August 2009 Archives

Sometimes thumbnails are just too small to let you see all the details in an image. If you don't have a second display and you would like to apply a group of keywords while looking at the Loupe view of an image here's an easy way. Begin by setting up your Keyword Shortcut. You find this under the Metadata menu in the Library module. You can also use the keyboard shortcut Command-Option-Shift-K on a Mac or Ctrl-Alt-Shift-K on a PC. This will present you with a deceptively simple dialog into which you can enter any number of keywords separated by commas.
European readers have until September 15, 2009 to comment on the really excellent whitepaper from Brussels Modernising ICT Standardisation in the EU - The Way Forward. On my brief reading, the whitepaper is very good in many of the issues that concern me: it mentions balance as well as openness, it mentions vendor-neutral technologies, they mention the need for flexibility. There are a few things I am not keen about, most relating to so-called Intellectual Property, a euphemism for monopoly rights and market distortion. I would like the whitepaper to have gone much further than it does.
But it is no use me sitting here complaining that people are saying "drop SGML" without even knowing what it is they are dropping. So I thought I'd make some little diagrams roughly scoping a basic machine for SGML family parsers.
The decimal module implements fixed and floating point arithmetic using the model familiar to most people, rather than the floating point representation implemented by most computer hardware.
As I've written about previously, there has been a great deal of hype about cloud computing. There has also been considerable angst about the security afforded by cloud computing. Most of that concern has focused on public clouds. (By definition,...
A counter-reformation rather than a reformation? But welcome none-the-less.
O'Reilly's first book on virtualization uses our popular Cookbook format to give you ideas about administrative tasks you might not have thought you could do, or could be doing more efficiently. In preparation for the main annual VMware conference, VMworld (August 31--September 3 in San Francisco), we've put a couple recipes online: Ethernet Traffic Shaping and Monitoring CPU Usage.
With the release of the 3.1 iPhone OS, application developers will finally be able to develop augmented reality (AR) apps. In other words, Terminator Vision is right around the corner. I recently talked to Chetan Damani, one of the founders of Acrossair, about their new AR applications, Nearest Tube, and what's involved in developing AR applications for the iPhone.
I think we have to be much smarter in how we think about standards. It is easy to think about them in terms of agreements or libraries or mandates: all planned and directed activities. But I don't think that will work in this kind of case, where there are multiple, rival technical ecosystems. They don't want to agree. They have fans who don't want to look at alternatives. And they all are probably open enough to squeeze under the rosy gate of legitimacy from a public policy view. So to get convergence we need some other strategy. I suspect that the situation with SVG Print, PDF and XPS is the same as with OOXML and ODF: the route to convergence may not happen at the level of markup harmonization at all, but instead by the support of plurality.
The Luhn algorithm is a simple checksum used to detect simple kinds of transcription errors, such as with credit card numbers. Here is how to do that kind of thing in Schematron. (Untested, it is just to indicate an approach...
Former O'Reilly web producer Justin Watt just made a surprisingly cool video by combining still photos with a soundtrack made in Looptastic, a $5 iPhone app. (There are also free and 99-cent versions.) Justin used FFmpeg (also free) to sequence the still images, overlay the soundtrack, and render the movie.
Deep rooted attitudes and social norms persist that allow for the continued brutality, held in place, in large part, by impoverished conditions that provide very few possibilities for improvement (real or perceived). While awareness and pressures to create change are critical, real change will likely only come when there is greater opportunity. And this is where the network can play a role.
The Parliament of Canada recently started a public consultation on what changes should be made to Canadian copyright law, after loud public condemnation of a set of proposals a few years ago. Having made more instead of less, because "Using Samba" was available electronically, it behooved me to tell Parliament about my recent experience in the trade-offs in copyright law and in particular to the relevance of digital rights management schemes to publishing.
In this month's IEEE Computer, there's an interesting article about using a Cloud in a non-business critical environment, mixed academic and high-performance computing. In their cloud, a professor can book a set of machines for a particular time each week for a lab, or a student can book a particular configuration of machine to do their homework. Time not booked goes into the general HPC pool, and is used for non-instructional computing. A commercial entity could use the same tactic: allow people to book time from a set of machines, but pre-book the whole of the machine or machines for the more business-critical quarter- and year-end processing.
At the Agile 2009 conference, Abby Fichtner and Nate Oster are doing a workshop called Where Does Developer Testing End and Tester Testing Begin? Jenny and I hope you can make it, because they'll be doing a giveaway of autographed copies of our latest book, Beautiful Teams: Inspiring and Cautionary Tales from Veteran Team Leaders. It's a collection of essays by and interviews with some of the industry's biggest thinkers. There's one interview that I think is definitely relevant here, and I want to share a bit of it with you. In our interview with Scott Ambler, he neatly encapsulates the sort of resistance that a lot of good programmers have to new, untested (to them) practices.
When there is a long-time standard with no shortage of goodwill, but we see a proliferation of dialects, then there is something wrong with the standard.
The dis module converts code objects to a human-readable representation of the bytecodes for analysis.
Fans of nerdy men with beards will enjoy the InfoQ website. Watching Freeman and Feather's TDD - Ten years later, a few things stuck out relevant to standards-makers and to Schematron.
You aren't really on the Internet unless you have a fixed IP address. A proposed policy would spread the power of the Internet more broadly by granting blocks of IPv6 addresses to small non-profit networks.
Testing -- especially on agile projects -- has been coming up a lot lately. Jenny and I have have spent a lot of time talking and writing about the basic ideas behind testing. So we were really excited when Abby...
It says "It may be concluded that many of the functionalities, especially those found in simpler documents, can be translated between the standards, while the translation of other functionalities can prove complex or even impossible." I say "The lack of support for plurality almost guarantees acrimony, and winners and losers."
My normal initial reaction when reading the CAM spec is to huff and puff about borrowing ideas badly. No patterns! No phases! No diagnostics! No roles! No assertion text! And so on. But it is to compare apes and orangutans: the things I consider important are not the things CAM was developed for.
Nancy Conner, author of the newly released book Living Green: The Missing Manual, has made it her goal to show people just how easy it is to make your everyday lives just a little bit greener. In a recent conversation, we talked about the simple decisions we can all make which make a big difference, as well as some of her favorite tips & tricks from the new book.
After all the excitement with designing the prototypes and reworking it into a stable maintainable state, system development projects slip into a maintenance phase. We like to to think of this as a well-oiled machine, where requests for enhancements come in and get dealt with. But there can be a design trap at work. The slow addition of these little inappropriate fixes is like the growth of barnacles on a boat's hull: eventually you are not sailing a boat but sailing a rock.
In the late 1980s, RAM cost about 10^5 per dollar, and in the early 1990s it was cheaper but still fairly flat. But a big price fall started in about 1996, so that by 2000 RAM was about 10^7 per dollar.
I am big believer that markets gravitate between FEAR and GREED, and that industries are driven by core assumptions about the SCARCITY or SURPLUS of enabling resources. Think about the stock market in terms of the former (it's heavily outlook driven), and the evolution of computing, as afforded by the latter (i.e., the commoditization of processing, storage and bandwidth).
You have probably seen the headlines about the largest-ever identity theft scheme that was just broken up by federal officials. The crime ring hacked into the databases of some of the U.S.'s largest companies (7-Eleven, Heartland Payment Systems, Hannaford Brothers and a couple others that weren't named) and stole financial data (think credit and debit card information) on more than 130 million individuals. I wish this was just a one time thing, but I am afraid it is simply indicative of what's to come.

Sarah is the author of The Sustainable Network: The Accidental Answer for a Troubled Planet.

There are a number of ways in which text can be introduced, changed or disappeared, though each format will have a different mix of possibilities.
I was reading Brian Sawyer's great post on the Head First Labs blog about using a Learner's Journey, and it got me thinking about some of the things I think about when writing on a Head First book. A few...
The Dasein Cloud API is the next step in the drive towards Open cloud programming standards. If you want to support multiple clouds or if you simply want to support the possibility of switching cloud providers, you are faced with supporting different programming models. This Open Source API enables programmers to write cloud management applications in Java against a single API that supports multiple clouds.
To allow in 1994 that out-of-line markup was somehow original when there was already an ISO standard to allow it that was then two years old, shows how incompetent or inept the USPTO was at that time:
I've managed a group that ran software projects using Scrum but also provided Scrum support to the wider R&D organization by developing Scrum templates and procedures, developing and delivering Scrum training and providing coaching and mentoring for groups taking their first steps down the Scrum path. So, to be honest, I pretty much figured I had Scrum licked. Then I read "Scaling Agile & Lean Development" by Craig Larman and Bas Vodde. I'd yet to scratch the surface of lean and so the excellent treatment lean gets in this book was expected to be new to me, but it was pretty embarrassing how much I learned about Scrum and agile development along the way. If anything it left me feeling a bit of an agile fraud.
Embedded Markup Considered Harmful
For many the term Enterprise 2.0 is fussy. Here a description from Wikipedia: Carl Frappaolo and Dan Keldsen defined Enterprise 2.0 in a report written for Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM)as "a system of web-based technologies that provide...
Attempts to control access and content on the Internet is not unique to any one government or country. There is the risk that if we don't take action, censorship will chill and even stymy the open, free exchange of information that represents the transformative force of the network.
As more and more people adopt these tools to help them reach out and stay connected, the question becomes are they being used in a way that truly enhances all of our relationships. My own opinion is that it's too early for us to declare victory...
Here is a better overview of the i4i patent.
Here's a super-easy way to play multiple movies in the same area on a webpage. No JavaScript required, and it works on iPhone too.
You can't go anywhere these days without hearing snippets of the healthcare debate - what should and shouldn't be a part of any government plan, the promise and the challenges of universal healthcare (which would extend access to the 50 million people currently uninsured in the U.S.), the potential ins and outs of legislation currently on the drawing board, etc. In the face of all this uncertainty, one thing that is certain is technology (Health IT) is going to play a large role in the transformation and advancement of the every day health and wellness of individuals around the world.
Microsoft has been in the news in the last month in relation to two patents, one it received and one it has been ordered to pay $200 million in damages for infringing. I've been looking through both, and the patents seem to bear little resembles to their reports.
Quick thoughts on "Documenting and Implementing Guidelines with Schematron" and "Test Assertions on steroids for XML artifacts"
The page models and geometries of two current XML-in-ZIP publishing formats for text documents: ODF and IDML.
I wonder whether the recent events would make new definitions for monopoly and oligopoly more relevant?
Well duh, that's exactly what sed is designed to do. And nowadays most implementations have the handy -i option that makes changes in place without explicitly using an interim file. Which means that I could reduce the work of typing in the Perl script to a single line at the command prompt...
There is no inconsistency in ajudging that a particular technology would be usefully written up as an international standard but yet not appropriate for a national standard.

Balisage has become for many XML (and the occasional SGML) coders the must-attend conference of the year. Run for many years as the Extreme XML Conference, the shift to the use of Balisage  - a French term best translated as running lights, such as those used to highlight a ship or an airplane runway. These markings then translate into the syntactic markings found as a key part of XML. (That Balisage continues to be hosted in Montreal, that most French belle dame of Canadian cities, probably accounts for the name as well )

The pydoc module imports a Python module and uses the contents to generate help text at runtime.
I am looking for a general purpose computing language that has primitive constructs for disk block, cache line, and SIMD memory units (vectors).
A degree of separation metric based on whether you have served on a standard committee at the same time as the figure, or been involved in some book or paper with them, starting with Charles Goldfarb.
We have to make sure that our links to Wikipedia are not building in assertions or implications that the texts of Wikipedia, as distinct from the topics, are objectively correct or complete.
A reader asked me about some recent vague press items about newly discovered security flaws in some XML parsers. ...since security is one of the applications of validation it is an area I need to be more aware of.
The whole time the dispute between the CentOS developers was in the news development moved forward and patches were released. CentOS was never a one man show. It was perhaps in danger of forking or a name change but it never really was anywhere near point of death.
Paul Hermans has kindly set up a process (I believe an XProc pipeline using Calabash and SAXON 9) to test the XML Schema to Schematron converter I have been documentingin this blog over the last few years. Here are some results. I made some changes in the initial round of tests to get it to bootstrap without hanging: some tests against circular inclusions for example.
I have recently being doing some more work on the XML Schema to Schematron converter, and one of the first issues to come up is more proper handling of namespaces.
Writing correct, concurrent code is really hard. Java makes it seem easier than it is, even when you think you're being careful. The language support is better than it was before Java 5, but we still have a lot to learn. And we have to learn fast, because our code is running on more and more processors every day.
Over the coming weeks I plan to introduce you all to what I believe to be one of the most important open source projects on the planet: The Cherokee Project. Buckle up. The ride won't be without bumps. But it...
Identity expert Will Norris has two new blogs about OpenID's potential use for privacy. As he points out, OpenID was meant to strengthen and share identity, not to protect privacy. But he draws some lessons from the classic Shibboleth project for delegated authentication in the blog Best Practices with Directed Identity, then puts forward a multi-tiered OpenID system for privacy in A New Kind of OpenID Proxy.
Python includes several standard programming data structures as built-in types (list, tuple, dictionary, and set). Most applications won't need any other structures, but when they do the standard library delivers.
I'll be heading to Montréal for Balisage: The Markup Conference in a little over a week. As usual it will feature some of the most traveled folks in XML and related technologies.

News Topics

Recommended for You

Got a Question?