Monthly Archives: May 2007

Thankgod for chaos!

It’s always nice to get an Ebay perspective on things – especially when you totally agree with what is being said. For a long time I have felt that if we really want to embrace the power of large scale distributed systems we have to accept that we just do not know what is going on – life is non-determinstic, messy, chaotic and generally random. Most tech orientated people are used to thinking in a single linear fashion. First the processor does this, then it does that. Nice – but not the way the world works. Things actually happen at the same time. Just not neccasarily on your processor or in your address space. For many people dealing with that is a problem and something that should be somehow hidden away or, at the very least, forced into a 2PC harness. That might work in a small system but not when you reach internet scale systems. Forget all about a linear world and move to thinking about multiple agents doing multiple things at the same time.

This is a thought process that is going to increasingly dominant the way we build systems.

Ordering feeds in bloglines…

I have used Bloglines for years – I love it! It is the one piece of sanity on the web (mainly because it is my content that I want to read). My feed list is obscenely long, and getting longer, and it has occurred to me that I am increasingly missing alot of the really interesting feeds that I used to read everyday. Many of my favourite feeds are now hidden below the screen fold. What I want to do is to be able to place the feeds in the order that I want – not the the alphabetical order that Bloglines forces me to. (Hint to bloggers: create a blog title at the beginning of the alphabet!)

I would have thought the Bloglines would allow me to shift the feeds around but I can’t for the life of me work out how. :(

Update: Here is how you do it from the Bloglines support guys:

Hello Ewan,

You can choose to order your subscriptions however you’d like.

In order to edit your blogs or your folders, please sign into your account. Click the ‘Feeds’ tab, and then click the ‘Edit’ link. You may now click on the folder or blog you would like to move; simply drag and drop it where you’d like. You can also double-click on items in order to rename, edit, or delete them. To move items from one folder to another, you will need to select the items you want to move by simply clicking the subscription once, and dragging it into the selected folder. You can also choose to create a folder by clicking the ‘New Folder’ icon.

It seems to work but it is also highly unintuitive in a web setting. I would NEVER have thought to do that in my browser window. Also the desktop metaphor isn’t completely implemented. For example: moving a link from the very bottom to the very top of the list takes several steps because the app doesn’t seem to understand it has to scroll up when you reach the top of the visible page. I would expect a desktop app to do that.