Origin of the abbreviation i18n

Origin of the abbreviation i18n for internationalization: “A DEC employee named Scherpenhuizen was given an email account of S12n by a system administrator, since his name was too long to be an account name. Apparently, this approach to abbreviating long names was humorous and was generalized at DEC. The convention was applied to “internationalization” at DEC. Apparently it passed to Apple quickly. Both companies were using the term by 1985.”

Bliss Classification Association – Bibliographic

Bliss Classification Association – Bibliographic Classification Guide: “The standard categories recognised in “classical” facet analysis are: Thing – kind – part – property – material – process – operation – patient – product – by-product – agent – space – time”.

Why do these people try to specify what facets are useful? Surely if I want to classifcy my content using a facet called “How impressed I was with this content when I first saw it” then that is a perfectly valid facet? This underlying assumption that there are “generic” or “correct” ways of categorizing the world is just, well, wrong. The world doesn’t have an “inherent” classification that we just have to discover. All classification gets its meaning from the people using it, not from the objects being classified.

BBC NEWS | Technology |

BBC NEWS | Technology | E-mail makes surfers emotional: “People can feel a greater connection to commercial organisations that send them regular newsletters, which in turn means more loyalty, the research found.” Based on Nielsen research as described in his latest Alert box: “[…] users have highly emotional reactions to newsletters. This is in strong contrast to studies of website usability, where users are usually much more oriented towards functionality.” Also includes a juicy quote as usual: “From an interaction design perspective, […] Macintosh is a higher-priced dolled-up variant of Windows”.

This focus on emotions seems to fit in the NNGroups’ newfound appreciation of beauty and pleasure, an emotional reaction.

I’m not sure about the appropriatness of their methodology (they call it themselves “subjective comments”) to find out what people want/need in email newsletters – but then again I can’t evaluate their methods without downloading the report (is that info even in there?). More interesting would be ethnographic-style research of how users really use email newsletters, how it fits in their general information-usage patterns and what it means to them. It seems like the NNGroups is stretching the classic usability test beyond its capabilities instead of adapting other, more appropriate techniques.

Game Studies 0102: Cultural framing

Game Studies 0102: Cultural framing of computer/video games. By Kurt Squire: “In the United States, and increasingly in Europe, games such as Doom or Quake have garnered a disproportionate share of attention in the press, as they have become pawns in a culture war waged by cultural conservatives. As many gamers, critics, media scholars, and social researchers agree, this discussion has been devoid of any serious study of games.”

Measuring Information Architecture Panel at

Measuring Information Architecture Panel at CHI 2001:

“They almost never credibly analyze their implementations.
However, with the rise of interaction design and information architecture, and the overt intention of delighting end users even while making their lives easier, the design community has continued their push into the experience domain. Over decades, without a credible basis for defining or measuring the whole of human experience, they have garnered an astounding quantity of successes.
One could conclude that success in this domain requires only the ability to innovate or to follow strategically, and the ability to deliver user-perceptible value. Which is another view of science: that quantification merely follows, but that science (especially the social sciences) proceeds through innovation and serendipity in theory and application, and by the delivery of ultimate value. Decided:
Abandon quantification; and may the fittest win.”

Evaluating systems after they have been built is important, but is almost never done. It is a business problem: it isn’t being done because it’s hard to sell. The main value of developing a business model where you can sell that research-after-the-fact lies in the increased experience it creates for the implementors: they can then find mistakes faster and thus learn from them faster.

Digital Web Magazine: “The primary

Digital Web Magazine: “The primary problem of user-centered design is that people engage in it at the expense of all else. Oftentimes, what is *most* useful, usable, and meaningful to the end-user is untenable from a business perspective, and the product, while maybe popular, is a financial failure. Additionally, UCD can often get bogged down in process, in needing to verify every design choice with users, unnecessarily encumbering progress.”

What does XFML look like?

An attempt to describe what XFML looks like.

First, you have to create some metadata that will be exported as XFML. You can use your usual content management interface for that – most cms systems have some type of metadata creation ability. This is what it looks like in Moveabletype:


Note that there is more metadata available in MT, generated by the system itself: amount of comments for example, or date of publication.

Another possible interface for creating metadata comes from an authoring application still under development:


Next you have to assign metadata to webpages. With MT, that looks like this:


With our under-development-being metadata authoring application, it currently looks like this:

assigning metadata with XFML manager

So now you have a bunch of topics and pages that you assigned topics to. You are ready to export an XFML file. You should add a template (how to do that in MT) or use the capabilities of the cms to export XFML (here’s the XFML module for Drupal). On your website, you can put a button that looks like this:

XFML feed

It links to your exported XFML feed. Look at it in your browser, it looks like this:


Now things get funky. You now have an XFML feed available, that you can import into other applications. For example, if you import the above XFML file in Facetmap, you get this lovely browsing experience of this weblog:


An alternative view: an earlier version of that file imported in bpallen technologies’ Teapot server product:


It even gets funkier once reusing other people’s indexing becomes possible with new applications. But more on that later – meanwhile some more reading: here’s an overview of software that currently supports XFML.
Also check out the XFML wiki.

The 1 Percent Solution?: “Four

The 1 Percent Solution?: “Four major online publishers: a renowned pure-play content site, two major newspapers with very successful free sites, and one of the world’s major financial dailies. Each has great marketing and promotional power. Each spent 4 to 18 months trying to convert users into paying subscribers for traditional content. Each converted no more than 1 percent.” (Via Webword)

Matt Mower’s Knowledge Log: “Whilst

Matt Mower’s Knowledge Log: “Whilst XTM and XFML do have many similarities (and theoretically you could represent any XFML document using XTM — I think [note: Yes indeed]) they are different.
XTM was designed to be a generalized format for representing arbitrary topic relationships. The upshot is that XTM, whilst expressive, is relatively complicated. XFML is more focused and so, IMO, easier to get going with. XTM can support arbitrary, complex, relationships among topics. XFML supports fewer simpler relationships. Don’t go getting the idea that XFML is inferior though.
One of XFML’s guiding principles is that it be focused and easy to implement. In this I think it succeeds admirably. The spec is only about 8 or 9 pages long. […]”

dive into mark: “RSS 0.9x

dive into mark: “RSS 0.9x and 2.0 are the Whoopee Cushion and Joy Buzzer of syndication formats. For anyone who has tried to accomplish anything serious with metadata, it’s pretty obvious that of the various implementations of a worldwide syndication format, we have the worst one possible. – Except, of course, for all the others.”