April 2010 Archives

Making sense out of all of the components of cloud computing confuses even many of the major analysts. It's easy to understand how Google, Amazon, or SalesForce.com fit into the picture. But who is Eucalyptus and what do they do? Does CohesiveFT compete with enStratus or does it complement enStratus? And what is this vCloud thing anyway?
Free and open source software is profiting from its own maturity, the economic recession, and the comfort level of developers for using the software, and nowhere is open source more important than in Software as a Service.
In this screencast, I show you how to build a simple iPad app using the new SplitViewController. As we build the app, you'll learn the basics of creating a SplitViewController-based app, and how to implement a simple XML reader to read an XML feed, display a list of article titles and load an article into the detail view when its title is tapped in the list.
No doubt many of you have run across this before, but it had me scratching my head for a bit. I have some client-side JavaScript code that makes an XMLHttpRequest (or the equivalent on IE) and should get back a...
The latest release for the Schematron for Ant (Java) task is now available at SCHEMATRON.COM. This is the third release of the Schematron for Ant task which has been through four or five different programmers' hands over the years. The...
[Updated.] I have been looking at making parsers in Scala, to figure out a good way to get an expression validator for XPath2. Followed some links and arrived at a killer 2006 ICFP OOPSLA '07 paper by Eric Meijer Confessions...
Here is a thought experiment, which is a model of OOXML and its dialects. I could have chosen ODF or HTML. When we talk about OOXML sometimes we mean one if its formal specifications, sometimes we mean a particular package format, sometimes we mean what an application can generate or consume. This allows a tremendous amount of loose and futile talk about it.
Since 1999 I have been updating a little diagram Family Tree of Schema Languages for XML. Here is the 2010 version (large image for poster.) Here are links to different formats which should be better for viewing in a browser:...
I often write HTML pages or documentation that includes code samples. When the code is presented this way, it's much easier to follow if it features syntax highlighting. I had found a script that could highlight Perl code, and then I realized I needed the same thing for C code as well. I've posted a new script on my web site that inserts HTML markup into source code files to provide colored syntax highlighting.
My last blog focused on some general guidelines to protect our children online, here are some quick, concrete tips to keep them safe. The smallest piece of identifiable information could lead a predator to you - remember they are highly motivated. eMarketer found that 75% of children are willing to share personal information online about themselves and their family in exchange for goods and services.
A few thousand lines in C or Java. 1 line in XPath!
In my previous post, I showed how you can use JavaScript to detect orientation and style your iPhone and iPad pages. As reader Jason Grigsby kindly pointed out, you can also do this purely with CSS Media Queries! I've reworked the file I made for that example to use CSS Media Queries to do just that. The behavior of the web page is the same in the previous example, but doesn't require any JavaScript to make it all work.
News from the Twittersphere. The Library of Congress has acquired every public tweet since Twitter's inception and will digitally archive these and future tweets. These billions of tweets were acquired via donation and will add ~5 terabytes to the Library...
The XML encoding detection routine is a nice single page size for comparing programming language capabilities related to simple scanning. Here are a few. Scala Python Java C++ search function definition for xmlSwitchInputEncodingInt PHP...
A database is just a place for data. You can make it fancy with cross-linking and even stick in stored procedures, but it remains a passive repository that takes on value only as a part of a surrounding environment for processing. There are more tools for manipulating data than ever. The various solutions called as NoSQL have value in their own right and in conjunction with MySQL. Let's look at the future course of MySQL in an environment with many new and intriguing alternatives to relational databases, and multiple versions of MySQL itself.
We need to remove the idea that stuff online is "not real," or that it doesn't have consequences. We need to drill into them that they will be held accountable for what they do and say when they are online, just as they would be when they are at home or at school. Explain to them that they need to think before they post and they don't have a right to post whatever they want...
He has now, on three separate occasions this year, written pieces which are harshly critical of Ubuntu's detractors. If you dare say anything negative about his favorite Linux distribution you will be in Mr. Varghese's cross hairs. [...] Indeed, in a piece published today Sam Varghese spends three pages explaining The main problem with Linux: ignorant users. However, he doesn't talk about users in general. The three pages are dedicated to attacking someone Mr. Varghese seems to see as the epitome of the ignorant user: yours truly.
The Committee Draft (CD) of the new version of ISO Schematron is now available at the ISO/IEC JTC1 SC34 SC34 Website (PDF). In the JTC1 workflow, this is the version that National Bodies comment on over the next 3 months....
The conference comes at a time of unusual uncertainty and change for MySQL--and I'm not talking about the Oracle acquisition, which the community dealt with last year.
By day I'm the pr manager for O'Reilly Media. Most workdays I face three screens--my MacBook, a large monitor, and my iPhone--in order to keep an eye on several Twitter accounts, Facebook pages, email accounts, instant messaging and texting. These...
When you have a data supplier and a data consumer sending each other forms-type information (e.g. over the WWW) the supplier (lets call them the applicant) and the consumer (lets call them the institution) each have conflicting tactics for cost...
Standards Australia has released their Net Benefit Guide (PDF). Net Benefit is one of the criteria they use for evaluating potential standards and standards projects. (Standards Australia is not a regulator, and its standards do not have force of law,...
Aptivate's 2007 Ten Rules for Designing for Low-Bandwidth are: No Page Bigger Than 25kB Reduce Images Have Good Site Structure Use Style Sheets Minimise HTTP Requests Turn on Compression Be Cache-able Avoid PDFs Put Useful Items First Show Link Sizes...
I knew in advance that venting my frustrations with Ubuntu in the form of an article yesterday would stir up a hornet's nest. [...] Having read all the comments I'd like to clarify my thoughts on the subject.
When I talk about The Cloud (Capital T, Capital C), I'm talking about a currently fictional technology. Despite advertising claims and vaporware demonstrations at trade shows, The Cloud (as I envision it) does not yet exist ... but when it does, it will dramatically change the way we do business, listen to music, and play games.
To whatever part of the general non-geek public is even aware of Linux the names "Linux" and "Ubuntu" are all but interchangeable. Over the past few years I've come to the conclusion that this state of affairs is, at best, unfortunate.
Which clips would they be? W3C XML Schemas 1.1: ISO Schematron: Schematron the way that data modeling people see it... ISO RELAX NG: ISO SGML DTDs: W3C XML DTDs: OOXML: ODF:...
If you are experiencing networking problems with your iPad, you're not alone. I hate to say I told you so but in my previous blog post about iPad, I called it, stating: The transfer speed/reception quality over wireless and 3G...
Because the MySQL conference starts next week and O'Reilly just released a pre-publication version of MongoDB: The Definitive Guide, I decided to spice up discussion a bit by asking the authors about a common question: how to move from MySQL to MongoDB.
I see Sam Wilmott and the Mulberry people (sounds like a cult) have put out an excellent fold-out card ISO Schematron Quick Reference Card (PDF). Sam is one of the most respected names in the business from SGML days from...
I like Malaika and Pichler's 2009 Enforce basic document structure with XML constraint checking: Evaluate two approaches based on the healthcare environment. Listings 7 and 8 show sample constraint failures produced from the hardware appliance. Listing 7. XML schema validation...
On April 6th, a federal appeals court ruled that the F.C.C. did not have the authority to regulate how Internet service providers manage their network. While potentially a win for Internet providers, it is now more important than ever for providers to be transparent in their actions to sustain customer loyalty.
In re-designing the App Store for the iPad, Apple has done some fairly subtle and some fairly bold changes both of which are negatively affecting consumers and developers.
Since the beginning of Lightroom we've wanted a watermarking capability that was more powerful and more flexible than the anemic watermark of Lightroom 1.x or Lightroom 2.x. We had some creative possibilities with the identity plate feature but even that was limited and quirky. With the release of Lightroom 3 Beta 1 we saw the beginning of a new watermarking feature. A welcome change but still not much better. Now, Lightroom 3 Beta 2 bring the watermark a long way! There is still some way to go but this new feature is great.
Owning an iPad is like having a really good chair. If personal comfort's your thing, the price is worth it.
Everyone will never catch up, and models of interoperability based entirely on the promise that sooner or later everyone will catch up will just lead to disappointment. So I wonder if it would be useful to have some kind of Open Source Schematron schema where we could collect tests and diagnostics for the various flavours.
In their explanation on the developer wiki, Facebook explicitly states that 3rd party applications that use this feature can only gather information about the given user that may be publicly search-able anyway. However, this assurance from Facebook is without merit because the implied reasoning is based upon flawed assumptions: the act of users choosing to make some of their information publicly search-able does not imply in any way that the users are granting the ability for rogue 3rd party applications to uncloak their identity (and data).
Tired of only having a parametric curve at your disposal? Good news! Lightroom 3 Beta 2 introduces a point curve to the Develop module! That is fantastic news! Many users asked for point curve capabilities in Lightroom and Adobe has delivered. Lightroom's parametric curve has some great features. I like the visual feedback it gives for the logical limits of each tonal range (Highlights, Lights, Darks, and Shadows). While it has many uses and some strong points it does limit your ability to make adjustments by forcing you to stay within the boundaries of each tonal range. That's where a true point curve shines! It gives you the creative freedom to adjust at will and to any extent your vision requires.
It's here! Adobe released Lightroom 3 Beta 2 recently and there are some nice goodies to play with in Beta 2. Grab it from Adobe Labs now! And if history teaches us anything, Adobe is saving a few tricks up their sleeves for the final release of Lightroom 3. There's still no official information regarding the release date for the final version or what the eventual pricing might be. But in the meantime we have new features to try out. One place to watch and get up to date Lightroom information is over on the Lightroom Journal Blog published by the Lightroom team. Stop by for news.
Now that the iPad is out, it's time to style your web pages so they look good on both the iPhone and the iPad. In this screencast, I create one page of content that is styled in two different ways: one for the iPhone and the iPad, and show you how to use CSS Media Queries to select the correct style sheet depending on the device you're using. I also demonstrate how to change the style on the iPad depending on whether you're in portrait or landscape orientation, using a little JavaScript.
Ian Robinson has a great 2008 article Service-Oriented Development with Consumer-Driven Contracts and a follow-up A Contract Vocabulary that turns normal thinking about schemas on its head. His idea, in the context of SOA systems with a limited number of...
Earlier this year, eReaders were all the rage at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. It seemed every company imaginable had or was coming out with a new reader-type device. I blogged about many of the readers right here...
Extending the use of computing devices is critical if we are to create more sustainable consumption. We can divert waste from landfill and reduce the energy it takes to extract materials and build new devices, if we can lengthen the life of the devices we already have or find new ways to use its components. But what if its reuse poses a risk to you? Hard drives can pose such a risk and, as such, often have their lives and usefulness cut short.
UK XML expert and key player in the SC34 standards committee at ISO, Dr Alex Brown, has written (the day before April Fool's Day) a strongly worded blog Microsoft fails the Standards Test. If his concerns that the new version...

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