Archive for the 'Ajax' Category


Toronto area tech biz groundswell

Thursday, April 13th, 2006

Over the last few months, a flurry of BarCamps, DemoCamps and Schmoozes, along with iSummit and the upcoming Mesh have convinced me that there is a huge amount of energy building in Toronto where tech and business circles intersect, and it’s happening largely from the bottom up among startups and entrepreneurs.

Last night I spoke to The Greater Toronto Web Centric Meetup Group, which is a well-organized group amalgamated from 17 smaller Meetup groups. My subject matter was fairly technically intense for a general group, but I found to my surprise that there was a widely-expressed appetite for technical information about current internet development trends. People and organizations aren’t just messing about with this stuff, they really want to make use of it.

I reconnected with long-time friend and erstwhile blogger Shane McChesney, who runs Nooro, a top-tier internet research and online survey company. As someone who has already built a successful company (and note that he not only survived but thrived during the lean years without the support of the kind of buzz that’s happening now), I’m encouraging Shane to rekindle his blogging fire to inspire the grassroots to follow his example. I plan to convince Shane to come along to Dave Forde’s next Shoeless Schmooze on Thu Apr 20. Come along and have a blab with him, his positive energy is infectious.


Speaking at Toronto WebDesign Meetup

Tuesday, April 11th, 2006

I’ll be speaking at the Greater Toronto Web Centric Meetup tomorrow evening, Wednesday, April 12, 2006, at 7:00 PM.

While I’m ostensibly previewing and practicing my AjaxExperience presentation, it’s a 90-minute gig on a specialized subject, so I’ll have to play it by ear as to how much I deviate from it to accomodate a much smaller venue, more diverse crowd, and time limits.

Come along if you’re interested in such things.

It’s at:

Fiddlers Green (3rd floor)
27 Wellesley Street East
Toronto , ON M4Y 1G7
(416) 967-9442


Amazon’s S3 meets Ajax

Friday, April 7th, 2006

Julien Couvreur is building an RSS reader that uses Flash to call Bloglines without running up against cross-site scripting restrictions.

The last restriction not to forget is that Flash will only allow requests to domains that explicitly allow it, by publishing a policy file (crossdomain.xml), for security reasons. A number of sites already have one, such as Yahoo/Flickr, Amazon or Bloglines.

Using Amazon’s S3 storage from a browser app represents a huge development in Ajax apps. Les Orchard is working on it and I think that Flash/crossdomain.xml may be the key to making it work in current browsers.

Exciting stuff.


W3C XHR working draft – is it enough?

Thursday, April 6th, 2006

Ajax Magazine points to the new W3C XMLHttpRequest Working Draft Specification.

While I’m all for standards, and the XMLHttpRequest object has become a defacto standard since it has been included in the leading browsers, I wonder if the effort to formalize the status quo is enough when the current object, while extremely useful, could benefit from a number of improvements. I suggest it’s time to also make some forward movement.

Douglas Crockford has addressed many of the restrictions and common criticisms of XMLHttpRequest in his recent abstract proposing a new JSONRequest object to be implemented in by browser makers.

I think JSONRequest (or something similar) is a natural next step in the evolution of browser interaction, building on the tremendous success of XMLHttpRequest and learning from the experiences it has given us.


Too Hot to Hoot

Friday, February 24th, 2006

Michael O’Connor Clarke instigated a great get-together in Toronto last night with Stowe Boyd as the main attraction.

Sutha Kamal snapped a photo of me in my new geeky threads.

Toronto really does have quite a few cool internet folks. I’ve gotta find these things more often.


Will chats on blogs ever reach critical mass?

Friday, February 17th, 2006

I’m going to go to DemoCamp on Monday to demo BlogChat and get a feel from the dev community whether there is any traction in “chat meets blogs”.

Tim and I have been running BlogChat as a free service for four years now and while it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, it has had some consistent followers and users even though it hasn’t been promoted or marketed to any extent.

With some recent buzz about chats and blogs caused by 3Bubbles and Campfire, the tipping point may be on the horizon whereby enough people get to know about it that the minority of people who care to use it beyond the first day becomes a large enough pool to sustain a business model. It certainly hasn’t been that way so far.

What do you think? Will blog-based chat become de rigeur or will it forever remain a niche service? The jury’s out for me, I don’t know either way, I’d like your comments.


Tiny bubbles

Monday, February 13th, 2006

I’ve just been chatting over at in their new Ajax chat app. It looks like a good start. With Jeremie Miller involved, it should have some legs, and they seem to have some buzz support from the valley VC forces. I wrote pretty well exactly the same app in 2002 and called it BlogChat. It has many more features and Tim Aiello and I have been running it as a side project for four years now.

My experience tells me that most people don’t care beyond the first week have a chat in their blog, but then again, 7 years of Remote Scripting advocacy on my part told me that nobody cared about building rich web UIs with asynchronous javascript calls, and then along came Jesse to prove me wrong. It’s all about marketing and being in the right place (Bay Area) at the right time (Web 2.0/Ajax hypefest).

Good luck, guys – really. I know what it takes to launch and you’ve come a long way. It’s a bit like pregnancy and childbirth – just when you’ve finally got to the release milestone, you realize you’re only at the beginning and what a long slog you have ahead of you.


Ajax Experience

Monday, January 30th, 2006

The guys at Ajaxian have just announced The Ajax Experience, a three-day conference dedicated to all things Ajax to be held at the Westin St. Francis in San Francisco on May 10-12.

I’ve been invited to speak, so I’m builidng up a presentation and I’ll be there for the duration – look me up if you go. Be sure to sign up early, looks like it’s going to be a full house.