JavaScript widgets

I haven‘t been a big fan of JavaScript in the recent years as it has been mostly used for useless eye-candy that does nothing for the user experience and adds tons of accessibility problems instead. But this is about to change. Taking the outdated and buggy IE aside (which you can, if you want) modern browsers like Safari, Mozilla, Firefox et. al. deliver a stable JavaScript environment these days that conforms to the Document Object Model (DOM) of the W3C well enough to open the door for a new web craft: JavaScript widgets.

There are a couple of good examples on the web but one of the most impressive feat is the redesign of that features „sliding sheets“ and „tabbed“ content.

Gmail is also a good example for this but not everybody has access to it.

We are currently developing a new web-based conference planning software for our upcoming event currently and consider a set of JS widgets as well.

21st Chaos Communication Congress

I finally managed to complete the website of the 21st Chaos Communication Congress (21C3) that has been online for a while but which we decided to launch silently as some final bugs had to be squeezed first. Now it‘s a more or less complete site which should tell you most of the important things about the upcoming congress at the end of the year. Please have a look at our Call for Papers as you might either consider doing a talk your own or pass along the information to other people.

To make communication even better we have also set up a dedicated 21C3 Weblog that will point you to news, recent changes to relevant changes, previews for scheduled talks and other background information.

To round things up, there is a 21C3 Public Wiki as well that here for participants to publish what kind of projects they pursue or whatever comes to your mind. The wiki has been filled with helpful information on accommodation options and a FAQ page that you might want to consult first.

Euro Foo Camp

Arrived at Euro Foo Camp today, initiated by Tim O‘Reilly. It‘s a meeting of interesting people and the participation is by invitation only. There is going to be an interesting series of talks tomorrow and on sunday and the schedule was created by the speakers themselves by filling the available timeslots on a whiteboard themselves. Friendly people, friendly atmosphere. Hope I‘ll find the time to tell you more about it in the coming days. Much too tired right now to explain more…

OSX client

I have been using for quite some time now. The web interface is easy and the concept of having a social network based on shared bookmarks is still compelling to me. Now Buzz Andersen (an Apple employee) has posted an early release of its client for Mac OS X.

The client downloads all your bookmarks and makes it available in a simple interface. Not much more functionality but it might receive some nice updates soon.

Apple: The Microsoft of the Music Market

I have been a longtime user and supporter of the Apple platform for obvious reasons. But the statement they issued today is the nastiest thing I ever heard from them in a long time. The background is that Real Networks has reengineered Apple‘s DRM format „FairPlay“ and that way has achieved compatibility with the music sold via Real‘s store and Apple‘s iPod.

We are stunned that RealNetworks has adopted the tactics and ethics of a hacker to break into the iPod and we are investigating the implications of its actions under the DMCA and other laws

Shame on you, Apple! What‘s wrong with hacker‘s ethics? What‘s wrong with hackers in general? This is the good old game the media plays with hackers for a long time and now Apple hums their song.

Apple was happy to be able to capture momentum in the media and the lead in market share with the iPod device, which is a good but not a great product. The strong link between the iTunes Music Store and the iPod might be good for Apple but being the seller of content and the seller of devices is the same dilemma Sony faced when selling DVD players while owning a Hollywood production studio. The iPod is limited in it‘s technical abilities to secure sales at the iTunes Music Store („which doesn‘t make money“). For instance, the iPod is unable to play files in OGG format and you can‘t easily share your music just using the device.

Apple can‘t win. The path they are taking now is going to hurt their position in the hacker and open source scene. The adoption of Open Source for parts of their OS, the support for the community: everything is going to fade away while people will be „stunned“ watching Apple wielding the sword of DRM and DMCA. They should know better. Mr. Jobs himself told the public that he conviced the record companies by pointing out that you can‘t really prevent copying of music. Now Apple has to understand that they will lose being the „Microsoft of the music market“.

I‘ll be back

Haven‘t posted much here and I don‘t want to rave about not blogging. I am pretty busy preparing the 21C3 right now and you can expect news about this soon. I am still very much focused on wikis and I need to reorganize my blogging activities anyway.

I am going to appear in the upcoming Chaosradio show this wednesday which will be about commputer telephony. It‘s going to be a very interactive, entertaining show. Stay tuned.

The second browser war

Ben Hammersley does an excellent job analyzing current trends in the web browser area in his article The Second Browser War for The Guardian.

If you start to consider Google‘s own system as your hard drive, and your browser as your operating system, you might see how Microsoft could be deeply worried.

Behind the curtain of global internetexplorerness a new breed of web applications is rising slowly and more important new browsers are gaining ground on the Windows platform. New services like Google‘s GMail and Apple‘s .Mac Home Page are asking for a high level of standards compliance and Microsoft is going to have a tough struggle with strong competitors that have managed to establish a strong and determined following in the web scene. While these groups are not a danger to MS in terms of numbers, they are trendsetters for a new way of how to use your computer in the modern times. And this, indeed, can make a difference on the Internet.