The King's Speech

The movie, The King's Speech is out this Friday 7 January in the UK.

Video trailer on YouTube

It tells the story of Prince Albert's attempts to come to terms with his stammer and the intervention of Lionel Logue as Albert's speech therapist. Albert becomes King George VI on the abdication of his brother Edward. With the outbreak of the Second World War the King must give many important speeches on the radio.

From all that I've heard, I would encourage you to go and see the film. It portrays stammering (stuttering) in a positive light and is entertaining and I hope thought-provoking.

Also, tell your friends about it, and share some love with the British Stammering Association on Facebook.

Happy New Year!

Why we chose Mercurial and Bitbucket

Since the start of October we have been using Bitbucket to host the CloudEngine project. Almost as soon as we made the decision to use Bitbucket, people have asked why? So, I thought I’d reproduce an email I wrote to colleagues then. At the end I’ve noted how I feel about the decision two months on…

Read the full post, why we chose Mercurial and Bitbucket.

Podstars talk – lowering the barrier – technology coffee morning

I've just been to Martin Weller's talk on the Podstars project at the Open University. This is a pilot project to encourage academics from faculties across the OU to try their hand at producing short videos, slidecasts (slide presentations + audio) or other multimedia. Despite the name Podstars, the aim was not to create celebrities, but instead to lower the bar to multimedia production.

Welcome to Classics Confidential! On YouTube.

Writeup of RNIB Techshare conference 2009

(Finally! Based on notes from 17 September 2009!)

Some highlights from Techshare 2009 included, Richard Schwerdtfeger of IBM talking about Web 2.0, WAI-ARIA and WCAG 2.0. He also talked about collaboration, communities, and personalization for example for video and HTML 5 - the potential to store accessibility preferences in the browser (could this work with the server?)

The Cloudworks API - rationale and lessons

A few weeks ago I blogged the forthcoming Cloudworks application programming interface and published a document for review. Today, I thought I would explain some of the decisions behind the design of the API and share some of the lessons we're learning. We'll also touch on Javascript widgets and possible next steps. And, we'll try not to "sell" REST or get into a holy war!

Cloudworks logo

Application Programming Interface for Cloudworks

For the past few weeks we have been designing an Application programming interface (API) for Cloudworks, to enable anyone to build their own programs using the Cloudworks data. We have a draft API document that explains the conventions, error handling and each individual call to the API. We would like your feedback on all details of the interface, and we'll work them in to the code as it evolves.

Cloudworks API - wordle

Embed a Scratch applet in HTML5

For the past year I've been following the progress of HTML5 with interest. And recently I've become interested in MIT's Scratch. So naturally I've been test embedding Scratch using it's Java applet in HTML5. The only article I've found so far on embedding Scratch in HTML5 contains a number of errors and invalid markup, so I'm setting the record straight.

First, the situation in HTML 4.01/XHTML 1.0 – <object> is the preferred element, with <applet> deprecated. So, <applet> is valid in HTML 4 Loose (XHTML 1.0 Transitional), but not HTML 4 Strict.

Drum Kit 2.0, by technoguy

Example embed for HTML 4.01:

<applet codebase="http://scratch.mit.edu/static/misc/" archive="ScratchApplet.jar"                                                           
        code="ScratchApplet" height="387" width="482">                                                                                                             
   <param name="project" value="../../static/projects/technoguyx/355353.sb" >
   Your browser needs Java to view projects.                                                                                      
</applet>