Eclipse and HTML

May 27th, 2003

Matthew, SolarEclipse is a plugin package for marking up XML, CSS and JSP that I find quite useful. It doesn't do much more than syntax coloring, but that makes things readable. And I'm sure you can use the JSP plugin for editing your HTML.


May 27th, 2003

I felt a little low on energy today. I ended up doing some ego-surfing. Among a lot of mails I hardly remember, I bumped into this link: Index of /dist/avalon/excalibur/v4.0b4
Fixed race condition brought to my attention by Tom Klaasen. His excellent analysis of the problem enabled me to not only fix the race condition but also increase the efficiency of the pool in some cases by 200%[BL]
Wow. I didn't even know Berin told something like that about me. Kinda makes my day a bit better.


May 25th, 2003

As promised, I've used XSL to transform my own blogroll format into OPML. This is the stylesheet, and here is the resulting OPML file. Not exactly rocket science, but a nice finger exercise to refresh my XSL knowledge a bit.

Some thoughts though: I don't understand why RSS readers like to export their directory as OPML. OPML is some weird mix of content and presentation (it even gives the possibility to define window positions), but has nothing to do with RSS feeds. The 'standard' is even not applied, since I couldn't find a spec of how the link to the HTML version and to the RSS version of a blog should be specified. Anyway, I derived my OPML 'format' from Steven's and Bertrand's XSLs, and added the 'author' attribute (since I put it in my 'title' attribute, you know, that cool little tooltip that appears when hovering a link).

Anyway, I also promised to develop a GUI in Jython, but since you need only one line to execute an XSL from the command line, this seems a bit overkill. Maybe I'll do it anyway, just for the fun of it.

Learnt young is done old

May 25th, 2003

So you can't start teaching them soon enough!

Re: Java vs XSL

May 24th, 2003

From a not entirely unexpected corner: Outer Web Thought Log: Let's see how many lines Tom needs. Nice. Let's make one thing clear though: I didn't say one needs Java for converting XML, I said I would be faster in Java. Which actually made me think: I would do anything faster in Java. There are even things that I'm pretty sure that are doable in shell script, that I like to write in Java. Just because it's what I do and breathe day in day out. Time to broaden my language vision. Next project: create MyBlogrollFormat2Opml.xsl. If time left, create a GUI for that in Jython. That'll teach me.

What brings me to the following: anybody knows where to find the OPML specs? A quick Google only delivers some 'yeah, this is in OPML, I'm cool' links.

XSL vs Java

May 23rd, 2003

In this tension, I'm apparently on the Java side. I was fed up with constantly having to edit, re-edit and update my feed reader and my blogroll. So I decided to consolidate everything in one XML file, and use some XSLT to get the right format for the right files. After 2.3 seconds of trying this, I noticed that I didn't know where to start. I'm still not used to think in XSLT, and it was for personal use only, so I did everything in Java. Quick. Powerful. Elegant.

At least for me. I guess a real XSL-er could do the same quick, powerful, elegant stuff in XSL. Show me that you are one ;-)

Http Headers

May 23rd, 2003

No more telnet 80: Listening to the web. Impressive.
... with this toy.
Belgian Antwerp
I probably should stop now, before there are too much of these on my page.

Quote of the day: Cocoon

May 20th, 2003

Quote of the day. I was talking to a collegue of mine:
Me: I used to work a lot with Cocoon. It is lots of fun to work with.
He (amazed): You worked with it a lot, and you still think it's fun?
Yep. I didn't realize this mismatch until somebody else told me, but this is how it is. Most frameworks/packages/.... aren't fun anymore once you get your hands dirty with it. Cocoon is. And that's why we love it.

Blog pollution

May 19th, 2003

Wow. Now I know what they mean with "Blog pollution". Everybody who wants to know something about the elections in Belgium yesterday, sees this blog now. Hi world!

For clarity: this was not my intention.

It Works

May 16th, 2003

... if you replace "<" with "Open the CD player from within IE. Nice. Anybody knows a script to let IE pour the coffee?

Jakarta Commons Codec

May 13th, 2003

During lunch, I was talking with Koen about his successful Debian installation, which I still find quite impressive for somebody who never has even seen Linux until last week, and mentioned the cool talk utility that comes with it. And now I open Erik's Weblog, and see something about Jakarta Commons Codec. I'm not sure if I understand it, but is this some way to have the computer speak? Now that is stuff that I like to play with... Anybody happens to know some application that uses this? Or should I dig into the difference between Metaphone and Soundex myself? Comments as "you stupid woman, don't you see this has nothing to do with sound" are welcome, too.

BTW, Erik, The Matrix Reloaded opens in Belgium on a Thursday, too. It already struck me as odd...


May 12th, 2003

My HEP server has started to drop items that I still didn't have a chance to read up on (it apparently does this after 14 days or so). So in an attempt to keep my valuable links, my to-read and to-steal-from list:

Now this entry gets aggregated into HEP again, and that will give me another 14 days to find some time...

The term infoglut has been stolen from He Who Answers All Your Questions With An URL.


May 12th, 2003

Bertrand (the proud new father of 6 puppies) writes about LogFactor5. Wow. That looks really impressive. Thanks for the link, Bertrand!


May 8th, 2003

If you know a bit French: Chips et sa descendance - sur le web, rien que pour vous!. Bertrand has setup a blog about puppy-boom. I like this quote already:
Mais c'est pas vrai, on dirait un projet informatique...chaque jour on se dit "c'est pour aujourd'hui", mais toujours rien...


May 8th, 2003

I seem to be in a UI mood these days. If you're anything like me, you probably won't have noticed because you read this in an RSS reader, but I've changed the look of the blog a bit. Basically, I took the Gettysburg template from MT, and tweaked it a bit. And I've replaced my badges via these links. Todo: remove the search box (what's that doing there? I usually search sites with Google and the parameter.), get rid of the "recent entries" (these are showing anyway), and get the right div a bit more narrow. Add a blogroll (shame on me to not have this yet. I'm now in the painfully slow process of extracting everything from my HEP account, which has to be done manually).

And for work, I just had a chance to play with CSS, and more specifically these ideas. Fun stuff. I wasn't even aware that CSS had that many possiblities. Shiny and bright, and visible. Well, back to the bowels of back-end DAO and VO now...

input type crash

May 6th, 2003

Unbelievable. bchoi: Crash Microsoft Browsers with 5 lines of HTML. It works. I just tried it. Unbelievable.

Web Unit testing

May 5th, 2003

This looks interesting: jWebUnit: a unit testing framework on top of HTTPUnit. I've always found HTTPUnit a bit too verbose to use, and jWebUnit seems to handle that. Thanks, Koz.

Re: Composing Strings

May 3rd, 2003

I got a nice reaction on Composing Strings, from somebody who apparently wants to remain anonymous:

StringBuffer sb = new StringBuffer();
for (Iterator it = list.iterator(); it.hasNext(); sb.append(it.hasNext()?"and":"")) {
This answers all the criteria of the problem. Alas, readability wasn't one of them (as noted by himself, BTW).

So does atog's solution, which is more readable, but I still feel it as a waste of energy to add things, and then take them away again. Maybe I'm just being stubborn on this.

And no, Java has no String.join() operation as one kind soul suggested in the comments. Looks like something for Yet Another Util Package.

Web usability

May 2nd, 2003

Seven tricks that Web users don't know. Interesting article. I especially liked the bio at the bottom of the page: "Upon discovering users,...": I'm afraid many of us still haven't reached that phase.

Via John via Erik.


May 2nd, 2003

Various [insert blog title here]:
  • When Mark rants, it's funny. Again, the Circle of knowledge chimes in (as indicated by Tim's Im amazed that this obvious premise seemily went over the heads of all the intelligent people that commented on your tabs.)
  • Techno Weenie talks about missing RSS updates during the day. That's the reason I'm still using HEP as a messaging server (kindly provided). Although it's hard to kill subscriptions (I'm still receiving Slashdot updates, while I deleted that feed 2 weeks ago, when they started acting "tough" about "too frequent updates"), it does make sure that I don't have to worry about having missed anything after 2 days of zero keyboard time.
  • Steven detects the be-honest vs. get-the-contract dilemma. This is a problem. But the good (ahem) news is: this doesn't only affect software business. You can see it everywhere. People tend to think short-term when comparing products. When did you last choose the more expensive option between two products that seemed equal to you? You can buy a plant in a pot at various prices too, but some will have enough menure in the pot for another year, others for 2 days. How will you tell the difference? Now I know it's not good behaviour to answer a rethorical question, but still: Only if the expensive-plant-vendor steps to you, and tells you the difference. That's of course what Steven is doing, and he's totally right about it. However, the client must (A) take the time to listen, (B) understand what "menure" is, and what it does to a plant, and (C) trust and believe the vendor. A hard threesome in a world where there are cheap-plant-vendors.
  • Matt validates where he likes. I can only hope that he has never to switch DB vendors (he probably won't, but still), and that he doesn't have to unit test his code (euh... is that "hope"?), or otherwise needs a non-web interface to his code (batch processing? command line processing?).

Query result chunking

May 1st, 2003

I've been wondering about this for quite some time, in various projects in the past, but I never got to actually googling for it. Now by accident during surfing: How to chunk query results (on various DBMSs). Just putting the link here for later retrieval, actually.

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