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Monday, January 5, 2004

Plink Searches FOAF

Plink (Beta) is a Friend-of-a-Friend (FOAF) search engine. You can add your own FOAF.RDF XML file (like mine) generated with Foaf-o-Matic or similar tools and by looking at some examples.
Plink (short for “People Link”) already stores and displays over 10,000 people.

Basically, a FOAF file is meta-data resting somewhere in public telling machines who you know. Using this data, the machines can then go about creating meaningful renderings of this social network.

Random Computing Knowledge

FOLDOC is the Free On-Line Dictionary of Computing with search functionality... and if you’re a geek out of ideas what to learn, a random definition feature as well. E.g. did you know what STFW means?

Wired Goes Beyond Google talks about cluster engines like Vivisimo in Beyond Google: Narrow the Search (Jan. 04, 2004).

XHTML Basic vs Strict

I’ve tested* some of the new Nokia 6600 Internet/ Web functionality. It ships with WAP2 and XHTML Support (it says). What it does is check the Doctype – if it’s not the XHTML Basic or Mobile Profile Doctype, but a XHTML1.0 Strict one, the media-handheld CSS is ignored. Only with the Nokia Doctype, the CSS is used. I find this really annoying as it goes against the whole idea of media-independent XHTML Strict along with stylesheets.

On the good side, WML seems to be running but only for backwards-compatibility, and pretty much any HTML can be rendered – and XHTML1 Strict using CSS2 naturally fares much better than most pages here (even though important markup like “h1" for headers is not given any special formatting).

Still, if I want to style my already working pages, I need to make a redundant copy, or change to XHTML Basic Doctype, which risks confusing a dozen Doctype-sniffers on the desktop-platform. It’s the Netscape 4 desaster all over again – reasonable standards risking to be destroyed for years by silly browsers. (Why are developers forced to write several versions of the same page if they just want to optimize some layout details?)

However, I found one possible workaround:
If you include the XHTML Basic Doctype inside a comment within the body-section of the text/html document with a Strict DTD... well, then the Symbia OS (and the Opera spin off) treats it fine, and loads the handheld CSS.

*Samples I used:

Google on Nokia

And then, there’s Google, forcing me to use their WML-Proxy even if I connect to normal search (as opposed to Their WML approach is honorable (and works well on older WAP1/WML phones), but modern cell phones running WAP2/(X)HTML like Nokia’s don’t need WML. To make use of Google on Nokia, I had to use side-services like Google Images, or use my own searches powered by the Google Web API (like Search.CSS).

For more information on the history of the XHTML vs XHTML Basic vs WML mess, see an overview of mobile versions of XHTML. Also see this blog’s HTML, XHTML, CSS and SEO Purism.


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