Phillip Pearson - web + electronics notes

tech notes and web hackery from a new zealander who was vaguely useful on the web back in 2002 (see: python community server, the blogging ecosystem, the new zealand coffee review, the internet topic exchange).


Python joining Perl in the graveyard of popular web development?

I've read a lot of whining from Perl hackers recently about Perl's slow decline and replacement by PHP for web dev and Python for everything else.

Sounds like it's now Python's turn. Ivan Krstic: Rails is a warning that when it comes to web programming, we failed as a community, and the punishment is severe: innovation is now taking place elsewhere.

Ian Bicking comments, and follows on with a web dev environment wishlist.

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OpenURL microformats for books and journal articles

Daniel Chudnov and Ed Summers have been working out a microformats for print citation based on OpenURL, a standard for encoding that sort of data inside a URL.

Talking to Daniel has set off a bit of a "mind bomb" for me; I've been reading up about some of the work that's been done by the academic community, and it's quite amazing how much thought people are putting into it. They have a huge volume of data that they're trying to index / keep track of. It already has some metadata, but it's stored differently in every library. Tricky.

I've thought for a long time that people have low expectations, software-wise, in the blogging community. Hardly anybody in "Web 2.0" (myself included) is building stuff that I would consider impressive from a programming POV. Time consuming to build, perhaps, but not anything special. The exceptions are outfits like Google (working on a massive scale), PubSub (super-fast matching with clever algorithms), Riya (image processing), Microsoft (handwriting recognition).

... and now things are getting interesting, as we, the web guys, accustomed to being able to do pretty much everything we need with some PHP and MySQL, start to work on stuff that overlaps with the academics. A different mindset is required...

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