Cool apps..


· TinderBox: a ‘personal’ content management system, maybe the child of Groove and a blog. By the way, have you checked out Groove? I’m really impressed. The application has almost everything in it that I do with various web applications we use internally at work (ie: project management, document review, design comp review, IM, discussion, sketching, note taking, meetings, shared whiteboard…), I tried to get some sparks flying at work about it but no one bit… plus it *hogs* memory.

· connectedland: an interesting essay on convergence of computer and device and the implications that convergence brings our society

· freegorifero: another interesting blog

and I’m not sure why I find this amazing, but isn’t it cool that you can comment and presumably communicate with a guy like Steven Johnson via his blog? It’s one thing to read someone’s book, it’s another to read their book and then be able to read what their thinking about AND shoot’em an email (or a comment) if you think they’re way off. Pretty cool.

Making money off web services

Thought provoking article by Tim O’Reilly this past July in regards to making money off web services; he had this too say:

“.. Like every web site owner I’ve talked to, Jeff had a couple of questions. What’s in this for me? How will I make money? My answer was as follows:

1) Web sites like Amazon and Google are applications. And Microsoft has demonstrated over and over again that a platform strategy beats an applications strategy every time. Once you have other companies building added value that relies on you, you have a kind of benign industry lock in that’s a real competitive advantage. (That’s why I bet that Microsoft’s MapPoint eventually supplants AOL’s MapQuest as the dominant resource for geographic information. Unless AOL gets off its duff and supports developers, of course.)

2) Innovation will come from APIs that support “unintended consequences”. As Bill Joy likes to say, “All the smart people don’t work for us.” Giving developers a playground extends your development staff, bringing in new ideas and features at the same time as it builds your brand and image.

3) There obviously are revenue opportunities. As Google demonstrated, you can provide limited access for free to allow developers to play around, but do licensing for large scale use. So when people come to you with heavy duty applications, you can figure out the deal then. A mistake a lot of companies make when entering new markets (especially ones that are discontinuous with the current ones) is to think too hard about where the money is coming from. Disruptive innovations often don’t work all that well at first, so you have to give them room to grow before you try to harvest them. The lesson of the dot-com boom is actually the opposite of the one that people are taking. It’s not “figure out your business model first,” it’s “don’t get greedy; give the market time to mature before you rush to cash in.” (Aside: This is also part of the secret of open source. People do cool things for reasons other than money, because they solve small scale, specific problems that wouldn’t be touched by commercial vendors. (These problem spaces sometimes grow into big markets, but they don’t look that way at first.))

And of course, in Amazon’s case, there is a built-in revenue opportunity for the existing business. Third-party Amazon-based applications do lead people back to Amazon, where they buy products.

Giving something back to the industry, enriching the soil of innovation for everyone, is good like recycling is good, far beyond the direct benefits you reap. Companies need to think not just what they can get for themselves from new technologies, but how they can enable others. A marketplace is like an ecosystem. The more life there is, the more there is for everyone. It’s in monocultures that you start to have problems. “

Search Engine Safe Urls

Search Engine Safe Urls seem to be a talked about topic these days… mod_rewrite being the de-facto for Apache users… there are a couple out there for IIS:

urlrepl — this is my favorite, mostly because it’s free. You can configure it either from a web browser or an ini file. Downsides: no regular expressions, configuration applies to all virtual servers defined in IIS.

Spider Safe Url — this one is nice.. but in the little testing that I did with it, it killed pages that didn’t have url variables… so while this would work:


this will not:


which means that if you have single pages that don’t need url vars, you can’t use it.. Pete, am I wrong? Open source. Free.

IIS Rewrite — looks like the same thing as urlrepl mentioned above, ‘xcept you have to pay for this one… [on second look, this one is really full featured, moreso than urlrepl]. It supports regular expressions, check out the docs. $99 per server.

ISAPI_Rewrite — This one is really nice as well.. $63 per server, $453 per organization.

ColdFusion CFC’s

Working with ColdFusion CFC’s today, ran into a couple problems and I’m wondering if I’m alone or just inexperienced (or both):

a) when invoking a CFC as a webservice, do you have to have a CFIDE virtual directory in IIS in order for the CFC to function? (ie: I’m using multiple virtual hosts in IIS, if I don’t have a CFIDE virtual directory defined in IIS, calls to my webservice located in folder of the virtual host aren’t picked up)

b) can you use custom tags via cfmodule in a CFC? I’m getting an error (specifically “coldfusion.tagext.lang.IncludeTag$NoSuchIncludeTemplateException : Could not find the included template..” ) when using CFMODULE to call a custom tag. I’m absolutely positive that the custom tag path is correct… exact same page in the same directory (just not a CFC) uses it fine… Seems almost like CFC’s lose track of where they live. I saw a thread on forums, but no answer other than check your mapping… which I’ve done.