Saturday, November 15, 2003

Poking around in a running webapp with Jython

One of the great joys of Jython (and Python) is its interactive mode. I have lost count of the number of hours debugging I know I have saved by being able to break out into an interactive shell and poke around inside a running application - examining variables, modifying stuff, doing 'what if' tests and so on.
This Jython interactive servlet looks interesting for this kind of work.

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Everything about this page is wonderful

Everything about Rob Pikes old Bell Labs page is wonderful. Read it twice - especially the first bit. Howzatt for an email address r@google.com - an icon to brevity.

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

To err is human but to really mess things up requires a computer

Total registered voters = 19,000. Total ballots = 5,352. Total votes cast (!) = 144,000. Interesting.

Firebird extensions

Thanks to Pat for this link to firebird extensions.

Firebird rocks

I downloaded Firebird not expecting much yesterday and today it is my default browser. An excellent piece of work.

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Context - XML's gift to the world (and the impotence of numbers)

Hierarchies are a great modelling tool. Why? Because (a) they map well onto the way our heads manage complexity and (b) they allow us to model context. We can put things within other things and nuance the semantics of the contained by means of the container and the container's container and so on.
This, for me, is the essence of XML. Throw away the containership model and what have you got? A language that allows you to describe flat structures. Structures in which context does not play an important role. Structures in which semantics are spot-welded to atomic units of data. Structures in which all contextual knowledge is squeezed out in favour of (ugh!) out-of-band storage of semantics and or (double ugh!) ontological particle physics featuring the standard quarks, leptons and guages known as dates, integers and strings. The impotence of numbers is an ITworld article on this topic.

Monday, November 10, 2003

Google in 1998

In this paper, we present Google, a prototype of a large-scale search engine....
From prototype software to English language verb in 5 years. Pretty good.

Plone tops the poll at Comdex Open Source Pavilion

Good to see Plone getting the recognition it deserves.

Upcoming XML Ireland Event

Lauren Wood and Tim Bray are the speakers at the next XML Ireland event taking place in TCD, Dublin on Wednesday, 19th.