work seems to be keeping me rather busy

Yesterday I got around to fixing a several-month-old bug with my University of Waterloo search engine. Turns out the problem was Yahoo having changed their query parser. The query I was sending used to be

search terms (site:example.com OR site:example2.com OR ... site:exampleN.com)

however example.com wasn’t showing up on the results… the fix was adding a space before the ending parentheses.

search terms (site:example.com OR site:example2.com OR ... site:exampleN.com )

I wish Yahoo would publicly document all of their advanced search syntax, including the maximum query length.

I’ve been meaning to do another OpenSearch Update post. I’ve recently started adding some of these to del.icio.us. Noticing lots of non-English blog posts on OpenSearch lately, which is very cool. Today someone asked about including thumbnails. I’ve replied suggesting Media RSS but asking for consensus (although my email still needs to be moderated).

Lots of neat stuff in the mapping space lately. Thanks to Mikel Maron, Virtual Earth now has georss feeds.

So for years I’ve been largely ignoring the social networking websites. Or to be more accurate, reading up on them a lot, but not actually using them. Among other things, I don’t want to waste my time, nor provide a lot of my personal data to some walled garden. Regarding the latter, PeopleAggregator has been out for a while, and I hadn’t gotten around to congradulating Marc and Phillip. Anyhow, Facebook came to my school (this year I believe) and I’ve found that I’m actually using it. Not much, but more than I’ve ever used another similar site. Unlike the first generation of these websites, it actually has a point to it. I’m still resisting uploading photos to it (if I annotate those photos, am I ever going to be able to export that? highly unlikely) and I don’t like using it for messaging, because it won’t be searchable and integrated with my email or instant messaging services. Amusingly enough, I do think Facebook will actually succeed in making money. Hmn.. I guess I don’t have any major point to make here..

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One Response to randomness

  1. Mattt says:

    I really don’t use Facebook for anything more than filling 5 minutes of boredom. I can find no PRACTICAL value for it…

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