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Planet XML

Angle brackets are a way of life

Published: 2012-01-19T14:11:31.78Z


Mon intervention lors de l’inauguration du Retour à la Terre Rive Gauche


En attendant la publication des photos et vidéos sur le site du Retour à la Terre , voici le texte que j’avais préparé pour mon intervention lors de l’inauguration officielle du magasin de la Rive Gauche le 18 janvier. Catherine est inquiète parce qu’elle ne sait pas ce que je veux vous dire ce soir… Elle me connaît pourtant bien puisque cela fait plus de trente ans que nous vivons ensemble ! Nous avons la chance d’avoir étudié dans une grande école (l’École Centrale) où nous nous sommes rencontrés mais avons toujours eu du mal à nous intégrer au monde des ...

Yak shaving


If your brain works the way mine does, you often find yourself doing a variety of related but not necessary tasks along the way to fulfilling a larger goal. For some reason, the history of which I’m not entirely sure, this is called “yak shaving.” Some of my finest work has been done that way, so I’m happy to embrace it, even if I do add hours to the job at hand. This week’s yak shaving has neared epic proportions, but proved eminently satisfying. I’ve been working on collecting together an overview of big data products. It’s early days yet ...

HttpURLConnection’s Dark Secrets


If you’re programming in the Java language and want to talk to a Web server, there are several libraries you can choose from. HttpURLConnection is one popular choice, and for Android programming, the engineering team has now officially suggested that you use it where possible. Since there are irritating orthographical and Web-Architecture issues with the name “HttpURLConnection”, let’s just say HUC. HUC is reasonably well documented, if by “reasonably well” you mean “omits any discussion of the relationship between method calls and underlying HTTP traffic”. Let me fill that in. Who knows, maybe some JavaDocs maintainer somewhere will feel inspired ...

XMLHttpRequest Level 2 Draft Published


The Web Applications Working Group has published a Working Draft of XMLHttpRequest Level 2 . The XMLHttpRequest specification defines an API that provides scripted client functionality for transferring data between a client and a server. Learn more about the Rich Web Client Activity .

Not Piracy


Sites all over the Internet are going dark to show that they object to legislation currently before the US Congress. I’m not American but these words are coming at you from a server in LA, so I guess I can weigh in. I’ll limit my discussion to one word, “Piracy”; what the “P” stands for in SOPA. Piracy is when people use violence, or the threat of it, to transfer your possessions to themselves (after which you no longer have them), place you in captivity in pursuit of a ransom, and in many cases inflict death on you as a ...

Workshop Report: Linked Enterprise Data Workshop


W3C today published the final report of the Linked Enterprise Data Workshop , hosted by W3C on the 6-7 December in Cambridge, MA, USA. This workshop provided a way for the community to meet and discuss some of the challenges when deploying application relying on the principles of Linked Data . The presentations covered many different topics, ranging from the benefits a set of additional conventions would bring to specific technical issues such as the challenges of dealing with the reality that URLs do change sometimes, as well as the need for a more robust security model, and specific gaps ...

W3C Invites Implementations of Navigation Timing


The Web Performance Working Group invites implementation of the Candidate Recommendation of Navigation Timing . User latency is an important quality benchmark for Web Applications. While JavaScript-based mechanisms can provide comprehensive instrumentation for user latency measurements within an application, in many cases, they are unable to provide a complete end-to-end latency picture. To address the need for complete information on user experience, this document introduces the PerformanceTiming interfaces. This interface allows JavaScript mechanisms to provide complete client-side latency measurements within applications. Learn more about the Rich Web Client Activity .

Last Call: CSS Basic User Interface Module Level 3 (CSS3 UI)


The Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) Working Group has published a Last Call Working Draft of CSS Basic User Interface Module Level 3 (CSS3 UI) . The Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is a language for describing the rendering of HTML and XML documents on screen, on paper, in speech, etc. It uses various selectors, properties and values to style basic user interface elements in a document. This specification describes those user interface related selectors, properties and values that are proposed for CSS level 3 to style HTML and XML (including XHTML and XForms). It includes and extends user interface related features ...

Report: Social Business - Next Steps after the Jam


W3C today published the final report of the Social Business Jam . The report authors recommended starting a W3C Social Business Community Group to evolve social standards around customer-driven use-cases. Participants in the the event, which took place last November using IBM's Collaboration Jam platform, explored how standards around social networking, such as those developed by the Federated Social Web XG , could lead to increased innovation throughout the business cycle. Over 1000 participants discussed topics such as identity management, mobile, attention, business processes, integration, and metrics. W3C invites people to join the Social Business Community Group .

Goodbye; see you elsewhere


With BlogHarbor closing, I've transferred all blog posts to a new location at I haven't posted here for a while because I had no idea whether the articles would survive; but I will now resume writing at the new location. Comments didn't transfer automatically, unfortunately, so some of your gems will have been lost. I've transferred some "by hand" but it was too laborious to do it for everything. If anyone wants advice on mioving from BlogHarbor to MovableType: this is how I did it. Standard export from BlogHarbor; custom XSLT stylesheet to convert into WordPress WXR format (a ...

The short-form week of 9–15 Jan 2012


The week in review, 140 characters at a time.

Grey and Red


The grey is one of Vancouver’s rare snowy evenings. The red is the new illuminated circumference of BC Place, our venue for football and big-name rockers and the Home/Boat show. Its new look, with illumination and slanted retaining piers, has definitely added to the visual appeal downtown. Photogeeks may have already noticed that part of the grey is grey-as-in-grain, the result of pushing the Canon S90 to ISO1600, which is arguably outside the reach of its design goals. But in this case it degraded gracefully.

The ultimate breakfast smoothie


I’ve used this same recipe for three things: weight loss, after-exercise protein, and sore-teeth liquid diet. It’s great. 1 cup 2% milk 1 cup Dannon Fit & Light vanilla yogurt 1 scoop Syntha-6 protein powder (banana is great) Mix. This yields 450 calories with a whopping 39g of protein, 48g of carb (but only 30g of that simple sugars), 11g of fat, and 5g of fiber. You could live off 3 or 4 of these a day. (and I have)

Five iOS keyboard tips you probably didn’t know


Check out these tips . The article talks about iPad, but they work on iPhone too, even an old 3G. One one hand, it shows the intense amount of careful thought Apple puts into the user experience. But on the other hand, it highlights the discovery problem. I know people who have been using iOS since before it was called iOS, and still didn’t know about these. How do you put these kinds of finishing touches into a product and make sure the target audience can find out about them? -m

Call a Spade a Spade


A cautionary tale of language from Ted Nelson: We might call a common or garden spade– A personalized earth-moving equipment module A mineralogical mini-transport A personalized strategic tellurian command and control module An air-to-ground interface contour adjustment probe A leveraged tactile-feedback geomass delivery system A man-machine energy-to-structure converter A one-to-one individualized geophysical restructurizer A portable unitized earth-work synthesis system An entrenching tool A zero-sum dirt level adjuster A feedback-oriented contour management probe and digging system A gradient disequilibrator A mass distribution negentroprizer (hey!) a dig-it-all system An extra terrestrial transport mechanism Spades, not words, should be used for shoveling. But ...



I bought it for the houseguests over Christmas, got mildly hooked, took a character to level 17, but that’s it, I’m bored. Tech & production The achievement is stupendous. The world is vast, open, and visually compelling in a way not remotely equaled by anything I’ve seen. In Skyrim you’ll regularly find yourself pausing just to admire a view. The combat graphics are believable and fun; watching the slo-mo of your character leaping onto a dragon’s head to plant the two-handed axe has gotta make you smile. Also, the quests and dangers are (mostly) nicely scaled so that the ones ...

W3C Invites Implementations of Multimodal Architecture and Interfaces


The Multimodal Interaction Working Group invites implementation of the Candidate Recommendation of Multimodal Architecture and Interfaces . The specification describes a loosely coupled architecture for multimodal user interfaces, which allows for co-resident and distributed implementations, and focuses on the role of markup and scripting, and the use of well defined interfaces between its constituents. Learn more about the Multimodal Interaction Activity .

Two Drafts Published by the HTML Data Task Force


The HTML Data Task Force of the Semantic Web Interest Group has published two documents today: The HTML Data Guide aims to help publishers and consumers of HTML data. With several syntaxes (microformats, microdata, RDFa) and vocabularies (, Dublin Core, microformat vocabularies, etc.) to choose from, it provides guidance on deciding what to choose in a way that meets the publisher's or consumer's needs. The Microdata to RDF describes processing rules that may be used to extract RDF from an HTML document containing microdata. Both documents are Working Drafts, with the goal of publishing a final version as Interest Group ...

Last Call: CSS Image Values and Replaced Content Module Level 3


The Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) Working Group has published a Last Call Working Draft of CSS Image Values and Replaced Content Module Level 3 . CSS is a language for describing the rendering of structured documents (such as HTML and XML) on screen, on paper, in speech, etc. This module contains the features of CSS level 3 relating to the type and replaced elements. It includes and extends the functionality of CSS level 2, which builds on CSS level 1. The main extensions compared to level 2 are the generalization of the type to the type, several ...

The set datatype implemented in XPath 3.0


In my previous two posts I introduced the binary search tree datatype, implemented in XPath 3.0. In most cases the binary search tree operations find, insert and delete have efficiency of O(log(d)) and the print/serialize operation is O(N*log(d)) , where d is the maximum depth of the tree and N is the total number of tree nodes. Today, I will show a set implemented using a binary search tree. This implementation choice means that the set datatype operations have the same efficiency as the corresponding binary search tree operations. This implementation choice also results in the constraint that the set ...

Blue on Blue and Brown


A string of Christmas lights lingers into mid-January. This is on Main Street, a part of Vancouver that I especially care for.

W3C Advisory Committee Elects Technical Architecture Group Participants


The W3C Advisory Committee has elected Robin Berjon (unaffiliated) and re-elected Henry Thompson (U. of Edinburgh) to the W3C Technical Architecture Group (TAG) . W3C Director and TAG co-Chair Tim Berners-Lee also re-appointed Noah Mendelsohn (unaffiliated) and Jonathan Rees (Creative Commons). They join continuing participants Peter Linss (HP), Ashok Malhotra (Oracle), Larry Masinter (Adobe), and Jeni Tennison (unaffiliated). Many thanks to Dan Appelquist whose term ends this month. The mission of the TAG is to build consensus around principles of Web architecture and to interpret and clarify these principles when necessary, to resolve issues involving general Web architecture brought to ...

Newsworthy Tablet Launches


I glanced at my newsreader yesterday and gave up almost instantly because it was full of irrelevant fluff from CES. Particularly irritating was a post over at The Verge announcing breathlessly that a vendor not worth mentioning here was... wait for it... planning to release a tablet in 2012! I twitterbitched: Dear Verge: “X plans to launch a tablet in 2012” is not a news story for ANY value of X . Which was clearly wrong; many people tweeted back values of X for which it would be newsworthy: Cracker Barrel, Macdonalds, NASA, Vladimir Putin, a lost Amazonian tribe, the ...

Part 2: The Binary Search Data Structure with XPath 3.0, Deleting a node


In the first part of this post I presented a Binary Search Tree implemented in pure XPath 3.0. Some new nice features of XPath 3.0 were shown in action and other, still missing but very important features were identified and discussed. The only operation that was missing was the deletion of a node from the tree. I show how to do this now. This is the function that consumers will use: (: Delete from $pTree the node containing $pItem. :) declare function tree:deleteNode          ( $ pTree as ( function () as item () * ) * ,           $ ...

Last Call: WAI-ARIA 1.0 User Agent Implementation Guide


The Protocols and Formats Working Group has published a Last Call Working Draft of WAI-ARIA 1.0 User Agent Implementation Guide . This document describes how user agents should support keyboard navigation and respond to roles, states, and properties provided in Web content via WAI-ARIA. These features are used by authors creating accessible rich internet applications. Users often access the content using assistive technologies that rely on platform accessibility APIs to obtain and interact with information from the page. The WAI-ARIA User Agent Implementation Guide defines how implementations should expose content to accessibility APIs, helping to ensure that this information appears ...

First Drafts of Two Provenance Specifications Published


The Provenance Working Group has published two First Public Working Drafts: PROV-AQ: Provenance Access and Query which specifies how to use standard Web protocols, including HTTP, to obtain information about the provenance of Web resources. This is part of the larger W3C provenance framework. Provenance refers to the sources of information, such as people and processes, involved in producing or delivering Web documents, data, and resources. PROV Model Primer which provides an intuitive introduction and guide to the core data model for building representations of the entities, people and processes involved in producing a piece of data or thing in ...

XML Calabash 0.9.44


Announcing what I hope is the last pre-1.0 beta release of XML Calabash.

The short-form week of 2–8 Jan 2012


The week in review, 140 characters at a time.

The Binary Search Tree Data Structure–having fun with XPath 3.0


For a long time I have wanted to play with XSLT 3.0 and XPath 3.0 . Despite these being in their WD status, the new features are so powerful and overwhelming. Take just these : Higher Order Functions and the ability to create new anonymous functions in XPath. In my quest to accomplish what no one has ever done before with XPath I was helped by the existence of an early Saxon implementation – Saxon 9.3.04 offers these in its XQuery 3.0 implementation and the XSLT 3.0 implementation will hopefully be soon fully usable, after fixing a few bugs. The ...

The Nigerian fuel subsidy quagmire


I caught rumblings of the fuel subsidy removal affair while on my holiday travels, but only in the past few days have I gained a sense of just what a delicate moment in time this is for Nigeria. Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, for whom I've always expressed much admiration, wasted no time after being installed as Finance Minister and over the past quarter, working tirelessly to  convince the Federal Government of Nigeria to eliminate the subsidy on motor fuel forthwith . The subsidy was removed as of the first of this year, triggering immediate protests . This is not the first time ...