Older blog entries for Uche (starting at number 22)

Techie stuff

It's been a busy few weeks since my last diary entry. Several new articles by me have appeared, including The Past, Present and Future of Web Services, part 2, in which I focus on 2002 and the future. Also appearing:

Also, I found where my XML.com articles are conventiently listed

Jeremy and I were doing some work today to make 4Suite CVS write-accessible to approved non-Fourthought developers. Unfortunately, Jeremy ended up doing just about all the work.

And all the stars are converging for me to do something to kick-start an XPath-NG project. I guess I'll have to request a few more hours a day from Chronos.

Artsie stuff

I've rented several good movies lately. First of all, Lagaan is great. The good-guy/bad-guy play is very cartoonish and the story-telling is just serviceable, but who needs masterly story telling when you have so much energy bouncing off the screen. This one is pure, saccharin e fun. Don't miss it. I followed the Bollywood theme through to My Monsoon Wedding which is more nuanced, if less engaging. It's still much better than anything Hollywood has put out lately, and I highly recommend it. Finally, I saw El Espinazo del Diablo (The Devil's Backbone) today. Oooh. I love living at the start of the 21st century. This movie feels like the very best of Hong Kong, Hollywood and Mexican filmmaking, all rolled into one of the most tightly spun ghost stories you've read or watched. I know I just love this movie, but as I think of it analytically, the discipline of the storytelling, acting and cinematography blows me away. Every aspect of it: every scene, every inflection, even the very music chosen by the characters has a solid place in immersing you in the story. I was also proud of how much of it I understood without needing subtitles. :-)

As for music, I finally got the new Orishas CD, Emigrante. I almost bought this in Barcelona in May and decided it was too expensive there. I regretted my thriftiness as soon as I got back to Colorado and couldn't find it anywhere. Then one day last week I'm browsing the Latin section at Best Buy and see about 20 copies. Anyway, as if anyone could doubt it, it rocks hard. These boys are bad. If Castro ever falls over, Cuba would do well to install Orishas as the triumvirate rulers. It's so well written, so well produced, just so well felt. Absolute Latin Hip Hop masterpiece. The first time I listened to it I re-played La vida pasa about six times. Orishas llego!

I also got the Heather Headley CD, the latest from Jurassic Five and India Arie, and the Brown Sugar soundtrack. It was a lucky batch, I guess, all are very good, and worth more than my cursory mention. Now I've gotta just make sure I didn't miss the new releases from The Roots, Cody Chestnut and Ms. Dynamite.

We finally released 4Suite 0.12.0a3 today. Woohoo! It will be a short hop to beta1.

Also, the response to my most recent article The Past, Present and Future of Web Services, part 1, has been tremendous. Very gratifying.

I have a few new articles out:

4Suite is getting close to the next alpha, and thus first 0.12.0 beta. Squashed a nasty tail recursion bug today and incorporated XVIF 0.2.0. Looks like one bug left, then release.

I followed a usenet post to the Mondo backup/restore program for Linux. I'm looking for a program that can backup to ISO images for easy use of cheap CD-Rs. I plan to report on my impressions of Mondo. I do like that it's simple, and unlike Amanda and co, you don't have to do a big song and dance before getting to the actual backup.

The first installment of my new Python/XML column has appeared on xml.com. The second is due out in 2 weeks, then monthly from there.

I also have 2 new tips that were publised in IBM developerWorks XML zone: Localization within a document format and Using fixed attributes in XML vocabularies.

I got in my last feature for 4Suite. I'll be focusing with the other developers on getting a beta out (finally).

14 Sep 2002 (updated 14 Sep 2002 at 07:42 UTC) »

Why do the responses to September 11th seem to cluster inexorably in the extremes? On one hand are those who like to say: "America brought this all on themselves with their foreign policy". On the other hand are the flag-waving jingoistic absolutists who have substituted patriotism for reason and fair-mindedness. I dislike a lot of American foreign policy, especially under our current, benighted adminsitration. But I cannot think of any significant power at any point in history whose overall interaction with the rest of the world has been as benign. On the other hand, it is silly for us to go on as if, in this very dangerous world we inhabit, we should be invulnerable from the attacks of those who claim we have injured them. Americans in the main seem to have responded to 9/11 with a very thoughtless insistence on wanting to appear the world's greatest victims as well as the world's greatest power.

Meanwhile Ayatollah Ashcroft and company continue to turn the U.S. into a police state. The F.B.I. have been "interviewing" people for less than what I've written here. It's nice to see some backbone in the judiciary against the Bush administrations' contempt for civil rights. It is especially nice to see the families of the September 11th victims using their moral high ground to shame the Bush administration.

As for Saddam Hussein. Id's be gleeful if we could we take that bastard out for Halabja and drop all this pretense of weapons of mass destruction? Iraq is no threat to us. But if Milosevic is in court, how can I find my way to tolerating a dictatorship whose crimes against humanity dwarf those of the Serb elite during the Balkan wars? Of course it's all not that simple, but this is how I feel. Nevertheless, the jinking way Bush and co are going about the Iraq issue just makes it look like a florid case of "wag the dog".

On the technical front, I added catalog support to 4Suite and preliminary streaming XPointer support.

Check out the forms-based ,online XSLT demo using 4Suite and the CherryPy app server. Nifty

I've also added a Python section to my home page.

Been ages since I've posted a diary. I need to write an IRC interface to this thing.

Well, big news since the last time is that I have another son now: Jideobi. Warning: there are many picture thumbnails on that page.

My article on APache 2.0 API: A kinder, gentler, more useful Apache API is out.

I've made many additions and aesthetic updates to my Akara pages for Python/XML and Advanced 4Suite.

We're also making a lot of improvements and additions to 4Suite in prep for upcoming releases. One new feature I'm particularly pumped about is RELAX NG support through Eric van der Vlists's XVIF.

Looks as if there might be some link between 4Suite and Zope again. Ariel Partners released XMLTransform, which allows XSLT to operate on any Zope objects with an XML representation. Neat.

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.

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