Older blog entries for Dacta (starting at number 26)

aaronl, you should do an internship (with an open mind) at a VB programming shop. I'm not saying that to belittle you or anything - just that I believe that MS has done a pretty good job with ActiveX/COM (apart from the obvious security problems), and seeing it in use might be an eye opener for you. (Actually, I think most Linux programmers should do this, too).

Basically, component architectures allow not-so-talented programmers to build reliable, large applications quickly by using prewritten parts. It's like C programmers use libraries. Yes, there is some "bloat" associated with using genralised code, but the decrease in development time and the increase in reliability more than makes up for it in most cases.

I'm sure you already know this, but I wanted to point it out anyway.

kuro5hin has been.. interesting the last couple of days. There have been roughly 20 stories a day submitted, and most of them have been single paragraph adverts for peoples private website projects. Not good.

Found out what I'm going to be doing at work. Intergrating our (Java/J2EE/JSP/EJB) system with another C++/MTS/NT system. Considering my C++ is pretty rusty, and my Java is about 2 weeks old, this is going to be... fun. At least I won't be bored!

Watched the Olympics yesterday. Some pretty good stuff. (4x100m freestyle final... nothing like beating the US) Then I watched "The FAT" on ABC (This is the Australian BC, btw). They weren't allowed to use Channel 7's Olympic footage, so to show Ian Thorpe's race, they set up a big tank with lane markers and used goldfish for the swimmers. It was bloody funny - they had this huge fish (about twice the size of the others) for Thorpe. They did a medel presnetation as well.. the fish in glasses of water.

I guess you had to see it....

Been doing lots of XML/XSLT. XSLT is very, very cool. I've got something semi-working that takes Google Search results, runs it through the W3C's HTMLTidy program to XHTMLise it, then uses a XSL stylesheet to generate a RSS file. I'm not quite sure what the point of it is, but I had fun doing it, and I think it's a pretty cool hack.

There seems to be action on the Kuro5hin front. They are saying it will be back up in the next two days. Hurray!!

Have any other Aussies notcied how all our diary's seem to show up close together? I guess there aren't many other people in our timezone...

Speaking of Australian issues - ajv is on the auDA Competition Policy Panel. Well.. we might not have competition in the .com.au market, but at least we have a Panel! Sorry.. not aimed at you, of course, but I guess you know my (and most other Australian's) frustration.

I saw a thing on the 7:30 Report on ABC tonight. They were talking to some American economist, and he gave the Australian goverment an increadible (and well deserved) roasting on their IT policies (If you can call a set of misguided, unenforcable and embarassing stop-gap measures a policy. IMHO their only value is as a paper plane for our much-loved Prime Minister to sit on while he tries to catch up with Wright Brothers.)


Got a little way with the XML/XSL problem - I still can't make it work when the entire XML file has a default namespace (is that the terminology?). Oh well - having fun, because I still don't have any real work to do.

Now I know why XML/XSL has a reputation for being difficult. Does anyone know how to use XSLT on an XML file which uses namespaces? It should be easy....

My RSS XSL stylesheet works fine on RSS 0.9x, but chokes on 1.0, because they have added namespaces to it.

There seems to have been a big arguement on the RSS dev list about whether this was/is needed. I don't have an opinion, yet, but I know it does make it a lot more difficult

Thanks to campd's Diary entry, I decided to register corporatepropaganda.com - it's such a cool name. All I need to do is work out what to use it for.

Because of the falling Aussie Dollar, I didn't use the registry I've used before (DiscountDomainRegistry) - I tried gandi.net, which is only 12 euros. Since the euro is falling as quickly as the A$, that's only somthing like A$17

Been playing with XML/XSLT a bit. It's fun, and not nearly as difficult as I though XSL was supposed to be - in fact, it's downright simple.

New job seems pretty good. Learning lots of stuff - Java, J2EE, EJBs, JSP etc, but they are all to busy to give me anything real to do. Oh well... won't last I guess.

I did some XML/XSL today. I wrote a XSL stylesheet to format RSS files into HTML (works with Xalan & MS XSL engine), and then found out that if I use IE5, I can use Javascript to specify what stylesheet I want to use. Wrote a quick page to let you choose to view any RSS page on the web formatted (using MS Clientside formatting) to HTML using that. It's IE only, and depends on the beta MS XML parser, so it's pretty useless. Nice hack, though - I should put it up somewhere.

Did anything come of that "Open Source Software Journal" people were talking about?

Saw someone in Rundle Mall in Adelaide wearing a SALG Installfest T-Shirt today. Cool.

Anyone used Power J?

mrorganic: I like Delphi/Pascal, so I'm biased, too. I do agree that the STL is a great step forward, and I wish they had something like templates in Delphi.

As for "real like C++" OO languages... Oh boy. I can't agree with you there. Why is C++ anymore an OO language than Object Pascal. The only things C++ has that O-P doesn't is multiple inheritence, and templates.

O-P doesn't need templates (okay, they would be nice, but you can hack around them) because, like Java, it has a singly rooted hierarchy. (I was just reading about this earlier last week in "Thinking In Java")

Sure, in Object Pascal you can program in a non-OO way, just as in C++ you can revert to writing in C.

Anyway, it's not so much that I'm a huge Object Pascal fan - more I'm not a C++ fan. I think that writing large systems in C++ is not a great idea, because the language lends itself to bugs that are hard to track down. (okay, perhaps for embedded systems C++ is a reasonable choice, but for large business systems - no way)

Don't let a Smalltalk fan hear you say C++ is a proper OO language, or we'll never hear the end of it

cmacd: Thanks. Once I figured out it was a gnu product, I went to www.gnu.org, then software.html, and there it was... Easy!

Who was complaining about STL vs Borland's VCL the other day? Don't forget that the VCL has been around since 1994 - that's a fair while before the STL exisited.

Discovered that wget or webget is not included in Redhat 6.2. Why on earth not? Also found out that searching for a place to download wget is difficult, because most "How to use wget" documents include the words "wget" and "download"

I like Java.

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