Java, Apple Doesn't Love You Anymore - She Probably Never Did

I have said before that, but for Adobe, I would abandon MS Windows. And, even for my own direct needs, I would probably already have plunged off the cliff towards Linux nirvana. The anchor that keeps me firmly tethered in the grasp of Redmond is the need to support designers. If the Creative Suite would play nicely on Ubuntu, I would pretty much force about a half dozen or so artists to take the plunge. But, back to reality. The only option away from Microsoft is Apple.

Apple has always been a non-starter for me. Perhaps unduly biased by a father who insisted on building his own computers - literally transistor by transistor in 70's and 80's - the early Apple offerings were considered "toys". That probably wasn't fair, but what might have been a hard-to-justify historical bias has instead become healthy fear of a company that would control its customers instead of serve them (this is done by offering a diminishing pool of seductive choices until one has so much invested into a brand that self-deception is easier than objective decision making - thinking may hurt more, but it's a good pain). Anyway, I don't have a good opinion of Steve Jobs the businessman or Apple the company (Steve Jobs may be a great guy in other arenas). Short story long, jumping to Apple is not likely happen of my own volition.

That said, it'll probably be a moot point soon. As Apple threatens to kill java as a viable application platform on the Mac, one suspects that this will ultimately mean the end of Mac versions of Flash Builder, Flash Catalyst and ColdFusion Builder. The problem is not that Apple will stop supporting Java, but that too much of the Apple platform is hidden from developers:


blekko - the little search engine that might

I found out about blekko, a new search engine in limited beta, at SMX East a couple of weeks ago. In addition to picking up a bit of wearable schwag from them, I also took home a login account, though I have just recently had a chance to start experimenting with it. My initial reaction was to be not so excited. "Who needs another search engine?" Even after listening to the guys in the blekko expo booth as well as hearing their representative participate in a search discussion panel along with representatives from bing and Google, I wasn't motivated to immediately start playing with their new service.

The problem they face is that there does not seem to be a large volume of those dissatisified with the state of search. On the contrary, consolidation of search has occurred with the remaining large players, Google and bing, still working on innovative features. Ok, "instant" may not be revolutionary, or even helpful in some case, and I don't use bing enough to know if they are doing anything innovative, but I still have not recently suffered from the inability to find utility from the SERPs that I see.

All of that said, they are worth checking out for some novel features - some of which I would suspect that Google or Microsoft could implement rather quickly, and others that I doubt we'll ever see from a major player. So let's look at those:



Last minute opportunity for those that can easily get to NYC. imageMEDIA, my employer and your source for cheap printing, is giving away an all access pass to SMX East, the Search Marketing Expo going on October 4th to 6th (next week) - a $1400 value. You have to jump through some simple hoops, but there has not been a lot of traffic for it yet so the odds are pretty good. You have to get your entry by midnight this Friday, October 1st.

And, a quick FYI, SMX is all about getting and converting web site traffic. It'll be at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center (655 West 34th Street New York, NY 10001) with a Tuesday night party, SMX After Dark, at Mars2112 (51st Street and Broadway).

Pale Moon - Windows Optimized Version of Mozilla FireFox

A Pale Moon appeared above my horizon today. The Pale Moon Project is a one man show producing a Windows Platform Optimized Build of Mozilla Firefox. The project site claims a 25% improvement in the performance that results from dumping junk you probably don't want anyway:


Mobile Browser Detection Hack

As was surely inevitable, I am now obliged to think more about the experience a user might have of a site while using mobile devices. I could have staved this off for a little while yet longer, but iOS and Android fire the mouseover event in jQuery. Why? Where's the mouse? This gets in the way with a new, mobile-friendly, dhtml menu system I'm creating - works through clicks as well as mouseovers.

Anyway, I thought to either investigate the event handling issue (maybe a jQuery issue) or go for browser detection. As there are more and more mobile initiatives rolling down the pipe for me, detection seemed like it might be more helpful. And, really, I didn't want to reinvent the wheel so I went looking for pre-existing solutions.

I found Detect Mobile Browser, an open-source tool, but it didn't think that iPad was a mobile device. In my framework speed dating session, I said goodbye quickly to the prospect of a long term relationship. I did notice, though, from the USER_AGENT that it was reporting, that all the mobile devices I was checking identified themselves as "mobile" somewhere in the string.

So, a quick hack that seems to do the trick emerged:


How Many Ways To Make A Link?

Been doing some research on page optimization and have come across a number of different ways to make a link. Most seem designed to avoid notice by search bots, but I can see some other uses as well. Anyway, these are the various specimen of hyper text linking that I have been able to accumulate:


GIS WTF? Mecca in Florida?

Not sure if this is an Easter Egg, some sort of subtle subversion, or maybe the Hajj has just gotten tired in the Middle East, but Microsoft is now reporting that Mecca is located in Dunedin, FL. As cool as it may be to hit the beach after a long day of pilgriming, or make the secondary stop at the Mouse House (I think there must be some sort of organized Brasilian pilgrimage to Walt Disney World so there might be a conflict with the change), but I'm pretty sure Mecca is still a wee bit further away and not so much contained in the territorial United States.


White Space Killing CSS Layout

After a longer-than-I-want-to-admit session of reconciling CSS rendering problems where <li> items were mysteriously 3px lower in Webkit (Chrome& Safari) and Internet Explorer, but not Mozilla (FF4 beta 3), I was reminded, and hopefully will remember this time that:

  • item 1
  • item 2
  • item 3
  • item 4

<li>item 1</li>
<li>item 2</li>
<li>item 3</li>
<li>item 4</li>

on all browsers, is not equal to:

  • item 1
  • item 2
  • item 3
  • item 4

<ul><li>item 1</li><li>item 2</li><li>item 3</li><li>item 4</li></ul>

Friggin' white spaces with a non-zero height pushing my items down. Bah!

AIR Based iPhone & iPad Emulator for Website Rendering

I am definitely Android biased as I'm not a fan of Apple's walled garden, or of being obliged to a single vendor. That said, Apple devices are nice and they seem to be the only company with a shipping tablet that is worth a damn; the augen gentouch78 Android tablet is nice, but you'd have to be delusional to prefer it over the iPad; it's desirable because it's cheap and hackable. Oh, and there are millions of iPhones and iPads out there so chances are rather good that one of your web properties will be rendered on one so it's probably worthwhile to take a peak.


Augen Gentouch 78 Portrait Mode Hack For eBook Reading

I acquired one of the cheap Augen Gentouch 78 Android tablets K-Mart is offering - a crazy excursion that made me wonder if the Delorean didn't go over 88 (it really hasn't seemed to change in the last couple of decades since I last went). Anyway, the goal was to acquire an ebook reader and a platform for experimenting with Android as I'm not terribly keen to risk my phone.

There are lots of other people going over the drawbacks of the device, but I try to be a glass-half-full kind of guy. As an e-reader I need to be able to open:


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