- Multi-tenant SaaS Checklist — if you’re used to building single-site web apps, this is a simple overview of the differences when building multi-tenanted web apps. Nominally about Java, ending with a plug for its author’s product, but ignore all that and it’s still useful. (via Abhishek Tiwari on Twitter)
- Angel Investing: My First Three Years (Paul Buchheit) — interesting to see how it stacks up for him. What caught my eye was The more great YC companies there are, the more reasons there are for other smart founders to join YC–the clever feedback loop in YC, where graduates help the newbies, builds its quality and increases its first-mover advantage year after year. (via Hacker News)
- Coverstory — reports on coverage of unit tests in Xcode. (via Noah Gift on Delicious)
- A Musing About 2011 and an Un-National Generation (JP Rangaswami) — The emerging generations want to use services independent of location of “origin” and location of “delivery”. Attempts to create artificial scarcity (by holding on to dinosaur constructs like physical-location-driven identity) are being responded to by a whole slew of spoofing and anonymisation tools; as the law becomes more of an ass in this context, you can be sure that the tools will get better. Living in a country other than America brings this home.
"web apps" entries
The Google Chrome netbook rumors have expanded to include subscription-based distribution.
Can't afford to buy a laptop? You might be Google's next target audience. New rumors suggest the Internet giant may be plotting to rent laptops, complete with hardware updates and repair as needed.
Google's Marcin Wichary brings HTML5 into perspective for publishers.
Should publishers jump on the HTML5 bandwagon? Marcin Wichary, senior user experience designer at Google, discusses the benefits and opportunities.
Cloud Checklist, Feedback Loops, Coverage Testing, and Un-national Services
Participation, iPhone Games Programming, Mobile Keypad Magic, and Web App Security
- Lessons from the Johnny Cash Project — When a participatory activity is designed without a goal in mind, you end up with a bunch of undervalued stuff and nowhere to put it. (via Courtney Johnston)
- Doom iPhone Review — fascinating explanation of how the iPhone works for programmers, and how the Doom source code works around some of the less-game-friendly features. (via Tom Carden on Delicious)
- The 8 Pen — new alphanumeric entry system for Android.
- Salesforce Security — lots of information for web developers, most generally applicable. (via Pete Warden)
Sketching Apps, Content Economics, Anonymised Phone Browsing, and Baroque Web Design
- Sketchflow Demo (Vimeo) — wow, impressive tool for whipping up wireframes and workflows for web apps. I’ve dreamed of being able to build real apps in this fashion. (via davetenhave on Twitter)
- Content is a Public Good — fascinating guest post on Charlie Stross’s blog, making yet again the point that attempting to legislate the digital horse back into the content owner’s barn is futile. Content is a public good. Here’s what this doesn’t mean: It doesn’t mean content is free (Cleverer people than me have explained why information doesn’t want to be free.), or cheap to make (though it can be), or that content creators should not get rewarded for their efforts. And here’s what it does mean: It means that old business models based on content being a club good simply don’t work.
- Tor on Android — Orbot is an application that allows mobile phone users to access the web, instant messaging and email without being monitored or blocked by their mobile internet service provider.
- Baroque Trappings of Today’s Web Applications (Elaine Wherry) — Personally, when I listen to harpsichord music from the Baroque period, not too much time passes before I start to think, “I think this harpsichord piece is just trying to play as many notes as possible.” Similarly, after browsing the Internet for a bit today I start to think, “I’m not sure I can withstand another mashup, rounded corner, or headline announcing a breakthrough platform.” Amusing essay (based on a talk given at a CHI event) but with serious points about the kitchen sink design aesthetic of many web apps.
An iPad simulator isn't the same as the real device, and that's going to slow things down
Liza Daly says a host of unanswered questions about the iPad's ebook functionality coupled with the disconnect between simulators and hardware, will delay publishing innovation. But one upside: the iPad's hardware will ultimately benefit both native apps and web-based apps.
Time Management, CS Education, Installing EtherPad, Infoengravings
- How to Run a Meeting Like Google (BusinessWeek) — the temptation is to mock things like “even five minute meetings must have an agenda”, but my sympathy with Marissa Mayer is high. The more I try to cram into a work day, the more I have to be able to justify every part of it. If you can’t tell me why you want to see me for five minutes, then I probably have better things to be doing. There may be false culls (missing something important because the “process’ is too high) but I bet these are far outweighed by the missed opportunities if time isn’t so structured.
- Computer Science Education Week — December 5-11, 2010, recognizes that computing: Touches everyone’s daily lives and plays a critical role in society; Drives innovation and economic growth; Provides rewarding job opportunities; Prepares students with the knowledge and skills they need for the 21st century.” Worthy, but there’s no mention of the fact that it’s FUN. The brilliant people in this field love what they do. They’re not brilliant 9-5, then heading home to scan the Jobs Wanted to see whether they could earn more as dumptruck drivers in Uranium mines in Australia. CS isn’t for everyone, but it won’t be for anyone unless we help them find the bits they find fun.
- Installing EtherPad — step-by-step instructions for installing EtherPad, the open-source real-time text editor recently acquired by Google.
- Victorian Infographics — animals, time, and space from the Victorians. It’s beautiful, it’s meaningful, it must be infoengravings.
Trading Systems, Streaming iTunes, Scheduling App, Crowdsourcing Lessons
- Trading Shares in Milliseconds (Technology Review) — With the rise of automation, the bulk of U.S. stock trading has moved from the once-crowded floor of Manhattan’s New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) to silent server farms run by exchanges and broker-dealers across the country: the proportion of all trades that the NYSE handles has shrunk from 80 percent in 2005 to 40 percent today. Trading is now essentially a virtual art, and its practitioners put such a premium on speed that NASDAQ has considered issuing equal 100-foot lengths of cable to the brokers who send orders to its exchange servers. (via Hacker News)
- Stream iTunes Over SSH — short script that lets you tunnel itunes from one machine to another over ssh (by default iTunes only shares on the local network).
- Doodle — simple way to schedule a common meeting time. (via joshua on Delicious)
- Crowdsourcing — Simon Willison’s thoughtful “lessons learned” from his crowdsourcing projects at the Guardian. Crowdsourcing is not as simple as “give them a wiki and they will fill it” (this is related to the failed “everyone in the world wants to work on my broken payroll system” theory of open source), and Simon explains some of the subtleties. The reviewing experience the first time round was actually quite lonely. We deliberately avoided showing people how others had marked each page because we didn’t want to bias the results. Unfortunately this meant the site felt like a bit of a ghost town, even when hundreds of other people were actively reviewing things at the same time. For the new version, we tried to provide a much better feeling of activity around the site. We added “top reviewer” tables to every assignment, MP and political party as well as a “most active reviewers in the past 48 hours” table on the homepage (this feature was added to the first project several days too late). User profile pages got a lot more attention, with more of a feel that users were collecting their favourite pages in to tag buckets within their profile.