an ordinary blog —

rss feed

my lifestream rss feed


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

A blow to the webstandards effort

(pardon me for the string of negativity)

As soon as I started reading Aaron Gustafson's article on ALA #251 Beyond DOCTYPE: Web Standards, Forward Compatibility and IE8 I knew this wasn't just another "best practice article". This was going to throw the entire web-constructing community into an uproar.

Ever since I got into the web standards groove, circa 2003, I remember finding experts blogs (for example simplebits, mezzoblue, meyerweb, etc.) great places to find insightful comments on best practices and real world code, embedded on their own sites. A List Apart, a magazine, has always been a the beacon of excellency throughout the years. That was why today's issue has created - and will continue to create - such an echo!

Aaron announces a feature that will be a part of IE8 called version targeting that basically allows developers to "freeze" their websites in a given version of a given browser - they expect to have other vendors implement this. This was driven by the fact that many websites "broke" when IE7 saw the light of day. Not because IE7 was worse, but because websites were custom-made for IE6, which included several bugs. When these were corrected in IE7, websites broke.

Now, Microsoft doesn't want the same to happen again with IE8, so their "vision" is to give the option to the developer to choose which render engine his/her website should be rendered with. By spitting an HTTP header (or meta tag) with X-UA-Compatible: IE=7, IE8 will load the IE7 engine and ignore the improvements made in the newest version of their browser. At least this way, websites won't break.

Despite some criticism, it's basically the reverse of the hated browser-sniffing of the late 90s. It's actually forcing the browser to adapt to the code in the page and not the other way around. Despite all this, I honestly think that's not the answer. Freezing browser engines in time cannot be the answer.

For the sake of keeping my sanity, I won't even touch the subject of IE8 behaving like IE7 if you don't opt-in using the HTTP header or the meta tag, I'll let you follow that link and read what Jeremy had to say about that. Please, do.

I just think we could use what we have instead of creating more mechanisms that will generate more entropy. We already have Conditional Comments and to be honest, out in the field, at work, I've frequently felt we could use the same mechanism for other browsers (Firefox, Opera...). Why not use that for fixing the "broken" websites by newer versions? Use a stylesheet specific for IE8 and fix your mess! Pronto.

I just can't get behind this concept. But I'm open to discussion, if you think you can persuade me, please do so in the comments. Even if Eric Meyer comes out in Aaron's defense, I see this as a huge blow to the web standards effort. It's like saying ok, we lost the war, let's just find a way of saving everyone some time and be done with it. It's making each render engine their own little standard and allowing lazy developers to get away with it. Is this the web we want for our children??

Also, I can't see a future where every browser out there has to carry their old render engines on their backs.

Can you?

Further Reading

If you want to know more, read this:

Bad news for microformats

First of all, have yourself a wonderful 2008! Now, with that out of the way, let's get down to the matter at hand...

Last week Alex Faaborg broke the news to the Microformats-Discuss mailing list:

In order to maintain the current ship schedule for Firefox 3, we won't be exposing microformatted content in
the user interface.

—Alex Faaborg


He went on to say, though, that Firefox 3 will have a Microformats API implemented by Michael Kaply, who brought us the beloved Operator extension. For more on the mentioned API, you can take a peek at the Draft document.

<rant>Lots of people were/are expecting Firefox 3 to be the release where Microformats made the jump to an even bigger audience, so I'll try to be fair here; This sucks. Bad. I know it's not the end of the world, as there will be further releases and Alex said they wouldn' take as long as milestone 3, but after seeing some of the suggestions presented to the team (via uf-discuss), I was really anxious to see any of it coming in a browser out-of-the-box, because believe me, it makes a huge difference having to install an add-on.</rant>

Still, there's tremendous work being done to make FF3 a hell of a release, so don't give up on the Fox just yet. I know I won't.

They even got Mr. Hicks working on a new logo, again! Yay!

Opera and the dubious legal action

Just in case you've been living under a rock, I'll break the news. Opera announced last week that they have submitted a complaint to the European Comission against the ever-so-fashionable-to-hate Microsoft.

The reason? Internet Explorer aka the Devil's Offspring: Microsoft's monopolist strategy to limit the users' choices and also their Web Standards support... or lack thereof.

Opera requests the Commission to implement two remedies to Microsoft’s abusive actions. First, it requests the Commission to obligate Microsoft to unbundle Internet Explorer from Windows and/or carry alternative browsers pre-installed on the desktop. Second, it asks the European Commission to require Microsoft to follow fundamental and open Web standards accepted by the Web-authoring communities.

Read the full press release.

In short, they want Microsoft to unbundle Internet Explorer from Windows and/or supply alternative browsers. They also want Microsoft to put their money where their mouth is and start supporting standards, for real. I, for one, am still waiting on a fully XHTML capable Internet Explorer. Maybe in March.

Whoa! Can't go wrong there, can you? Who doesn't love to see any given corporation sticking up to Microsoft?

Well, it's not that simple.

No matter how much you curse at Microsoft every time you bump into a bug in IE. Neither does it matter how much you support webstandards. I'm not questioning those things. Despite all that, this action cannot be taken lightly. Just like Andy Clarke points out in his CSS Unworking Group, Opera and Microsoft are both in the CSS Working Group, which is currently working on the CSS3 specification. Are things going to be affected by the outcome of this legal action? Who knows... And are the browser vendors the people we want in charge of building the next batch of standards for our dear web? Makes you think, doesn't it?

Furthermore, the whole press release stinks of a cheap publicity stunt. Right on the first paragraph they call themselves the only company that can put the Web on any device. Not only that, they also sprinkled the press release page with links to their products. To top it off, the "About Opera" text they have been including in their previous Press Releases has been re-done.

They have every right to brag. They have, indeed, been doing remarkable work in bringing the web to mobile devices and game consoles. Well done there... but those are just some of the reasons why this whole thing makes me suspicious.

As far as the complaint goes, I still think an operating system without a browser is incomplete, specially nowadays. Either they start carrying binary versions of other browsers in the OS installation disk – which would get stale very fast – or they force the user to download the latest versions, which adds a requirement to have internet access before having a browser.

Regardless of the technicalities... I'd like to leave a question for you all to think about.

If the lack of choice in Windows environments are annoying them so much, why aren't they filing the same complaint, only targeting everyone's beloved Apple?

SAPO Codebits: it's all about the code!

Last post on the subject of Codebits, I promise.

I'll dive right in. Here's a basic overview of what I did over there.

First, I'll leave you a quick index, to help you navigate through the post: MobitagsGeoTourismEstante.
(be careful when using inside an RSS reader, it will take you to my website)

As soon as I sat down in front of my trusty laptop (soon to be replaced, sorry dude) I went through my notes to see what idea I would pick up first. I had scribbled down on my moleskine a couple of ideas I had had through the previous week. First up? A very simple script that grabbed a feed from a user of SAPO Tags (sort of or ma.gnolia, the latter being my favorite) and display it using QR codes. Thus came to be...


I'm not very imaginative when it comes to names, I know.

You can see it working here:

Here's a screenshot:

Mobitags screenshot
Click for a bigger version. Use it with a Phone + Kawya Reader to see it action.

read on about: SAPO Codebits: it's all about the code!

SAPO Codebits ended, echoes will continue

It was 2.5 days of pure geekness. The event ended yesterday, but I couldn't come straight to the computer and blog because, well, I only ended up sleeping for 1 or 2 hours. I must admit, the practice given by the University projects, all-nighters pulled until the deadline of many a project came in handy yesterday.

As an Internet event, it's safe to say it was the best ever. There's more to us - Portuguese - than just plain gamers that fill LAN Parties ever since the 90s. We saw many projects presented at a fast pace (90seconds), with some unavoidable technical glitches.

But before writing about what I did, let me give you my overview of the event. I'll try to keep it short.

read on about: SAPO Codebits ended, echoes will continue

SAPO Codebits: a coder's delight

Just letting you guys know I'm having a blast at Codebits. Wonderful environment for coders. All the experts are here... Ruby, PHP, Perl, Javascript... you name it.

Congratulations are – already – in order to the organization. Everything is running smoothly and the hunger I had to endure at Lan Partys, back in the day, is nothing but a sore memory.

I'll let you guys know what I come up with in the end. I already have one very simple "hack" to show for, but still working on some more. The night is young.

Oh, if you see me, come and say hello. See my profile @ amazing work by pecus on the backend. xfn, hcards galore!

And for you out there, check the video feeds (only live during the event, of course):
2nd floor (where I usually am)
1st floor

Open Social: my €0.02

(Last week's news, but still...)

First of all, it's a misleading name — Open Social. After they got Brad Fitzpatrick, author of the iconic Thoughts on the Social Graph, by choosing this name people get the idea they may be attacking the concepts described in that article.

But they're not.

What is it, then?

Open Social logoIn short, Google's Open Social are APIs which social networks (Hi5,, SAPO Spot, etc.) may choose to implement to allow third party developers to create web applications that will run on their users' profiles. In layman's terms, it's a way to do what Facebook did, but for all social networks out there who decide to jump on the bandwagon, only with a certain twist:

  • Open Social is a javascript API
  • Doesn't require developers to learn specific languages (like in Facebook)
  • Doesn't have the lock-in factor that fb does
  • Every social network can now choose to implement it allowing all webapps written for Open Social to be "ported" to their network!

It doesn't solve the utopia dream desire for each user to truly own their online identity & relationships, nor does it solve the problem of portability, at least not out-of-the-box.

read on about: Open Social: my €0.02

Free isn't good enough for Pirates

[In Rainbows, being downloaded at Mininova]
Mininova: Search for 'radiohead'

Could someone please explain me the reasoning which lead these +2000 people to download an already free album? Giving away free music is not enough to keep your music off the p2p networks.

Possible explanations

(leave your suggestion in the comments)

  • Bandwidth caring fans want to take some weight off the servers
  • Revenge companies who now hold a grudge against this initiative might have inserted fake torrents to dismay some fans, but why so many seeds??
  • Speed faster than downloading from a single server? I've tried it and their server is pretty fast.
  • Old habits die hard?
  • ...?
Apparently, Ars Technica agrees with old habits and laziness.
Read P2P vs Radiohead's "free" Rainbows: why P2P can be a hard habit to break

Adegga - Wine Discovery

Adegga logoAlmost an exact year after I launched mobifeeds – missed it only by two days –, the pet project of André Ribeirinho saw the light of day!

Adegga is here to help you spread the word about great/poor wines you've tasted and also learn a lot from others. Social discovery of wines, as they put it, based on a variety of tools common to other social networks. They guys have it pretty much covered. read more about it on their about page

I've been testing it since June and it was fun watching them rough out the edges. Personally, I'm not much of a wine connoisseur, but I do like to taste a good wine now and then. I'm actually looking forward to start building up my wishlist based on what I read in there.

This project hasn't been a secret for quite some time now and I know I am not the only one pulling for this project. Between you and me, this means a lot more than meets the eye. Portuguese developers (aka possible start-up-ers) have been looking at this project as an example of someone who had the guts to take the plunge from a stable day job to a do-or-die startup, backing up a project he believed in. It's like an inspirational tale, is it not?

Anyway, all the best to André Ribeirinho, André Cid and Emídio Santos! I'll be spreading the word as much as I can, folks.

It's invite only, for now. I have a couple so if you want me help you out, leave a comment with a valid email (not published). If I can't provide you with one, there's always I've requested that they add Adegga. Should be up soon, I expect.

WebKit takes two tiny important steps

The WebKit project, the engine behind Safari, has announced recently that they've added support to the controversial Downloadable Fonts aka @font-face. I'd venture to think that the article: CSS @ Ten: The Next Big Thing by one of the Founding Founders of CSS at A List Apart had something to do with it! (Pure speculation, mind you.) Read it, if you're not aware of the issue.

Of course, the web is getting mature and we're still stuck with Arial, Trebuchet, Verdana and very few other safe fonts (see Typetester by Marko)! It's time to go forward crazy and let the web evolve!

Yes, the controversy is still there, font foundries will get their panties up in a bunch over this. Downloadable fonts means the font files have to be downloaded and that brings up important legal issues. Does the publisher have the right to distribute those files? What about nicking expensive fonts off of websites which use them? Not good for business.

Also, there's the Comic Sans syndrome. I can't believe I just used that, here. Kids will be turning the ugly to inconcievably uglier! Using their "glitter" fonts and other typographic atrocities.

But I just want to share two quotes with you, which totally reflect my thoughts on the subject.

John Hicks:

Personally, I’m just happy that we’re reaching a point where we’re having this conversation! I want to be able to specify a face, and enable everyone to see it, without resorting to the image replacement and SiFR workarounds.

John Gruber:

The conundrum is that most of the fonts worth using can’t legally be shared as free downloads, and most of the fonts that are legally shareable aren’t worth using.

First Opera announced it on @media, now WebKit gets behind this too.

One more thing...

As if that wasn't enough to bring you fuzzy feelings, Native DOMContentLoad event is coming to WebKit, as announced by Simon Willison. Great news, as well! It's a much needed native event! Is the W3C listening? ;)

↑ top