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Copyright: All content written by Tim Bray Copyright Tim Bray, some rights reserved, see /ongoing/misc/Copyright

Genx Status

Thu, 06 May 2004 17:20:05 PDT

This is the permanent status page for Genx (tarball · docs). Latest news: Optimization breakage...

Vive les Masturbateurs

Wed, 05 May 2004 07:19:08 PDT

I can’t say I’m on board with the message, but you gotta love the title. Someone translate this one for Dave Winer, he’ll like it (seriously, not kidding). [Update: Didier Barbas did.] And while on the subject of good names, the tortoise’s blogroll has a pointer to something called Une rondelle de saucisson et l'addition; I can relate to that.

Hoffie’s Automaton

Wed, 05 May 2004 07:15:41 PDT

Sunblogger Hoffie is building an automaton, which is kind of interesting. The design goal is to climb high-voltage towers, which makes it even more interesting. “Because it’s there” I suppose. One can’t help wondering what happens when the automaton reaches the high voltage; just a tasty snack? I hope he’s got his explanations in order for when the anti-terrorism squad wonders why this geek is sending menacing-looking pieces of machinery to assault the infrastructure.


Tue, 04 May 2004 18:19:47 PDT

The estimable Dr. Wood now finds herself to be an occasional blogger; see, I evangelize at home as well as at work. Hmm... this thing’s coming off an old P300 Debian box behind a DSL line in the basement, let’s hope to goodness she doesn’t get slashdotted. Quicktime videos are right out.

Atom Community Meeting

Tue, 04 May 2004 14:14:12 PDT

We’re going to have an Atom Community Meeting June 2nd at Sun’s Silicon-Valley offices. It’s widely known that Sam Ruby (with some help from me) has been trying to find Atom a home over in the IETF. I’m personally optimistic that that’ll work, but even if it does, the next time we could get the Atom community in a room would be at the August IETF, and it’s been a while; I’ve never been to an Atom meeting, myself. Check out the meeting and come if you want to contribute. Read on for a quick note on my position, and Sun’s, vis-a-vis Atom...


Tue, 04 May 2004 09:10:34 PDT

I was on the phone this morning to the Italian part of Switzerland, talking to Samuele Pedroni, currently chief priest in the Jython temple. I think Jython is real important, which means that I think Samuele is important. But only if you care about Java...

The Anticipation of Pleasure

Sun, 02 May 2004 23:48:00 PDT


Making Sun Policy

Sun, 02 May 2004 17:47:33 PDT

Today I’m posting the new Sun Policy on Public Discourse; this companion piece describes how we built it...

Sun Policy on Public Discourse

Sun, 02 May 2004 17:47:13 PDT

Many of us at Sun are doing work that could change the world. We need to do a better job of telling the world. As of now, you are encouraged to tell the world about your work, without asking permission first (but please do read and follow the advice in this note). Blogging is a good way to do this...

How Fast is This Thing Growing?

Sat, 01 May 2004 10:25:57 PDT

A lot of people would like to know exactly how fast this blogging/subscribing thang is actually growing. Lots of people have seen the chart the Hummer Winblad people are keeping of the “Feeds Watched” number over at Technorati; about two and a quarter million on this first of May 2004. But the number of people reading, as opposed to publishing, is at least as interesting. I decided that (which, by the way, anyone who watches this space ought to be keeping their eyes on) could be used as a surrogate for the general growth of the whole area, and drew a graph...

HTTP over SOAP!?!?!?

Sat, 01 May 2004 07:23:53 PDT

Check out SOAP Resource Representation Header, a recent product of the XML Protocol Working Group. The idea is you stick a resource representation in a SOAP header. When I first read this, I checked the date to make sure it wasn’t April 1st...

High-End iChat

Fri, 30 Apr 2004 17:06:18 PDT

I should confess that I am the worst kind of obsessive high-end audio weenie. Fortunately, it’s my only really expensive hobby; I distinctly prefer beer to champagne. Anyhow, this creates a problem: when you upgrade your system to get better sound, what do you do with the old stuff? High-end gear tends to last more or less forever, and unlike computers, is usually 80% as good as what you replace it with. So, I’ve used some of that stuff to cobble together a home-office system. I’m taking the audio feed out of my PowerBook via USB to a (now apparently discontinued, sigh) Stereo-Link D/A converter, then through very decent Linn interconnects to an all-tube (and very beautiful) Cary Audio Design “Rocket 88” power amp, driving a pair of the original Totem “Model One” speakers (a dozen years old now). You can bet that I’m happy that iTunes now includes a lossless music encoder; I’m going to have to go back and junk all the existing MP3s I’ve ripped and grab ’em again. Anyhow, I just had my first audio iChat talk since I got this wired up, with Paul Hoffman, on the subject of Atom and the IETF. It was astounding, remarkable, unlike any mere “telephone” experience. Had I shut my eyes and you’d told me that Paul was sitting across the desk, I would have believed you.

Early 2004 Browser Market

Fri, 30 Apr 2004 17:01:28 PDT

Previously I’ve posted graphs of the market shares among the browsers visiting ongoing, but I’ll skip the graphics this time because there’s no discernible movement. So far in 2004, the averages are 53% IE, 32% Mozilla family, 12.5% Safari, 2% Opera, they move up and down around that but not in any persistent direction. Go figure.

Scilla Leaves Vermin

Thu, 29 Apr 2004 22:29:05 PDT

More botanical shots: one from California, one from Siberia, and one weed...

Imbroglio Polyglotte

Thu, 29 Apr 2004 21:50:42 PDT

This, from Libération, is about the practicalities of dealing with the languages of the European Union, now twenty in number. If you can read French it’s well worth a visit. Its charms include the finding that more languages available means, in fact, fewer used; characters named Patrick Twidle and Berit Tecäär; and the wonderful quote “On n'a pas parlé. Alors, en fin de repas, on a dansé...” I wouldn’t know how to say that in English, we have to limp along without on. Know any Slovenian-Portuguese translators?


Wed, 28 Apr 2004 23:41:52 PDT

In my new job, I’m seeing a whole lot of SFO a.k.a. San Francisco International Airport. Going into San Jose would be better but there are a lot of places that you can’t get there from. Herewith a practical time-saving driving hint, and a rant about the stupid, stupid, stupid monorail...

RSS Stock Ticker

Tue, 27 Apr 2004 16:53:52 PDT

I’ve said more than once that I’d like an RSS feed for my stock market portfolio. I even cobbled one together a few months ago, but I lost it somehow in the laptop-to-laptop transition. Now Walter Higgins emails me: “prompted by your post last june on rss stock tickers, and being a dabbler in stocks and rss myself, I’ve been maintaining a feed that monitors stocks and portfolios. e.g. this will display current values for sun, microsoft and oracle while this will return a rss feed for a portfolio of 1000 shares of sun, 200 of microsoft and 500 shares of oracle. This feed includes a total portfolio value. This ticker feed is responsible for most of my site traffic.” [Update: Someone identifying himself only as “Mick” writes in to tell me about the recently-arrived, which claims to offer real-time quotes. Doing that for free is a neat trick... I wonder about the business model, but the site is information-free about who they are.]

Web Services Theory and Practice

Tue, 27 Apr 2004 06:43:53 PDT

I look at the confusing landscape where the “Web Services” flags fly, and I see some things that are proven good practice, and some other things that are mostly theory. I think we could all be saner about all this if were careful to distinguish between theory and practice...

Salt Spring Coffee Morning

Sun, 25 Apr 2004 09:33:00 PDT

A good morning to you; I’m having one. Genx is (finally) passing almost the whole XML test suite, a nice Bach cantata fills the air (Leonhardt’s take on BWV12, Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen), and I’m drinking a damn fine cup of coffee. The coffee’s from Salt Spring Coffee, which is substantially better than the beans from the local Starbucks. Salt Spring gets a tip o’ the hat because I was going to write about them sometime last year but their Web site was totally IE-centric and I couldn’t use it, so I sent them a note pointing this out, and just checked it out and now it’s fixed; quite decent in fact. We lean to the French Roast, but some might find this blend a little too exuberantly dark. If you like good coffee, there’s no substitute for buying beans, keeping them in the fridge, getting a good grinder and doing it right. I remain convinced that the classic Melitta pour-through system can’t be beat, and also convinced that a well-done Norteamericano filter coffee is the equal of any fancy espresso-based drink, and also has twice the caffeine, which is good. Not that you’d want to give up all those nice espresso drinks, there’s a time and place for everything. When I finish the coffee and knock down a couple more test cases, we’ll go do some gardening. Life is good.

Silly Internet Game

Sat, 24 Apr 2004 09:22:19 PDT

Meme via Burning Bird: From Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White: “Mr. Zuckerman heard too, and he came out of the machine shed where he was mending a tool.” Instructions: Grab the nearest book, open it to page 23, find the 5th sentence, and post its text along with these instructions. I would add to the instructions: point back to where you got the idea so that we can follow the threads.