Thank You, Flickr! Hello Google Photos!

When Flickr was acquired by Smugmug, I was happy. Rather than comparing between the two services, they finally under one team, even Flickr and Smugmug are still two separated services. I believe that Smugmug will work hard and listen to Flickr community to bring Flickr back with better features.

But, I decided to leave Flickr for Google Photos. Thank you, Flickr!

Flickr and I

Before Instagram era, or mobile-first photo sharing becomes so popular, Flickr was on the top service if it’s referring to photos/photography. Especially when there was Yahoo behind it.

I created my personal Flickr account back in 2004 — it’s 15 years ago — and I started uploading and sharing photos. When I was having close discussion with Public Communication Center of Ministry of Health and they asked me what kind of platform to choose to share photos, I recommended Flickr. The best part is they’re still using it until now!

Thomas Arie presenting flickr #ytownhall
Me sharing about Flickr during Yahoo Community Townhall event in May 2011 in Jakarta. I even still have the presentation slides with me. Thank you, Della and Gage!

Dear Flickr,

Probably, it’s just me. But, I wish you offer better experiences in — in my opinion — some of the key features.

First, help me to organise my thousand of photos. For me, it’s not that easy to put multiple photos into multiple albums. I am not sure about how you handle exactly-the-same photos, or…. duplicate photos. As far as I remember, it will be treated as different photos.

I wish you can also help me to organise my uploaded photos… automagically. There are lots of faces in my photos. Help me to organise them by faces so that I can easily and quickly find photos of my wife, my sister, and also my friends.

I know that sometimes it’s not about you. But, I feel that it’s slow to send my photos to you. I know, it’s also because you can also secure my photos in their original sizes.

I will stop talking now. I don’t hate you at all. I need something that works for me better now.

Hugo Barra is leaving Xiaomi

Hugo Barra is leaving Xiaomi and going back to Silicon Valley

A former star at Google who oversaw the development of Android, the Brazilian native shocked the tech industry when he announced he would join Xiaomi in 2013, then a three-year-old company. At the time, the company was making waves in China for its then innovative model of selling phones online only. Yet the company was barely known outside of Asia.

BlackBerry will focus on software

BlackBerry will stop designing its own phones and focus on software

“The company plans to end all internal hardware development and will outsource that function to partners,” CEO John Chen said in a statement. “This allows us to reduce capital requirements and enhance return on invested capital.”

Firebase Cloud Messaging

Firebase Cloud Messaging — the new version of Google Cloud Messaging (GCM) under the Firebase brand. It inherits GCM’s core infrastructure, with new SDKs to make Cloud Messaging development easier.

Twitter Bootstrap, LESS CSS, and Caching Problem

I’m working on some works right now with a small team at the office. We decided to use Bootstrap as the front-end development framework. We came up with this solution for some key reasons:

  • We need to do it fast.
  • It’s easy to maintain, especially for a collaborative project
  • Bootstrap is cool.

There are lots of similar frameworks to choose like Skeleton, 960.gs, Blueprint, Foundation, and more. It didn’t take long discussion to take Bootstrap. Its features and flexibilities are just perfect for our need. The next thing is that we need to do some customisations, for example on the font sizes and colours. Since Bootstrap might release updates in the future, it’s better to leave the core files untouched.

LESS

Basically, it’s easy to customise them by using its own customisation tool. But, I prefer another method by using LESS. And yes, Bootstrap works great with LESS. The installation works straight forward. After downloading less.js file, add these two lines in the <head>

<link rel="stylesheet/less" href="/path/to/bootstrap.less">
<script src="/path/to/less.js"></script>

Inside bootstrap.less file, there is a little note that we can easily modify the font color and size by working on the variables.less file. I decided not to edit it. I created another .less file — for example: mycustom.less — and import it from bootstrap.less file. So, my bootstrap.less file looks like this:

...
@import "accordion.less";
@import "carousel.less";
@import "hero-unit.less";
// My Custom LESS
@import "mycustom.less";
...

And, this is what I have for mycustom.less:

@baseFontSize: 13px;
@tableBorder: #ddd;
@navbarInverseBackground: #faa141;
@navbarInverseBackgroundHighlight: #ec8b22;
@navbarInverseBorder: #d77c1b;
@navbarInverseLinkColor: #fff;

It should just work. But, does it work as expected? No.

Caching

Editing and saving mycustom.less file, and refreshing my page does not load the latest variables. It takes time to refresh/load the latest changes. It’s not good. It happens because less.js caches the .less files called using @import.
I tried to modify the web server setting by adding these lines in my httpd.conf file:

<FilesMatch ".less$">
Header set Cache-Control "no-cache"
</FilesMatch>

But, it didn’t work. After searching for solutions, there is a method offered for this issue. I added this line of code:
<script>localStorage.clear(); </script>
Now, whenever I make some changes on my .less files, reloading the page will give the latest changes. It works.

Move The Web Forward

Move The Web Forward — Guide to getting involved with standards and browser development

6th Grader iPhone Application Developer

I like watching TED Talk videos, including lots videos from TEDx. Recently, I stumbled across a video by Thomas Suarez from TEDxManhattanBeach event.

From the video description:

Thomas Suarez is a 6th grade student at a middle school in the South Bay. Tom been fascinated by computers and technology since before kindergarten. Recently, he’s been focused on the development of applications for the iPhone, and has established his own company, CarrotCorp. His most successful ap is one he terms “an anti-Justin-Bieber game” called “Bustin Jieber”. “It’s is a variation on the Whac-a-Mole theme,” he explains.

Not only he does a great work,  I think he’s very good at his presentation too :)

Nokia Messaging for Social Networks Beta: First Impression

Two days ago, I gave Nokia Messaging for Social Networks Beta a try on my Nokia 5800 XpressMusic. This application will help Nokia users to keep update with the social media services — in this case Facebook and Twitter. Of course, it’s still in beta so I should not expect too much.
The installation process was easy and I didn’t have any problems. Everything was smooth. This early preview is available on the Nokia N97, Nokia N97 Mini, Nokia 5530, Nokia 5800, and the Nokia X6 devices. Go to messaging.nokia.com if you want to see applications from Nokia Messenging for your device.
After having this application installed, I used it right away. When running the application for the first time, I got this welcome screen:
Home Screen
I use Twitter more than Facebook. First, I use the Twitter feature. Here’s the login sreen:

JaikuEngine released as an open source project

In 2007, Google acquired Jaiku. I have an account there, but I don’t use Jaiku actively. I don’t know why, but I just felt that this service is not for me.

This month, JaikuEngine was released as an open source project. It’s available at Google App Engine. Google will not develop Jaiku code base and hand it to the community. Is it because Jaiku is not popular — compared to other microblogging services like Twitter? Or, Google wants to stop its development because Twitter is more promising?

twibble Desktop Application

Twibble Logo
I’m installing twibble on my mobile device and so far, it works great. I use this as a primary application to upload photos from my Twitter account.
Today, I tried twibble for desktop application. Anyway, I’m having TweetDeck and TwitterFox (for Mozilla Firefox and Flock). Well, I use TwitterFox most of the time. I don’t know, I just like TweetDeck being installed, as an application to learn about interface design. :)
If you have TweetDeck installed, you can install twibble for desktop application since both are using Adobe AIR technology. Compared to TweetDeck, I think TweetDeck is much better. BUT, I like these twibble (for desktop) features:

  • Multiple Twitter accounts — if you manage multiple account. I do.
  • Location awareness — it understands GPS position sent from twitter mobile.
  • Easy to post pictures/photos.
  • twitter search
  • identi.ca support

When I firstly installed, I was a little bit lost about the menu and interface. For example, on the configuration screen, I could not see the “Go” or “Save” links/button. Well, it’s there, using a small green arrow icon.

WordPress will be much better with your help

As WordPress users, we can contribute to its development in many ways. But, if you do not involve actively in the development, you can get involved by participating in a survey.
This survey will help WordPress developers to determine which features should be on the top priority for WordPress 2.8 (and/or 2.9 and beyond) . If you’re WordPress users, it’s recommended that you’re using WordPress latest stable release: WordPress 2.7. As a WordPress user, here few things I want to have (not in a particular order)

  • Sort by column on list-type screens. It will be useful!
  • Bulk edit on other screens. If it’s similar to bulk edit for entries, that would be great.
  • Choose number of items to display on list-type screens (20/50/100). When doing a batch edit, I can edit more posts at a time.
  • OpenID in core. Even I’m not using it for my blog, I think it will be useful for those who want to have an OpenID-enabled blog.
  • Site closed/maintenance mode. When working on the design, or something is broken, I want to have my blog displays a maintenance screen. Just a simple page, but can be handled from the dashboard.
  • Improve category management. Mmm… can I have built-in category thumbnail? :D
  • User permissions based on categories. Hey, this should be great for blogs with multiple users!
  • Bundle DB backup plugin. Backup is important, so I want to have this. Also, some other DB-related management features e.g. to optimize overhead tables?
  • Better custom fields management
  • Option to delete inactive plugins.
  • More built-in plugins for special purposes like videoblogging or podcast. Can we have podcast plugin like Podpress built-in shipped in the core?
  • Built-in search and replace for posts. Actually, there is a plugin for this purpose.
  • Additional user profile fields.
  • More settings managed from dashboard (web-based). For example to disable/enable Post Revisions. So, the wp-config.php should not need to be edited.

I don’t use widget extensively so I’m fine with widget-related features. Oops.. it’s a long list. I know, those list is based on my personal preferences. You can have different wishlist. :)

WordPress 2.7 Preview

WordPress.com users are very lucky. If you’re one of them, get ready for the new WordPress 2.7 experience. On Thursday, December 4, 2008 at 8pm Eastern Time (8am, Friday in Jakarta), you should see a brand new dashboard at WordPress.com. If you use the self-hosted version like me, you need wait. I’m still not sure about the release date, but it says “sometime in December 2008“. A Christmas gift? :)
I already use the development version here (WordPress 2.7-RC1-10015), so if you’re interested, here are some screenshots. About new features, navigations, and other new things, please head to WordPress official blog for complete details.
WordPress-2.7-Dashboard

WordPress Upgrade Using Changed Files Only

WordPress is known for its fast development. But for some people the upgrade process can be painful. I mean, not the “press the upgrade button”, but the download source, and uploading. If you have slow internet connection, you know what I’m talking about.
But, why not using another mechanism: just upload the changed files — compared to the previous version. By this, we do not have to upload and replace too many files. I used this scenario when I upgraded this blog to WordPress 2.6.3. Since it was only a maintenance release, I only needed to upload 2 files.
WordPress 2.6.5 was released last week. If you want to upgrade from WordPress 2.6.3 to 2.6.5, you can try this: upload the changed files only. All files are available from WordPress Trac. Go to the bottom area, and you should see “Zip Archive” link there. Download it, extract the zipped files, and upload them. Well, I don’t use this on this blog, since this blog is using the 2.7 distribution. Anyway, in the coming WordPress 2.7, the upgrade process should be easier. The upgrade button is there. Yay!