The UK Creative Archive launches

After many rumours and articles in the guardian. The Creative Archive has been launched to the world. It claims to be a pilot but I think it will be out stay its 18 month timetable. Good to see Channel4, The British Film Institute (BFI) and the Open University on board. I do however wondering how much media content will actually come from the partners of the Creative Archive Licence Group.

The site is a super styled Moveabletype blog and contains everything anyone would need including FULL TEXT RSS feeds and trackbacks dotted around here and there. I know Ben Metcalfe is behind this and he's done a good job of keeping it away from the Blog style. It would have been nice if it was not set to 800px width. There are nice large pieces around the site suggesting people should Tell us what you think!, which leads to a short form. My first thoughts was, where's the media content?

Theres a thorny issue which I'm sure will not go away, so I'll talk about it frankly…
The difference between the Creative Commons licence and the UK Provisional Creative Archive Licence is the No-Endorsement part. I know the reasons why but this is almost unenforceable (quoted from Miles in a recent chat). They can't possibly endorse fair use and rule out satire, irony, and lampoon. All are legitimate artistic uses. And he's right, some of the best pieces of work these country has made are mixes of satire and irony. The lawyers are going to be very busy on this count.

End of the day, this is a great move forward and I'm really looking forward to media content being introduced soon. Thanks to everyone involved and I look forward to mixing, sharing and ripping sometime real soon.

Comments [Comments]
Trackbacks [0]

The promise of SyncML is coming true

A long long time ago when I bought my Ericsson R320 2nd generation GSM phone (with Bluetooth but no GPRS) there was this great standard which I had read about. SyncML was its name and its promise was the ability to sync with almost any type of PIM (personal information management) client and storage. Up to now its been a bit of a yeah yeah some time soon. I know Apple have done some great things with iSync which runs on SyncML but elsewhere we still got crazy sync methods which require propitery software and hardware. For example my PocketPC only talks to Activesync, which in turn talks to Outlook 2003 on my machine. Microsoft were nice enough to allow the PocketPC to sync with another activesync client, so I am able to sync with my machine at work too. This is great if you got only two machines and one mobile device. Well thats no good for me as I got a 3rd generation mobile phone and a TabletPC to sync with too.

I was pretty much out of luck till I saw Sync4j a while ago.

The Sync4j Project is an open source initiative to deliver a complete mobile application platform implementing the SyncML protocol. SyncML defines a standard way to synchronize data and remotely manage devices.

Sync4j consists of:

  • SyncServer: a Java SyncML server, that you can use with any SyncML client (e.g. to synchronize the address book on your phone through a pre-installed SyncML client)
  • SyncClient PIM for Microsoft Outlook, Windows Mobile Pocket PC PDA and BlackBerry: out-of-the-box applications that you can use to synchronize your PIM data (address book and calendar) to a SyncML server
  • SyncClient API in Java (J2SE and J2ME) and C++: SyncML client APIs that you can use to build an application based on a sometimes-connected paradigm (e.g. a sales force automation software on your cell phone or PDA)
  • SyncConnector DB and Microsoft Exchange: connectors to relational databases and Microsoft Exchange that you can use to store and extract data from the SyncServer (and send it to a SyncClient)

Reading this, I'm thinking wow this sounds like Zoe (another server which I keep meaning to deploy fully on my server) for PIM applications. So anyway, I've finally got it working and am trying it out. I'm using the beta version which is using Jboss, I considered using the WAR depoyable version but setting up the Database connectors sounds like a pain, specially with me not actually using any databases at all in my whole setup. Anyhow, the server is running and I can connect to it, my problem seem now seems to be the clients. The pocketpc seems to not see the server and outlook 2003 seems to throw a error when connecting. Unexpected error # 453 occured: can't find DLL entry point TzSpecificLocalTimeToSystemTime in kernal 32.. I'm sure using Outlook 2000/XP would make things better so I may give them a shot if I cant find another way. I'm going to try and connect to with my mobile phone once I setup the firewall settings or get the other clients working correctly. No point in syncing phone if there is little data in the syncserver.
I'm unsure if SyncML supports the ical standard which I like using with Thunderbird/Sunbird. To get those clients working with outlook would make mine and sarahs life so much easier!

Comments [Comments]
Trackbacks [0]

Syndication for a world wide audience

People have slowly caught on to the problems with RSS syndication and languages. If you follow the links back from the blogdigger blog entry
you will start to notice a pattern, of people not quite being able to put there finger on the problem. And the reason why is because actually its not a single problem, its more a muddle of a problem. Andy puts it well but I may have the killer paragraph which explains it all.

It is a chicken and egg problem. If the content publishers do not provide RSS feeds with correctly structured language meta-data which software engineers can cut there teeth and applications on, then the stalemate will proceed as it does today. Certainly this is one way of looking at it. The other view point is software engineers need to put language features into there software otherwise there is no point in content providers using correctly structured language meta-data and modules to describe language content…

This is taken from my draft Paper which I am currenly finishing on the same subject of RSS and languages. See Blogdigger are right but how many feeds do they get from non-latin languages which have language meta-data they can actually use? This quote comes from Mark Fletcher from Bloglines

But the more important question is, are the majority of feeds accurately labeled in terms of language. And in our experience, the answer is unfortunately a resounding no.

I would echo that fact too, when looking for examples of non-latin RSS feeds, they tended to have little language meta-data (some actually marked english still!) Is this a limitation of the RSS standards or something else? Well in my paper it would seem no one gets away clean. For a quick taste of what I mean look at the complete (you call that complete?) list of language codes which can be used in the RSS 0.91 spec. Yes I know its old but still quite scary for 2000. Try and find Arabic, Hebrew and other non-latin languages.

If your interested in more information in this area, please keep an eye on this blog where I will post my paper sometime in late May or early June. Or even better come and listen to my presentation on the paper at XTECH 2005 in late May.

Comments [Comments]
Trackbacks [0] and controversy

Jon Udell has a nice and simple piece explaining the problems between delicious and delirious. From my own point of view I dont really care about the rip off-ness of the new service, end of the day there are many search engines and soical software apps which look simular but no one batters an eyelid. Honestly I would say its more of a compliment or a form of flattery. Anyhow the issue I do have is the open source-ness. I dont like my data not being mine, when I signed up to delicious I knew this but it was the only thing widely available at the time for bookmarking. Now I may change my bookmarks over to delirious because there is an alternative. I want my data to be under a creative commons licence which suits me and even though I dont have plans to build my own social bookmarking service, I'm more happy to know my data will not be locked into a service which could go bust. Yes you can get all your data out of delicious by using the API but thats not everything is it, I'm sure theres tons of linking information which I cant currently get my hands on. There's parellels between this debate and others like the attention.xml debate.

Comments [Comments]
Trackbacks [0]