Thursday, October 16, 2003

Taking a break from the e world

I'm going cold turkey from the e-world for a while. First time in many years. No e-mail. No blogging. No surfing. It will be a tough regime to stick to, so I am putting 35 miles between me and this machine as a buffer zone.

Back soon.

Frequent programmer points anyone?

Some musings about complimentary currencies and open source: Complimentary currencies in the future of the software business.

Zope/Python training in Dublin

I see that Open App are running a Zope/Python training course in Dublin in conjunction with Beehive.

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Archiving in Australia with OpenOffice

Australia's history archived in OpenOffice.org. There is something oh so conforting about knowing that you can dig your content out of files without relying on a proprietary application. It helps you sleep better. Unless you are a hardware engineer in which case you worry about longevity of CD-RWs, tapes etc.

OpenOffice's XML notation

Whoppee! A book detailing the file format cometh! Excellent.
You don't have to go through an API all the time to process data - its a very liberating feeling. I recommend it.
There is *nothing* to stop you processing the OpenOffice data directly. For too long now, application APIs have (with plenty of help from commercial software vendors) being touted as the only way to access your own data. In such a situation, you don't really own your own data at all. Worse, you don't even own the conceptual model used to express how your data is structured and how it all hangs together.
Use the data Luke!

Monday, October 13, 2003

A news standards summit

I'm taking this as a sign of progress. Others may be aghast that something as simple sounding as standardising a notation for news could be the subject matter for a summit.
McGrath's second law of complexity (first one here) states that the greater the overt simplicity of a data model, the greater its hidden complexities. What data model could be simpler than news? As simple as an invoice, thats how simple. We all know a news story when we see it but it eludes being pinned down. Just like invoices, addresses, dates and all those other simple structures that populate Maletopia.

RSS-Data again

Patrick Logan asks what I'm on about when I say yin/yang essence of XML. I think the best way of explaining it is to paraphrase SICP:

    The normative expression of digital information should be written for people to read, and only incidentally for machines to process.