2008 Year-End Wrap-Up

It’s become the tradition at this time of year for the cool kids to round-up the year with the most popular blog postings of the year; so I thought I would do the same.

My most popular photo on Flickr. Some rights reserved.
My most popular photo on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

Here then are the most popular posts from the last 12 months (most popular first):

Web design 2.0 – it’s all about the resource and its URL — thanks to Simon Willison this is my most popular post of all time and of 2008.

QR codes for BBC programmes and some other stuff — a lunchtime of hacking from the wonderful Duncan Robertson gave us QR Codes for every BBC programme.

When agile projects become mini waterfalls — I have no idea why this is so popular, but there you go.

Interesting BBC data to hack with — the release of XML views of Radio AOD data, unsurprisingly, proved popular.

The all new BBC music site where programmes meet music and the semantic web — the first hint at what the BBC will be able to do by caring about its URLs, Linked Data and Domain Driven Design. If you put everything in the right place you can join it all up and create a coherent user experience. 

Osmotic communication – keeping the whole company in touch — I still think this is a good idea.

Find and Play BBC Programmes — announcing the embedded media player on programme pages — meaning all BBC programme support sites now include the latest TV and Radio media.

iPhoto photos not appearing in Front Row — how to fix iPhoto’s album.xml file when you migrate from Google’s Picasa to iPhoto. The fact this is still proving popular implies Apple still haven’t fixed the bug. 

Highly connected graphs: Opening BBC data — in response to Mike Butcher’s post on TechCrunch requesting the BBC open up their data and provide APIs I thought it worth pointing out there’s already some good stuff going on.

Ladies and gentlemen I give you BBC Programmes — the launch of a page for every programme the BBC broadcasts.

UGC its rude, its wrong and it misses the point — its still rude and it still means those that think of amateur publishers in these terms will continue to miss opportunities.

So there you have it. It’s been a good year and as I’ve discussed previously I’m very proud of what we’ve achieved, as reflected in many of these posts and the fact the Guardian also cover the work — which also had the added bonus that my parents finally have some idea of what I do for a living.

Interesting stuff from around the web 2008-10-06

The map is scaled to the number of radios per capita. The most radios per person are in Norway - at more than 3 per person.
The map is scaled to the number of radios in each territory. The most radios per person are in Norway - at more than 3 per person.

Lots and lots of clouds

Stephen Fry explains the principles of cloud computing and recommends a few services
Clever man Stephen Fry, perhaps he could write a piece on OpenID next.

Richard Stallman on Cloud Computing: “Stupidity” [autonomo.us]
“I’m very supportive of [Stallman’s] concern about cloud computing, and I agree that it’s something that the Free Software and Free Culture communities need to address. But in rejecting all network computing, I think RMS has thrown out the baby with the bathwater.”

Can’t Open Your E-Mailbox? Good Luck [NYTimes.com]
Amidst all the hype around cloud computing, The New York Times points out that if Google locks down your Gmail login for whatever reason (like someone tried the wrong password too many times), you’re basically screwed.

Some lovely visualisations, one odd one

Worldmapper: The world as you’ve never seen it before
Interesting collection of maps, where territories are re-sized on each map according to the subject of interest. There are now nearly 600 maps.

AirTraffic Worldwide [YouTube]
A map of the world showing a simulation of all of the air traffic in a 24-hour period

Flickr Panda – strange, very strange
Panda vomiting photos – why the Panda? Who knows. Something to do with this.

Height – the observable universe from top to bottom [xkcd]
I don’t normally link to xkcd because, to be honest, I would simply be linking to every addition. But this one is particularly good.

Listen to TimBL: Link your Data, give it context

Is Linking to Yourself the Future of the Web? [O’Reilly Radar]
“Follow Jay’s link and you come to a story that indeed doesn’t have any outbound links, except to other Times stories. Now, I understand the value of linking to other articles on your own site — everyone does it — but to do so exclusively is a small tear in the fabric of the web, a small tear that will grow much larger if it remains unchecked.”

…and listen to Martin: don’t fall for BDUF

‘Requirement’ is inherently waterfallish. Agile methods violate this underlying assumption by intending to discover the ‘requirements’ during construction and after delivery. [martinfowler.com]
Everyone knows how big the difference is between what people say they want and what people actually need and use. By watching what people actually do with your application, you can find out what actually happens with the software – which can give you much more direct information than other sources. As a result I think more teams should consider adding this approach to their toolkit.

Interesting stuff from around the web 2008-09-01

Google Chrome, Google’s Browser Project
Google Chrome, Google’s Browser Project

Some Google news

Google Chrome, Google’s Browser Project [blogoscoped.com]
Built with WebKit but with added cool features – some UX stuff but more interestingly a new JavaScript virtual machine, multi-threading and sensible security policies. And all Open Sourced.

Google’s undocumented favicon to png convertor [via Simon Willison]
Showing the favicon of a domain next to a link is a really nice trick, but it’s slightly tricky to achieve as IE won’t display a .ico file if you link to it from an img element, so you need to convert the images server-side. This undocumented Google API does that for you, meaning it’s much easier to add favicons as a feature to your site.

Some cool hacking…

Solar powered ice maker [Hack a Day]
The system uses solar heat to facilitate evaporation of a coolant. When the sun goes down and the coolant turns back to liquid, its temperature drops drastically due to extreme pressure differences. The unit can produce 14 pounds of ice per day with zero carbon footprint.

Archrs – an everyday story of web development [BBC – Radio Labs]
Tristan’s review of his work on a new Archer’s prototype. Unfortunately it didn’t get launched – which is a real shame it would have been great.

And finally some project management stuff

The Need for Leadership in Scrum [NetObjectives]
An interesting take on the role of management and leadership within organisations using Scrum. Where leadership as the “ability to create a solid vision of a better future for those people he/she is leading.” A leader must have a compelling desire to move towards that vision. And management as the “ability to match people’s tasks with their skills.”