Sunday, October 25, 2009

Mozilla Raindrop message manager for Google Wave

Mozilla Raindrop message manager is intended to combine email, twitter, blogs and social networking in one conversation. In "Introducing Raindrop" (22 October 2009) the Raindrop Team (who developed Thunderbird) explain the Raindrop 0.1 prototype.

From the explanation, it seems to me that Raindrop might provide some of what I found missing from Google Wave. Having sat through the Google Wave Hackathon Day the problem I most had was with the user interface. The protocols and architecture behind Google Wave are elegant, but the user interface is not. Perhaps Raindrop could be a people-centric front end to Wave. After all raindrops can result in Waves. ;-)

There is a flash video explaining the Raindrop design. The first iteration of the interface design "Inflow" shows just two panels on the screen, with a conversation shown by intending of the text. The second iteration of the interface design is called an "Inflow Grid", with a rectangular table of messages.

In all of this it should be remembered that there has been considerable work by others on how to intelligently sort messages (such as by Eric McCreath and Judy Kay).

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Thursday, July 09, 2009

ACT Library Self Check Problems

The ACT Government has installed new Self Check Out machines in the ACT Library at Belconnen. While the machines work well mechanically, the printed instructions on the units do not match the actual operation. I asked the library staff member on duty and they explained that they were not permitted to change the instructions without permission from senior management. I suggest the senior management needs to visit the Belconnen Library, be briefed by the staff, authorise a change and have it done promptly. If the management can't do this, then Jon Stanhope, Minister for Territory and Municipal Services needs to replace the management.

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