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by Stephen Downes
August 17, 2010

My JS1K Demo - The Making Of
The quality may vary on your browser but you owe it to yourself to take a few moments to visit this 1K code demo site. Not for the special effects, though their pretty neat. No, rather, because sites like this offer the ultimate answre to people who ask "what do I need math for?" Or - perhaps more to the point - students (not all, but some) will want to do stuff like this, and when they read the "how I did it" post they see that they need math - and then math becomes useful and relevant. There's a lot more like this on the net for those who would look for it. Like this wormhole demo, which is another entry in the 1K code contest. Or the gallery of networks, which should be making you think about graph theory (and stop you from generalizing too much about networks). Or the simply astonishing metamorphisis of the cube on this post. Or the magic of Voronoi diagrams. There's a world to engage the imagination of the potential mathematician, if we would only look at it. Steven Wittens,, August 12, 2010 [Link] [Comment] [Tweet]

How to bite your elbow, or, reducing online distance
Dave Ferguson explores the conventions of establishing presence online. "When you cultivate relationships in the virtual workplace, you're using different tools to increase proximity. For a long time, we've had workplace tools to reduce physical distance and collapse time-zone distance. Now we've got greater (and more frequent) distance, but also more powerful tools." Dave Ferguson, Dave's Whiteboard, August 12, 2010 [Link] [Comment] [Tweet]

HTML5 Boilerplate
I spent a good half hour studying this HTML5 boilerplate, which automatically tells me it's worth passing on. Basically, the page contains default header information, .htaccess and styling to prepare your site for a range of possible browser configurations. That said, if you don't understand it, don't use it. The CSS is pretty safe, but the Google analytics will fail without modification, the .htaccess may mess up your page address rewrite rules, and if you're using JSON you may find changes to document.write may block it. And I don't know what "remap jQuery to $" does. Paul Irish and Divya Manian, Website, August 11, 2010 [Link] [Comment] [Tweet]

William Langley sends me this link to the The Islandora repository interface that can be download as Open Source. I like the archived Flash video browsing page, as well as the mechanism that automatically stores and indexes any attachment to any page in a Drupal server. Langley writes, "It is intended a semantic enabled repository and workflow configuration for management of digital repositories and archives and associated data." It's by Discovery Garden, a spin-off company in Prince Edward Island. Various Authors, Website, August 10, 2010 [Link] [Comment] [Tweet]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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