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Archive for May, 2006

Assessment of Competition in Search Results

Google on a computer screen

Would you like to make search engine tracking more efficient? If so, read on.

AMOMG some nice Web-based tools for SEO, there exists a Google PageRank comparison tool. There are more such tools on the same site. They tend to automate probings that are intended for egocentric evaluations of site positions.

It is definitely worth a try if you are a Webmaster who seeks more attention (referrals) from search engines.

The 90 Percent Barriers

Bill Gates
Bill Gates arrested in his younger days (photo in public domain)

MICROSOFT have managed, over the course of many years, to sustain over 90% market share on the desktop. It is a figure that is easy to defend and argue in favour of given an unknown and uncountable number of Linux installations. Dropping below 90%, unlike what many would state or even insist on, is harder than getting there, but much is about momentum, as well as ethics. Allow me to explain why, primarily using an analogy.

Windows has deliberate lockins, so its popularity punishes those who attempt to change and ‘dance’ between applications or platforms. They get discriminated against, due to planned strategies that attain this state. That used to be the case with Internet Explorer once it elbowed Netscape, mainly by means of corruption and corporate aggression. Internet Explorer was adverse to standards and its source was kept in a safe as to avoid inter-operation with browsers on other platforms. At that stage, with inarguable domination in the browser market (well over 90%) — that which was seized through monopoly in the operating systems market — ‘defection’ became hard. This exemplifies the dangers of a totalitarian prevance of a browser that is extending itself unilaterally. The World Wide Web played along ‘to its tune’, which was not agreed upon universally. Later came Web standards.

Mozilla Firefox, quite fortunately, made a Netscape comeback and took away that ‘glimmer’ from Internet Explorer. Web developers can no longer discriminate against other, non-Microsoft browsers. Returning to topic: Once Linux pushes the Windows market share below a particular point, hardware vendors and software makers will simply have to support all platforms (if not lean towards Open Source development models altogether). They will no longer blindly make Windows a pre-requisite. We are now approaching that tipping point as Wi-Fi vendors begin to collaborate with Linux and it will soon be included in the kernel level. This is only one example among many others.

Related items: Web Browsers Statistics (2004), Firefox Eats Internet Explorer (2006)

Web Applications Without JavaScript


Web-based calendar in the Open Source Horde project

ONE of the more ingenious technologies around involves user interfaces that are embedded in Web pages. Taking full advantage of powerful, modern Web browsers, it is possible to build fully-blown applications that are operable from merely any platform. One of the latest packages as such achieves all of this without any JavaScript. Have a look at the project summary.

ZK is an open-source Ajax Web framework that enables rich UI for Web applications with no JavaScript and little programming. With event-driven feature-rich components, developing becomes as simple as programming desktops. With a markup language, designing becomes as simple as authoring HTML.

Cutting-Edge CSS

The Web Developer extension in action

CSS analysis with The Web Developer extension (click to enlarge)

STUART Nicholls has been doing some stunning work on cutting-edge cascading style sheets (CSS). I first noticed his work roughly one year ago. More latterly I came to discover that he had implemented pure-CSS fonts! Imagine the complexity. Have a look at some time-consuming illustrations of the power of CSS:

No images are involved in creating any of the above, among many more which you can find in the site.

Also see: Barcharts using CSS

Rowing Challenge Won

Game seat
Picture from the BBC

EXCITING news (for me at least) came out yesterday afternoon. I won the rowing competition (first stage among 10) with the time of 10:43.5 for 3000 meters. The second among the 10 contestants was almost 1 minute behind me, which considering my neglected endurance, makes this a high achievement.

Related items on exercise:

Net Neutrality in Age of Expansion

What is net neutrality? As one site puts it, it is:

“…the idea that every packet of information — a piece of an email, a piece of an mp3 of a radio broadcast — carries equal importance. That is, a message from me moves no faster or slower over the Internet than a message from the Queen. Or from CNN…”

InternetIt is no secret that the Internet is vast and it’s growing at a tremendous pace. With increase in size, unless capacity catches up, there will have to be compromises, in terms of resources. We are yet to discover how the entry of developing countries will change the terrain of the Web.

In other news, expect China to have 60 million bloggers by end of 2006.

Open Source and Commercial Applications

CD's pile

High-bandwidth slows kills
CD-based distribution of software

WHEN I was in an Art museum at Washington I suddenly realised that Open Source will affect commercial applications in the same was photography affected realistic drawings. Photography put a lot of power in the hands of common people and thereby drove down the worth of graphical reproduction. Open Source likewise. Some would say it fixes the price at 0. I, however, would argue that this move is inevitable and support will become the means to sustain businesses. Software can be duplicated; support cannot.

Will Open Source mark the end of a convicted monopolist and withstand its utter aggressiveness? Will it obliterate Microsoft or at least elbow them off course? I, for one, would love to see that happening. Nowadays, I seem to revel in their miseries and taking pleasure in their inability to catch up with Google.

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Original styles created by Ian Main (all acknowledgements) • PHP scripts and styles later modified by Roy Schestowitz • Help yourself to a GPL'd copy
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