Tom Insam

Offline web apps

So here's a thing I'd like to see. I'd like a standardised logo/button for mobile web applications that means 'this web page will work offline on your phone'. I'm thinking of things like Pie Guy, that use HTML local storage and offline caching and so forth, so they can be added to your home screen and used just like a 'real' app. Tapping the icon should tell you what it means and explain how to save the app locally. And it should adapt itself to the local platform, be that Android or an iPhone or an N900.

Get to it.

No, no, I didn't like it. I liked the original. I don't resent someone else having a different opinion, but i resent having my name attached to it in approval.

European privacy battle looms for Facebook, Google

To conform with Switzerland's strict privacy law, Facebook could be required to contact people whose information has been posted online and ask them whether they agree to its being stored there, he said.

So, tricky. Suppose this works. Then what? Facebook, let's say, removes the tagging in photos for people who aren't users of the service.

Which, frankly, is almost no-one.

Yay privacy.

In return, no other service can ever build up the inertia facebook did, because you can barely use it till you persuade all your friends to sign up to the new one.

I like poking around in options screens. But I just updated Spotify on my iPhone, and in the options screen today I see this:

What exactly is going on here? It looks like the spotify app is sending my local list of tracks to their server to.. 'match' them? What am I getting out of this? And more importantly, why exactly didn't it tell me it was going to send this stuff?

Coding Horror: The Opposite of Fitts' Law

Every few days I accidentally click Report Spam when I really meant to click Archive. Now, to Google's credit, they do offer a simple, obvious undo path for these accidental clicks. But I can't help wondering why it is, exactly, that these two buttons with such radically different functionality just have to be right next to each other.

I think it's worth mentioning that the keyboard shortcuts for "archive" and "Report spam" are extremely different from each other. In fact, the destructive ones (report spam, delete) require me to be holding shift down at the time to use them. So that's nice. (insert US-centric keyboard shortcut rant here, of course.)

Also, as far as I've noticed, just about every operation in gmail is immediately undoable with the exception of 'send', and there's an addon buried in the settings page that lets you make send undoable as well.

Instapaper Blog: Preview: Instapaper on iPad

While I could have taken the conservative option and waited until a month or two after the iPad’s release before launching Instapaper for it, an iPad without native Instapaper Pro is not a device I want to own.

Instapaper is probably the single iPhone app I cannot live without at the moment. So it's nice to know I have one less reason to try not to buy an iPad..

API fluidity

Via Paul, Twitter are changing their search API to return relevant, as well as / rather than recent results. This has caused immediate complaint from developers, of course. FEAR CHANGE.

But for the record, I agree with the complaints. search has always returned recent results. Twitter is commonly used as a stream-of-world-conciousness service, and returning recent results makes sense in this picture. Much more importantly, changing a shipped API to return a totally different sort of result is just not on. Their response to this? It's not going to happen right away. Great.

Here's a theory, one that I've been tempted to apply to facebook recently as well. Maybe Twitter are intentionally trying to keep the concept of 'backwards compatibility' slightly fluid. You keep your developer community on edge all the time, force them to be able to release updates on a moment's notice, force them all to subscribe to the API group and watch for changes, instead of just releasing an app and wandering off to do something else. It makes them more likely to add other features, keep their apps up to date, keep the buzz going...