http://asawicki.info/ Graphics programming, game programming, C++, games, Windows, Internet and more...
Entries for tag "web", ordered from most recent. Entry count: 71.
Internet in Poland - My History
This article at forbes.pl says that yesterday there was a 26-th anniversary of first Internet connection in Poland. On 26 September 1990 scientists made a first connection between Warsaw and Geneva to transfer some data. I thought it might be a good opportunity to write down some memories of my personal beginnings with the Internet. I think it can be interesting to some younger readers that know only the modern Internet as it looks today, as well as to some foreigners, because history of the Internet it other countries may be a little bit different than in Poland.
I know there were things before, like people dialing specific numbers and connecting to so called BBS-es, but my first experiences were already dealing with "this" global Internet. I was in high school back then. At first I started to go to Internet cafes - venues throughout the city where you paid per hours you could spend working on a computer connected to the global network, and possibly downloading some files to your floppy disks. Going there after (or instead of :) school, I first learned how to use IRC and of course WWW. IRC was a protocol that required a client app (mIRC was the most popular one for Windows) and allowed to chat with people, privately or on numerous topic channels, so it was possible e.g. to meet local girls in my city :)
Of course the Web existed already too, with many pages about programming that I've been reading to learn Delphi and download some new components for it. There was no all-knowing Google then, not to mention StackOverflow. Instead there were multiple competing search engines (e.g. Yahoo, AltaVista, Infoseek, Lycos, HotBot) and their algorithms were not so good yet. Page directories were also popular, with manually managed lists of websites grouped into categories and subcategories. Many people created websites about the topics of their interest, like "John's website about programming", or about fishing, or whatever. Pages looked different than today. Their style was to be later called "Web 1.0", with the use of HTML frames, textured backgrounds and animated GIF-s.
Disabling Custom PDF Browser in New Firefox
New version of Firefox contains custom PDF files viewer, which is not as good as the standard Adobe Reader. To restore Adobe Reader as default browser for PDF files:
Zootool - My Favourite Bookmarking Service
I gather and share stuff in many different ways. I post short messages on Twitter, write longer posts on this blog, publish even longer articles as Publications, upload photos to Picasaweb and videos to YouTube. But there is another category of things I like to (mostly) collect, search, access from any place and (maybe also) share - bookmarks to interesting Internet addresses, whether whole websites or specific articles.
Years ago I used TXT files for that purpose. I still use them a lot, but for bookmarking I switched to Delicious some time ago. Then the company was bought by Yahoo and the page started working slower and slower, I don't remember what else but somehow I decided to look for another social bookmarking service. That's how I found Zootool - the service I now use and recommend.
It works like this: First you create your profile. You can set your avatar and fill information about yourself. Then you start bookmarking stuff. You can do it via web interface, but they recommend installing a plugin, available for Safari, Chrome and Firefox, which allows adding bookmark to your "Zoo" as you visit some webpage. You can then open "My Zoo" to see, search and edit your bookmarks using nice, asynchronous interface (AJAX-based - does not reload entire page on every click).
When it comes to features, it's quite standard. Every bookmark has a title, description, URL and tags. Bookmarks can also be made private - invisible on your public profile. The service also offers export, import and JSON API. The company makes money from selling Pro Membership. I wish them many customers and lots of money, but for me the features of free account are sufficient. The only thing I don't like about this whole service is that they generate and show a big screenshot of every bookmark on someone's profile, even in RSS channel and there is no way to switch to more compact list. Anyway, here is my profile on Zootool and I also recommend this service for everyone of you who collect bookmarks to interesting places on the Web.
Update 2012-01-15: After reading comment from Hern (thanks!), I switched to Pinboard. That's another bookmarking service and will now be my favourite. It's not free - registration costs 9.99 USD and the web interface doesn't look very attractive, but otherwise it has all the features I aforementioned plus some more, like marking bookmark as "Unread" to be able to show a "TODO" list of pages to read in my free time, which I implemented before using "foo" tag :) So now I'm reg @ Pinboard (RSS).
Improved RSS Feed
I improved the script for generating news feed for my website. It now shows entire contents of my blog posts, including HTML formatting. So if you visit my blog sometimes and haven't done it yet, subscribe to my...
using some desktop or online reader, like the popular Google Reader. I use this one for some time and I like it a lot. RSS/Atom is really good technology. With it you can see unread updates from dozens of your favourite blogs in a single place and read them all without actually visiting the website.
Social Graph - Application on Facebook
If you are active Facebook user and you like data visualisation just like me, then I strongly recommend you look at Social Graph application. When you run in, a Flash applet draws circles representing all your friends and connections between them. You are not there because, well, these are your friends so you are connected to all of them. You can only see how are they connected to each other. What's most interesting though is that they form some groups, which are clearly depicted thanks to graph visualisation algorithm used in this app. For example, my graph looks like this:
Several persons are not connected to anyone other I know. They are drawn somewhere outside the graph in a far distance. These are people who I know from some unusual place or who do not participate actively in Facebook and do not collect friends.
Rest of them forms clearly distinctive groups. The group on the right are people from my home town - mostly my friends from high school or university. The biggest group in the middle are passionate game developers from warsztat.gd community. Small group at the bottom consisting of four circles are contacts from my current job. On the left of Warsztat there is a group of professional game developers from Polish game industry. And finally the smaller group on the left consists of people I know from psytrance parties :)
What's also interesting is that there are some people who play role of a "center" of some group - are connected with almost everyone else in that group. Others are "connectors" that join two groups.
Nyan Cat + Angry Birds = Angry Nyan Cat
If Angry Birds was joined with Nyan Cat, how would it look like? I think it would be something like this:
Note: This is only an image I created just "for the lulz". There is no actual game like that.
Google+ - Social Network from Google
Google announced they are working on a social networking website called Google+ which is going to compete with Facebook. It looks very promising so I look forward to test it when they release the website to the public. I especially like the idea of creating "Circles" of people to share things with only some groups of friends, not everyone. I don't want to express my political and other views to everyone or, on the other hand, bother all my friends with information about programming that are understandable and interesting to only those who share my passion.
Facebook is already popular, but we all know that Google develops good products (like search engine, Gmail, Chrome, Translate and numerous other stuff) so all in all I hope Google+ will become the successor of Facecbook, not a big failure like Google Wave. I already publish my photos on Picasa not on Facebook.
My new address: www.asawicki.info
I've bought the "asawicki.info" domain, so now the address of my website is www.asawicki.info and my new personal e-mail address is adam__DELETE__@asawicki.info (without the "__DELETE__" part - it's here to fool spambots). Why did I do that? I'm not a proponent of a belief that when you write from a Gmail account, you are an amateur while having a SuperProMegaSoftware.com domain looks professional.
But my previous address - regedit.gamedev.pl - was associated by Google with "Geographic target" of Poland and I couldn't change it in Google Webmaster Tools because of this ".pl" suffix. Maybe that was the reason why my website was being visieted mainly from Poland despite I write in English here for quite a long time? Also, I don't like my old nickname a little bit. All in all, it's more than 10 years old now.
Why did I choose the .info ending? Well, obviously I'm not an .org-anization, my website is not .com-mercial and I don't do any .biz-ness here. This website has just some .info-rmation about me and the things I do :) Besides, other top-level domains with my name were already taken.