Posts in the category “Thoughts”

I consider myself a craftsman in that I dedicate myself to my work. I’m probably a few steps short of a perfectionist (though that term has been applied to me in the past) and while I may not know best any newfangled idea or technique must convince me of its value before I’ll give it a second look. I pride myself in creating the best work I am capable of.

But reality does not always give me the luxury of doing so. While a craftsman would prefer having ample time and resources to work on their projects, the real world cannot always accommodate this. In most cases it’s “now or preferably yesterday!”

Read more »

One particular morning, as I was eating my breakfast of oatmeal and almond milk, I realized I had forgotten to bring my iPad with me. Deprived of morning entertainment, I picked up the box of almond milk and started reading the label (yes kids, that’s what we did to entertain ourselves before tablets and smart phones). Something on the box caught my eye — proudly displayed on the side was a bold, star-burst proclamation that the almond milk in my hands was made with 98% Australian ingredients.

So that got me thinking: What would a 100% Bruneian Website look like?

Read more »

On the 27th December I opened up Bloglines to see what new updates awaited me. That’s when I saw this:

Bloglines having some fun

Notice how the grey bar displays the message “Doc are you telling me you built a time machine?” Hopefully recognize that line from the first Back to the Future movie. Bloglines displayed this because the website in question had scheduled a post for publishing on the 29th December. You can even see the post date on the screenshot itself. Somehow scheduled post made it’s way to the RSS feed eventhough at the time it was not visible on the website. Indeed, trying to navigate to the post yielded a 404 error.

When you sit in front of a computer typing on a keyboard you gotta let off a little steam. Sometimes we hide comments in code or have our website respond to the Konami Code. And sometimes we reference pop culture.

At the risk of giving away my age I’d like to share an anecdote. Over 10 years ago when I was playing around with magic & illusions, an experienced magician said to me that he didn’t consider himself a magician but rather a story-teller; each routine in his repertoire of illusions had a different story to tell the audience.

Microsoft recently previewed a new member to the Office family: Sway. The official website has a preview video but if you’d like a more hands-on demonstration here’s one by the Office Garage Series.

Here’s how the Microsoft Office Blog describes Sway:

[Sway] is a new way for you to create a beautiful, interactive, web-based expression of your ideas, from your phone or browser. It is easy to share your creation and it looks great on any screen … Sway helps you focus on the human part: your ideas and how they relate to each other. Sway takes care of the design work—a Sway is ready to share with the world as soon as it is born.

Perhaps it is no coincidence that lately I’ve also been looking into the Aesop Story Engine, a WordPress plugin which positions itself as a way for website authors to write stories instead of code.

I see this as the next stage of website development. We went from hand-coding HTML to making use of WYSIWYG editors and Content Management Systems. But these were all aimed at the technical aspects of building a website. Using your content to tell a story or create a narrative has often been left by the wayside or given to branding experts and the marketing department. I for one am glad that tools are being developed to help streamline the way we pull information from different sources and present our created stories through different channels.

Content has always been king. It’s time we dressed it up and paraded it on the catwalk.

I was surprised to receive an email attachment from Brunei’s Tabung Amanah Pekerja (TAP; Employees Trust Fund) that was formatted as an OpenDocument Spreadsheet. I am not familiar with their in-house standards of practice but I acknowledge them for using the OpenDocument Formats. However, I question the utility of actually sending these formats to people outside their organization considering that most would likely have no idea how to open such a file.

I think it would better serve by exporting the document to PDF or a Microsoft Office format. OpenOffice and LibreOffice have all this built-in. It would certainly help avoid confusion on the recipient’s part.

ODF Logo courtesy of ODF Community