RSS Sidebar Tabs - WebReference Update - 020520 | WebReference

RSS Sidebar Tabs - WebReference Update - 020520

((((((((((((((((( WEBREFERENCE UPDATE NEWSLETTER ))))))))))))))))) May 20, 2002

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RSS is in the news this week. First up our own Dan Ragle shows how to create multi-feed RSS sidebar tabs for Netscape using standards- based technologies. Dave Winer gives some ideas for the next version of RSS, and Jon Udell talks blogs, RSS, and SOAP. Michael Classen continues his look at the Google SOAP API, with an SVG interface no less. In today's feature I look at slow-loading navigation at

In other news don't miss Steven Levy's story on Stephen Wolfram's new book "A New Kind of Science." Number one at Amazon, this book is the product of ten years of work from the boy genius turned science renegade. Complexity theory tamed through computer simulation is the theme. It all boils down to his "computational equivalence" theory where every complex process ultimately reaches the same level of complexity. The universe, Wolfram says, can be boiled down to 4 or 5 lines of code. Let's hope they are well- written.

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New this week on and the Web:

1. FEATURE: Multi-Feed RSS Sidebar Tabs 2. XML: Google SVG Search, Part II 3. BOOK EXCERPT: Professional Java Web Services 4. FEATURE: Reinventing the Wheel 5. OTHER VOICES: * The Man Who Cracked The Code to Everything * Whatever You Say * Help Build the Web of Knowledge 6. NET NEWS: * Researchers: Newest Microsoft IE patch flawed * Washington Post Co. Unveils * IBM carbon transistor could transform chips * RSS in the News

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1. Multi-Feed RSS Sidebar Tabs

Perl, JavaScript, CGI, and XHTML: It's All Good. Our new WebRef sidebar tab provides RSS based headlines from multiple sites, and our sidebar script combines multiple Internet technologies allowing you to create your own sidebars for the latest Netscape and Mozilla browsers. By Dan Ragle.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 2. EXPLORING XML: Google SVG Search, Part II

Another module, another dozen lines, and a couple of helper routines and we're ready for SVG display. Michael Classen outlines the next step in the development of an SVG-based Google query script.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 3. BOOK EXCERPT: Professional Java Web Services

Move over Microsoft: there's more than one way to make Web services. Our excerpt from "Professional Java Web Services" focuses on the Java-based Apache SOAP project. We begin at the beginning, with the history, future, and installation of Apache SOAP. From Wrox Press.

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 4. FEATURE: Reinventing the Wheel

We're seeing more and more "flash" on the Web lately. Designers that use Flash and of course Macromedia, are reinventing HTML and DHTML widgets in Flash. Rollovers now fade in and out, drop-down menus are "flash-enhanced" and swipes and fades are now common place. Take a look at Macromedia's home page to see what I mean:

The vertical navigation bar has a fade-in rollover, with a sliding "short cuts" submenu that replaces the main content area. Problem is, on slower machines the fade-in effect takes over 10 seconds. Why make the user wait to navigate your site? Give them what they want fast, and get out of the way.

Of course, you expect to see Macromedia use Flash, but their submenus contain flash-enhanced popup menus that slowly drop and rise. Why reinvent the wheel? HTML includes standards-based select menus that work everywhere.

Fades and swipes are great for Powerpoint presentations, but not for the main navigation of popular sites. Make your navigation fast to load, simple, and gracefully degrade. Relying on a technology that is optional like Flash, or can be disabled like the 10% that disable JavaScript, is a recipe for exclusion.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 5. OTHER VOICES: The Man Who Cracked The Code to Everything, Whatever You Say, Help Build the Web of Knowledge

* The Man Who Cracked The Code to Everything

Steven Levy talks to Stephen Wolfram, boy genius turned recluse turned science renegade, about his new book "A New Kind of Science." Ten years in the making Wolfram's wide-ranging book outlines a fundamental new way of modeling complex systems, like the second law of thermodynamics, the randomness of financial markets, and new forms of encryption. The book concludes with the principle of "computational equivalence" where simple rules produce complex results, and everything achieves the same level of complexity., June 2002

* Whatever You Say

The latest versions of speech recognition software from IBM and Lernout & Hauspie are a boon to avoiding RSI injuries and the disabled. ViaVoice reduced the author's mousing by a third for e-mail, half in file management and by two thirds in Web surfing. Pain no longer shot up his forearm and his hand felt better after using voice recognition software. Scientific American, June 2002

* Help Build the Web of Knowledge

James Burke is looking for volunteers to help build the Knowledge Web, a connected web of human knowledge on the Internet.,1284,52594,00.html, May 20, 2002

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 6. NET NEWS: Researchers: Newest Microsoft IE patch flawed, Washington Post Unveils, IBM carbon transistor could transform chips, RSS in the News

* Researchers: Newest Microsoft IE patch flawed

A new patch designed to address six serious security vulnerabilities in Microsoft's Internet Explorer doesn't fix all the problems it purports to, according to security researchers., May 20, 2002

* Washington Post Unveils

Consolidating its and brands, the company raises the curtain on a new site focused on the intersection of technology, industry and government.,,3_1140591,00.html, May 17, 2002

* IBM carbon transistor could transform chips

IBM announced Monday that researchers assembled a nanoscale transistor from carbon nanotubes, long, tube-shaped carbon molecules that have been identified as one of a few promising substitutes for silicon. USA Today, May 20, 2002

* RSS in the News

Dave Winer proposes some ideas for the next version of RSS and Jon Udell talks REST, RSS, SOAP, and blogs. The conclusion? Links matter., May 19/20, 2002

That's it for this Monday, see you next time.

Andrew King Newsletter Editor, aking at internet dot com


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