Tuesday, December 13, 2005

AJAX and Accessibility - Standards-schmandards

I read an article from March the 1st of this year, on AJAX and usability. It's a nice, simple, straight article, easy readable.It also has a few references to other articles explaining blogs (as well as a long comment list!). Here's the main points of the author on usability: "Improving accessibility of AJAX forms Fortunately there are some things we can do to increase accessbility of AJAX forms. Here are my recommendations: 1. Inform the user at the top of the form that it requires javascript or detect javascript automatically and warn the user when it isn't available. If the form has many fields you will spare your users a lot of frustration. Everyone hates filling out a form just to find out that they can't submit it. 2. Inform the user that the page is updated dynamically. This is especially important for screen reader users and will help them decide when to trigger a re-read of the page. 3. Make it possible to recieve an alert when information was updated. This may not be practically possible depending on the complexity of your form but will help a screen reader user a lot. Alert boxes are read by the screen reader and are usually displayed together with a sound. The checkbox should be displayed so it is clear that it is not part of the original form. 4. Highlight recently updated areas for a short period of time. This will help sighted users understand what just happened. The nice folks over at 37signals have dubbed this 'The Yellow Fade Technique' but you can use any colour you like. Check out Adam Michela's code for another way of providing the fade."

Friday, November 25, 2005

Morfik - the Javascript synthetizer

I've recently found an interesting, promising work, another framework for Web Applications development. So what's different in this one?

Taking Morfik's CTO's words, ?Morfik has developed a unique JavaScript Synthesis Technology (?JST?) that allows developers to use a powerful integrated design environment together with a high-level language of their choice to create reliable applications comprised purely of HTML and JavaScript?.

Since the framework isn't open-source (so far, at least) all we can checkout is the two Flash demos on using the program to develop basic applications, and a few white papers and communications they release to the public. From these, I'm able to comment on both their mission and the program itself.

Morfik's main goal is to take jobs away for "rocket-scientists" who want to develop software for well-paying companies. So far, the so-called AJAX applications have been hard to implement, given both client and server's side complexity. Morfik allows these applications to be coded in a familiar language (one of several clones of popular languages like Pascal, Basic or C#), just like a common desktop application. This code will be trans-compiled into a server side application and a set of HTML and JavaScript files to be loaded in the client's browser. Hence, no web application or AJAX knowledge would be necessary.

From the demonstrations, I've spotted that the greatest feature of Morfik it's its familiarity with common Microsoft applications to develop the application. For example, a specific Morfik component is used to setup the domain tier, using an interface almost 100% identical to Microsoft Access'. Similarly, the web pages are designed using a WYSIWYG program, just like Visual Studio's interface builder. So any application used to the Microsoft's tools should be fairly suited to use Morfik without a two year-long course!

How does this Morfik advent leaves me? Well, I was planning to do something similar for my PhD, so now I must find out exactly what they plan to do, so my work won't clash with theirs. For instance, I'd like to know how do they split the computations between the client and the server - I'd like to give some adaptability to the server.

To add up, Morfik have a pioneers program, but they haven't released any usable version of the program for us to test it (not even demo-ware...). I'll just wait for further news on their site: http://www.morfik.com/

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

New directions, new homepage

I've just reviewed my homepages, and it took me a while to get them
presentable... So here's my status, online-wise:

- I have http://360.yahoo.com/edy_in_carpathia - this is my personal website,
with access to photo albums, preferences and other non-interesting stuff :)
- My work homepage is http://edgargoncalves.no-ip.org - it has a set of projects I'm working on, and my professional information (like my resume)
- This site (last, but not least) will be my communication point, unless Yahoo releases a great API to post messages to it's blog. So, for now on, my PhD discoveries, researches and interesting notes will be posted here, for the world to see. Ocasionally one or other photo will invade this space, but I promise I won't have the motivation to do so (nor the time!)

So, on my next post, I promise to write about remote interfaces, my last research subject for the past weeks.


Monday, June 13, 2005

The Vitruvian Man. Leonardo's most perfect piece, imho. This is also to tell that this blog isn't dead. In fact, it's sibling MSN Space has recently entered in a inevitable coma... But bear in mind that I have my own tech blog at www.esw.inesc-id.pt/~eemg/ - so this blog will be ONLY for personal/relevant photos and thoughts. why? because I have Hello. and because It grants me unlimited picture storage and a nice interface! :) So sit back, and enjoy the show...
Posted by Hello

Monday, April 25, 2005

Emacs, Gnus and BBDB

Big day - I now have my BBDB decide where to send a mail from one of my contacts, either personal or mailling lists! My arch repository was updated accordingly (mail me if you want to know where it is).

Thursday, April 07, 2005

mozdev.org - webmail

Now THIS is handy! Finally, both Hotmail and Yahoo mails being delivered via a pop server, for free! The caveat is that the plugin only works via thunderbird - I wonder how much longer do we have to wait until a Gnus version is made? Download it now from mozdev.org - webmail: "mozdev.org"

Friday, March 25, 2005

ZipGenius: free zip unzip utility

I found a good tool: ZipGenius: free zip unzip utility. File compression is finally easy and free, with no adware, no spyware, no ads, no money. ZipGenius is free and handles many archive formats: zip, rar, arc, ace, arj, cab, tar, 7-zip, zoo, tar.gz, gz, z, bz2, iso, nrg.: "If you need a compression utility, your search ends here: now you can count on ZipGenius and you it won't cost a dime to you, just because here you can find just FREEWARE programs."

Monday, March 21, 2005

trying the current version of weblogger. if this blog entry has a title, I'll settle with it. :)

Point one: with the weblogger package for emacs my subjects are nto appearing. gotta check why eventually. Point two: at INESC, I have emacs version GNU Emacs (i386-mingw-nt5.2.3790) of 2005-01-30 on NONIQPC. Well, this has support for 'jpeg, and not 'gif. In my laptop, I seem to miss both of those image types! I wonder why??

Saturday, March 19, 2005

I made some updates to ERC nicklist module. Basically, it now shows me who's online and availlable, along with it's email. Also, the menu is functional! Now I need some icons to put before each nick, to tell me the away state and the connection type (msn, icq, irc,...). But it's something I'll so with more time. I'm happy to be part of the erc community, for now! I was testing weblogger.el, and I said I would say something about it. Well, I'm still using it for this post, so that means something! Basically, it uses the blogger API, so it can do a lot more that my email sending approach (however, I allowed for making a new post from an emacs region - I might merge that functionality, someday). Cheers!

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

I've found yet another existing method of blogging here. This may be more complete, i'll just have to try it out more.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

ERC and voice, with Bitlbee

I have noticed that the voicing system is used in Bitlbee to let me know wich users are availlable, instead of being away, DND or simply NA. So, my next ERC modding will have to be a notification, to let me know what's the status of my so-called "friends".

Also, I have to check erc-bbdb to know the current MSN nick of a particular buddy. I know they do this on /WHOIS, so i'l just grok that and make it into a popup message in erc-nicklist, or something.

Btw, I just came across C-M-w in Emacs. The kill ring still amazes me! (Go on, check it...)

Sunday, March 13, 2005

"Allows", and stuff like that

I've just discovered that english papers don't like to use sentences like "it allows me to do", or "i was allowed to evolve...". Live and learn!

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Blogspot posting from Emacs

After setting up your blog to receive messages from a mail, eval this on emacs:

;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;; ;; Blogspot email sending:

(defvar blogspot-post-email "yourname.dummy_mail@blogger.com")

(defun blogspot (title url &optional text) "Opens a gnus msg buffer with the active region or the parameters passed in the body. Configure `blogspot-post-email' to set it up." (interactive "sPost title: sPost link: ") (let ((to blogspot-post-email) (subject (cond ((and title url (not (string= url ""))) (concat "" title "")) (title title) (t ""))) (body (or text ""))) (gnus-msg-mail to subject) (save-excursion (when body (raise-frame) (insert body))) (message "Edit your post and press \\C-c \\C-c to post it to %s." blogspot-post-email)))

(defun blogspot-region (beg end title url) "Call `blogspot-text' and inserts the active region as the post's body." (interactive "r sPost title: sPost link: ") (blogspot title url (buffer-substring-no-properties beg end)))

-- Edgar Gonçalves INESC-ID, Software Engineering Group (Technical University of Lisbon) Portugal

Monday, March 07, 2005

ICWI 2005: Call for Papers

IADIS International Conference is an opportunity to write a paper on my final degree project. While it may not be a hot-shot conference, it's another published paper for my CV, along with the increased experience, yadda yadda... For details on the conference, see: ICWI 2005: Call for Papers

Saturday, March 05, 2005

These are my two girls. Taken at my sister's (the one in the right) 14th birthday!
Posted by Hello

RSS access to newsgroups via Google

Ever wanted to read newsgroups in Firefox? Well, yeah, you can use google groups to achieve that. But what if you already read RSS/RDF/Atom news? You can read any group via the google groups feeder. See RSS access to newsgroups via Google for more information.

The Carpathia Blog is back!

That's right. A new face, a new name - Carpathian Cloud - and a fresh motivation. I want this blog to have all of my daily discoveries (both social and techincal). But I mean to make some posts with some thoughts, some pictures I find interesting or relevant, and other stuff I may consider usefull to some viewer. I also have some new tools, and a ongoing idea to help me with my blog posting: Hello and Picasa are great to post images. JustBlogIt! is a Firefox extension that allows me to post something from any page, adding the link and title automatically. I also intend to make (or find, eheh) a mean to do the same from within Emacs. It would be great - and not that hard, I believe - more to come about this... Hope this can be of some use to someone. Cheers!