The late, lamented ACAP

A few years ago, I was excited about a new protocol being developed within the IETF. A close relative of IMAP, ACAP (the Application Configuration and Access Protocol) was designed to allow applications to store preferences and other persistent information (not documents or other big data files, but small stuff) on a server so that it could be accessed from any computer. The classic examples they always talked about were bookmarks and address books. Your browser at work would use and update bookmarks stored on the ACAP server, and then your browser at home could see and maintain the same bookmark list.

For all practical purposes, ACAP is dead. Very few applications use it. Even if they did, organizations and ISPs couldn’t be relied upon to maintain ACAP servers. Too bad. IM clients are the only apps that do a good job of ACAP-style preference storage, and they all use custom mechanisms.

I’m still finding all kinds of things I want to share between computers, though. Bookmarks. RSS feeds. Blog drafts. Notes and reminders. And I also sometimes want to easily share those with others. Not just as in “here’s part of my bookmark list right now”—rather, “here’s access to a portion of my bookmark list; I’ll continue to update it with new stuff that’s relevant to our common interest.”

I’m starting to see that there might be a better way to do this than the ACAP model. Less centralized, less integrated, and more flexible.

Risk management

An alarming proportion of drivers are complete idiots. I know this isn’t news to anybody, but it’s still occasionally amazing.

Today on the way to work I was approaching a toll plaza. This plaza comes fairly soon after a major entrance ramp, so people who enter the turnpike at that entrance have to cross multiple lanes quickly if they want to make it over to the high-speed tolltag lanes. This morning some goon cut across about four lanes, just in front of the toll plaza. *sigh*.

Cutting across multiple lanes isn’t ever a really bright idea. But this was worse for several reasons:

  • Traffic was heavy
  • The lanes were moving at different speeds … most of them were full of people slowing down to drop coins in the toll baskets or to get change from a real live human, but the lanes she was aiming for were heading full-speed through the tolltag lanes
  • There was no room for error. We were all traveling pretty fast, with only about 25 feet left before the concrete pylons that divide the lanes of the toll plaza.

All that to save probably 20 seconds or less.

Things you never thought you'd hear …

If you have kids, you know that one of the fun things about them is that every now and then, through the clamor, comes a phrase or sentence that’s wonderful and bizarre at the same time. Usually it ruins it to find out what it means; it’s best to just enjoy it.

Today: “I’m winding up the jellyfish.”

On the blosxom bandwagon

I learned about blosxom from James, and it sounded like just the thing for a personal blog. I’ve played with Movable Type, but had nearly the same problem James didif I’m going to blog easily, I need to be able to do it without net access. Then I learned about Blapp, and that was it. So here’s my blog. Maybe it’ll be interesting someday.

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