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 These days, I mostly post my tech musings on Linkedin.  https://www.linkedin.com/in/seanmcgrath/

Saturday, January 10, 2004


Thats the funniest typos I've made in a while s/wales/whales/!

Friday, January 09, 2004

Blooming Phytoplankton

This Map shows a big bloom of the stuff to the South and West of Ireland. Whales would kill to have access to this sort of imaging technology.

Eric van der Vlist's XML 2003 Conference Diary

Eric attended some talks that I did not get to and his report is interesting reading. I'm particulary sorry I missed the Haskell related one. Anything that leaves James Clark speechless is worth keeping an eye on.

Automating Mailman list management

Oh, Joy is me a mechanism for automating mailman admin. Wonderful. I run a few lists where all posts have to be approved (ain't SPAM a timewaster?). This utility should save me some of the drudgery of zapping the Vi*gra's and the P$$$s expanders.

Thursday, January 08, 2004

Kicking back, chilling out with some linear algebra

I'm in love with broadband. I'm sitting here in the Dublin office, taking a break with a cup of tea & watching a linear algebra lecture by Professor Gilbert Strang. Very relaxing because I don't need to know this stuff. I'm watching it for fun - very different from my college days. I wish this stuff had been around in my college days. Hats off to MIT this stuff is a fantastic resource to have freely available on the web.

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Jon Udell using Jython with Sleepycat

Jon tries his hand at a Sleepycat/Jython combo.

An interesting holiday destination for computer geeks

Khiva. The home of the algorithm.


Thanks to Edd Dumbill for the pointer : foaf-xml.


I have created a FOAF resource for myself. Is there a FOAFML I wonder? Something that uses human readable element types instead of RDF? If not (and I get a minute) I'll create one along with the XSLT to get from FOAFML to RDF. Some readers of an article I wrote called RDF and other monkey wrenches concluded I was dissing RDF which is, in my opinion, an odd reading of what I wrote.
I'm all in favour of RDF *as long as* I don't have to look at it or work with it directly. Automated transformation from human readable ML to RDF feels right to me. Seamless, on-demand, simple transformations like this are surely XSLT's sweet spot.
Anyway, I got to thinking about FOAF and I think the "F" = "Friend" is very unfortunate. Most of the people I would like to network with are acquaintences through work - people that will become friends in some cases but are not friends yet and declaring them as friends is socially presumptious. As long as the F stands for Friend, FOAF will have trouble gaining traction in the business networking side of things I suspect.
A more surefire way of identifying friends occured to me.
If we had a way of declaring *enemies*, we would have a way of finding friends. After all, a an enemy of my enemy is my friend :-)
No I'm not seriously suggesting this, just thinking out loud.

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

A sign, its a sign!

Lets assume, for argument sake, that Python takes over the world. Now, one thing that will immediately follow that is that other programming languages will start to target Python's VM. When that happens, we will need to distingiush between Python the language and Python the virtual machine in just the same way that today we *should* distinguish Java the language from Java the virtual machine.
Anyway, without further ado (via the ever excellent Daily Python page), Lython - a project to create a Lisp interpreter that targets the Python VM.

At last - the dawn of the post-OO Era

Uche has "undergone a conversion from mainstream OO orthodoxy to what I consider post-OO programming sensibility...". I like the "D4" term (dynamic, declarative and data-driven) and of course, I like this:
    "the key to fixing the mess presented by OO extremity is not data-driven extremity, but rather the dynamicism of languages such as Python"


I see a scale-free, services-oriented architecture based on asynchronous, stateful XML messaging...

I also see lots of authors editing files against the full docbook schema. In my own head (and I may be a singleton in this) I see a connection between the two. Data, mayonnaise and logistics, an ITWorld article.

Monday, January 05, 2004

Jedit - A MOWYN editor

A colleague, Clyde Hatter, recommended Jedit to me recently. It is a really nice open source editor that implements MOWYN (Most of What You Need) in an editor.
Python editing mode, Java editing mode, Jython scripting, nice XML editing, console window...all for one fantastic offer price of 0 with 0 money down. Well worth a look.

Sunday, January 04, 2004

Backing up here, beep, beep, beep

The Mirra looks interesting. Linux based backup dohicky for the SOHO set.