AJAX && Flash at SXSW08

I’ve submitted a panel idea for South by Southwest 2008. If enough people vote for it, I’ll by talking about “AJAX and Flash mistakes”. My theory is that people talk way too much about successes, and not enough about their failures. We’ve had plenty of each, but if accepted, I’ll be talking exclusively about our failures.
So please: vote for me! The panel picker interface this year is very gmail-esque and cool.
My talk from last year was an inspirational little thing about how Flash and AJAX have a lot of synergies. Check it out below.

While you’re at it, vote for Rashmi’s MUCH funnier panel on “True Stories from Social Media Sites”. It will be a guaranteed laff riot. And it has audience participation, so it will wake you from your deepest SXSW hangover. Here’s the description:
Social websites are funny places. What stories do you tell over drinks with friends? Tell us about when someone accidently revealed their company’s business plans, or uploaded the *wrong* folder of pictures to your site. Share stories of funny bugs, features gone haywire, or crazy customer emails. Stories solicited from audience (maximum 5 minutes / story).

LinkedIn Answers: a killer social app?

A few days ago, I simultaneously posted a question about source control structure to my blog and to LinkedIn Answers. My blog got one response. LinkedIn answers got, as of now, 14 extremely well-thought out answers (more are coming in every day). The quality of the answers is pretty remarkable, as is the fact that none of the people responding are people I know. They may be distantly connected to me on linked-in, but they aren’t on my contact list.
I’m super-impressed. While the app doesn’t have a friendly face (URLs are non-intuitive, information architecture is confusing, etc), this is an extremely valuable and practical result to get from a social app. I’ll definitely be posting more questions to LinkedIn! Answers are below the fold if you want to read them …

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Releases or features: how should branching be done in source control?

So at SlideShare we currently organize our source control branches by release. This works our pretty well (we can work on something that’s a month or two away from being ready, without messing up our ability to deploy other stuff next week).
But one thing I don’t like about this model is that it’s a little inflexible. If one feature on a release is taking more time than was planned, it’s hard (impossible?) to “unbundle” it from the other features and deploy a fraction of a release. In other words, removing a feature from a release is not straightforward.
I’ve heard some shops organized their source control by feature. This seems interesting (it removes the problem I’ve described above) but a little tricky (what’s a “feature”? Does every bug fix have it’s own branch? Seems to bring a lot of subjectivity into the system). Since their are probably several features in a release, this also greatly increases the amount of merging that has to happen to do a release.
Thoughts? Reactions? How are the branches organized in YOUR source control system?
UPDATE: The LinkedIn “Answers” feature rocks! Check out all the thoughtful replies to this question here.

Pecha Kucha SF is gonna rock!

Pecha Kucha is a really cool design-geek event that originated in Japan. The format is somewhat similar to PowerPoint Karaoke, with some important differences. Participants design a 20-slide slideshow, and have 20 seconds PER SLIDE to talk over it. The timing is done by computer, so you don’t have any leeway, and have to time your presentation perfectly for it to work.

It’s creative, it’s competitive, it’s funny, it’s awesome. And it’s happening in SF on August 29th! The SF Pecha Kucha group has been at it a while (this is their 16th event) and was recently listed in the SF Bay Guarian’s “Best of The Bay” issue as “best hyper-intellectual show and tell“. Here’s the full description:

Pecha Kucha – Japanese for chitchat – began in 2003 in Tokyo as a way for emerging designers to share ideas. The wildly popular concept has now caught on here, with San Franciscan chitchatters meeting every last Wednesday evening of the month, usually at 330 Ritch. The format is simple: presenters curate a 20-image slide show about their creative work; each slide is shown for exactly 20 seconds; and each night has an overarching (and often disregarded) theme. Anyone can sign up, though it’s mostly designers and artists talking about their work – which can range from Burning Man sculptures to mass-market furniture. But you never really know what you’re going to get: recent nights have seen a writer, a couple of software developers, a social engineer presenting an interesting theoretical exercise, and a creative vacationer with some gorgeous images of plate tectonics in the Colorado basin, graffiti in Australia, and the state of socialist architecture in Eastern Europe.