Lovely charts

lovelycharts.jpgThey are indeed. My beta invite to Lovely Charts turned up today, and I have to say it’s about as awesome as I had hoped. Proper Visio-esque drag-and-drop chart, wireframe, and network diagram generation all within the browser. Yes it’s still beta (there’s no print, for example) but it’s really rather fine.

And in contrast…

As a comparison to my NetVibes experience I’ve just had the loveliest thing happen with…  I finally got round to adding pyscrobbler to the list over at, and have just received an email a) thanking me and b) giving me a free subscription.  What lovely people.  And it turns out that I should have been a subscriber anyway – I’m currently on holiday, miles away from my stereo and my recommendations radio is proving a real god send.


There’s a lesson in this somewhere.  I’ve been a heavy NetVibes user for a long time now.  It came on the scene at just about the time that I started to rediscover the joys of RSS and so for me I’ve never really known another online RSS reader.  I’ve invested a lot in the application, not only in adding and organising feeds but also in learning to accept its shortcomings.  It was never perfect, but I’d come to love it anyway.

As you can imagine I was pretty excited to get the new version (ginger).  Finally, I thought, they will have addressed all the little niggles and all those smart alecs who use google reader will be silenced.  That’s what I thought.

Sadly what I’ve been given is a service that:

  • Adds even more unused/unusable space to the screen (try using it on an eee now; it was already shocking)
  • Has nasty CSS bugs
  • No longer actually keeps tracks of what I’ve read
  • Randomly forgets to update some feeds for days at a time
  • Keeps chucking errors
  • Has been offline 4 or 5 times in the week or so since I’ve been upgraded
  • Breaks Coriander based bespoke Universes (that sentence may make no sense – if you are a ginger user make sure you are logged in and then visit a site like to see what I mean)

But at least I’ve got yet another public persona to maintain. Now is the time to try Google Reader one more time, methinks.

And the morals of this story?  Stick to what you’re good at.  Listen to what your users really want. “Me too” is not a strategic decision.

Why I love the Internet (and Open Source Software)

One of my subversion repositories broke.  Nastily.  I thought that I was going to have to rebuild it and lose the changes that came after the corrupt revision.  I googled for help, and found someone who had written a script to fix my very problem.  I ran it, it worked, I was very grateful.  I blogged about it on the Isotoma blog.

4 hours later the author of the script commented on my blog post. How awesome is that?

Do you like to Fork?

Hot and yoghurty lovelinessWell then.  We’re there.  After months and months of development Forkd is opening up to public registrations.  Feta mark 4 is released today with yet more snazzy new features, including a really rather awesome activity stream, WordPress integration, RSS feeds, commit messages and much more.  We’ve even managed, amazingly, to bring something new to the game of tagging with the ‘tag brush’ feature.

We’re stopping development for a bit to focus on growing our user and recipe base, but the plan is to start on the next release (Gammon?) in about a month.  If you’ve not signed up, please do.  And please try out some of the tasty tasty food.