rants and raves

Follow up: Why RTFM Won’t Work: Documentation As Narrative

John picked up on my note, and took the time to return with his thoughs about documentation (On Documentation). It is interesting to read the views of someone coming from the tech support part of a software house such as Macromedia – and the ways that their tasks have changed as they move more towards offering products that are made to create new applications/products, and less and less just “clean” applications like word processors. (Not that they ever did make word processors, but you hopefully understand where I am going).

I think Macromedia is on the right track when it comes to making available resources for their products, both in the ways of tutorials, articles, the Macromedia Exchange etc. But as a developer I find that most of the time what I am doing is coding, and what I am looking for from a vendor is not tutorials, components etc, but rather good structured documentation of functions etc. often needed when coding. And that is something I haven’t been able to find a good resource for at Macromedia Online for any of their products. (They do offer books for reference to ActionScript etc, and also ship their products with documetnation on CD-rom, but it seems they have decided to skip making that available online).

I took some time to look through their site today, and I could find technotes, tutorials etc, but no well stuctured and well written documentation of their scripting languages. (Such as Flash MX, Coldfusion (CFML) etc.) I could not find any easy links to such content on the Macromedia site, but there are tons of tutorials, articles and other content. I must admit, I am kind of baffled at the lack of the part of the documetnation I would have thought was most important.

NB: David Burrows is also writing about documentation and commenting on the RTFM article. I like his metaphor: “Documentation as narrative? I’d prefer to think of it as building a house”

rants and raves

Why RTFM Won’t Work: Documentation As Narrative

Russ Lipton writes about documentation. I must say I share many of the same thoughs about the lack of documentation for a lot of products/technologies. (Hey John, are you reading this?).

I haven’t really gone deep into Radio, but what I have seen – is that they are using their own tool (eating their own dog food) for documentation. Not sure if I like it or not, I must say that in everyday work I put in high regards the documentation for PHP – which to me is a meeting of official documentation of functions etc. and the community of developers that code in PHP and find their own best solutions and share their experiences in user added notes to the documentation mixed together with active moderators. All in all the mix put together at works really well. I wish the commercial companies would get something resembeling’s greatness up and running.

rants and raves

Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, revisited

Marc Rotenberg revisits Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451:

Fahrenheit 451 is not simply about book burning. This is a world where the culture of censorship has permeated the public and the where the culture of censorship has permeated the public and the private. There is no intellectual life. There is no political life. Interactive broadband technology provides endless entertainment through the full-screen images that appear on the walls of a parlor room. Words of meaning cannot be transmitted in any physical media. They must be memorized and passed on as they were before the printing press, before the written word.

This is one of my favorite books, it really kick starts thoughts of how valuable free flow of information actually is.

Via Doc Searls weblog

rants and raves

Death Does Not Justify Death

Well written by Hanan Cohen about the situation in Israel and the west bank:

INFO.ORG.IL – Death does not justif Death

anti-spam rants and raves

Going after spam

BBC writes about Morrison and Foerster in San Francisco that is going after one of the big spam companies.

The San Francisco office of Morrison and Foerster, also known as MoFo, is one of the first outfits in the United States to take on spammers who send out unsolicited commercial e-mail.

Why one spam could cost $50

The law firm has recived a lot of support for its suit against the spam company Etracks, one writes:

“I hate spam as much as the next guy. Take these jerks for everything they’ve got. You are pinch hitting for all of us. I love you.”

I can only give a big AOL to that.

rants and raves

More fun internet access

This is probably the least cool way to access the internet I have come across so far. Sitting in LAX on the way to the airplane (going to be interesting to see how tight the security check is here, its rumored to be bad). Using Neptune terminal, and this is bad…


That was what I had the time to type in the 12 minutes I got for 3 US dollars at the LAX airport. The equiptment at the Internet kiosks there was pretty bad, but better than no interent connectivity at all (which is what I got at Heathrow, if anyone knows about ways to get connected at Heathrow, let me know :-) Didn’t get to check if I could get the mobile phone working against the provider at Heathrow, but I know from before that I can get internet through my mobile in London, so it might have worked with enough tweaking.

rants and raves

3 days without e-mail

I feel out of touch, out of … well.. the basics in life. Have been without internet and e-mail access for some days now, funny how “easy” it was to connect in San Francisco compared to Irvine, Los Angeles. I guess everybody and their dog has internet access around here, but I have yet to find a Wireless internet connection hotspot that I can connect to. Which leaves the whole Wi-Fi “revolution” rather moot there in the US.

Some might remember that I wasn’t able to connect to the Wi-Fi network at Gardermoen Airport in Oslo – I am starting to think that all the raving is just a bunch of raving about nothing, to be totally honest. And that the only way to actually get internet access via Wi-Fi when you are traveling, is to aquire access to networks you aren’t really supposed to be on….

Here in LA I haven’t even been able to be allowed to connect my laptop, so I can’t easily access all my e-mail from my laptop and have that convinience, it really sucks. The center I am at now – Kinko’s is actually a nice business center, but not really the coolest setting for accessing the net. Damn, somebody needs to get the revolution happening here in the US for sure, and in Norway too I think. Might be something to get into, setting up hotspots in Oslo and competing with the big telcos. Telenor, one of the major telcos in Norway has actually decided to charge the same for Wi-Fi connections as they do for GPRS, which means you will have to pay 100 NKR for the first MB of download (thats about 12 US dollar for the first MB) and then 25 NKR (about 3 US dollar) pr. MB after that. If you ask me, thats a total rip-off. Shouldn’t be hard to compete with that. What we need in Norway is a system simular to Joltage where they apply a revenue sharing model to those who set up connection points, that way its a lot easier to build a network – not needing the big bucks to build up the infrastructure. Probably something to look into how to do when I get back to Norway.

rants and raves

Camera trouble and the magic camera


My camera is acting up. I first thought it was a spot on the lense, but I am starting to belive it is something else, maybe a grain inside the lense.

The strange thing is that it only shows up on blue sky backgrounds, but are as good as invisible on white (as far as I can see from the picures I have taken so far). Was trying to clean the lense last evening, while taking a panorama shot of the view from my hotel room, but couldn’t fix it, no matter how much I cleaned the lense.

Oh, if anyone have a good tip on good photo-stitching panorama software, let me know. Tried out a program this morning, but it sucked big time.

At least my camera isn’t as bad (in this case, I would be tempted to say unfortunatly) as the magic camera, take a look at what you can achive with a little water and blow drying of a Nikon Coolpix 990: Waterlogged Camera Turns Magic

rants and raves

Nice day in SF


Its been a really nice day here in San Francisco. Got up around 8.30, and took my time. After that I did a walk-about and just ended up at the Yerba Buena gardens, a really nice place in SF. Had a better sallad-lunch from Starbucks (amazingly), and tried something new – Ginger Lemon-lemonade :-) It was a nice and healthy lunch. Met a photographer and ended up chatting for an hour, then got back to the hotel and uploaded my pictures from the day to the laptop. :-) If the supper is as good as the rest of the food I have had today, then this day will be a nice and perfect sunday in San Francisco. :-)

rants and raves

Arrived in San Francisco

Ok, I am here : North America > United States > California > Localities > S > San Francisco

Damn it was hard to get out of SFO Airport. I don’t think they want you to leave from there, and I could teach them a thing or two about how to do the information better. I used an hour to find where the damn shuttels where. Well, to be honest – after an hour I gave up and found an independent shuttle with a very nice former-oil driller as the driver, and got myself to the hotel :-)

On the way over I checked for connectivity in at Heathrow Airport (London). I couldn’t find any Wi-Fi Hotspot, and couldn’t connect with my cell either. I think I figured out what the cell-phone problem was, so might have access when I am going back in a week. (Lets just say, there are several ways to skin a .. ehh.. dog).

San Francisco is nice today, the weather is good and I am about to set out on a walk-about. Will see where the shoes lead me :-) Sitting at an Internet Café 10 meters from the hotel and checking my e-mail. Nice to be able to just hook up the laptop and sit here with my own setup. :-)

The bad news is that there was no hotspot to connect to here in San Francisco. Even if I am on the 25th floor. I can “see” a lot of networks, but there are no Boingo or other kind of networks that will allow me to sign up. Was for a moment tempted to look for some other ways to gain access to the networks I can see, but ended up thinking that its better to keep it clean :-)

Will give you all the heads up on the conference that starts on tuesday. Going to the automat-games museum tomorrow, and will do some video shoots there. Didn’t get to install any video-editing tools on the laptop, so the video won’t be posted untill I am back home.