Sunday, June 30, 2002

This weekend, I deleted Windows XP.

Completely gone. Not a trace. I had been getting increasing Blue Screens, and combined with the obnoxious "security" features for upcoming version, Microsoft has driven away someone who's used Windows since the 2.x days.

A few first-hand hints for those who are considering breaking free:
1) Break your dependence on IE. I recommend Mozilla 1.0, which can import bookmarks from IE and also save them to a file for later use, say on a Linux install. As a nice side benefit, Mozilla renders Web pages more faithfully than IE.
2) Break your dependence on Office. I recommend OpenOffice. Start converting any important files you have around to a neutral format, such as RTF, or the excellent XML-based OpenOffice format. If also use AbiWord quite often.
3) Break your dependence on Outlook. I use Yahoo Mail!, but there are other software alternatives. [send me mail, and I'll add your suggestions here.]
4) Start learning right away. There are an uncountable number of informative Web sites. Start checking hardware support (unless you have something really old, really new, or really exotic, it's probably supported.)
5) You've probably heard about Wine and other such solutions. Don't depend on these working when you finally switch. Consider it a bonus if any of these work. Ideally, you want to be fully native on your new OS. Replace every application you rely upon with a cross-platform alternative.

All of these steps are possible while still on Windows. Why not start today?

What did I switch to? Mandrake 8.2 with the Ximian Gnome Desktop. -m

Thursday, June 27, 2002

FOAF as MftM

Listing 1

<meta id="edd" name="foaf:person"/>
<meta about="edd" name="foaf:name" content="Edd Dumbill"/>
<meta about="edd" name="foaf:mbox" content="mailto:edd@xml.com"/>


Listing 2
<meta id="edd" name="foaf:person"/>
<meta about="edd" name="foaf:name" content="Edd Dumbill"/>
<meta about="edd" name="foaf:mbox" content="mailto:edd@xml.com"/>
<meta about="edd" name="foaf:nick" content="edd"/>
<meta about="edd" name="foaf:workplacehomepage" content="http://xml.com/"/>
<meta about="edd" name="foaf:depiction" content="http://heddley.com/edd/images/edd-shoulders.jpg"/>


Listing 3
<meta id="edd" name="foaf:person"/>
<meta id="simon" name="foaf:person"/>
...
<meta about="edd" name="foaf:knows" content="simon"/>
<meta about="simon" name="foaf:name" content="Simon St. Laurent"/>
<meta about="simon" name="foaf:mbox" content="mailto:simon@xmlhack.com"/>


Listing 4
<meta id="edd" name="foaf:person"/>
<meta about="edd" name="foaf:name" content="Edd Dumbill"/>
<meta about="edd" name="foaf:mbox" content="mailto:edd@xml.com"/>
<meta id="simon" name="foaf:person"/>
<meta about="simon" name="foaf:name" content="Simon St. Laurent"/>
<meta about="simon" name="foaf:mbox" content="mailto:simon@xmlhack.com"/>
<meta id="eric" name="foaf:person/">
<meta about="eric" name="foaf:name" content="Eric van der Vlist"/>
<meta about="eric" name="foaf:mbox" content="mailto:eric@xmlhack.com"/>


Listing 5
<meta id="edd" name="foaf:person"/>
<meta about="edd" name="foaf:mbox" content="mailto:edd@xml.com"/>
<meta about="edd" name="foaf:depiction" content="http://example.org/photos/edd+simon.jpg"/>
<meta id="simon" name="foaf:person"/>
<meta about="simon" name="foaf:mbox" content="mailto:simon@xmlhack.com"/>
<meta about="simon" name="foaf:depiction" content="http://example.org/photos/edd+simon.jpg"/>


Listing 6
<meta id="edd" name="foaf:person"/>
<meta about="edd" name="foaf:name" content="Edd Dumbill"/>
<meta about="edd" name="foaf:mbox" content="mailto:edd@xml.com"/>
<meta about="edd" name="foaf:depiction" content="http://example.org/photos/edd+simon.jpg"/>
<meta id="simon" name="foaf:person"/>
<meta about="simon" name="foaf:name" content="Simon St. Laurent"/>
<meta about="simon" name="foaf:mbox" content="mailto:simon@xmlhack.com"/>
<meta about="simon" name="foaf:depiction" content="http://example.org/photos/edd+simon.jpg"/>
<meta id="eric" name="foaf:person"/>
<meta about="eric" name="foaf:name" content="Eric van der Vlist"/>
<meta about="eric" name="foaf:mbox" content="mailto:eric@xmlhack.com"/>

Tuesday, June 25, 2002

Edd Dumbill on FOAF

I would like to go through the exercise of translating his examples into MftM.

Monday, June 24, 2002

I love that Mozilla has better favicon support than IE. Touch´┐Ż! -m

Sunday, June 23, 2002

DocBook tools question

As long as I'm asking questions, what are some good tools with which to edit DocBook? I'm currently using XMetal, which is great, but I'd like something that gives me the freedom to move away from Windows and my increasingly frequent BSODs.

I need: CSS support, DTD support, Tables, and the ability to work with XML parsed entities (for instance, an entire <chapter> in a single file, with no DOCTYPE). Inline images and page/word count are big plusses.

What works? -m

Saturday, June 22, 2002

Generic XML Question

Question on delivering generic XML+CSS in the browser: Can anyone tell me how to 1) give the document a title (as does HTML's <title> element), and 2) make inline images appear? The DocBook markup for images is <graphic fileref="..."/>, so things like xlink prefixes are out. Is this even currently possible? -m

Wednesday, June 19, 2002

A big thumbs-down to the default templates in Blogger.

This blog now validates as HTML 4.0 transitional. Some day, when I have lots of surplus energy, I'll even get rid of the nested tables. Let me know if there's any problems. -m

Monday, June 17, 2002

The Joy of Named Parameters

The XPath specification defines a number of functions, with unnamed parameters. While technically justified (since you couldn't ever do anything with the name anyway), this makes for some very awkward text. Which reads better (from the description of template())?

"...returns the first argument string with occurrences of characters in the second argument string replaced by the character at the corresponding position in the third argument string."

or

"...returns the src string, with characters from the movechars string replaced with characters from the corresponding position in the replacechars string."

-m

Joel on Software: Economics of Free Software

In this article, Joel explains why it makes sense for companies to spend billions of dollars to develop Free Software.

"All else being equal, demand for a product increases when the prices of its complements decrease."

He explains how this is working for Web Browsers & IBM Linux, was supposed to work for the XBox, and isn't really working at all for Java.

Let's hope it works for XForms books! -m

Friday, June 14, 2002

Forbes on Patents

"The patent as stimulant to invention has long since given way to the patent as blunt instrument for establishing an innovation stranglehold."

Wednesday, June 12, 2002

Chapter 2: XPath

XForms is fundamentally another XPath foundation specification--on par with XSLT and XPointer. A temptation in the XPath chapter is then to go into excessive detail on XPath. There's certainly much ground to cover, but that's the problem. A modest sized book could be written on XSLT.

I need feedback. How deep would you like to see the XPath chapter go? -m

Chapter 1: Introduction

How do you begin a book on XForms? The general topic of forms is boring enough to make most people's eyes roll back in their sockets. Well, if you've heard me speak on XForms, you've heard me proclaim that forms are not boring!

For one thing, there's Vannevar Bush's precient comments on the future of computing technology. His "memex" device bears striking resemblance to a Web browser, including forms capabilites.

There's also lots of historical goodies, like how the initial version of HTML didn't include forms, but when HTML 2.0 captured "current practice" of 1993, forms were already widely deployed.

The most striking thought, in the end, is to imagine the Web without forms. No Google, no Yahoo, no Ebay. Even CNN has seven (count 'em!) forms on their home page alone. People like interactivity. And that's the opposite of boring. -m

Monday, June 10, 2002

Let's Write an XForms Book

Everything has been signed--I will be writing an XForms Book for O'Reilly. Further, instead of the usual 'cathedral' techniques of book authoring, this one will have a unique editorial process that involves you. Coming soon: Web updates and the initial chapters. -m

Contact

mdubinko@yahoo.com

Terms of use

For external use only. I doubt the enforcability of click-through licenses anyway. Copyright 2003 Micah Dubinko. All rights reserved.