Distributing ideas

The site, “If this then that” offers trigger actions as a web service. It works with objects it calls recipes and channels.

Recipes are the “if this then that” relationship, and channels define the this and that. It has a long list of pre-canned channels and recipes, but sadly NOT an output RSS/XML channel.

I have today, just created a trigger that takes my blog feed and posts it to facebook. Obviously I need to test it. This is part of the exploration on how to rebuild my personal streams which have been damaged by Facebook, Google and Twitter’s attempts to enclose our speech into their “secret gardens”.

Help, looking for an XML widget for wordpress

It seems the big boys, i.e. google, facebook, who it now seems own friend feed and twitter are all changing their services and APIs. Friendfeed has stopped parsing twitter because of the API changes, it also seems to have stopped polling my delicious feed. My home grown mingle is still polling my bookmarks, blogs and pictures, but it’s lost my google reader news posts and you tube favourites some time ago; google turned them off as they sought to make Google+ a secret garden. My booklist site, living social, packed in a while ago. All in all, my efforts to collect my contributions on the internet into a single place are falling apart.

Maybe snipsnap is not the answer

It was good to meet up with Mike Ramchand and Phil Harman last week at the Oracle User Group where Phil was presenting a talk entitled “Virtualisation Fever”. The conversation turned to personal web sites. Mike advised me to get off Snipsnap because its resource implications are too costly. It should be noted that there are a number of additional weaknesses due to its age.  It is written in Java and while it has an extensibility framework, using it requires Java and possibly Groovy, and I code in neither.

Using userstyles.org

Since I don’t have full control over the look and feel of this blog, I had a look at userstyles.org. I have downloaded stylish and installed it into one of the copies of Firefox that I use. I then made some changes to my test site and installed a user style locally in Firefox, so it all worked quite well. I need to examine how to upload a style to the internet and allow a page to offer the download, as do some of the style pages in the gallery on their home page at userstyles.org.

The two use cases I was considering were

  1. offering you a different user experience while reading this blog,
  2. seeing if a user style, embedded in Chrome would make consuming the blog, and static site easier on an Android phone.

I have a feeling that since I control the HTML & CSS for my static site, user styles are not part of the answer and that taking full control of the blog so that I have control over the HTML & CSS is a better answer for the blog.

I  might however write a user style for the NWN Vault, whose visual style, I find old fashioned and cluttered. I was reminded of how bad it is  since I have used some of my xmas break to catch up on some playing time in Neverwinter Nights; I was using the vault to find some new games.