Franklin Street Statement PDF

The Franklin Street Statement can be found on the web in the form of a fairly ugly blog post, which does not befit a document of such importance… and for that matter, neither does the printed form of that page.

I wanted a nice paper copy of the statement to put in a prominent position on my desk, and figured it would make sense to share my rendering. It may be an interesting thing to hand out at developer conferences or Software Freedom Day events.

The document is set in Free typefaces, Liberation Serif and League Gothic — appropriate, given that League is a wonderful Free alternative to Franklin Gothic! I know, I know, you see what I did there. Now… Download the Franklin Street Statement PDF!

Note: I wish the source ODF had survived the wrath of’s “eat my document” crash recovery feature, but at least the resulting PDF is fairly easy to edit. :-)

Wired? Tired? Expired.

Glyn Moody pointed out an awful article written by Chris Anderson (of Long Tail infamy) and Michael Wolff, “The Web is Dead. Long Live the Internet”. It is almost Nick Carr-esque in its pursuit of overwrought claims with little to no basis in fact.

The lunacy of this article will resonate with anyone remotely connected with the technology industry, let alone those involved in software and web development.

But here are my favourite bits of abject cluelessness:

JavaScript then, Objective-C now? HTML then, XML now? What the fuck have you been smoking, Chris Anderson? … and don’t tell me it was some “junior staffer” subbing the living crap out of your stupid lack of perspective.

… and then this little gem to finish things off, ignoring years of evidence that we enjoy temporary dalliances with convenience before returning to (often quite) revolutionary openness:

The Internet is the real revolution, as important as electricity; what we do with it is still evolving. As it moved from your desktop to your pocket, the nature of the Net changed. The delirious chaos of the open Web was an adolescent phase subsidized by industrial giants groping their way in a new world. Now they’re doing what industrialists do best — finding choke points. And by the looks of it, we’re loving it.

I’ll make my own bold, unsubstantiated claim… Wired: Tired and expired.

Glad I have that off my chest. Thank you, ball boys.

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Update: Check out this hilarious take-down from Boing Boing … with facts! … and analysis! … and pretty graphs!

Packet and Denby

This is Packet.

This is Denby.

I mention in the video that it’ll end up being “like TweetDeck”. I breezed past that a tad too quickly — it’s definitely not going to be an HTML5 clone of TweetDeck! (Turns out they’re working on one of those already.)

Instead, it will take inspiration from the multi-column approach, but hopefully improve the user experience on a number of levels:

  • It’ll be 100% Free Software / Open Source… and one hopes, peer produced.
  • JavaScript on the server, JavaScript on the client, with liberal doses of “HTML5″ (the platform your platform could be), whatever that means to you.
  • No Adobe AIR, and thus, no vicious memory and CPU abuse! Seriously: Firefox TweetDeck is wasting more CPU time sitting “idle” than Chromium and node.js are using to run Denby. Oh, and node.js is 12MB resident.
  • It can work a bit like a desktop app… use the “web page as application” tool your browser provides. Firefox has Prism, Chromium has… a menu item. ;-) Denby will support things like desktop notifications, audio bleeps, drag-n-drop (for media uploads), inline display of media, etc.
  • Run local or hosted. Once I’m happy with the user experience, I’ll start thinking about cool things the server could do while you’re not connected to it! For now, it only maintains the connection to Twitter while a client is connected.
  • I want to build delicious multiple account support, without complicating the single account experience. It’ll merge streams, detect the context you’re acting upon (click reply and you’ll be replying from the appropriate account), etc.

Please comment if you have any thoughts or suggestions… crimes committed by other Twitter clients, ideas for lovely web/desktop integration, and so on. Thanks! :-)


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Note that I’ve already had questions about StatusNet and support. Thus far, they don’t have user streams, which was one of the main reasons behind building Denby. That said, it is entirely possible for the Denby server to poll the REST API (given that it already talks to Twitter’s) and send the results down the WebSockets tube… so, we’ll see.

Hmm. Perhaps this is the best way to build a user streams API for StatusNet anyway? The web app could send JSON messages to node.js, which could relay them to the intended users… via multiple protocols! Long-running HTTP, WebSockets, whatever. If anyone is inspired to do this, StatusNet could have a bi-directional WebSockets API before Twitter does!

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Update: I made another quick video, showing a few improvements (including update bleeps — no chicken noises as yet), Denby in Firefox’s Prism environment, and sharing some thoughts about the web as a development platform. Enjoy!