Friday, March 21, 2003

Will Office 2003 lead to lock-in?

Will Office 2003 lead to lock-in?. We live in interesting times. XML is a Syntax and a spirit. The syntax is mandatory, the spirit - of openness - is optional. Compliance with the syntax of XML is easy but compliance with the openess ethos requires changes to business models.
By and large, the lock-in potential of XML - which is very significant - is not talked about in polite company. Maybe 2003 will be the year.

My RSS is out of synch. with my blog

Something funny going on. Blog is up to date. Two posts today. Blogger's generated RSS does not contain them. Hmmm.

The case for RSS

Just when you thought the browser was the universal client, think again. .
Personally, I don't see RSS functionality being subsumed into browsers. I see it the other way round. Browsers subsumed into other tools - such as news aggregators. I suspect we will see a lot of stuff built around Office 11. Applications that are - first and foremost - Office Apps - but include IE for browsing functionality.
Give away the razors and sell the blades. The blades are Office Apps I suspect (for Microsoft environments.) and IE is the razor.
I think the OpenOffice and Mozilla folks should get into the same room some time:-)

I'm going to buy Paintshop Pro

I've always wanted something like Paintshop Pro but with serious scripting capabilities. I want to do things visually, then automate them. Today on the Daily Python site I find that PaintShop Pro 8 includes Python
scripting. Yummy.

Many years ago we wrapped the Framemaker API in a Python extension and embedded Python scripting into Frame. It was awseome. However the powers that be weren't interested in anything that wasn't Java based. Note to any powers that be - Java is a crappy, crappy language for application scripting. Jython, JRuby, Jackle all run on the JVM and are much better for the task. Repeat after me "Java the programming language is different from Java the platform".

Thursday, March 20, 2003

Wednesday, March 19, 2003

Ogham and Perl regular expressions

[via Walter Higgins]. The similarities between Ogham and the kind of perl RE required for XML.

Monday, March 17, 2003

Prelude and fugue in Python arranged for OpenOffice and Strings

OpenOffice is soo cool. python is sooo coool. xml is sooo coool.
This is my current favourite four lines of Python:

import zipfile
import re
z = zipfile.ZipFile ("foo.sxw")
t = z.read ("content.xml")
# And were off!
...


The power of these four lines in the hands of someone who knows a bit about the XML file format used by OpenOffice is significant. Case in point. I wanted to find all the images I had linked into my OO doc. This does it:

images = re.findall ("<draw:image .*?/>",t)
for i in images:
print re.findall ('xlink:href=".*?"',i)

Its not efficient. Its not optimal. Do I give an aspirated fricative? Nope. It works and it took the duration of a sparrows gaseous indescretion to write. Compare and constrast with OLE automation or any other botchery you like. Use the file format Luke :-) Yes, I am having a fight inside my head. I know I should be invoking a WF parser on the content.xml string but gee Ma, I've got work to do.

xml-dev archive has had a facelift

http://lists.xml.org/archives/xml-dev/200303/maillist.html more text per square inch.

Happy St. Patrick's Day from Ireland.


St. Patrick to be Named Patron Saint of Software Developers