Archive for September, 2002

Travel books

Sunday, September 29th, 2002

A recurring theme in travel books is the poor quality of words guidebooks decide are important to have in the back, I’d never really noticed it before, they just seemed to be “yes”, “no”, “hello” etc. all worth knowing, but then I bought the Lonely Planet South Africa which kindly had “Do you speak Afrikaans” as one of the phrases, which is I have to admit a phrase I’m never going to use (and not one I’d ever need to recognise someone else using as the result in either case is the same).


Monday, September 23rd, 2002

There’s been lots of foaf action over the weekend, with Mark Pilgrim and Ben Hammersley saying lots. Ben tried a foaf to vcard converter, I did one to with client-side script : foaf2vcard in javascript.

Why does windows make you stupid?

Thursday, September 19th, 2002

Lots of people dislike windows, there’s many very good reasons to do this, one of the commonest I hear is that you can’t have the focus following the mouse, e.g. by Hixie. What I don’t understand though, is that stick these people in front of linux with the same problem, a couple of minutes with the web, the config files etc. and they’d’ve changed the option which set the behaviour to how the want.

When they’re sitting in front of windows though, they shrug their shoulders and just moan, what is it about windows that make these people “stupid”? I’ve always used focus follows mouse on windows, all the versions do it, you either need to change the config files - yes this is the registry rather than a text file, but it’s still not rocket science or even CSS. Or if you need a GUI for it, get TweakUI, it’s on the windows install disk, or widely available on the web.

Or you can just use focus.reg to modify the registry.

Golden Shower

Monday, September 16th, 2002

Yesterday, I watched the fireworks at the Thames Festival they were really quite good, especially the golden shower out the back of a speed boat. Unfortunately the batteries in my camera were gone (pretty annoying as I’ve only shot about 20 films, with no flash). Before the fireworks were a parade and music for tugboats, which by the wonders of modern science (well a mobile phone with audio recording capabilities and some computer Telephony kit) I made a recording of. Listen to tugboat music.

Hampton Court

Friday, September 13th, 2002

Hampton court lit in coloured lights An old man walking along An old man sitting feeding the pigeons
Some recent photos of mine, the Hampton court one looks better in print the green of the trees are especially vivid. The two old men are from different countries, I reckon I could’ve guessed the countries from the photo’s - do people really all look different depending on where they’re from?


Friday, September 13th, 2002

THE public will learn that patents are artificial stimuli to improvident exertions; that they cheat people by promising what they cannot perform; that they rarely give security to really good inventions, and elevate into importance a number of trifles…no possible good can ever come of a Patent Law, however admirably it may be framed

That was from the Economist in 1851. It’s a shame we’re still elevating the trifles to importance in the software world. Economist comment on patents

Zeldman gone mad?

Monday, September 9th, 2002

An excerpt from Forward Compatibility: Designing & Building With Standards by Jeffrey Zeldman seems most odd, and I’m wondering if Zeldman has gone bonkers. (or if it really is Eric Meyer in disguise and he’s finally cracking up under the strain of multiple personalities.)

There are a number of things I find odd, the most being the first thing he lists as a strength of CSS/XHTML/DOM namely:

At last attain precise control over layout, placement, and typography in graphical desktop browsers.

Which doesn’t seem to acknowledge the fact that CSS etc. reduces the control developers have by explicitly encouraging user stylesheets, and different default stylesheets in browsers.

There’s also the odd definition of “backward compatibility”, that looks like a strawman to me, but it may just be the circles I move in, In any case I struggle to see how HTML 4.01 strict isn’t backwards compatible, it’s certainly more backwards compatible than XHTML…

Then we have: “Transition from HTML to XML …”, which again is odd, them being different things, and the slightly odd references to javascript, particularly missing the fact that we’ve had standard script implementations since IE4/NN4.

Hopefully the introduction is just taking all these things out of context and the book is useful, unfortunately I fear all too much that it will be advocating xhtml as text/html just like his own site does.

“Scum” isn’t as bad as “shite”

Monday, September 9th, 2002

So Newcastle publicans can’t have a scarf with shite on because it might cause offense, but you can call the majority of the population scum without a problem, get this man in court - well don’t actually, don’t have any of them anywhere near a court, but if a scarf with shite in a pub is offensive being called scum on the BBC definately is.

xhtml as text/html harmful

Monday, September 9th, 2002

Hixie has a nice article on xhtml as text/html considered harmful - hopefully xhtml 1.0 (and 1.1 for that matter) will soon die out.


Friday, September 6th, 2002

RDFIG pointed me at some Airport data, this let me turn it into RDF and then plot routes in SVG, e.g. my proposed Cricket World Cup Flights or all the flights I could remember I’ve done recently.

I also plotted a map of all the airports in the USA, but that took 40minutes on a P4, so not too useful, but I created a PNG of US airports of it.