20seven

Devigner blog about development and design

We Don’t Need No Pagination

I stumbled upon Humanized.com which seems to be a exploration project into creating a blog-like aggregator. The about page describes it as “Why couldn’t reading an aggregator be as simple as reading a blog?”.

What makes this project interesting to me is the lack of a paginator. Instead, when you reach the bottom of the page with the scroll bar, a message is displayed that alerts you; “More pages are being loaded…” and instantly more data is appended to the page.

Now this is thinking outside of the box. You get more to read when you need it, without thinking. Should this be the future of pagination or a lack there of? Maybe. I’m still contemplating that myself but I’m intrigued by the idea.

Flickr Video - Good or Bad?

There are a couple of reports hitting the wire that Flickr Video will debut next month (April). One at CNet – Flickr Video beta due in April | Outside the Lines and one at Tech Crunch – Video Coming To Flickr Soon. Really..

I think some of the greatest sites are the ones who can focus on a single offering and make it great, be it wine, video or photography. If Yahoo were to debut a video site, that would be one thing, but integrating it into Flickr I think might be a mistake.

I have seen cased where video can be a nice compliment to photography in instances when a photographer wants to show how he achieved a particular end result, give a short documentary on his work or document a entire shoot. Even the Strobist Flickr Meetups are great fun to watch. There are a lot of discussions in Flickr groups that link to YouTube or Vimeo for that particular purpose. However, having a place to store and showcase any video like the two aforementioned sites will only dilute the creativity that has become Flickr.

Flickr has proven itself to be a viable tool for photographers; some great ones at that. Will these photographers still find value in Flickr once Video is introduced? I guess only time will tell. I suppose it’s really going to depend on how it’s integrated and how good their content filters are. What I would hate to see is a repository of tween video, like those my kid is addicted to watching on YouTube. On the other hand, if integrated in such a way as to compliment the photography that’s hosted, like the examples I’ve listed earlier, it might be a good transition.

Photography and cinematography are art-forms in their own respect and they share common principles. Let’s hope Flickr (Yahoo) doesn’t forget that and gives the respect and attention that each field deserves. I’d really hate it if Flickr became a quest for 15 minutes of fame.

Ingredients for a Distraction-Free Workspace

First and foremost, I’m not a fan of the dock. I think it’s very distracting and takes up too much real estate. I happened upon a tweet by Shaun Inman last week about Mail Unread Menu and how he’s using it so he can hide his dock. I’ve tried to adopt this practice in the past but was never really keen on the results. That is until now.

NNW Unread Menu.jpgI followed Shaun’s tweet over to loganrockmore.com and downloaded Mail Unread Menu which allows you to see how many unread mails you have waiting for you on your menu bar, switch to mail.app from the icon and has some nice configuration options. I played around with it and noticed the Logan also has an identical tool — NNW Unread Menu for Net News Wire users. Click. Download. Sweet. Since I am in a habit of looking at the dock to see how many new feeds I had, I can now look in the menu bar and not rely on the dock.

After a few hours of using Apple+Tab as an app switcher I was completely annoyed by the huge icons. Not able to find a way to make them smaller (speak up if you can), I downloaded Witch. Witch lets you customize the appearance and icon size of the app switcher which was just what I wanted.

Combining these three apps, I now have a nice dockless workspace and can max out my windows with the extra real estate I’ve gained.

Now for a completely distraction free experience, I added Isolator to the mix. Isolator will cover your desktop and all windows except for the application in focus. Mapped to a hotkey I can quickly turn it off. It’s currently in beta for Leopard users but seems to be very stable for me.

Ingredients
Mail Unread Menu
NNW Unread Menu
Witch
Isolator
Hide your dock!

Note: All these apps are great apps so if you like them, consider donating to the developers.

Caveats
I had an issue with using Mail Unread Menu’s switcher to jump to mail.app where it would fire off one of my FastScripts that was mapped to the keys Apple + 1. Logan tells me that command + 1 is the same key combo that Mail Unread Menu uses to switch to mail.app. I changed my FastScript key combo and all is good.

Twitter Updates From Terminal

If you have curl installed, it’s easy to post updates to Twitter from your Terminal.

curl -u yourusername:yourpassword -d status="Your Message Here" \
http://twitter.com/statuses/update.xml

[ Via Digital Streets ]

Flickr-style Tag Splitting in Ruby

The Pug Automatic: Flickr Style Tagging in Rails

Someone asked on IRC for Ruby code to split tags Flickr style, e.g. getting the tags from tag1 tag2 'tag 3 has spaces' tag4.

I came up with this:

def parse_tags(string)
  string.split(/"(.+?)"|\s+/).reject {|s| s.empty? }
end

It even preserves tag order, which you wouldn’t get if you’d first gsub out (and store) quoted tags and then split the rest."

I haven’t tried it yet but looking at it looks like a fine implementation. Very simple.

[Via Pug Automatic.]

FlickrExport 3 Public Beta Available

EC3398A2-798B-42ED-8E9D-BD04FE1FA985.jpg Connect Flow has released FlickrExport 3 as a public beta for Aperture and iPhoto users.

New in this release is the ability to add your image to multiple groups. This is a time saver and will be a must have plugin if you’re a power flickr user. It has saved me hours of work over the past several weeks alone.

Other Notable Features Include, but not limited to:

  • Create photosets from within the FlickrExport interface and set the photoset icon, title and description tags with drag and drop re-ordering of the images in the set.
  • Presets for group selections and GPS data are also notable additions in FlickrExport 3, allowing you to save your selections for retrieval the next time you upload your images.
  • Tagging is changed in this version. FlickrExport 3 will autocomplete tags from your saved Flickr tags.
  • Check the screencast for complete details. After all, that’s what the screencast is for right?

Connected flow has announced FlickrExport 3 will be a free upgrade to those who purchased FlickrExport in 2008. Pricing for FlickrExport 3 is yet to be announced.

A Beta group has been opened at Flickr for those who want to ask questions or chat about FlickrExport 3.

FlickrExport Beta Releases.jpg

Check out the screencast to see what great new features have been baked into FlickrExport 3.

Lightroom Wins - a Perspective on Aperture 2.0

Jordon Nielsen posted his opinions on Aperture 2.0 and why he’s sticking with Lightroom.

Apple has kept it’s users in the dark for almost a year on the development of Aperture 2.0. Adobe has been very good in keeping its users up-to-date on its newest releases. Which I feel is a huge asset to keeping myself coming back for more from Adobe.

This has been a sore spot with a lot of Aperture devotees over the last year. I’m not surprised at all to see this side-effect of Apple’s silence policies. Adobe does have their labs blog and forums which is something I don’t think Apple will be adopting anytime soon.

Aperture 2.0.1 Update

Hot on the heels of Aperture 2.0 the Apple engineers have pushed a small update that addresses the following issues. This update is available through system software update.

  • Upgrading libraries from earlier versions of Aperture
  • Publishing .Mac Web Gallery albums
  • Preview generation and deletion
  • Creating and ordering books
  • AppleScript support
  • Keyboard shortcut customization
  • Appearance of metadata overlays in the Browser, Filmstrip, and on light tables
  • Watermarking of emailed photos
  • Highlight Hot and Cold Areas
  • Loupe
  • Smart Albums
  • All Projects View
  • Straighten Tool
  • Filmstrip
  • Drag and drop import
  • Thumbnail generation
  • Import window
  • Export plug-in reliability

Secrets 1.0b13: Preference Pane

Secrets.jpg

Open source System Prefs pane by Quicksilver author ‘Alcor’ that gives you a GUI for tweaking secret preferences, both for software that ships with Mac OS X and for third-party apps, with the information about the secret prefs coming from a publicly accessible database. Even if you don’t install the prefs panel, the database is a terrific resource.

[ Via Daring Fireball ]