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).



Thinking out loud ...

Microcontent ... small content. Bits of content. Content that you can aggregate.

There's the data, and the data format: the storage format and the transmission format. And the presentation format.

For example, a blog post.

Data: A post has an internal ID, a permalink, a title, and a body. Perhaps some categories. Also remote categories (k-collector or Topic Exchange). If TrackBack is used, perhaps an excerpt. Pictures and stuff are part of the body.

Storage format: CREATE TABLE posts (id INT(11) NOT NULL AUTO_INCREMENT, PRIMARY KEY(id), permalink TEXT, title TEXT, body MEDIUMTEXT, excerpt TEXT);
CREATE TABLE post_categories (postId INT(11), catname VARCHAR(255), PRIMARY KEY(postId, catname));
CREATE TABLE post_kc_topics (postId INT(11), catid INT(11), PRIMARY KEY(postId, catid));
CREATE TABLE post_ite_topics (postId INT(11), catname VARCHAR(255), PRIMARY KEY(postId, catname));

Transmission format: RSS

Presentation format: HTML


Andrius Kulikauskas: Effective use of marginal Internet access.

He mentions the Wizzy Digital Courier: working offline to bring the 'net to poorer South African schools. This is cool: for schools without a phone line, guys on bikes carry the data (e-mails and web requests) on USB memory sticks to a school that does have one, and all the traffic gets transferred at night, when phone calls are cheap.

It looks like they collect requests for web sites, and then go and spider the whole site, then transfer it into a local proxy once it's all downloaded. After a while, they end up with a snapshot of the sites people want to access. I wonder if anyone's got a news aggregator running there yet ...

Marc: Laszlo OPML viewer, XML and apple pie.