Thursday, June 30, 2005

Microsoft RSS - Ordered Lists - How are they used?

I have been thinking about the Microsoft RSS announcement last week at Gnomedex. One of the hats that I wear is SharePoint Consultant. I am involved in a SharePoint implementation at this time. How would this concept be utilized? Why is this good that Microsoft has decided to integrate this?

I think that one good reason is that much of the information on the internet is now being disseminated via RSS feeds, and the integration of the capability to handle RSS feeds is a necessary evolution of the Microsoft IE Browser. It cannot be ignored, or I guess, it could, but at the peril of being left behind. So, my comment is, finally! Microsoft has decided to join in the party, and rightly so, in my opinion.

About a month ago, Balmer said that RSS was too simple. I was very suspicious, and concerned that Microsoft was about to go their own way. However, I now see what he was talking about. The List Extension.

I like the idea of the List Extension - or Ordered Lists. This is the inclusion of a capability to generate list information from an RSS feed in an ordered way.

One of the things that I like about SharePoint is the concept of lists. It is a powerful concept and one that somehow opened up my eyes to the power of collaborative use of active information. I guess the power of it is the ability to take useful information that is typically stored in various formats, i.e. Excel spreadsheets, Word documents, Access Databases, and put them quickly into a SharePoint website and disseminate the information to large groups very quickly and securely. RSS disseminates information in a simple way. However, with RSS, YOU decide if you want to see the details, and you even get to decide if you want the information in the first place.  The USER is in CONTROL.

Have you ever tried to coordinate with large, remote groups of people, by attaching a spreadsheet, or word document with an embedded table, to an email, and sending that email to all interested parties? You know how hard that is to accomplish in today's world. With RSS published ordered lists this is much easier, and much more powerful.

So, Each user can receive information that they need at their fingertips via RSS, in an ordered format. If need be, they can reach back to the central publishing point, via links, which can also be stored in the RSS generated lists.

I can think of two areas that, off the top of my head, will benefit greatly from RSS Ordered Lists are:

1. Reports
2. Alerts

Reports are nothing more than ordered lists of information. I can think of many uses for reports that people would like to receive via RSS. How would you like to get up to the minute project status reports generated and delivered to you regardless of your personal communication device of choice? Are you building software with Agile Methods using remote teams of designers, analysts, and developers? How would you and your team like to receive timely, up-to-the-minute reporting on development objectives and accomplishments?

How would Executives and Managers like to be have vital company information surfaced in almost real-time.  Well, alerts and reports in the form of RSS Ordered Lists could be one of the main feeds of choice.

There are many other possibilities:

Lesson Plans, music lists, movie lists, favorite websites, calendar events, reminder services, task lists, blog lists, podcast lists, contact lists, vendor information, etc, etc, etc...

In closing, I would like to say, thank you Microsoft. You have provided a solution as to how I can deliver information to Sales Managers and groups of collaboration workers in a much easier to understand way.



9:37:27 PM     comment [] trackback []

Rails vs .NET

I tend to agree with this opinion, it took awhile for me to GROK .NET, however, I also believe that each tooll has it's own purpose.  I still like how Ruby on Rails works.

ASP.NET vs Rails analysis from a veteran.

On a the topic of ASP.NET vs Ruby on Rails on the ruby-talk mailing list, Christian Romney wrote a long analysis over his experience with the two. Here’s my choice bit:

I disagree that ASP.NET is more productive than RoR. I have been FAR more productive with RoR after just a few months of learning Ruby and a few weeks of using RoR than I am with .NET even though I’ve been coding on the MS platform for 10 years, with half of that time spent almost exclusively working on web applications.

Romney especially likes Active Record and the “architectural guidance” of the framework. But there’s definitely also some love for .NET where he especially likes the transaction support and enterprise features like message queueing. Read the full thing. via [Riding Rails]

8:59:17 PM     comment [] trackback []

Speaking of Disruptive Technology...

Have an idea for a company? Have $100,000, or know where to get some? If you build it, they will come...

Better Get on over to Ruby on Rails, or ROR as it's being called.  ROR is changing the software world.

This following article is from Riding Rails

Rails is one of those economy changing tools™.

Pelle from Stake Ventures augments Joe Kraus’ It’s a great time to be an entrepreneur with the notion that on top of cheaper hardware and free infrastructure, we also have better frameworks today:

It is a lot easier and quicker now to bring a new service from concept to launch. One of the biggest things helping this is the emergence of new practical web frameworks like Ruby on Rails . This allows single person or tiny teams to incredible things in very short time.

There are other similar frameworks where you could do similar things quickly, but really Rails is one of those economy changing tools that is and will cause a lot of turmoil in the world of web applications.

Productivity improvements are a big part of the push from the bottom. Skipping the need for scaling up in people makes it much easier to get off the ground. $100K is quite a lush sum if all you need is three people for a couple of months. via[Riding Rails]

8:56:08 PM     comment [] trackback []

Oh My Goodness!! You Mean There is Money in Social Software???

Who'd a Thunk It?  Big Bucks for developing Social Software. Put on your creative thinking caps...

A picture named palfrey.jpgJohn Palfrey, executive director at Berkman Center (where I used to work), announces a new venture capital fund that focuses on investments in "tagging, RSS, OPML, search, social software, and related next-gen standards." According to Jim Moore, another former colleague of mine and JP's partner, they have raised $20 million from Ritchey Capital, and plan to raise another $80 million. via [Scripting News]

8:51:29 PM     comment [] trackback []

Tinderbox - Note Sharing and Thinking Out Loud Tool

Tinderbox looks like a very interesting Note taking collaboration tool, it now reads OPML.

Mark Bernstein writes: "Tinderbox -- our hypertext tool for making, analyzing, and sharing notes -- now reads OPML." via [Scripting News]

8:49:27 PM     comment [] trackback []

Improve the Software Development Process with David Anderson

David Anderson teaches us how to improve software development process.

From Scoble's blog: David Anderson is teaching Microsoft how to do the Agile Thing...

"I interviewed David Anderson this evening. This guy is inspiring. He writes the Agile Management blog. He's working with teams here at Microsoft to get us to improve our software development process and is getting radical results. More when I get the video done.
via [Scobleizer: Microsoft Geek Blogger]"

8:22:41 PM     comment [] trackback []

Interesting Blog-Add on Tool, Scoble is looking for the best

What's the best addon blogging tool?.

A friend is looking for a blogging tool, like Blog Jet. Is that the best one out there?

via the [Scobleizer: Microsoft Geek Blogger]
8:18:22 PM     comment [] trackback []

Give me $100,000 and I'll give you a Company

This is so true, Joe Krauss has hit it on the nose...

With Open Source Software, Cheap Hardware, a Cheap Global Labor market, just about everyone can be an Entrepreneur...

Creating a company is a lot cheaper today, Joe Krauss says.

Joe Krauss (he started Excite): it's a great time to be an Entrepreneur. " took $3,000,000 to get from idea to launch. JotSpot took $100,000. Why on earth is there a 30X difference?
via Scobleizer: Microsoft Geek Blogger]


8:11:09 PM     comment [] trackback []

25 Rules of Management from Scott Hanselman's .NET blog

25 Rules of Management.

I've been reading as much as I can on how to be an effective manager lately. For a number of reasons, mostly internal, but also because in a recent lunch Chris Sells said (something like):

"If you're not getting slapped by your boss at least twice a year, you're not pushing the envelope enough."

It was just the little nugget of quasi-wisdom I needed to get thinking about my style. My boss, Chris Brooks, also pointed me to Swanson's Rules. Number 3 looked familiar.

Bill Swanson's '25 Unwritten Rules of Management'
1. Learn to say, "I don't know." If used when appropriate, it will be often.
2. It is easier to get into something than it is to get out of it.
3. If you are not criticized, you may not be doing much.
4. Look for what is missing. Many know how to improve what's there, but few can see what isn't there.
5. Viewgraph rule: When something appears on a viewgraph (an overhead transparency[, or powerpoint]), assume the world knows about it, and deal with it accordingly.
6. Work for a boss with whom you are comfortable telling it like it is. Remember that you can't pick your relatives, but you can pick your boss.
7. Constantly review developments to make sure that the actual benefits are what they are supposed to be. Avoid Newton's Law.
8. However menial and trivial your early assignments may appear, give them your best efforts.
9. Persistence or tenacity is the disposition to persevere in spite of difficulties, discouragement, or indifference. Don't be known as a good starter but a poor finisher.
10. In completing a project, don't wait for others; go after them, and make sure it gets done.
11. Confirm your instructions and the commitments of others in writing. Don't assume it will get done!
12. Don't be timid; speak up. Express yourself, and promote your ideas.
13. Practice shows that those who speak the most knowingly and confidently often end up with the assignment to get it done.
14. Strive for brevity and clarity in oral and written reports.
15. Be extremely careful of the accuracy of your statements.
16. Don't overlook the fact that you are working for a boss.
* Keep him or her informed. Avoid surprises!
* Whatever the boss wants takes top priority.
17. Promises, schedules, and estimates are important instruments in a well-ordered business.
* You must make promises. Don't lean on the often-used phrase, "I can't estimate it because it depends upon many uncertain factors."
18. Never direct a complaint to the top. A serious offense is to "cc" a person's boss.
19. When dealing with outsiders, remember that you represent the company. Be careful of your commitments.
20. Cultivate the habit of "boiling matters down" to the simplest terms. An elevator speech is the best way.
21. Don't get excited in engineering emergencies. Keep your feet on the ground.
22. Cultivate the habit of making quick, clean-cut decisions.
23. When making decisions, the pros are much easier to deal with than the cons. Your boss wants to see the cons also.
24. Don't ever lose your sense of humor.
25. Have fun at what you do. It will reflect in your work. No one likes a grump except another grump. 
[from Swanson's Rules]

[ - Scott Hanselman's Weblog]
8:00:55 PM     comment [] trackback []

Bad Skype? Good Gizmo?


I just loaded Skype, and now this from Doc Searls Blog -

Silos be damned.

I'm getting ready to make a Skype call right now. Skype is great. I love it.

I also know it's a silo. And I've been wondering about open alternatives.

Here's one: Gizmo. Long story, far from over. Read the whole thing.

[The Doc Searls Weblog]
7:55:51 PM     comment [] trackback []

CMS on Rails - Looking for Requirements

Want to contribute to the requirements for a Ruby on Rails based CMS [via Rails Wiki]?

The developer is looking for feedback...

7:34:14 PM     comment [] trackback []