Useful Links: Open source, STEM programs, iPhone unavailable–sometimes

Say Hello to the Open Source Decade by Laura Scott.

Open Source has been around for quite some time, but odds are most people you ask won’t know what “open source” is. This isn’t because open source is obscure, but rather it has slipped into the mainstream, and unless you’re already in the know, there’s no real reason you will have noticed it.

Planting seeds of science interest in kids of all ages is a great list of resources leading to programs of all sorts meant to bring kids into STEM fields.

Live in New York and want an iPhone? Forget about it. AT&T Customer Service: “New York City Is Not Ready For The iPhone”. Apparently AT&T decided the solution to their lack of coverage in the Big Apple was to stop selling Apple phones there. The blackout on iPhone only extends to online sales, according to TechCrunch, where we see Relax, You Can Still Buy an iPhone in New York City. Just Not Online. The end of this story will be to learn what happened to the poor AT&T service rep who pronounced the fateful sentence, “New York City is not ready for the iPhone.”

Summary of eHow articles for August


The image above is a Wordle, and shows you some of the things I was talking about here lately.

Below is what I did at eHow in August.

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Useful Links: Open Web Tools, HTML 5 nav, CSS 3 Cheat Sheet

The Open Web Tools Directory lists the best available tools for Design, Code, Test, Debug, Deploy and Docs in a very cool HTML 5 display using the canvas element.

HTML 5: nav ambiguity resolved at is interesting because The Zeldman has the same problem I have with the HTML 5 specs, and also because the discussion that follows is fascinating. Don’t just read the article—read the comments, too.

CSS 3 Cheat Sheet (PDF) is another freebie from Smashing Magazine that is just begging to be used as a class handout. Match that up with the HTML 5 Cheat Sheet from SM that I mentioned a few days ago.

Women in Tech: Addison Berry

Meet Addison Berry, a woman who traveled a roundabout path into tech and is now one of the most visible leaders in the open source content management world of Drupal. My thanks for Addi for agreeing to answer some questions and let us get to know her.

Q: Let’s start off with Drupal. You work for Lullabot, a company that does Drupal books, podcasts and videos. And, you’re head of the documentation team. How did you become so interested and involved in Drupal?

A: Well I was a WordPress user for a while and had started doing little side jobs building sites with it. I managed to do quite a bit with it. Then at my old job, in the midst of redoing the website there, I told them that it didn’t make sense for me to hand-code the whole thing and be the only one who knew what was going on. I convinced them that we needed to use a CMS instead. The only problem was that I didn’t know of one to use. I quickly realized that WordPress would not stretch that far for us. So I sat down and started reviewing open source CMS. I needed to decide quickly and honestly Drupal just made more sense to me, more quickly than the handful of others I was looking at, so I put my stake in the ground and started building.

As chance would have it, a few months after I decided on Drupal, Lullabot offered their first Drupal workshop and it was located in Washington, DC – literally three blocks from my office. It was an easy sell to the boss. After the workshop, I really grasped the full potential of Drupal and got really excited about what I’d be able to do with. That got me excited about the software and they mentioned some community stuff, but ya know, I needed to get my work done. Several months after that a new thing called the Drupal Dojo started up and I plunged in full-speed ahead. It was a great learning opportunity, but more importantly I really got to know people and finally engaged with the community. The Drupal community is just amazing and once I was there, I jumped in everywhere I could. Lots of people helped me and so I did what I could to help others. That ended up coming back to me in a job offer from Lullabot that allows me to work with Drupal full-time.

Read the full interview at BlogHer.

Women in Tech: Shelley Powers

This is the first of several interviews with women in technology. Today you’ll learn about Shelley Powers. Shelley is perhaps best known as a writer. Her most recent books are Learning JavaScript and Painting the Web. She’s also a programmer and web developer, and she applies a powerful and logical mind to everything she does.

Q: I looked you up on Amazon and found a list of books you’ve written that includes Learning JavaScript, Painting the Web, Adding Ajax, Learning JavaScript: Add Sparkle and Life to Your Web Pages, Unix Power Tools, Practical RDF, Powerbuilder 5 How-To, Developing Asp Components, Dynamic HTML, Dynamic Web Publishing Unleashed, Javascript How-To: The Definitive Javascript Problem-Solver, and Using Perl For Web Programming.


How did you get started on a career as a writer? What was your education and background?

A: I’m a late bloomer educationally. I quit high school when I was 15 and joined a religious cult, Children of God. When I came to my senses and left the group, I went from the frying pan to the fire by marrying, at 16, a man who had learning disabilities and resented the fact that I liked to read. We lived in a house in the country and if it weren’t for the fact that the local library would send books out, and allow you to return them in pre-paid envelopes, I would have had very little to read for two years.

. . . Read the full post at BlogHer.

Useful links: Palin, ARIA, Open Office, CSS Systems

Palin’s experience in just 12 minutes. An analysis from Lawrence Lessig.

ARIA on the fast track. Ian Lloyd’s thoughts on the Web Accessiblity Initiative’s Accessible Rich Internet Applications Suite and what it might do to validation.

Open Office for Aqua. Burningbird puts the open source office suite through its paces and finds it a good substitute for the office suite from that big corporation (you know the one).

CSS Systems for writing maintainable CSS. A presentation about “CSS Systems” with links to slides and notes. The author describes CSS Systems as,

A CSS System is a reusable set of content-oriented markup patterns and associated CSS created to express a site’s individual design. It is the end result of a process that emphasizes up-front planning, loose coupling between CSS and markup, pre-empting browser bugs and overall robustness. It also incorporates a shared vocabulary for developers to communicate the intent of the code.

How I Spent my Weekend: BarCamp Albuquerque

This was my first BarCamp. I always figured they were full of youthful geeks and I would have no place among them. But when Michael Bernstein started leaving comments on this blog and talking about it with me, I decided to give it a try.

It was one of my best decisions ever. I meet several interesting youthful geeks—okay, maybe youthful is a relative term, but that’s what they all looked like to me. But I’m happy to find them in Albuquerque, where I don’t often meet people like that. I don’t seem to find many ageful geeks anywhere I go, so I have to hope the youthful ones don’t boot me out the door when they see me coming.

I met Reid Givens, who gave a terrific presentation on marketing. He knows how to do a presentation and how to create good visuals. He’s never been to SXSWi, where I think he would be highly successful as a presenter. I hope he’ll make the effort to submit a proposal for a panel for SXSWi in 2010. Reid also did an extemporaneous presentation on CSS that was a lot of fun.

I met Emily Lewis, who presented a Web Standards Primer. She started a blog about standards and semantics about a month ago. She posted a link to her presentation in this blog post A Great Time at BarCamp Albuquerque. In a state where many people don’t know what web standards or web accessibility even are, Emily is a jewel.

There were some geeky presentations, too. It was BarCamp, after all. The ones that I could follow the best with my limited understanding of programming were Chris Kenworthy who talked about web analytics and gave some good demonstrations of several of the tools he uses for that.

Jack Moffit talked about XMPP. This discussion also made some inroads into my brain. Some of the things you can do with XMPP (Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol), an open XML communications technology, are very interesting and it appears to be a hot trend in the making.

Daniel Lyons talked about REST. Michael Berstein talked about Python. I only heard bits and pieces of some of the other things. One thing I really hated to miss (but had to miss) was the presentation by ten-year-old Adam Thomas who talked about Scratch programming for kids. I secretly watched him playing with Scratch while the adults yammered on during the day and he created some very impressive things  while he was goofing around waiting his turn.

I used Twitter to microblog links and things I wanted to remember, so there are a few things mentioned on Twitter that I didn’t include in this more lengthy post.

BarCamp Albuquerque, I’m glad I metcha!

e mergent took photos.