Older blog entries for Uche (starting at number 16)

1 Aug 2002 (updated 1 Aug 2002 at 07:13 UTC) »

Been too busy to update this page lately. First new articles:

Today I wrote some extensive docs on extension functions, extension elements and the use of these in the 4Suite repository.

First of all, thanks to all those who responded so kindly to my verse response to Oriana Fallaci. That encourages me to put some of my other work on the Web site, though I'll say most of my verse is not on political topics. I did also find an article, A is for Arabs, on Salon.com responding to Fallaci by giving an alphabetical list of things for which we can thank the Saracens. I really like that the responses to her hate-mongering are creative rather than just return fire of vitriol.

tromey: thanks for the kind words on the piece, and I do remember you from the Boulder Creek festival. Too bad it takes the diary pages of Advo for us to meet again 8-).

Code: I've been working like a madman to get 4XSLT faster and less buggy, focusing on the Docbook stylesheet. I've had some truly astonishing results. I expect 4Suite users will be happy, and I encourage others to give it a whirl. CVS version, for now, though a release is planned for Friday. I also added updated 4Suite's version of expat to 1.95.2, which means PyXML will no longer be needed just for DTD validation.

My Dell 8100 laptop has become very flaky, and Dell's tech support has quite pissed me off. I know not to tell tech support folks I run Linux, but I can believe even the most oblique mentioning of this is enough to turn off the acknowledment of vendor error. Anyway, the upshot of this is that I'm turning the laptop into an idiot savant terminal, with all my work moving to my big deasktop, on which I was dabbling with Debian. So I guess I've been converted to Debian by the rude push of fate. Red Hat has been my main OS for 6 years. Sorry tromey :-(

Life: Just to show how fatherhood changes you, I just went to see a live showing of Blues Clues with Osita, my 2 year old. I actually enjoyed it (mostly because he was enjoying it). Scary. I can't even stomach pop opera like Cats and Phantom, yet there I go watching dancing cats and bars of soap.

I followed a mention in The Economist to Oriana Fallaci's La rabbia el'orgoglio, which moved me to write verse for the first time in a long while, and to post So Who is Afraid of Oriana Fallaci?.

The Eclectic Web Log has a neat summary of the recent thread in which I and others rehash our opposition to WXS, XQuery, and all the other manifestation of "object XML" causing unwarranted complexity.

I wrapped up a series of significant speed-ups to the Docbook and general key processing of 4Suite. I'm currently trying to hack at my 4Suite and PyXML backlog.

6 Jul 2002 (updated 6 Jul 2002 at 06:31 UTC) »

The latest installment of my column with Mike Olson on Python and Web services, emerged recently. This one covers Rich Salz's ZSI.

I forgot to mention, when announcing part 3 of our 4Suite tutorial series, that there is also part 1 (DOM) and part 2 (XPath/XSLT).

Righted the RDF Inference site, which had fallen over.

Made numerous updates and fixes to the 4Suite site with help from Roxane and Mike Brown.

Yesterday I fired off a rather roguish broadside against the folks who want to turn XML into the next OO wonder. Very interesting and unexpected range of response, much of it private. Sorry about the formatting: the OASIS archiver seems to ignore line breaks from EXMH.

Also found that the link for my 3rd Python/XPCOM article changed, breaking some links. See also part 1 and part 2

3 Jul 2002 (updated 3 Jul 2002 at 14:31 UTC) »

IBM dW posted Chime's and my tutorial: Python and XML development using 4Suite, Part 3: 4RDF. Requires free registration, but I think it's worth it :-)

In this third tutorial in a series on 4Suite, learn to use the 4RDF tool set and the various RDF facilities available with Python.

The OMG now links to my XML Europe presentation in their "Presentations and Papers" listing for MDA.

Eric's (vdv) recent article: Format for printing Cataloging XML Vocabularies shows the very interesting method and results of his recent project crawling Web sites to see what sorts of XML he found. He used 4Suite's RDF features and Versa query in it, and gives a small example of a Versa query in the article.

I put a lot of work into 4Suite docs today, partly prompted by my helping Evan Lenz get set up on 4Suite. I reorganized the 4Suite section of my home page to host these updated documents: install guides for CVS users, Windows and UNIX as well as the Quick start guide.

I added full-text search to my Python/XML and 4Suite "Akara" sites (my document collation projects). As I predicted, it took less than an hour.

Dave Carlson pointed me to his article: Modeling XML Applications. I like his thinking in general, though I do have some specific qualms. For one thing, I don't think XML schemata are really solid information modeling bases for the model in the MDA. They're text tree modeling systems, with primitive type inferencing, and we need something more powerful. I, of course, advocate RDF, but even Topic Maps are more suitable. I notice that Dave credits WXS for being the message content model system built into SOAP, but it's actually not WXS but a specialized SOAP serialization, which has some superficial similarity to WXS but is fundamentally quite different.

27 Jun 2002 (updated 27 Jun 2002 at 06:19 UTC) »

All business today, pretty much, except for a break to see The Bourne Identity. I highly recommend it, especially for old-school Robert Ludlum fans. That is, for people, like me, who think Tom Clancy basically writes cowboys and injuns books and that John le Carré can't seem to put down the foie gras. The film actually does rather pull it off: I didn't expect even the most virtuoso film making to approach the richness and nuance of the book. While I'm on film, I recently went to see Minority Report. I should have known anything with Tom Cruise in it would be too slick to do justice to Philip K Dick (after all, look what they did to Abre los Ojos).

26 Jun 2002 (updated 26 Jun 2002 at 11:48 UTC) »

I contributed Versa examples to RDF Query and Rule languages Use Cases and Examples survey, announced just today, though only the first 3 examples I posted seem to have shown up so far. I think this site could be a good idea with some tweaks (especially giving better definitions of the RDF models being queried).

My Recipe: Merging XBEL Bookmark files has appeared in the Python Cookbook, though the note at the end with sample XBEL files for merging seems to have been corrupted in production. See the comment I added which addresses this.

Craeg Strong pointed me to Metacrap: Putting the torch to seven straw-men of the meta-utopia. It's a good hazing for folks in semantic/intelligent Web communities. Unfortunate that the author chooses the term "straw men" and thus makes it all too easy for detractors to knock him off the log, but I think some of these are points I've been trying to make for a while now. Sometimes an off-hand irreverend statement is worth loads of earnest advocacy. Points 2.1, 2.2 and 2.3 are the motivations of my article The Languages of the Semantic Web. Point 2.4, I think, is a dud: Any Intelligent Web must be a marketplace of ideas. Stupid people will simply lose, just as they do in today's Web. I've put points 2.5 and 2.7 into practice in projects involving ontologies. My motto in these has been: support diversity and disagreement, or fail. I didn't really follow point 2.6.

Speaking of my Sem Web article, looks like it got very kind words in a recent SearchDay issue.

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