Thursday, October 26, 2006

OPML Reader Extension for Firefox

There is an OPML Reader extension for Firefox. This extension will detect OPML files linked to a web page and let one quickly display them in the Grazr or the Optimal OPML browser.

OPML / RSS Autodiscovery

Check this out. It is now possible to automatically scan a web page for related OPML and RSS files and browse those feeds through Grazr at the touch of a bookmarklet. This is too much!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Chat Inside Your OPML Outline

Something else to add to your OPML outline: a Meebo chat widget! Here's a screenshot.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

His Pants

Half-marathon man got married this weekend, in another state, to another very talented librarian. Of course he wanted to look his best for the ceremony, so he chose his wardrobe with exquisite care. A jacket, a tie, a nice shirt, a handsome belt, and of course, a most favorite pair of French-cuffed beige pants. And once he had chosen these pants, after he had culled them from the herd of pants in his possession, what did he do? He left them behind.
Two days before the wedding he calls me. "Dan!" he says, "I left my pants in my house, the pants I want to wear for the wedding. Can you go to my house, get my pants, and give them to a family courier who will bring them on a plane to me in time for the ceremony?"
Of course my friend had to say nothing more. With the help of another friend, I sped to his house and searched his closet and bedroom for the aforementioned pants. But where could they be? Beige pants? Anybody see a nice pair of beige pants?
After a prolonged search (and several pieces of taffy), I called half-marathon man from his kitchen and sadly informed him that try as I (and our other friend) might, we simply could not find his pants. I could hear the disappointment in the librarian's voice. My heart sank. I had failed, and now my friend would have to enter married life half naked, bereft of the pants he evidently treasures with a fondness he normally reserves for first editions.
"Don't worry," he told me. He sounded utterly dejected. "I bought some pants, extra pants. They are the most expensive pants I have ever bought in my life. I was hoping to return them. I was hoping never to wear them. But that's okay." He sighed. "I'll live."
Was that a bit of static I heard on the line, or could it have been a sniffly sob? I'll never know for sure. But the new pants went on, the wedding came off, and the two super librarians are now bound at the seams.
And speaking of seams . . . the story of the pants . . . it gets worse.
"You know, Dan," said Half-marathon man, as we sat eating beige egg rolls, he safely back in South Dakota, "my pants, my beige pants, the ones with the French cuffs, they were in my closet, on a green hanger, the whole time. I found them the instant I got home."
My jaw dropped. My eggroll dropped. "You're kidding!"
"Nope. They were there."
"And they're beige? You're sure? You're sure they're beige?"
"Yep," he said, "they're beige."
Now, here is a picture of Half-marathon man's "beige" pants. And here's "beige". I ask you, are those pants olive, or what?

Monday, October 09, 2006

Grazr In Your Sidebar

If you're a Firefox user, a nice way to use the Grazr feed and OPML browser is to stick it in your sidebar. Here's how:

Step 1
Navigate to the Grazr URL of your choice.

Step 2
Bookmark the Grazr URL.

Step 3
Open Firefox's Bookmarks directory and select the Grazr URL bookmark.

Step 4
Right click, select "properties" for that bookmark.

Step 5
Check the "open in sidebar" box for that bookmark.

If your students are blogging, create an OPML reading list of their RSS feeds, put the list online and plunk it in a Grazr. VoilĂ : instant aggregation of your student's writing with links to their blog entries and comments.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

A Promising Model for a Collaborative Writing Environment

As this screenshot shows, I have cobbled together a browser based environment for research and writing. I've combined Grazr (left side), iJot (right side), and the Performancing blog editing extension (bottom).
In the Grazr window one can read the feeds fed to that space through an OPML reading list maintained by a member of the collaboration team.
In the iJot window one can edit text, wiki-like, inside a shared outline.
In the Performancing blog editing extension one can write blog posts that will appear in the Grazr window (providing one's blog feed is linked to the OPML reading list, of course).
At this time this configuration does not work because a shared iJot outline cannot be edited within a frameset. Replace the iJot outline with a shared Writely file, however, and one is in business.
A third vertical pane, containing a digital chat service such as Meebo, could also be added.

Blogging from Dillo

Just wanted to see if I could post from the Dillo browser that comes with "Damn Small Linux".

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Soup for the Soul


With a nasty cold making the rounds at school, soup seemed the perfect food for lunch. This crock of beefy goodness was cooked by Dr. Moose , who shared it with us. Thanks, Nancy!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Cheers to OPML!

Still doubtful about my enthusiasm for OPML? Let Hail the Ale's "Beer Grazr" put your doubts (and your thirst) to rest.

Launch this Grazr in a new window.

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K-12 educators may now create a wikispaces wiki that is not just free, but free of advertising as well.