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

Friday, January 23, 2004

Dysphorically digital

I'm having boolean flushes and unnatural thoughts about tight coupling. I used to think curry was a type of food but not any more. Digital dysphoria - meditations on not being completely human any more. (For a given definition of 'human').

What's in a name?

Is the act of naming things a hassle to be avoided, or a right to be cherished and protected? In this ITWorld article, I argue for the latter. Asset naming and asset ownership.

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Useful survey of XML standards by Uche Ogbuji

A good place to start for an overview of the state of the standards wars, peace(s) and mexican standoffs.

More on the Nokia Smartphone dynamic languages theme

The Register reports a Pythonic twang at the Perly gates of Nokia.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Moving away from XSLT

Back in 2001 I was cautioning against treating all XML transformation tasks as fodder for XSLT. I have continued to do so ever since.
XSLT is plain awful at a whole class of XML transformation problems and has some serious cost-of-ownership issues (hint - read some XSLT you wrote last year. Do you get that Voynich manuscript effect?).
Also, XSLT's 'brick walls' are actually made of ten foot thick, five mile high, sheets of titanium alloy. When you hit one you stay hit.
XSLT is best treated as an appurtenance in your core XML transformational toolkit which should have a fully fledged programming language like Python on top.
Martin Fowler lists some sane reasons why he is moving away from XSLT.

Plone, Mars and NASA

Plone runs NASA's Mars Rover Website.

Need to wrap your head around XForms?

Start at the XForms Institute.

Monday, January 19, 2004

At last! an adventure game for the Nokia Smartphone

Nokia announce an adventure game for the Nokia Smartphone. I can see it now. The screen goes blank, the text scrolls...
    You are in a scaler context, surrounded by blessed variables. Do you wish to (a) execute a sublimely presented McCarthy conditional or (b) run and hide in the two-to-the-n-minus-one backslashes escaping the newline in the regular expression?

OASIS Symposium on Reliable Messaging/XML

OASIS are holding a symposium on reliable infrastructures for XML. There is an interoperability nightmare in that space right now and it is really getting to be a drag. Who would have thought that literally decades after the fundamentals of reliable messaging were trashed out, we would still be in this position?

Sunday, January 18, 2004

Apple Keynote and XML

I did not realise that the keynote application uses an XML notation as its file format. Great. All I need now is a Mac:-(

For the first time in over a decade I'm feeling torn between two worlds.

Believe it or not, I used to be a DTP person. Back then, it was Mac-512 with the all conquering PageMaker/Quark verus a PC with some bizzaro GUI thing from Xerox whose name I forget + Ventura.

Will my next workhorse machine be a Mac? Its possible. It wasn't possible a couple of years ago but its possible now. Interesting times.