Monthly Archives: February, 2006

iPhoto Keywords

I like iPhoto, but I haven’t really used the keyword facility much. Creating and assigning keywords is just a bit too much hassle.

So I was pleased to discover Ken Ferry’s Keyword Assistant. Much easier.

Update: Keyword Assistant doesn’t work on the more recent versions of iPhoto, but there are some tips here which can get it going again.

Go Digital

I was interviewed on the BBC’s Go Digital programme about Ndiyo a few days ago. More info on the Ndiyo site if you’re interested!

Diamond, in the rough

Catelonia Art Museum

Barcelona has some of the most beautiful architecture in the world, often right next door to some of the ugliest.

Barcelona buildings

The outskirts of the city seem to be mile upon mile of dull apartment blocks, and reminded me of nowhere so much as Moscow, though admittedly these ones looked a bit better kept!

But the centre of the city is a real jewel. I loved it. I spent ages burrowing my way into these little medieval streets and getting pretty lost and then I’d suddenly come around the corner and find a cathedral or an archway or a plaza which took my breath away.

Plaza Reial

Ndiyo in Bangladesh

Ndiyo has just installed its first system in Bangladesh.

You can read about it on our news page. And there’s a movie, too. I wonder if our server will cope…!

Apple ahead of Dell again

A couple of weeks ago we had the interesting news that Apple’s market cap. exceeded Dell’s.

They’ve crept ahead in another way too. According to this MacWorld UK article, Apple now has more of the education market in western Europe, at just over 15%.

In Switzerland, they have 54%!

Frameworks and Libraries

Benji Smith wrote a nice piece on Why I Hate Frameworks. Recommended reading for any coders out there, if only for amusement.

He has a follow-up amongst the comments, too, so it’s worth scrolling down a bit.

The problem with his argument, I think, is that programming always tends to move towards higher-level constructs. Assembly-language programming with macros was a great framework for those who had previously had to flick switches on the front of their PDP-8. And C offered greater productivity again, but is now considered pretty low-level. The scripting languages of yesterday become the programming languages of tomorrow.

But he draws a distinction between libraries and frameworks.

A library is something *contained* in my code. A framework is a *container* for my application.

And it’s true to say that many frameworks have come and gone which try to exert too much control over the code. (Anyone remember CASE tools?) Many frameworks put the programmer in a box and say, “Here’s where you can put your little bit of contribution to my mighty machine”. And programmers don’t like that. They like to know what’s happening when and feel that they’re in control of it.

This is the nice thing about software libraries: they’re servants which do your bidding and then return power to you. Frameworks are like big companies in which you must first find your office, and then work out what you are allowed to do in it. Both have their role. But I suspect that today’s libraries will become tomorrow’s programming languages.

Thanks to Frazer for the link. Oh, and P.S. Apple has a tendency to package up its libraries nicely and call them frameworks, but they’re still libraries in the sense of this article.


Want to be an anonymous police informer, or call somebody and demand a ransom? lets you choose the caller-ID that appears on the destination phone, and can also modify your voice… I see a whole new life of crime stretching out before me, starting at just $10…

iPod ecosystem

The NYT reports that the iPod accessory market is a $1bn business. And that’s without counting the
ultimate iPod accessory

Producer Electronics

Doc Searls’ Suitwatch newsletter is often a good read, but I thought he had some of the more interesting feedback from the CES show in his Feb 2nd edition.


I had a long interview about Ndiyo this morning with 209radio, a new community radio station in Cambridge which has been broadcasting over the net, and is about to start broadcasting in FM on 103.5 in a couple of weeks’ time.

It’s an interesting sign of the times that the internet comes first now.

© Copyright Quentin Stafford-Fraser