28 Dec 2004 Ankh   » (Master)

Clyde and I were sick over christmas, so we didn't do anything. We might have a late Christmas in a day or two.

It's interesting (for a massochist like me at least) to watch discussions on the xml-dev mailing list about restricted XPath patterns. Someone wanted to design a language, and saved development time by using an XML-based syntax and a SAX-based parser. It's a perfectly valid use of XML, and a good reminder of why we don't have a single data model: he takes SAX events and builds the equivalent of a parse tree for his language.

Next year has to be (for me at least) the opening of public discussions on what comes after XML 1.1, XML Schema 1.1, XPath 2, XSLT 2, XQuery 1.0 and 1.1, XSL-FO 1.1, and generally where W3C should be going with XML.

In the mean-time my 2.6.8 kernel has a problem when the system gets too busy: the system clock jumps back an hour, then a few seconds later jumps forward again! I'm not sure why but it really confuses X and also sound players. The whole system (including the console, not just X) freezes while it does this. I'm wondered for a while if it was using free disk space on my cheap external USB disk for swap, and having to wait for the disk to spin up, but a program that accessed the disk every few seconds didn't seem to help. Maybe I'll try a newer kernel.

I spent some time thinking about timezones, dates, XML attributes and elements, and XML Schema. I'm not sure that was very productive or enlightening but it was more interesting than it might sound.

I've also spent some time comparing the Deviant Art and PhotoSIG art community sites. I've been trying to understand what makes online communities succeed or fail. Part of it seems to involve a mixture of self-policing and community ratings combined with a reward or status system. Where the community Web site doesn't have an obvious rating for people, the yusers often invent one (e.g. Pageviews on Deviant Art, an essentially irrelevent statistic). I'd like to see a standardised format for a community trust metric, so people can say, I'm a top-tier Deviant Art contributer (or whatever) and aggregate that with their Advogato Journeyer and Slashdot Gigaflamer status :-) perhaps to give them status on some other site, or to help build federated identities.

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