04 February 2006

Ning University

if adolescence is a time
of awkward inarticulacy
then computer science
is still in its adolescence

and computer languages
suffer bad skin
breaking voices
and outbursts of mild insanity

the most appalling thing
about web 2.0
is that you need a virtual phd
to practice it

web 1 only demanded html
but web2 takes css
etc etc etc

and before Ning
you were largely on your own
trying to wrestle with these

but Ning has created a
learning playground
where your PHP missteps
won't necessitate a reboot

and where the first step
is as easy as clicking
"Clone This App"

as with Wikipedia
this service is CPU-intensive
so once it catches on
the Peter Principle will guarantee
it always runs slow

but for self-education
it can't be beat

the second step
after Cloning
is currently quite steep

because they assume you already
know PHP and CSS

and any cloned app
confronts you with a dozen or more
file fragments
you'll have to plunge into

so it's important to start
as simple as possible
and it's not obvious
which apps are simplest

(try here
or here)

but it's easy to delete missteps
and no doubt much simpler tutorials
are in the works

(and will someone hurry up
and create an equivalent
for generic Flash?)