Monthly archives: October, 2007

Chinese stealing my code

This page was part of my last project which I developed in my company: Buff catalog.

And this page was part of the website of our client’s competitor in China, recently published: KranGear catalog.

The funny thing is that their javascript files even include MY comments, in Spanish.

The idea was to use a thermometer as the scroll bar, reflecting the different temperature protection of every product. The original page was developed around December 2006. I spent a couple of weeks tweaking the details, to get the smoothest result. I think it was an innovation, because the design department wanted to make it with Flash, and I showed them that this can be made with just javascript (including the zoom-in effect when you pass over the designs). And now a Chinese competitor copies me… hence I did a good job (even I could have done far better, but we were in a hurry to publish the website).

This reminds me of another UI effect, made with javascript, which I programmed for the Whisher home page (now they have a new website, but my work can be seen, without images, at webarchive’s capture). The idea was some kind of quick movement between slides, and I spent a couple of days creating the correct framework (divs, css, and javascript) to make it alive. Now it’s a quite common effect, that most javascript libraries have (like this example), but in those days it was new stuff.

Curious, because my most innovative work was in this area (javascript), when my position at the company was more server-side focused (php + mysql, mainly).

The big IEEE fault

Somebody sent me a link to an article about Computer Go, appeared in the “IEEE Spectrum” magazine. It’s quite unbelievable that the author (who was involved in the Deep Blue development) wrote this overall article about the subject, mostly focusing the solution in brute-force… “Brute-force computation has eclipsed humans in chess, and it could soon do the same in this ancient Asian game”. He is saying something like… “just wait 10 years”. He shows no idea about the real state-of-art of Computer Go, the new approaches, or the ways to almost avoid brute-force. While he waits for faster hardware, other people research in interesting ways to solve or simplify the problem, in a more real AI focus. Did I tell you he works for Microsoft? ;-)

Even I totally disagree with the article, I thought for a moment about joining IEEE, just to receive this magazine. But when I was in the process of registering, after a silly survey, I suddenly read this:

We see you are using Firefox … Our site is best viewed with Internet Explorer 6.0 on Windows. We recommend you download now.

What? Are you telling me I can’t use Firefox? And you are recommending me an old browser… I can’t take these people seriously. They’ve spent some time developing a browser detector, instead of developing a cross-browser website. I’m not in… I’ll not join.