Archive for the ‘Other’ Category

File Under: Other

Pretty Loaded: Flash Loading Screens Belong in a Museum

In a prior job as a photo editor, I used to joke that I was getting paid for watching bars slowly load across the screen. Thanks to Pretty Loaded, a museum of Flash loading screens, I can now do it for free.

Pretty Loaded has some very creative loading screens. It’s mesmerizing, and maybe, just maybe, you’ll actually be able to view them all. Almost there… Just 15% complete.

[via kottke]

File Under: Other

Webmonkey Turns Another Page

We don’t have to tell you there’s some sort of economic troubles affecting our industry. We at Webmonkey knew it was only a matter of time before it would affect monkey_bites. Unfortunately, we were right and that time was this week.

Henceforth, Webmonkey has updated from 2.0 beta to 2.1 beta. In this update, the site will be streamlined in order to bring a little more focus towards our primary goal: being the web developer’s resource.

Unfortunately, it comes at a loss for what was the Webmonkey team. Michael Calore, Scott Gilbertson and Adam DuVander have taken their brilliant software and business news coverage over to Wired’s Epicenter blog. Scott Loganbill (that’s me) is left to maintain Webmonkey part time and continue to make the wiki the web-dev-opedia it is and was always meant to be.

With three less monkey_bites writers, the blog will change its direction slightly to cover less web software news and more web development community coverage. Also, all contributions to the wiki will be considered for promotion on the front page even more seriously. Webmonkey is all about sharing ideas and knowledge. The wiki is dedicated to putting out some of the most accessible web tutorials and resources. We think everyone should know how to build their own corner of the web, and we’re excited to provide a place for a community that feels the same way. In fact, this week we start out with a contribution by cpeterpan on how to write object-oriented JavaScript code.

If you haven’t contributed to the Webmonkey wiki, now is the time. Beyond the good feeling you get by teaching people what the web can really do, you also get the warm feeling that your tutorials are actually being read. If it’s really good, you might just find a Webmonkey t-shirt in your mailbox. If you’ve already written some tutorials elsewhere, feel free to cross-post to and from your own blog or website. Webmonkey is all set to host your content under Creative Commons so long as it is useful, on topic and not spammy. For more information, check out the Webmonkey Writer’s Guide.

As with any change, particularly in times like these, it comes as both difficult and challenging but with a healthy dose of excitement that only comes when starting a new chapter. The spirit of Webmonkey lives on in your voices and contributions. So pitch in people. After all, the web won’t build itself.

File Under: Other

Take Webmonkey’s Reader Survey

We here at Webmonkey are curious to know a little bit more about you. Are you a programmer? Have you bought in to webapps hype or are you sticking with the desktop? Are you a Digg person or a Slashdot person? And who does your hair, anyway?

Step up and take our reader survey. We’ll ask you some simple questions — anonymously, of course — about who you are and what sorts of things you like to click on out there on the interwebs.

We promise you’ll receive good vibes of the totally non-hippie variety if you take part. So take a moment and complete our reader survey and make a monkey happy. Thanks!

File Under: Other

OpenID Q&A: Plaxo’s Joseph Smarr and John McCrea

After some recent considerable advances in the realm of OpenID, Webmonkey had the chance to chat with two of OpenID’s greatest evangelists and early adopters, Joseph Smarr and John McCrea. Smarr and McCrea are responsible for being among the first to implement OpenID on their online address book site, Plaxo. Together, they try to explain the momentum behind OpenID and how it might lead to even bigger things for the future of the web.

Webmonkey: Studies have shown OpenID’s user experience is really complicated. How is OpenID going to get less complex?

Joseph Smarr: I think there’s sort of two parts. One is, for any given Open ID provider, how does that experience look of signing in. For example, now you can sign into Plaxo using your Google account. That’s a process that’s gotten better over time and is only going to get better.

So when Yahoo announced their OpenID back in January, basically because they really wanted to make sure they didn’t make any security or privacy mistakes, the process was fairly long and cumbersome. But you know, Yahoo has streamlined a lot of that. Google has taken it one step further by actually letting you share information.

Nowhere do you necessarily have to know what OpenID is and what happened. It’s just a standard experience of “Oh, I’m a Gmail user, Plaxo works with that,” Boom, it’s all there.

John McCrea: And worth noting, they didn’t take on the challenge of communicating to the user that there is a URL involved at all, they’re just using their Google account credential.

Smarr: So that’s one area of user experience improvement where we just kinda works for the user and makes sense. Other areas that have been talked about there, one of the things people have been excited about at the UX summit was rather than having a full page redirect, a lot of them are moving to having a lightweight pop-up, kinda how Facebook Connect does it.

Read the full interview. Continue Reading “OpenID Q&A: Plaxo’s Joseph Smarr and John McCrea” »

File Under: Other

OpenID Q&A: Interview with Google’s Eric Sachs

As the race for an internet-wide single sign-on standard continues, Google has become the latest party to throw its hat into the ring by adding support for OpenID, along with the accompanying developer tools, to Google Accounts. Webmonkey recently had a chance to chat with Eric Sachs, Google’s project manager behind its effort to incorporate OpenID into its users accounts. In a telephone interview, Sachs discusses Google’s involvement in the open-source project and the challenges OpenID faces in the future.

Webmonkey: You participated in a recent UX summit at Yahoo with representatives of OpenID partners from Yahoo, Microsoft, Facebook, MySpace, Plaxo, AOL and others. What was discussed there?

Eric Sachs: Funny enough, that started off being a very small meeting between ourselves and Yahoo and AOL and MySpace because all of us had heard the same feedback from these mainstream websites. In fact, it came out of an OpenID content advisory council that OpenID board had in New York a few weeks earlier.

We had plan on sitting down and saying “OK we’ve heard this feedback, let’s figure out how to meet it,” but then this was done in the community and a lot of other people heard us and said, “Hey can we come and join?” So from Google’s perspective, we’re making this available as an option to relying parties sites, we still support more traditional mechanisms to get just the URL with say our Blogger Identification Provider (IdP) service, this new IdP we’re offering even offers another option where websites can just request an opaque URL identifier from us if they don’t need an email address from us.

We’re going to give these Relying Partners (RPs) a couple different options and we really want to enable them to experiment and find out what approaches work best. We don’t really feel that we as an identity provider can tell these RPs what approach works best. We really want to help them and work with the community to try and figure out which approaches work best for websites in different categories.

Webmonkey: One way Google’s implementation differs from the traditional OpenID model is an authorization dialog allowing Google to share e-mail information when they log in to other sites. Why is allowing relying partner sites access to user e-mail addresses so important?

Sachs: There are a couple reasons for that. The OpenID content advisory council in New York and the OpenID board pulled together a lot of the OpenID content providers, so this is like Forbes and BBC and a lot of other major magazines and online news sites and said “Hey, you all as web sites have told us that your needs to strongly authenticate users are not particularly high. You might have content that people might pan out and send to someone else. You want pretty decent confidence of the user’s identity to give them access to subscription content.”

So they asked if they would all come and meet with us as the OpenID community, and tell us why aren’t you adopting federated login. Why are the problems with it? and there were three primary areas of feedback they gave us at the meeting. The first was that the user interface that the identity providers had was too complex.

Read the full interview.

Continue Reading “OpenID Q&A: Interview with Google’s Eric Sachs” »