Wrapping up the week

Another busy week has gone by. , I delivered a presentation at Mobile Monday Portugal on the way we see smartphone development evolving1 – i.e., leveraging HTML5 and CSS3 to build rich interactive UIs across as many devices as possible, and it was fun in more ways than one.

A bunch of stuff happened that I can’t write about, and in the meantime I mulled a number of things:

  • I have been working at for nearly ten years (I’m only a few weeks away from celebrating).
  • There has never been such an exciting time to be there (but not for the reasons most people, including the ones I work with, might think of – I’m looking beyond the curve).
  • Yet, I am still missing something. Can’t pin it down quite as yet, but then again there hasn’t been much time to just sit down and think.
  • Work-life balance is on the rough side. I really, really need more quality time at home, and the kid’s upcoming first birthday drives home that point even more.
  • Man, those new look sleek. And my recent installation of has turned into a flabbergastingly great application that cries out for taking more photos and enjoying them on a very big screen2.

Changing the world, one block at a time

Also, I recently found out about Siftables (via), and my brain exploded.

To think that my kid might be a couple of years or so away from playing with such things (which seems entirely feasible, knowing how electronics manufacturing works) makes me want to pay a lot more attention to stuff like the , which, regardless of whether you love or loathe it, has become the reference for interaction design.

There is simply no other device on the planet that has garnered so much mindshare and had so much impact – for the moment, at least3.

The thing is, I think, that I have been fixing problems for a long time, and that throughout the years I’ve always felt I needed to create something, and stuff like this only adds to that particular itch.

More on this, perhaps, at a later time.

Coding Odds and Ends

Yeah, I keep coding, which is weird for a person (and a great ice breaker at meetings with “pure” technical folk), but essential to my keeping sane, and following Tiago Rodrigues’ recommendation, I borrowed a copy of “JavaScript: The Good Parts”:ISBN:0596517742 and have been playing around with that hideous language to the extent that I now think of it as lambda calculus with semicolons (which is good, trust me).

Also, I’m putting my money (well, some of my free time, at least) where my mouth is concerning HTML5. I still think that stuff like this is ridiculous (especially the bits about “Ogg”:Wikipedia:Ogg and “Theora”:Wikipedia:Theora), but there’s something to be said for canvas (although the notion of a single-pixel line seems to have escaped them for some unfathomable reason).

On other fronts, I’ve been filing a few more sharp corners in – you now get a nice note in your RSS reader when I’ve updated something, which lets you skip to new posts faster if you don’t care about all of my updates, and I’ve been fooling around with SQLite, not for storage (I still believe the only sane way to manage a site like this is to have markup and media on the filesystem), but for internal housekeeping and data persistency.

The Cache object, in particular, seems like a good candidate for replacing with a drop-in SQLite equivalent, because:

  1. I need it for something else I’m doing
  2. It means less filesystem clutter overall
  3. It might actually be slightly faster on an SSD (I used SQLite for dramatically speeding up something else this week, too)

More on that later as well.

1 Before you ask, the slides aren’t public. Sorry.

2 Alas, that is not to happen, at least anytime soon.

3 I’m so not telling