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Aaaaaand.... we're *hic* back!

"Back? Where did you go??" — read on, you'll know in a minute.


I've had a couple of websites hosted at PowWeb since 2005. Even tough I had had other hostings before that, their plan really looked promising, at the time.

For the first year, everything went smoothly. After that, the lack of SSH and their poor handling of a few issues I had with my account really started to bug me.

When the yearly invoice was approaching, I really wanted to move everything elsewhere, but I ended up staying simply because it was too much of a trouble. Didn't want to move the whole set of websites, since, if I recall correctly, it was during some busy busy weeks.

But come on... this is 2008, the 21st century! No one should have their websites hosted on hosts they don't like. That's why this year, I got off my ass and moved everything to slicehost. Yes, I'm finally free of PowWeb! And that makes me smile.

Moved from powweb to slicehost

On the table, I had mediatemple's (gs), slicehost and gandi. I decided to grab a slice and see how it goes. I'm on a monthly basis, so if I want to pick up and leave, I will. And yes, I know they were just bought by RackSpace. I'm an optimist.

With the total control over the machine, comes a lot more work. Since I've never worn the admin hat very seriously, some of you might have felt a few *hiccups* on either one of my hosted domains:

If you find something out of place, it's either a glitch in the Matrix or I've overlooked something.

Give me a shout, will ya? Thanks.

BarcampPT: The end of the tabula rasa users?

A week ago today I was arriving from a weekend spent amongst the Portuguese geekdom. I attended my very first Barcamp, in Coimbra. So, in the spirit of the event I prepared a talk about something that have been on my mind recently.

Instead of repeating the presentation about microformats, which is nothing more than an attempt to push adoption of microformats to increase semantics on websites, I decided to look at it from a different angle and show how you can muster the value of semantic content, available TODAY on our users' other websites/services.

If you're interested, check the presentation below. I gave the talk in Portuguese, but since there were so few slides, I translated them to English.

Feel free to give some feedback in the comments below.

read on about: BarcampPT: The end of the tabula rasa users?

A quick one for the geeks: z-ceiling bookmarklet

While debugging yet another IE6 rendering issue, I noticed one thing in the CSS my good friend Billy wrote. He also uses astronomic z-indexes to make sure it's on top of every other element on the page. Since webdevelopers are human as well and not elephants, we need some help.

That's why, while developing a fancy pantsy webapp, I wrote a handy bookmarklet for Firefox that shows the maximum z-index on the page.

So, here it is, just drag it onto your bookmarks toolbar:
(or like me, the bookmarklet folder in the toolbar)


Let me know if you run into some bugs or if it fails to pick up any element. Worked for me on Firefox 3, but should work on other browsers as well.

(the code of the demo I used at barcamppt is in the oven, should be ready soon.)

Google Chrome - Something's not right...

Unless you're literally living under a rock, you've already heard the commotion about the big announcement on the interwebs today: Google released an OS and named it a "browser" mvalente.

It includes V8, the javascript virtual machine and — lo and behold &mdash WEBKIT.

So you can guess my surprise when I opened my own site and I saw this:

Chrome, failing at CSS3

What you're seeing there is the comparison between Safari 3.1.1 and Google Chrome, running inside VMWare. I have ClearType enabled, so I have no idea why border-radius has no f—— anti-aliasing!!

Also, where's text-shadow??


Google Chrome has got to be using a very stale version of Webkit... because it FAILS at basic CSS3 stuff!

While it's enough to mop the floor with IE 6, 7 and 8, it's not enough to bear the name of "webkit".

Apart from that, it's impressive. Hope everyone using Windows grabs a copy. Dad, I'm not looking at you, stick to Firefox! ;D

Hellboy 2 made me fear for The Hobbit

Let me just state upfront that I LOVED Pan's Labyrinth. Despite not being a huge fan of (the) comics, I caught Hellboy 2 this past weekend, majorly because I wanted to test Guillermo.

Last thing I had heard about The Hobbit was that it was going to be a Guillermo del Toro project... and that made me uneasy. The work he had done with Labyrinth, sure spoke volumes as to how boundless his imagination really is. But it spoke nothing of his ability to adapt a 50 years old literary masterpiece that has been loved and cherished throughout the decades - by adults and children alike.

Before watching his latest movie, I caught a making-of in which Mike Minogla, the creator of the comics, mentioned Guillermo was always the one who kept adding new stuff to the story.

That worried me.

Comparing two creatures from hellboy and pan's labyrinthThe creator of Hellboy is not only alive and kicking but also a part of the project! Guillermo had the nerve to kept adding stuff into HIS story?? How would Tolkien stand a chance? Things didn't look good.

If you add that to the similarity between all del Toro's monstrous creatures - which you can see on the picture on the right; the top is from Hellboy 2 and the bottom one is from Pan's Labyrinth - things are definitely not looking good for The Hobbit, are they?

That's what I thought when I came out of the movie.
(I actually liked it.)

At least until I came online and searched for news about The Hobbit.

The GOOD news

Peter Jackson and Guillermo del Toro writing Hobbit themselves, not only that, they're teaming up with Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, the same gals who aided Peter "The Hobbit" Jackson put together the pretty outstanding adaption of the three volumes of The Lord of the Rings.

There. I can sleep at ease until 2011.

That shot in Hellboy 2 when they enter the "earth", sure had some resemblance with the Misty Mountains... hadn't it?

My spoiler-free review of The Dark Knight

Well... The Dark Knight managed to live up to almost a whole year of anticipation and hype. It did not disappoint. However, it is just a movie. Not even close of being the best one ever made (albeit pretty impressive that it gathers such an unanimous opinion), but it is certainly a landmark for the movie industry.


With all that said... I'd just like to add this picture, and let it speak for itself:

James Dean
It hurts even more to see now how much talent was lost that night.

Microformatos: pequenas peças do puzzle - slides

This feels weird to write in English, since the talk was in lang="pt" but while I don't get around to getting a Portuguese blog up and running, this will have to do.

Earlier today I gave a training session at SAPO to try and spread the microformats love among the team. The goal was to give an introduction to microformats as a whole and also provide some technical information regarding the implementation of some the major formats.

Feel free to leave any feedback in the comments. Criticism is more than welcome, thanks.

I'm releasing the slides under cc by nc sa 2.5. You can either download the pdf or view the slides I uploaded to Slideshare below (in Portuguese).

read on about: Microformatos: pequenas peças do puzzle - slides

Problems in the RSS feed

I have to leave this post here, due to some problems that happened on my rss feed a couple of weeks ago and are now bitting me in the ass.

Ignore this.

What I'm looking forward to in Firefox 3

Firefox 3 is coming out tomorrow, the 17thdon't forget to download it! – and here's what I'm looking forward to the most:

  1. THE Icon

    It's been announced that no other than the original creator for the beloved Firefox icon, Jon Hicks, has been working on a new one! I love his work so much, that I can only expect great things for this new version.

    UPDATE: Ops! According to this thread on Google Group, they dropped the logo for this release! As if postponing revealing µformats wasn't enough droppin'... :(

    Jon teases us all

  2. Extensions Add-ons

    With both a Microformats API, created by none other than Michael Kaply–from Operator's fame–and also SQLite available to extension developers, I'm hoping this version takes Firefox extensions and Microformats to the next level. If you're developing a toolbar for your service, it will be a piece of cake to grab µformats data from webpages and import them directly to your service. After writing a user-script for Operator, I'm certainly curious. If you're into Add-on developing, here's a tutorial on developing Add-ons for Firefox 3 using the Microformats API.

  3. Anti-aliased border-radius and other CSS goodness

    You'll still have to use the Mozilla-specific property -moz-border-radius but at least the result will be far better looking than previous versions (2.x). Check the screenshot.

    [comparison between 2.x and 3.x versions]
    And believe me, it makes a difference!

    You can check the rest of the CSS improvements by going through the list, but I, for one, am specially salivating for RGBA and inline-block. Too bad we-know-whom will take forever to catch-up.

  4. Offline stuff

    Events and storage! What more can I say? I'm definitely going to check it out. With IE8 pointing towards the same, offline webapps will become hotter and hotter.

  5. Reviving mailto links

    The ability to choose Web applications to handle special protocols, is going to greatly improve the experience of using webapps as a whole. Composing new mail messages by simply clicking on mailto: links, adding events to online calendars or contacts to online address books. It was a missing piece of the puzzle of online productivity tools. Me like-y.

Everything else...

It's not like the rest doesn't matter... The address bar, the phishing explicit warnings, the download manager, the add-on downloader straight from the browser chrome, quick bookmarking, native theme for MacOS, Vista and Linux... All awesome stuff! But if I had to pick out 5 items, those would be them.

I'm ready. Ship it!
Oh! And have yourself a merry Download Day!

If you want more, make sure you read the Field Guide!

Yahoo! SearchMonkey sees microformats everywhere!

[Searchmonkey's nerdy face]

After a shy tweet amidst today's ruckus by whoever is behind account at twitter, I had to put this up here.

Yahoo! had talked the talk but they also walked the walk! You can now search pages with microformatted content! Just include the too long keyword:<format> in your search.
(read the blog post on YDN)

Not only that, there's already plenty results in the wild! Have a look at these numbers:

  1. hCard — 1,150,000,000 pages (!!!!!)
  2. hCalendar — 84,700,000 pages
  3. hReview — 43,300,000 pages
  4. hAtom — 304,000,000 pages
  5. xfn — 261,000,000 pages

Remember. These numbers represent number of pages with at least one occurrence of the chosen microformat. So, in reality, there's a lot more individual fragments of µfs out there!

Harness the power of semantic content

You can now search the hell out of these contents! Here's a few examples:

RSS Awareness Day!

[May 1st, RSS Awareness Day]

Yesterday was RSS Awareness Day and I forget to mention it here. Apparently we're supposed to give a push forward to RSS, make even more people aware of this centre piece of the Web as it stands today. So here goes my share, even if belated by one day.

The Video

If you don't know what RSS is, you probably haven't watched this yet. Please, do so now.

↑ Commoncraft: RSS in Plain English


If you didn't get it, don't feel bad. Watch it again or if you don't understand english very well, back in the day (august 2005) I wrote a little piece about them in Portuguese. Introdução às Feeds.

Also, over at the Mobifeeds blog, I wrote Publishers who don’t understand the medium they’re in. Go have a look, if you're publishing feeds somewhere.

RSS, Atom or RDF?

Technically speaking, why do we refer to all feeds as RSS? There are other formats like Atom and RDF that, albeit offering more features in terms of describing pieces of information, are more complex. They are still used, but over time, RSS became synonym for "feeds". Thus, the KISS theory proves itself yet again. RSS established itself by its simplicity.

As a send-off, I'd like to share a recent quote that stroke home. Specially, given the slow pace of this blog.

I don't get why people unsubscribe from feeds that aren't updated often... that's when you SHOULD be subscribing so you don't miss the gems.

Simon Willison on twitter

I'm glad some of you are still around, thanks to this beautiful piece of the puzzle.

Happy RSS Awareness Day, everyone. Belatedly.

W3C is afraid of The Beast

[W3C authors left 6.6.6 blank on purpose]

In CSS3 Selectors Working Draft

Daniel Glazman (Invited Expert)
Tantek Çelik (Invited Expert)
Ian Hickson (Google)
Peter Linss (former editor, Netscape/AOL)
John Williams (former editor, Quark, Inc.)

Web content growing more semantic

Various content placeholders

I've been meaning to write this post ever since Alcides wrote his post: Sorry Tumbleloggers. There, he wrote about the tumblelogs, which Wikipedia says is a variation of a blog, that favors short-form, mixed-media posts over the longer editorial posts frequently associated with blogging.

From where I'm standing there's a fine line between tumblelogs and lifestreams. Lifestreams are aimed at aggregating all content one generates throughout the web... while tumblelogs are aimed at gathering interesting stuff we find around the web.

My point is... since the dawn of time blogging that people have been spitting posts left and right and patterns are easily identified. Let's give it a shot...

  • Link or Quick posts - those posts which are basically a list of interesting links.
  • Listening to... - It was/is very common to find posts in which the blogger states what he/she was listening to while writing the post.
  • Video posts - recommending one or more videos
  • Pic Posts - showing off some impressive photo
  • Quick updates (microblogging) - those one liners cursing at the skies for some odd reason a.k.a. ranting
  • and so on...

The funny thing is... nowadays we can find one or more services on the web that provide a much more specific context - not to mention extra functionality on their own websites - than a generic blog post. Let's have a look...

As you can see, we are past the point were we must confine ourselves to a generic format, a blog post.

Put your content where it best fits!


A diagram

Of course people don't want to subscribe to 10x different feeds just to know what you're up to. So, instead, setup a lifestream so that people who want to follow you everywhere, can.

One thing to bear in mind is, feeds have different paces. You don't want each song you listen to be published as one RSS item. That's what God invented daily digests for. Feeds with such high paced content, like and maybe ma.gnolia/ should be bundled up so that the reader isn't overwhelmed with more than he/she can handle.

I, for one, wish I could follow some of you via a lifestream. Instead of watching 4 feeds for my pal Billy aka Pedro Eugénio (blog in Portuguese, blog in English, twitter, ma.noglia, etc.), it would be cool to have only one entry on my feed reader for him. From the top of my head, I can think of a dozen other people I'd be interested in subscribing to their lifestream. Of course others, like the great Zeldman, I'm fine having only his blog aggregated.

So, Alcides, it's ok for people to find other places to generate content (including tumblr), as long as that doesn't involve me having to add yet another feed to my reader.

Why don't you get a lifestream?

You think people don't care? You could be surprised. I'm very picky with my platforms, which explains why I've written two blogging platforms instead of using Wordpress. Thus, it won't come as a surprise that I've written a simple PHP5 platform to grab your content and show it like this (you can see it live at

Screenshot of My Lifestream

I have plans to distribute this openly, but it still lacks a touch here and there. If you're willing to try it out, beta test it if you will, contact me (sorry, no contact form for yet). Requires PHP5 and MySQL 4.x.

If you don't want to run it on your own server, try (You need an invite code first.)

Social Graph API

Now we're talking. This is what I was hoping Open Social to be...

But I'll let Brad give you the introduction...

So that is what he's been up to! (makes sense)

Give the demos a try.

This is yet another great push forward to microformats (xfn) and the FOAF project.

Cloverfield - "Something different!"

It's been a long while since I've shared my views on a movie (last one was Narnia), but if you'll indulge me, there's somethings I need to say about this movie. If you want to have a look at the spoilers, bump up the text size a notch or two and don't read this inside feedreaders. Some of them strip down style information. Don't say I didn't warn you.

The buzz, the hype

Last summer, there was a huge buzz online about this weird, eerie trailer that had preceded the Transformers movie. The trailer surfaced online a bit later and everywhere around the web you could see people speculating about it. That's where this whole hype started. And rightly so... what's better than to have every thrill-seeking movie-goer biting their nails off for six long months?

The juice

[Couple hurt, crouching and looking into a camera

I'll only scratch the surface to avoid spoilers, but I'd like you all to know that the best thing about Cloverfield is not what it does... it's what it doesn't do. That would be explaining. Just like you wouldn't know much if you were caught in the middle of all that, the screenplay isn't guided so that the viewer understands what is happening, where the threat came from and what exactly are the military trying to do to protect us. None of the usual clichés of disaster movies.

You're not watching a movie, you're experiencing the disaster with them. specially if the theatre has loud speakers and make the room rattle a bit.

Oh! Speaking of that... I don't believe this movie would be half of what it is if it weren't for the sound. It was astonishingly good. <tiny spoilers!> The monster muffled stumps when they're in the subway, the military sending a rain of rockets towards the monster, helicopters flying over their heads, a tank being squashed like a bug... I could go on. Seriously. </tiny spoilers!> It all made a lot of sense when I noticed during the closing credits that the sound effects were done by Skywalker Sound, a LucasFilms company. That explained a lot.

I have to say, before watching this, I thought it would be Godzilla meets The Blair Witch Project. Now, I know, it's Children of Men (character pov) meets Godzilla (monster) meets 9/11 (mass hysteria).

<tiny spoiler!> Also, to conclude, it was remarkable how they found a way of telling a love story without much whining. By letting us know that the documentary was being taped over some kind of romantic memories, throughout the movie they throw us quick glimpses at their previous lives. Remarkable touch, I tell you, remarkable. </tiny spoiler!>

My final advice is, if you can handle great suspense, sudden rushes of adrenaline and loud bangs, you're in for a treat. Not only is it scary, it's clever too. You might want to stick around for the closing credits. It features an amazing overture performed by the Bratislava Orchestra, which compensates for the required lack of musical score. And if you can, stick around to the very very end. ;)

Movie's Cover Cloverfield 2008

directed by Matt Reeves

Michael Stahl-David
Odette Yustman
T.J. Miller

official website
more info: iMDB

rating: 9 / 10

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