Older blog entries for Uche (starting at number 26)

I really have to figure out a way to update this diary more often.

Anyway, much has been happening lately. First of all, new articles:

I now moderate a Thinking XML forum on IBM dW, covering all the topics relevant to the column itself, though discussion is free to range beyond the very articles.

I've been working on expanding my Akara framework for 4Suite into a full system with elements of blog and Wiki. I'm also working on an XPath NG core spec, though the work has slowed down a bit. For more on XPath NG, see my blog thereupon.

The Open Office XML Format TC was kicked off. I joined it because of my interest in aggregating and processing front office tool saved file formats, and my next Thinking XML column is on this idea framed around a brief look at the OpenOffice word processor file format.

Life. Well I did make it to the Breck superpipe on a bone cold day where the vert was so icy I didn't spend much time in it for fear of breaking my neck. Oh well, better luck in 2003. It was a very nice family Christmas, and I hope I'll be able to get back to productive work. Mom's off to Nigeria for a few weeks. I hope she'll get to enjoy the fruits of the New Yam. It seems I'll be expected to go back next year for my coming-of-age ceremony. Fancy that after having two kids.

22 Nov 2002 (updated 22 Nov 2002 at 07:15 UTC) »

New articles out: Debug XSLT on the fly and RSS for Python. Mike Olson and I are also hosting a Python Web Services Developer forum on IBM dW. Come share your thoughts.

I finally got around to setting up an XPath NG mailing list. If you have any ideas on what direction XPath should take, please join us. It's a community effort, and theer are some heavy hitting players and deep discussions already.to be found there. I also finally got around to setting up ht://Dig to make archives on lists.fourthought.com searchable.

async: Doing the consulting/product development thing is very hard. I won't sugarcoat it at all. It is not a sensible path to riches, and can be a steep path to financial hardship, but the potential rewards, not least of which is a sense of independent accomplishment, are very large. One important factor is to gauge your temperament and that of those you interact with often. You'll need a lot of patience, you'll need to thrust yourself into heavy interaction with a broad array of people (which is how you get and keep clients). You will need to often make cliffhanger decisions based on intuition and instinct, and you will often have to face the consequences of flunking some of these tests. It is certainly not for every taste. One way to test the waters is to chart out all the local techie and techie/business user groups in your area, and attend them all for a month. Talk to as many people as you can. Tell them you're a consultant and what your expertise is. Follow up where there is interest. Best case: you gain a client and thus start off on a positive foot. Worst case, you wind up with a harsh education of the challenges you'll continue to face as an independent. However you decide, bon chance.


I'm hoping the Breckenridge superpipe opens this weekend. As great as the early season powder has been, it's not an unreasonable hope. And I actually paid to get my board tuned this year, so watch out. Meanwhile, I've pretty much been listening constantly to Talib Kweli's latest joint. Strange not to hear Hi Tek beats, but the album's seriously rock-rockin it, nevertheless. And I'm an addict of the OkayPlayer Web site. Looks like the new Harlem renaissance is happening in Philly. Ah. The things that keep me fit to code.

Techie stuff

My latest Python/XML article is out: Proper XML Output in Python. I think this one is applicable beyond the Python community. There is a lot of bad XML being generated out there.

Fourthought won, as a subcontractor, a bid to develop a Web publishing system for the Colorado Secretary of State's legal codes. The project is based on 4Suite, and we are going to be using it as the vehicle for pushing 4Suite through to 1.0 status. It's been a giddy week.

Silly stuff

OK. This 419 SPAM letter from "PRNCSS. L ORGANA" just about had me rolling down the stairs laughing.

Artsy stuff

I bought the new Ms. Jade, Girl, Interrupted. It's straight up banging. I almost drove the car into the ditch when "Jade's the Champ" came on. It's everything it was hyped up to be. Jazzyfatnastees' new joint Tortoise and Hare is just sublime. They come close to surpassing their superb first album. Thirstin' Howl's Skilligan's Island is just as sick and hilarious as I like it. The High and Mighty come a bit less impressively with their new album Air Force 1, but it's OK. For some reason, they didn't include the single with Apani B Fly, "Josie". That was a mistake. Can't wait for the new Common, Roots, Talib Kweli and Cody Chestnutt albums. to come out.

On a very sad note, I just learned about the art show The Gonzagas in Mantua in Mantua, and I'm just crushed. It would have been the experience of a lifetime, and if there were any way I could make a trip to Italy in the next month before it closed, I would be there. But it hardly seems possible. What a terrible shame.

I now have a Weblog on O'Reilly network. I'll continue to use this diary, of course. For one thing, not everything I have to say is pertinent to ORN, obviously.

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.

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