normally be news for publishers, there’s a bit more to this story. Among the benefits of distributing content digitally is that it ostensibly makes the content more accessible to alternate reading devices. It’s not difficult to see…