First Wordpress plugin

I released my first WordPress plugin today. I have have been trawling through custom code I have coded over years, and found some that are ideal to turn into plugins. The first is a simple on that adds an address field on the post form, and allows user to add a googlemap identifying location, with a customisable widget. Will be adding a proximity search and multiple map marker display in future releases.  Will also be creating a user guide to demontsrate how to create plugins, and how this particular one was made. Continue reading

Semantic pants

Pants

I should add here, that this is based on a description a non-techie friend gave me,  on how google searching worked.

The semantic web. Take the word pants.

User 1: Has a dog and looks up symptoms (possible search string – “dog pants too much”)
User 2: Buys a lot of pants (possible search string – “bargain pants sale”)
User 3: Enjoys photos of soiled pants – hey, it takes all sorts to make a world (possible search string – “dirty mens pants
User 4: From generation who uses word pants to describe something that’s not very good. (possible search string – “what political party is the most pants“)
User 5: Combination of users 1-4

Using the search string to identify a user from the list, “soiled pants” could only User 3; but there is also User 6, who has diarrhoea. It won’t make them feel any better if their search returns photos of pants that have seen a lot of action and not much washing. Now of course in some countries, “pants” actually means “trousers”, so you have to account for different meanings depending on location. Which the search engine can usually pick up on. They get that right most of the time. So now we have User 7 – an American who likes to buy his pants online.  Yes, at least a search engine can assume user is after male pants.  So take the search string “bargain pants” from a UK location.  The search engine picks up of “bargain” is is reliably associated with shopping related search string .  Could be a man or woman buying for a man.  Or maybe a woman feels more comfortable in pants, or turned on by wearing mens pants.  You can see how complex it can get very quickly.  It’s people’s little perversions and quirks that will really throw search engines off the track.  If only us annoying users would use the word “Y-Fronts” instead of “pants“, it would make search engines lives a little easier.  But you can see how implementing a semantic approach to web searching can quickly get complex.

From this rudimentary approach to a semantic web, search engines can start building up profiles. Not logged in? No problem – they record your IP and surfing history anyway. What, you think they need permission? User 5 is why it still doesn’t work very well yet. No-one is so simple and straight-forward enough to pigeon-hole so easily. So it’s on it’s way, and as long as search engines like Google can stop falling over themselves telling us what we want, rather than trying to work it out, we will get there. In the meantime be careful out there, or you may end up with a profile you can’t shake off 😉

Interesting note – when I search “pants” on Google UK, the images are 99% trousers. #fail

Track and follow your position with openlayers

Track and follow your position with openlayers – a less saturated alternative maps api to googlemaps, and gowing steadily in popularity and support. Click the Track button to find your current location, and it will update as you move as with any other map tracking application. Probably best viewed on you phone I guess!

Locate me!

Track my position

Loads more examples here

Agency speak (or when to put the phone down)


I saw your CV on [Jobserve/Jobsite/Monster/Linkedin etc] ….

I am bored, and trying to fill my day by searching cv’s, and contacting people in vague hope I will get a lead, or at the very least polish up my sales talk.

So what is [Enter technology/buzzword/acronym here] ….

I am too lazy to use google, and frankly have no expertise in area I am hiring for.   Hence why I try to pronounce SQL as “Squirrel” and  Agile as “Aggile”.

We have a number of roles we are recruiting for in [enter location/sector relevant to cv in front of agent]

We, along with every other agency, have a number of roles to fill at any one time, but we need some decent cv’s to get a look in.

Oh, I know a few people from people there – who did you work with?  Do you know [enter made-up name here]? No?  Then who did you work with down there?

I am not interested in finding you work, I just lied about the opportunity that was available.  I just want to get some easy access to people in your previous companies, and in doing so annoy your previous employers.

We will need a reference before we can put your forward for this [fantasy] position

As above …

We pay on monthly invoices and you will be paid within 1-2 weeks after that.

We dont have enough float to pay you in decent time frame, even though we are earning commission from you.   We have no hope of paying you on time, unless the company we are resourcing for pays us on time.

We don’t give out our commission rate

We take too much, and also ignorant of the law.

Is Scrum Evil?

scrum1SCRUM was designed with a particular purpose in mind, and it has suffered with too close an association with Agile (which is broader methodology).

At best, SCRUM is a sub-Agile method, which assumes all project memebers are dedicated, and in same location.  The Product Owner is CRITCAL component on a SCRUM project.  And this is where SCRUm can go awry – if the project has a Product Owner who is not sufficiently enaged with the project, or lacks skills to make good judgement calls on user stories.
scrum2

Scrum is an Agile development framework that Jeff Sutherland invented at Easel Corporation in 1993. Jeff worked with Ken Schwaber to formalize Scrum at OOPSLA’95. Together, they extended and enhanced Scrum at many software companies and helped write the Agile Manifesto.

“Is Scrum Evil?” Beyond our session at XP Day Paris « Eric Lefevre-Ardant on Java & Agile

Moot

There is of course no shortage of file sharing/social networking services right now.  There are other criteria to selection of these type of services, one of which is “will I ever use it?”.  I will try out moot as they have a “good feel”.  But mostly I am looking for stable services – suprisingly hard – even Twitter (which I love) is starting to creak and groan on regular basis.  there seems to be a formula – the more finance a web 2.0 gets, the less it cares about the punters (albeit punters who arent paying).

Moot is a brand new way to share and communicate using your mobilephone or PC. Moot is 100% free and with no catches.

Moot is a piece of social software that brings you together with other people who share the same location – a local service for local people. It works at home,at school or on the move.

When Moot is on, new impulses and possibilities will come your way, for example when you’re walking down the street or taking the bus home – new impulses will come your way through interaction with other Mooters.

Share, chat and express yourself – locally – for free – with no catches.