Christian Heilmann

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Archive for February, 2008

GeekUp Leeds talk about the YUI right when the new version (2.5) is out!

Wednesday, February 20th, 2008

I am right now sitting on the National Express train back from Leeds, UK heading for home and just finished a talk at GeekUp about the YUI and JavaScript. The slides are available on slideshare:

The GeekUp people also filmed the presentation and the long Q&A session, and I will try to get my hands on these recordings to see what I actually said as the 3 hour stint with 2.5 hour train rides was confusing.

Nevertheless I had a great time, got rid of the Schwag I didn’t want to carry back home and had some really good questions in the Q&A session. If you live in the north of the UK, make sure to check out GeekUp

Also make sure to check out the new 2.5 release of the YUI and the official blog post about it.

Step by Step – create feature walkthroughs for your web sites

Sunday, February 17th, 2008

There is a lot of software out there that allow you to create screencasts by recording what is happening on the screen. Some programs even allow you to annotate each step and tell people what needs to be done. The issue with most of this software is that the outcome are large video files and that users cannot interact with the system while the explanations are given.

Step by Step in action - a highlighted page element with an explanation in a panel

Step by Step is a JavaScript solution based on the YUI that allows you to script an annotated walk-trough of your web applications that happens directly on the application and does not require any video editing skills or large downloads.

What do you think?

Social Innovation Camp – turn your technical innovation skills into human benefits

Friday, February 15th, 2008

The last few years we’ve become increasingly better in building applications that make our life easier. May that be collaboration, day-to-day tasks like writing, converting or just managing our tasklists – a web app to make it smoother for us as end-users was always available with a minimum search effort.

Meanwhile, in the real world, social problems became worse and worse. This becomes even more problematic as there is a distinct lack of forward thinkers providing easy to use and apply solutions to existing problems. This is where the Social Innovation Camp wants to bridge the gap.

In London between 4th-6th April 2008, Social Innovation Camp will bring together some of the best of the UK and Europe’s web developers and designers with people at the sharp end of social problems.
Our aim is find ways that easy-to-build web 2.0 tools can be used to develop solutions to social challenges.

Until then, the organizers are calling out to you for ideas:

For the next month, we’ll be accepting applications to come to the event via the website – The plan is that people will fill in our ideas submission form with details of an idea they have for socially-beneficial web tools. This process will close on 7th March 2008 and we’ll choose the best to come and join us in April.

I’ll be one of the technical advisors on the panel and I am very much looking forward to seeing what web geeks can do to change the world around us rather than just the virtual ones.

Early Bird tickets available for Going Solo until the end of the weekend

Friday, February 15th, 2008

Going Solo, a conference for Freelancers and Small Business owners in Lausanne, Switzerland is going down on the 16th of May. It is organized by Stephanie Booth, a co-speaker at Paris Web this year and is aimed at providing freelancers and small business owners with viable information for their business:

skills a freelancer needs, fixing prices, closing deals, negotiating contracts, what kind of work freelancers in the 2.0 world do, marketing and taking care of one’s social capitall, tools of the trade, coworking and staying in touch with “colleagues”, challenges in making a passion into a job, dealing with the blurring of the life/work distinction, international clients, travel, different laws and tax rules, accounting and adapting to different kinds of clients (in particular, how do you deal with big corporations that you approach or who have approached you)

In addition to Stephanie and her endless enthusiasm you’ll get gems of information from Suw Charman, Stowe Boyd, and Martin Roell.

Early Bird is 300 CHF, which’ll go up to 400 this coming Monday.

flickr trackr – my first attempt and dabbling with the iPhone/iPod touch

Thursday, February 14th, 2008

I was pretty amazed when I got a thick envelope the other day from Apple. Steven Woolcock, the Safari Evangelist in Europe sent me an iPod touch to play with as I complained about not being able to test something he told me about. Now, as every other 12 year old boy on a sugar rush would have done I delved right into dabbling with the new toy and here’s my first result:

demo of a search on an iphone with flickrtrackr

The code is pretty dirty at the moment, but does the trick. Thanks must go to Steven for lending me the iPod Touch, David Dorward, Neil Crosby and Michele Gera for on-the-spot testing and Norm for giving me his phone for the screenshots.

What do you think? The whole thing is of course Creative Commons and you can download the source package.