Monday 30 June 2008

Microformats: Machines Must Do Irony

We were just toying with the idea of a non-serious microformat about attitudes called “Microtude.” Some pointed out that defining attitude for verbal human language as a microformat couldn’t possibly stand; others saw its merit. Then someone said “machines don’t do irony.” Which got me thinking about the semantic web. Lowercase or uppercase, this comment disturbs me.

Semantics means “meaning” – it’s that simple.

If I say “pop” it’s up to you to determine whether I mean a soda or a sound. Semantic differences abound in every language, every culture. Meaning is layered, and that’s part of the beauty of individual languages, whether spoken or programmed. If a semantic web is to succeed, semantics for machines MUST include irony, negativity, or any other negative emotion of the human process.

Yes, I am well aware that the microformats community has worked exceedingly hard to leave out some of those aspects and I applaud that idealism. And I applaud it again.

Still, I maintain that approach is unrealistic. If machines are meant to express ideas to each other as humans might, then our flaws must be introduced to those machines and the software that runs them. Isn’t the idea “human first, then machine?” What I come up with is this: Unless we’re trying to try to make an artificial intelligence define Utopia, I believe we’re stuck solving human problems in human ways. Technology can help, but cannot replace.

Therefore, all that is human must be acknowledged.

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Posted by:   Molly | 04:07 | Comments (21)

Sunday 29 June 2008

Molly’s New Microformat: Microtude

In order to make online communications more meaningful, I propose a new Microformat called “microtude” that, using the class attribute, will have a number of values to enhance the semantics of a given communication.

Let’s say you want to make a sarcastic comment. Knowing that most of your friends and colleagues understand you often keep your tongue in your cheek, it’s not necessary to wave a sarcasm flag in front of them. But what about those folks who don’t know you, and only have your text to help them understand the full impact of your comment? Microtude to the rescue! Consider the following:

<p> Wow, your code is so clean I can eat off of it! </p>

Using Microtude, you’d simply add the class with a value of “sarcasm” to clarify your intent:

<p class="sarcasm" > Wow, your code is so clean I can eat off of it! </p>

Pretty clear. Now I’m starting to work on the full range of allowed values for Microtude and this of course is where you come in. Suggestions and examples most welcome.

Filed under:   general
Posted by:   Molly | 04:56 | Comments (43)

Tuesday 24 June 2008

The Irony That Was the Hooters Geek Meet

Here’s one for the books.

So I stirred up the pot a bit regarding a bunch of Tucson guys who were planning a Geek Meet at Hooters recently.

Opinions, and emotions, ran high. The guys organizing the event immediately changed the venue to Old Chicago, which is a far friendlier place (even pets are welcome on the patio) with great beer selections, a smoking area and a menu that is broad enough to provide something for everyone, including vegans and vegetarians and flesh-eating types such as myself.

Of course, I was beholden to these guys, in light of their being so apologetic and moving locations that clearly I had to show up to the event, which was small but friendly, with good conversations and laughter.

One of the regulars to this event pointed out that this was actually the event that I started years ago and then “disappeared on.” This of course led to commentary such as “Molly went to Microsoft and we all ended up at Hooters.”

It’s a small, funny, world. I like being reminded that sometimes those things we walk away from are the very things we need to nurture all along.

Filed under:   general
Posted by:   Molly | 02:09 | Comments (17)

Thursday 19 June 2008

MicroThought: Late Night Music

I go for Chill. Faithless spinning now. What’s your 4:00 a.m. music magic?

Kajagoogoo Kajiura Yuki Kaki King

Filed under:   general
Posted by:   Molly | 03:54 | Comments (34)

Monday 16 June 2008

Hooters: Not A Fair Place to Speak Geek

I just was informed by a friend that there’s a “Geek Meet” in Tucson this week, to be held at the local Hooters. For those unfamiliar Hooters is a restaurant that is clearly geared toward men, with women in little shorts and tight tiny tops serving up hot wings and chicken fingers.

Now I like attractive, sexy people as much as the next person, but c’mon. Isn’t this just a little way to send a message to women that they aren’t welcome unless they are there to shake and serve?

I have NO problem with the existence of Hooters, or women with fabulous breasts, or people who want to enjoy that. I DO have a problem with the message this kind of event sends, whether it was intended as such or not.

(Update: The organizers have changed the venue and have explicitly stated they DO want more women to join in the conversation. Thank you for that, my friends).

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Posted by:   Molly | 00:01 | Comments (57)

Monday 9 June 2008

Ten Years of CSS Pantheon

It started as a bit of conversation and sparring between Daniel Glazman and I on Twitter. Then Daniel posted this list, which is just exceptional. I’m reposting here. Can anyone help with links and any missing persons? This is an awesome list and I’d like to fully expand it. Note that this only refers to people who were or are W3C CSS Working Group, not other influentials (though worthy they might be).

Thank you Daniel!

A Decade of CSS Influentials (W3C CSS-WG working list)

César F. Acebal, University of Oviedo
Glenn Adams
Vidur Apparao, Netscape
Marc Attinasi, Netscape
Jonny Axelsson, Opera
David Baron, Mozilla
Robin Berjon, Expway
Arindam Bhattacharya, Openwave
Jim Bigelow, HP
Kimberly Blessing, AOL
Tim Boland, NIST
Bert Bos, W3C
Chris Brichford, Adobe
Steve Byrne, JavaSoft
Carl Cargill, Netscape
David Carlisle
Tantek Çelik, Microsoft, Technorati
Ada Chan, Microsoft
Brad Chase, Bitstream
Troy Chevalier, Netscape
John Daggett, Mozilla
Daniel Dardailler, W3C
Angus Davis, Netscape
Don Day, IBM
Michael Day, YesLogic
Angel Diaz, IBM
Dwayne Dicks, SoftQuad
Martin Dürst, W3C
Laurie Anna Edlund (Kaplan), IBM
Arron Eicholz, Microsoft
Elika Etemad
Bob Easton, IBM
Todd Fahrner
Max Froumentin, W3C
Scott Furman, Netscape
Ming Gao, HP
Daniel Glazman, Electricité de France, Netscape, Disruptive Innovations
Oliver Goldman, Adobe
David Goldsmith, Apple
Melinda Grant, HP
Molly Holzschlag
Björn Höhrmann
Ian Hickson, Netscape
David Hyatt, Netscape, Apple
Scott Isaacs, Microsoft
Richar Ishida, Xerox
Ian Jacobs, W3C
Lorin Jurow, Quark
Anne van Kesteren, Opera
Thierry Kormann, ILOG
Sally Khudairi, W3C
Sho Kuwamoto, Macromedia
Kevin Lawver, AOL
Philippe Le Hégaret, W3C
Michael Leventhal, CITEC
Håkon Lie, W3C, Opera
Chris Lilley, W3C
Peter Linss, Netscape, HP
Murray Maloney, SoftQuad
Jonathan Marsh, Microsoft
Paul Matchen, IBM
Charles McCathieNevile, RMIT University, W3C
Kevin McCluskey, Netscape
Eric Meyer, CWRU
Markus Mielke, Microsoft
Bruce Miller, NIST
Alex Mogilevsky, Microsoft
Lou Montulli, Netscape
Shinyu Murakami, Antenna House
Paul Nelson, Microsoft
Steven Pemberton, CWI/W3C
Brad Pettit, Microsoft
Thom Phillabaum, Netscape
Robert O’Callahan, Mozilla
Liam Quin, SoftQuad, W3C
Dave Raggett, W3C
T. V. Raman, Adobe
Douglas Rand, SGI
Nisheeth Ranjan, Netscape
Jacob Refstrup, HP
Tapas Kanti Roy, Openwave
Claudio Santambrogio, Opera
Marcin Sawicki, Microsoft
Pierre Saslawsky, Netscape
Svante Schubert, Sun
David Seibert
Dave Singer, Apple
Powell Smith, IBM
Patrick Soquet, Havas Edition Electronique
Jared Sorensen, Novell
Robert Stevahn, HP
Michael Stokes, HP
PV Subramanian, Oracle
Michel Suignard, Microsoft
Jason Cranford Teague, AOL
Ed Tecot, Apple
Jeffrey Veen, Hotwired
Mike Wexler, Adobe
Chris Wilson, Microsoft
John Williams, Quark
Misha Wolf, Reuters
Laurent Wood, SoftQuad
Don Wright, Lexmark
Ted Wugofski,
François Yergeau
Mohamed Zergaoui, Innovimax
Steve Zilles, Adobe

Filed under:   general
Posted by:   Molly | 05:36 | Comments (25)

Tuesday 3 June 2008

Back to WaSP or a Different Revolution?

If WaSP would have me back, should I go? Or is that just visiting a past I’ve left for good?

Your thoughts are very valuable to me at this juncture of my life and work. Thank you!

Filed under:   general
Posted by:   Molly | 21:14 | Comments (34)

Microsoft and Me: Project Wrap-Up Preview

Well, the Microsoft project I’ve been working on for 1.5 years wraps up this month! It’s been a whacked, wild and wonderful ride.

I will be writing a few blog posts over the next several weeks talking about the technical and personal experiences of my recent time working with Microsoft. I was offered so much insight, access to great people and some influence as to IE7 and IE8 as well as other products and processes.

And, for some crazy reason, all this despite my known outrageousness.

Please look forward to more posts from me as I clarify the most educational information, interesting anecdotes and inside scoop from this truly life-changing experience.

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Posted by:   Molly | 18:24 | Comments (21)

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