Archive for July, 2009

Friday, July 31st, 2009

Pragmatic Namespaces

In case any of the 7 regular readers here aren’t following xml-dev, check out and add to the discussion about Pragmatic Namespaces, proposed as a solution for the “distributed extensiblity” problem in HTML5.

For years people have been pointing to Java as the model for how XML namespaces should work, so this proposal goes that direction. Either it will work, or else it will get people to finally shut up about the whole idea. :)

It’s heavily based on Tom Bradford’s Clean Namespaces proposal, which doesn’t have a living URL anymore but is available on


Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

Object-Oriented CSS

I enjoyed Nicole Sullivan‘s talk at the BayJax Meetup on Object-Oriented CSS, something I hadn’t run in to before. Adding predictability to CSS development seems like a huge win. I need to wrap my head around it better. Anyone with experience using this technique care to comment? -m

Friday, July 24th, 2009

Java-style namespaces for markup

I’m noodling around with requirements and exploring existing work toward a solution for “decentralized extensability” on xml-dev, particularly for HTML. The notion of “Java-style” syntax, with reverse dns names and all, has come up many times in the context of these kinds of discussions, but AFAICT never been fully fleshed out. This is ongoing, slowly, in available time–which as been a post or two per week.  (In case there is any doubt, this is a spare-time effort not connected with my employer)

Check it out and add your knowledge to the thread. -m

Sunday, July 19th, 2009

Geek Thoughts: The integral is a lie

There are no limits, only quanta. There is no smooth, only lumpy.

Analog is a myth; the world is digital. We just haven’t found the extent of its mantissa. – SymbolismLost.

More collected Geek Thoughts at

Saturday, July 18th, 2009

Geek Throughts: Yahoo! learns a Lesson

According to this article, the big Y has been fined by a Belgian court for not turning over user information. Bypassing normal channels, Belgian officials went directly to the company demanding information, a similar situation that has come up before. (But unlike the Chinese incidents, this one directly involves the US headquarters.)

Yahoo! deserves applause for not only standing up for users, but also for learning from the past.

More collected Geek Thoughts at

Saturday, July 11th, 2009

The decline of the DBMS era

Several folks have been pointing to this article which has some choice quotes along the lines of

If we examine the nontrivial-sized DBMS markets, it turns out that current relational DBMSs can be beaten by approximately a factor of 50 in most any market I can think of.

My employer is specifically mentioned:

Even in XML, where the current major vendors have spent a great deal of energy extending their engines, it is claimed that specialized engines, such as Mark Logic or Tamino, run circles around the major vendors

And it’s true, but don’t take my word for it. :-) The DBMS world has lots of inertia, but don’t let that blind you to seeing another way to solve problems. Particularly if that extra 50x matters. -m

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

Demo Jam at Balisage 2009

Come join me at the Demo Jam at Balisage this year. August 11 at 6:30 pm. There will be lots of cool demos, judged by audience participation. I’d love to see you there. -m

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

And then there were one…

On May 8 I wrote:

it’s time for the W3C to show some tough love and force the two (X)HTML Working Groups together.

On July 2, the W3C wrote:

Today the Director announces that when the XHTML 2 Working Group charter expires as scheduled at the end of 2009, the charter will not be renewed. By doing so, and by increasing resources in the Working Group, W3C hopes to accelerate the progress of HTML 5 and clarify W3C’s position regarding the future of HTML.

The real test is whether the single HTML Working Group can be held to the standard of other Working Groups, and be able to recruit some much-needed editorial help from some of the displaced XHTML 2 gang.  -m

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

Transformers round-up

Roger Ebert review (“a horrible experience of unbearable length”)

Fake Shia LaBeouf blog (“no no no no!”)

Smashing box office records (200 mil in 5 days, “The per theater average, by the way, was astonishing: $26,453.”)