Archive for May, 2005

Making generic XML work

Tuesday, May 31st, 2005

So I just read Anne’s Why generic XML on the web is a bad idea, and got an idea. Suppose there were a way, probably using RDF or something, map certain elements in it to well-accepted elements in another namespace?

It would work as follows

  1. I have a document, which, for whatever reason, can’t be appropriately expressed in any well-accepted XML language (XHTML, MathML, ChemML, OpenDocument, whatever).
  2. I give this document appropriate semantics and create a namespace for those semantics, and a description of them at that namespace.
  3. Somewhere in the namespace’s URI I include a bit of information (again, probably using RDF or something else I don’t understand) that says, for example, <angry> is a subset of <xhtml:em> where xhtml is in the standard XHTML namespace.
  4. A search engine comes along and sees your document. While it can’t fully understand your document, and there may even be parts of it it can’t understand at all, it can still understand bits and pieces of it, and can do whatever it does appropriately.

Whadya think?

Need help on a markup problem

Tuesday, May 31st, 2005

On one of my pages there is an image. I need help deciding how it should be marked up—or rather, where it should be in the source. <img> isn’t valid in the body directly, so I have a few choices:

  • Contain it in the previous paragraph (how it is currently)
  • Leave it outside the paragraph, which is invalid, but more semantically correct (I think?)
  • Put a <div>, which would be valid and semantically correct but redundant (or would it be? does having the div there mean the existance of something that shouldn’t be there?)
  • Use <object> instead, which would be semantically correct and valid, but I’d have to look up the syntax for

So which should I chose?

Edit: Eep, forgot to close my <a> tag… actually, forgot to even give it content. Fixed now.

Why I love the web developer toolbar

Tuesday, May 31st, 2005

I absolutely love the Web Developer Toolbar. One reason, that I ran into today, is that if I need to find out if a particular piece of (x)html is valid I only need to type data:text/html,<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" ""><html><head><title></title></head><body><p>sometext</p><img src=''/><p>moretext</p></body></html> and with two clicks of the mouse I can send it to the w3c validator. (The validator doesn’t have a form upload, so otherwise I’d have to write it, save it, and go through the upload steps on the site.) And since I have said data: url template bookmarked, it’s a total of 3 clicks and writing a minimal testcase for what I want to know–much easier than reading through the specs.

Note that the w3c validator does have bugs, so this shouldn’t be used for anything complicated or esoteric. Just the basics.

XTech (I wasn’t there)

Sunday, May 29th, 2005

I keep reading about XTech on people’s blogs. I really wish I could have gone (being 17 has its problems). Maybe next year, when I’m not busy… anyone know how much it cost including travel from US?

Queueing the stop button

Saturday, May 28th, 2005

So one thing I’ve noticed with amaroK/Rhythmbox is that I often (more than I would expect myself to) want to play only one song, or one short group of songs. Queueing functionality should be great for this—I could queue the songs I want to play, and then end the queue with a “stop” command. In fact, normally one queues songs in amaroK (Rhythmbox doesn’t have queueing) by right clicking on them and selecting “queue” from the context menu, so simply adding the same menu item to the stop button would almost work really well: it would be simple, non-intrusive, intuitive… the only problem is that it really wouldn’t be discoverable at all. Can anyone think of a way to make it more discoverable (or something else that works better)? Or is that actually good enough for that kind of feature?

Wine bug 3000

Thursday, May 26th, 2005

Hey, cool, I just submitted Wine bug 3000.

(And it has nothing to do with Wine itself, it’s a bug in the stylesheets they use on the web site. How appropriate for me!)

Old programs…

Monday, May 23rd, 2005

So I was just downstairs using the other computer and I looked over and saw the the old installation disks for KidPix (a drawing program aimed at young kids). And I thought to myself

Software came on floppies??!

Extension request

Sunday, May 22nd, 2005

I’d like an extension that can uncompress various types of compressed files (zip, gz, tgz, etc.) and let me view the contents (assuming they’re viewable) in the browser. I ran into this today when I wanted to look at a wallpaper that someone had (stupidly) put in a zip file, butI’ve also realized it would be useful in bugzilla, for when people attach a log zipped.

I’d like it to work so it looks to me like the zip file is a folder, and it just showes me the file listing, from where I can choose what file to view. It would be nice if it could interpret relative uris inside itself, so, for example, could include transparently to me. Also, and quite importantly, it should have a big, easy-to-click button to let me save it if that’s what I really wanted, and it should not have to re-download it.

Seatbelts music, YAY!

Saturday, May 14th, 2005

A week or so ago I bought all the albums by The Seatbelts off of eBay. With shipping/etc. the total came to ~$62, which is an awesome deal. The first group (6 of them, one of which was a re-release of one on one disc and a compilation of two others on the second disc, so actually 8) came on Tuseday? Wednesday? and the other group (CD-Box, which has 4 CDs and a little booklet that I can’t read because it’s mostly in Japanese) came on Thursday. So I’ve ripped all except CD-Box (gotta finish that up soon…) to my computer, and am listening to them as high quality .oggs now instead of pirated .mp3s.*

To go along with it, I got a new music player. XMMS has served me well for a long time, but I’ve really missed the ability to have playlists automatically generated by band/album/how much I like the song/etc. It also has a really annoying minimization problem. So now I’ve tried Rhythmbox and amaroK and I like both, and I think I’ll stay with amaroK. They both need a lot of work, neither of them is as good as they could be, but they’re more what I need than XMMS.

* That’s the main reason I don’t pirate much music. You can never get the format you want, and even when you do the metadata is in a billion different formats and you have to fix it yourself. In this case, though, they’re good enough that I had ~15-20 anyway. Oh, yeah–Take that, RIAA! Yet another testimonial of someone first getting pirated music to try it out (my friend told me about them), and then buying it! Not that this music was from the RIAA, I’d never actually support them.