Software\’s whipping boy

November 3, 2007

In the conference displaying a feature

Filed under: Uncategorized — rslomkow @ 12:26 pm

This was a nice sunset

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November 1, 2007

Flock 1.0!

Filed under: Uncategorized — rslomkow @ 10:40 pm

It is here, the Flock 1.0!

Now you can just browse the web and have your friends and Media with you wherever you go.

It works differently for different people, if you are a super power social media user it makes your life easier.  If you are like me and think stuff is fun, but have difficulty remembering to login to Facebook and your email box is way too full to pay attention to Flickr, now your notifications are just part of you daily user experience.

All the old Flock favourite features are still there, the ability to store referenced notes, the blogger, drag and drop.

But now it is even easier to actually find stuff and more things than every before just work.  Try it out.  It is a good .0 piece of software and once you use it for a week you miss your connections to everything else on the web when you are using another browser.

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May 23, 2007

Cormorant is around the corner.

Filed under: Testing — rslomkow @ 9:45 pm

Just doing my testing cycle when we get close to release.

OK here is my mono.  It aggravates the pinched nerve on the top of my foot, but it does help me shoot out of the water.

  • I blame my pair of too narrow sandals
  1. for the pinched
  2. nerve
But the silly formatting.   Is just

me using features.

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November 29, 2006

Borat Introduces Flock

Filed under: Uncategorized — rslomkow @ 8:04 am


Here is Borat Introducing Flock.

I have to admit I am a little bit disturbed how close the actor is here to the real thing.

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October 31, 2006

Another article about working on Flock in the German Press

Filed under: Uncategorized — rslomkow @ 9:10 am

Another news article in the German press.  Mostly about me and how I got to be working on flock and trying to make a richer Internet experience.

An dieser Stelle, sagt Robin und wechselt auf den von ihm mit entwickelten Browser, setze „Flock“ an: Der Browser soll seinen Benutzern melden, wenn und wie sich das Wissen da draußen im Netz vermehrt – welche Zeitungs-Homepage gerade neue Nachrichten vermeldet hat, welcher Freund gerade welche Bilder auf seine Seite hoch lud, welche Lesezeichen der Chef gerade neu in seine Liste der wichtigen Homepages aufnahm. „Flock ist dafür gemacht, Informationen zu verwalten, den Überblick zu behalten“, sagt Slomkowski. Der Browser soll mehr sein als ein herkömmlicher Browser, weil er genau das in sich vereint, was bislang nur viele einzelne Homepages wie MySpace, YouTube oder auch der-fliegenfischer.de im Internet leisten, nämlich persönlich relevante Informationen im gesamten Netz unter allen denjenigen zu vernetzen, die sich genau für diese Art der Information interessieren – mit „Flock“, hofft Robin, ertrinkt man nicht mehr in Wissen, sondern taucht hindurch, zielgenau. Ende des Jahres soll der Browser in einer ersten Version bereit stehen.

jetzt.de – “Flock”-Entwickler: Der schwarze Schirm von Schwabing

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August 18, 2006

Flock in print (just a little article)

Filed under: All — rslomkow @ 4:59 pm

FLOCK
Flock ist DER Browser für Web 2.0. Ein Amerikaner entwickelt ihn – in München. Wir waren da

TOMORROW in Kooperation mit MSN – Heft – Heftinhalt – In dieser Ausgabe

I got my sample copies today of Tomorrow magazine, which has a 4 page spread about the goals of flock and working in the Internet age.

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July 13, 2006

This is a little demo

Filed under: Testing — rslomkow @ 10:26 am

Easier bild zu nemehnSc

A terrorist bomb attack on Mumbai’s commuter trains has killed more than 180 people. This ra\

A terrorist bomb attack on Mumbai’s commuter trains has killed more than 180 people. This ra

Economist.com

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June 28, 2006

Where have all the branches gone i18n & flock

Filed under: Development — rslomkow @ 11:01 am

Just going through branch confusion here.  The cardinal release is going on and we are preparing for another minor update.  At the same time it is beginning to diverge from trunk (274 Files changed, 17,513 lines of code changed for added), which is getting low testing coverage at the moment.  The plan is after the next set of minor releases to merge branches/cardinal back into trunk (hopefully by Monday July 3rd, but we will see what other emergencies pop up.)

The current branches/cardinal-i18n-phase1 branch is literally only for copying spellbound locale names to mozilla localal names ie: “pl-PL ” become “pl”.  This is just so that contributers can see that their localizations work.  Once the localizations mostly work and after the next cardinal release we will then release the Internationalized version of Cardinal, that means we know people will be able to localize it.  We will probalby release some build for locale’s officially as well, but it will take a while for my poor little server to cycle through them.

After the merge to cardinal we will do the second phase of internationalizaion, and then second phase of localization and then we will have happy l10n builds of a table version of flock for flockstars around the world!

http://tinderbox.flock.com/Cardinal_locale/status.html is up as the build status indicator for l10n buils.  Currently only Linux and Windows.  It is doing a full build of the software with the locale set, so it takes quite a while.  Windows even LONGER, as there is no access to a cache and it is running two instances of windows under vmware.  I have some tuning parameters to try to help with the speed.  Namely lowering the allocated RAM so that both vmware instances never has access to more memory than is physically in the system.  And disabeling vmware’s cache (which disables the suspend feature) with “mainMem.useNamedFile=FALSE” it seems to have helped with the other vmware instance by reducing the number of io’s on the server.  The biggest speed savings on our P4 boxes was to disable the use native virtualization flag, though I am still not sure where that is stored, but our Sysadmin Chis Hatty told me that is what he changed to get the biggest speed boost.

I still need to work with Zbigniew to figure out where we are going to place this stuff, the current build deliver system won’t archive as many builds in a public place as we have locale’s.  That is a topic for another post, what to do about build strategys archival, and delivery.  Termie mentioned BuildBot and a I am now seriously considering it, even though it would take much longer to start using it, than to hack the features we currenlty need into fbuilder.

Moving forward we need to make Internationalization a more core part of our work flow.  As it stands people are scared of it and thinks it breaks things.  Maybe Zbiniew needs to run some i18n clinics in California, so developers can do things the right way the first time, rather than have him attempt to fix their code later.

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June 26, 2006

Hubert Burda Media Lunch

Filed under: Meeting — rslomkow @ 3:59 pm

Heiko Hebig invited me to a new-technology lunch at his employer Hubert Burda Media.

It is fascinating to see a very traditional publishing business make sure they are not missing out on new trends.  I am used to startups that exist in their own little world where individual interests and contacts drive the company, or calcified companies that don’t believe that anything interesting come from outside of them.  Burda seems to be doing a pretty good job, they see the Web X.0 as a new way to sell and promote their existing products and are having regular lunches with people doing cool new stuff with media technology.

The weeks presenter was Dailymotion, a very cool video blogging/sharing site.  They are currently doing a press tour of Germany looking for partners and attention to be able to enter into the German market.  They make it very easy to upload videos created with lots of crazy formats, they compress it down to a usefull format on the Internet and let you place it in your blog, tag it, mark it private.  I would love to see flock with a video top bar and easy uploading and perhaps pre-compressing on the client like we do with images.  They do support cell phone uploading already.  They also are rapidly working on more language support, so you search for things by language, default protol based on your locale/language.

The technical challenge for them is dealing with lots of strange video formats (like video camera manufacturers that use their own proprietary format per model) and content distribution (caching, tunnelling and trunking).  Bright guys dealing with the right problems.  They use community policing to validate that content is appropriate and the French government protects them as a carrier and they do not have editorial responsabilities.

The audience was a mixutre, editors of different brands (bunt, focus, playboy, tomorrow, and others).   The internal venture group, journalists (online, vlogger, print), PR representatives, and a manager marketing innovations from BMW.

And the lunch was Yummy

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June 25, 2006

forward2business conference

Filed under: Meeting — rslomkow @ 11:02 pm

Last week I was a speaker, here in Germany,  at a conference about the future of Media
 called forward2business in Halle.

It was pretty fun conference, even if was not generally the sort of conference I attend.  Most of the participants come from R&D, music/video producers, and marketing.  I was a little bit out of place as the Techy Geek on show, and as an American.  It was held in a Giebichenstein Castle/art school in Halle.  To make it more informal and more interactive it is held the castle yard, the speakers sit scattered in the audience with microphones, there is 1 video screen, and power point presentations were forbidden.  The format is 3 speakers per group, with 3 different but related topics.  Time for questions, comments, and discussion between the speakers.  It works very well at keeping people engaged in the presentations and able to encourage creative discussion.

The evening started with some unusual speakers to talk about the future and Media.  A Science-Fiction author to talk about the power of myths in media, a priest to talk about organizing people in communities, and marketer from Siemens to introduce a new computer game for mobile-phones.

My group was a future researcher (Willi Schroll) who thinks about future of Internet industry, a founder of Internet media companies (Andreas Sallam), and myself as a developer of a Web 2.0 client.  Despite the conference being in German, I gave my presentation in English.  My hearing understanding is good enough that I could understand all the other presenters, but my spoken is not yet good enough to give a full presentation with audience interaction in German.  Fortunately most of the audience had excellent English understanding (and many of them excellent spoken English).

My theme was about what the web 2.0 was all about, those people who have been following already get it.  But

  1. Web 2.0 is an artificial term for a conference created by Tim O’Reilly
  2. It does reflect some new things that are going on in companies.
  1. Make open application
  1. applications live on the web rather than your computer
  2. applications can be linked to by other applications ie google maps, the trick to doing this is to link back to your site so you don’t just become a backend for other people.
  • open companies
    1. It is hard for small companies to build trust, one new way that companies are trying is by being more public, open, and honest.  Flock may be open-source but that is not required.  We are still open with our planning, our lives on our website (everybody is there)
  • user generated content
    1. letting your community drive your business.  Weather that is Flickr being driven by the photos and connections that people build, or Flock taking the input from our user via bugs and forums t design our product.

    I also talked about why the browser is the wrong word.  Browsing means you only skim, or you look through the records at the store and you don’t buy.  The way we use the Internet is far richer than that:  We shop, we write about our lives, we share photos, we enjoy ourselves; and that is all a lot more than just browsing.

    Which gets back to some of what is that Flock is trying to solve.

    1. You feel alone on the Internet
    2. When you are social it is only via one site, and all your friends are never on just 1 site.
    3. Good content is hard to find
    4. Sharing with your friends, getting advice from them, or giving advice is harder than it should be

    One of my points at this conference was that the Media that is most important to our lives is not the big media.  If you ask people what the most valuable media is your likely to get answer like “Wedding Photo”, “Old love letter”, and “travelogue of a trip with a friend”.  This data is far more important to people’s lives than the “Lord of the Rings” DVD or even their favorite music album.  Two sub points:  1) there is money to be made today organizing, storing, and transferring people private media; 2) this is the type of media that only our friends can bring to us.

    What we really wan to do with Flock is let your friends define your online experience, so the Internet is more personal and Interesting.  We are only getting started.  We have been trying to categorize how flock is helping you in a few ways:

    1. creating content
    1. blog editor
    2. photo uploader
  • sorting content
    1. tags in blogs
    2. tags in photos
    3. power search (tags, full content of history, auto complete search)
    4. sort feeds
  • discovering new content
    1. photo top bar
    2. rss reader, try getting the feeds for your friends shared bookmarks
  • share stuff
    1. shared bookmarks (del.icio.us, shadows)
    2. photos again
    3. bloggin again
  • appreciate
    1. well we are a web browser you get to see stuff 😉

    What about the future of Flock?  Something people always ask.

    I said that one of the big things that is a problem for Internet users and for Flock is keeping track of online identities, Flock will take some stabs at this, a lot of people are trying right now and centralized approaches have been failing.

    The other is increased Out of Band communication.  This is a technical term for keeping track of servers, in band is the normal way you connect via the web page, and out of band is the secret network that lets you get administrative access.  But this make sense for us in our daily lives as well.  The main way we deal with the Internet is via  little square on the screen that represents the web.  The out of band communications is some other channel to talk about what you are seeing, that is related but not through the website.  This could be IM, or a topbar with blogposts, or the even the little photo indicator in flock.  Expect more of this type of stuff moving forward.

    It seemed like people enjoyed and understood the presentation.  I met 3 Flock users at the conference!  I am still surprised to meet Flock users.

    Thanks to Sven Gábor Jánszky for inviting me, and thanks to Heiko Hebig for the pictures.

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