I only learned about sparklines today thanks to a post by Sam Ruby, where he mentions the Ruby (as in “ruby the programming language”) library RedHanded. Sparklines are a concept by Edward Tufte, which he describes as “wordlike graphics, with an intensity of visual distinctions comparable to words and letters”.
Sparklines are more easily understood by example, as this simple graph of daily page views for this site or this one visualizing the same data with a different notation . If you cannot see the two examples, you should get yourself a better browser as the preferred way of embedding sparklines in HTML is by using RFC 2397 “data: URIs”, which IE does not support.
If you’re interested in creating sparklines, there are quite a few tools already available: the Ruby library Sam wrote about, a PIL-based Python script (the one I used to create the above examples) or a matplotlib-based one, and a PHP library. If I ever find the time, I’d like to add sparklines to the “about” section of my posts.
Back from LesBlogs, I finally decided to write to the top manager in charge of my organizational unit to try and sell him on the corporate blog thing. It turns out he knows a bit about blogging (one of the things that made me write to him is his tech-savyness), and he asked me to put down a brief on possible internal uses of blogging and discuss it with him. Which would be a good thing if we were a tech company, possibly located in a more technologically inclined country, instead of a huge old-economy institution in Italy.
Blogging requires a change of mindset from the usual corporate apathetic routine, and pays off in proportion to the efforts that go into it. We will see, for now I am writing my brief and collecting resources on Internal Corporate Blogging, most of which come from Ross Mayfield, which seen from a distance a few days ago in Paris seemed to be one of the brightest of the a-listers.
A friend just asked me how to convert a bunch of MySQL tables from InnoDB to InnoDB, and since it seems that Google yields no practical answers to this question, I am posting the following few lines as a reference for other people. Nothing new, but useful if you are not familiar with either MySQL or bash.
Tra le positive un po’ di smitizzazione dei big presenti, molti dei quali conosciuti di persona non sono granchè diversi da un qualsiasi dirigente di successo di una multinazionale, anche se ovviamente meno formali. Altri invece decisamente in gamba e simpatici, primo fra tutti Hugh di gapingvoid.
Tra le negative, la pessima conduzione del panel cui partecipavo e la mia magra figura. L’esperienza conta anche in queste cose. Altri dettagli nei prossimi giorni.
Just got back from the speakers’ dinner, which was a bit chaotic (ie nice). I was sitting next to Doc Searls and Halley Suitt, but made frequent trips to the “nanopublishing ghetto” on the other side of the room, where Jason and Gaby Darbyshire were running the show.
Nice to meet so many people I have been reading daily for quite a while. The picture is of Hugh sitting on my chair, and talking with Doc after having eaten half my dessert, yet managing to be the nicest of all the people in the room. [Technorati Tag: lesblogs]
Just got here for tomorrow’s Les Blogs, after half an hour of aimless walking having missed the hotel’s street twice. The room is ok, I only had to make a custom mod to my laptop’s power cable to make it work. Spotted Doc Searls in the hall but did not have the courage to introduce myself.