MindRetrieve Blog

MindRetrieve - an open source desktop search tool for your personal web

Friday, January 20, 2006

Great gathering last night

Thanks to Scott of Ookles for organizing the great gathering in San Francisco last night. It was a great pleasure to meet so many prominent people who are pushing the Internet front.

Geeks are officially cool again!

Also I got to thank Scott for being the inspiration behind the new tag the file feature!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Announce release of version 0.8.0

I'm gload to announce the first major release in almost a year. New features in version 0.8.0 include:

Web library - tag base bookmarking system
Tag based categorization
Tag files in local disk (Windows XP)

Download from via the MindRetrieve website.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Added IE support

After months of developing on Firefox and Opera only, I have finally ported the DHTML code to IE. Well almost except some small bugs. IE6 is just hideous. I should really have wait to support IE7 only.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Efficient character escapes decoding

I ran into this technical issue using Python's 'unicode_escape' codecs on unicode string. Put a question in the comp.lang.python newsgroup and thought this is probably too technical for anyone to care. But the Python community never fails me. Thank you for Steven Bethard to come up with a great suggestion that works for me. I have written up the solution in a Python cookbook recipe.

Hope it will be useful for other people too.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Synchronization with Simple Sharing Extensions

I have come across this Simple Sharing Extensions for RSS and OPML (SSE) specification from Microsoft. It is a minimum extensions necessary to enable loosely-cooperating apps to use RSS as the basis for item sharing – that is, the bi-directional, asynchronous replication of new and changed items amongst two or more cross-subscribed feeds.

This seems to be a great fit for synchronizing the weblib among different repositories. The essence of SSE is a set of items, each has a globally unique id, a timestamp and an increasing version number. This has inspired me to make another revamp to the Weblib file specification to add all those elements. The only remaining issue for me is the globally unique id. I need to figure out a simple way to generate them across distributed systems, (I feel UUID too heavy weight). The implementation is available in SVN, although I haven't updated the specification yet.

Synchronization is a though issue I haven't have it all thought through. But it probably can't go wrong to go with Ray Ozzie who has created Lotus Notes.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Quick key and the Petname system

I have come across an interesting article An Introduction to Petname Systems. It echoes with a quick key feature I am building, which associates a short phrase with frequently used URL. For example phrase 'amex' can be used as the key to the 'American Express' web site. The main goal of the article is in security (against phishing). While for MindRetrieve the goal is to make a slick user interface. Nevertheless it helps me to understand what I am doing, an implicit system for user to assign petname to items!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Text v.s. multimedia?

The heat is on once again in the advent of internet technologies. The word is that we will move beyond text based communication to audios and videos, from text blogging to audio podcasting to video blogging, from SMS evolves MMS, from search for text to search for audios and videos, etc. The humble text is only the first step in technology development. Eventually technologies would be advanced enough to enable the full glory of multimedia.

I feel rather lukewarm for this. I often past up the news video for text article as I grow impatient with video's pace. With text I can scan back and fro much more easily. User generated content? That reminds me of those home videos, where the camera never stop panning left and right. And when the subject talks, he is actually off-screen ;)

Multimedia was the buzz world of last generation. With the enabling technology CD-ROM become popular, people envision our PC would be filled with sight and sound. While we now see lot more graphics on our PC than the early days, enough to say the focus is still on text, whether we are using email or the web. Anyway none of the multimedia companies has become Google.

I think people consider who video and audio are more advance than text are only looking at it from computer engineering's perspective. This really does not do justice to text. From a different perspective I would say audio and video more primitive because they are base on our biological sensory perception. Whether as text is truly the great innovation than revolutionized communication.