Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The "Uber-App" - a multi-functional node that allows all interface technology in

The following are the notes from a recent scorekeeping of a MLB baseball game at an online Baseball Scorecard I've developed that runs in a blog. The scorecard of the game, "Scorecard: July 26, 2011 Orioles at Blue Jays - Game 1 of 3" is at the Blogger Baseball Scorecard blog - at the link.

Ugly game.

But baseball's not what consumed me tonight. Tonight was about the tools that make the scorecard happen - the new craft of scorekeeping in the IT age...

A Review of's New Interface

This is my first scorecard using the new Blogger interface. It loads FAST, and comes back for another edit FAST.

I 'm using FireFox 3.6.17 Browser to score with this scorecard - because an error in the coding of that browser reads 'text background color' as, 'background color' - and that allows me to score with colour notations (the little coloured triangles). I'll bet it would be even faster in FireFox5.

I've asked the Blogger in Draft Team to add a background color widget - no response, and no indication that they're working on it. Don't know how much call there would be for it... . Do you want to change background colours all the time - and have to head into the html to do it? :) If so click the feedback button and let them know please.

Meanwhile the Minima II scorecard is moving furhter and further away from blogger combatablity, soon I'll be designing and coding a web site to hold it - and that has got me thinking...

Blogger could be SO much more...

All this has allowed me re-envision what I like to call, The Uber-App, an interface for the internet that allows all the interfaces and social tools to work together in one place, seamlessly.. (I've mused about the Uber-App (edit) here before (/edit) - link.)

As I'm imagining it now, the Uber-App would be a blogging interface, a code editing interface (like Notepad++), with video edit, chat, email, Skype, draw graphic design and so on - all on one page. As well, the Uber-App would be a programmable interface - so if I wanted a widget that changed background colours for example, I could build it and place it in my widget box in the form of a button.

So instead of going the Word Press route as Blogger in Draft Team has done - with more and more objects and JavaScript (which slows everything, and is quirky, and funnels users into a populist design that is constantly changing anyway) - rather, the new blog would be a multi-functional node that allows all interface technology in - configured the way the user chooses to lay it out - to fit the job they're doing with it.

Easier said than done - but I think we have to assume a better code literacy in the future than we are imagining right now. I see people being able to juggle several functioning elements in speech; I think this is going to develop - and not just in speaking and writing - but in the way we work with knowledge workers tools.

The craft of communication is going to specialize, the way carpenters, stone masons and plumbers crafts became magical to non-crafts-people over the 400 years of the industrial revolution. The Uber-App will be the hammer that all the trades use - but now specialized in each trade so that the "ball-pein" hammer that blacksmith's, engineer's or machinist's use is completely different from a carpenters hammer.

What do you think?


Monday, July 18, 2011

Reading Novels in Google Books

As part of my ongoing project to read more classic writing - and to demonstrate how many of those classics there are available in full at Google Books - I've embedded a portal to a novel I've just begun to read: "Crime and Punishment" by the great Russian novelist, Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky.

Note to Google: While 'in' the book, there doesn't seem to be a button to bookmark my place, or a way to send said novel, and the bookmark, to my Google Profile "Reading Now" list. I had to reverse back out of the book, back to the Google Books search of the novel, to find that button again. I think it would be of great value to civilization to have the button in the pages of the novel itself. ;)

Whoever owns the copyright of Dostoevsky's other great novel, "Notes from the Underground" - do you not see the irony in keeping the novel in only a 'Snippet View' at Google Books?