Sunday, October 30, 2005

Duplication City

Sgt Peppers Paradise

I'm being lazy (from a popular link) but its kinda good...

Friday, October 21, 2005

Intelligent Design comes to Australia

Intelligent Design "Scientists across the country are outraged.

So what's all the fuss about Intelligent Design?

Intelligent Design or ID, is being put forward as a serious scientific theory. It's even found it's way into some high schools."

They made mention of The Wedge Document which outlines a way to conquer the world. Apparently you need more than a death ray these days.

Maybe some Gerin Oil "dry-out" clinics need to be created. Adam Bosworth recently decloaked an article related to it too.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Rocking with Ruby

"Beyond Java" This book is a light read, even I read it in a couple of hours, about the circumstances around Java's success and its possible successor. There's a lot of first hand interviews about what's wrong with Java, what's right with Ruby and other languages and why Rails maybe Ruby's killer application (and why that's important). C# and .NET was not seen as a replacement to Java mainly because it doesn't add enough over Java and the reasons why Java became successful in the first place hasn't changed.

Overall, I was a bit disappointed with this book especially with its lack of depth. The thing that the book struggles with the most, is that it's been almost impossible to guess where the next disruptive technology will come from - most of the comments in the book are feelings or from a subjective point of view.

Some points raised in the book that reinforced my existing prejudices:
* That future languages and platforms will probably be deployed on .NET and Java VMs. The competition between the two seems to have a positive impact on both - locking out any competitors. That means, there's something to look forward to in Java 7 and .NET 3.
* That VB developers were totally hosed by .NET. Rails and environments like it will bring back that kind of development. The first to harness the disaffected VB developer wins.
* Continuations are going to be a key piece of infrastructure.
* Sun is moving too slowly especially with the JSR process. For example, the solution to JAR hell won't be available until 2008.

Update: The ServerSide's post article has some good comments and responses from Bruce Tate.

A few more things read over the last week or so on Ruby:
* Updates from the recent RubyConf 2005 JRuby Progress "...With the stackless interpreter, stack-depth was limited only by available memory. He showed a fibonacci calculation of 3000 (64MB), then 150000 (1G) with amazingly good performance..." and mocking in Ruby with Lafcadio and MockFS.
* Why's (poignant) Guide to Ruby "This is just a small Ruby book. It won’t crush you."
* What Is Ruby on Rails "Rails helps you achieve this new level of productivity by combining the right ingredients in the right amounts."
* You Can't Educate Pork Links to slides on "Dynamically Typed Languages on the Java Platform".

Wednesday, October 12, 2005


There was a scene in the movie, with a mumified corpse in a vehicle, that reminded me of something I'd seen before in a book called "Spacewreck".

Spacewreck is part of a series of children's books Terran Trade Federation. Seems to ilicit a strong response in people including modelling them in PovRay and Homeworld mods.

A directory filled with the original artwork from the first book is here. Two paintings by Angus McKie look a bit like the design of Serenity without the engines (here and here). This is mentioned in a Firefly site thread.

More gallery links: Fred Gambino, Peter Elson, Chris Foss and Angus McKie.

Monday, October 10, 2005


toward SPARQL CR, PR, REC, press releases... schedule review "...the valueTesting and sort issues continue to act like difficult-to-drain swamps...The objection from Network Inference saying that SPARQL should have used XQuery remains...I wanted to have a much smaller spec (without SOURCE/GRAPH etc.) and finish earlier... since we didn't meet the April CR milestone, I'm pretty much convinced that what I want and what this WG wants are pretty different..."

RDF DAWG Issues List: sort, " 2005-08-03 following comment ORDER with IRIs." (also, extending < operator and lexical vs value space), valueTesting, disjunction, countAggregate , "these are complicated in RDF due to open world notions of equality and inequality.", and bnodeRef, "Users seem to find it useful to refer to bnodes given by the server, though the scope of a bnode is usually one lexical graph."

A look at implementing SPARQL using Lisp: " of the grammar weren't designed to be easily parsed; it has a number of features that are clearly user-focused, such as optional dots. (If it were designed to be easily parsed, it would be s-expressions from the start...)...I have seen objections made to UNION, on the grounds that implementation is difficult. I'd like to nip that one in the bud; I wrote twinql in a few weeks, not full-time, inventing algorithms as I went, and UNION wasn't difficult." Alternatively, I guess it could've been XML.

A response to "evaluating SPARQL w.r.t an RDF query language survey" which lists how you can (or cannot) perform queries that: "Return the labels of all topics that are not titles of publications", "Count the number of authors of a publication" and "Return all publications where the page number is the integer value 8."

Just for Fun

-Ofun "One of the key realizations of modern Internet projects (the oft-quoted Web 2.0) is that on the whole, your users can be trusted. The key is that the users also need to have the tools needed to repair any damage the tiny minority may cause. For a development project, modern version control systems can give you "anarchy with an audit trail". If something does go wrong (intentionally or more likely accidentally), it's easy for any other developer to identify and fix or revert the problem. Having this safety net allows the project to run full-bore without time-wasting process getting in the way, and without undue worry that code quality will suffer...before atomic changesets and quality merge tools, it was extremely difficult to roll back a single change made at some point in the past; now it is much easier to do so. And without a proper test suite, it's hard to tell if a change broke the code in the first place...skill ladders are part of the very definition of fun. True passion and community-building rarely develop around a project that doesn't have such a ladder."

Via Slashdot.

Sunday, October 09, 2005


Now available for download.

Some thoughts related to this:
* To ensure valid refactorings and bug fixes it seems sensible to go back and do some things properly. It means that the next highest priority will have to be writing an NTriples parser to validate the RDF Test cases. The SableCC grammar for NTriples is already done.
* While this is a good start, it's not nearly fine grained enough to actually write the code and have fast running unit tests. Tom has done some of this test driving a parser with his SPARQL work although I suspect I may do it a little differently (using EasyMock).
* Graph equality and isomorphism on graphs is a pain - which is to say that it's complicated with blank nodes (see the test cases). In "Matching RDF Graphs it lists possible ways to do mappings, including a blank node may map to a labelled node. I know that in Kowari loading the sample FOAF files twice into the same graph adds the blank nodes twice. While this seems like a mistake it is the fastest way to load a graph. Maybe implementing different loading modes (no duplicate checking, blank node to blank node and blank node to labelled node) and signing grahs are two ways to help this.

Friday, October 07, 2005


So the JRDF 0.3.4 was replaced last night due to a problem in the Ant build script creating it with source instead of classes - so much for QA.

Following that little discovery a few other problems related to RDF/XML parsing have been fixed: Does not resolve relative URIs correctly and Stacked xml:base directives with relative URIs not processed. The first is due to the difference between the way Java's URI classs resolves and the way its defined in RDF/XML. In section 5.2 of RFC2396 says: "...any characters after the last (right-most) slash character, if any, are excluded." and the RDF/XML specification says: "These specifications do not specify an algorithm for resolving a fragment identifier alone...The empty string is transformed into an RDF URI reference by substituting the in-scope base URI."

The second is a fix from Sesame's RIO.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005


Writeboard "Every time you save an edit a new version is created and linked in the sidebar. This allows you to write without fear of deleting something, overwriting something, or losing a better version of the document from last week."

Seems very similar to "Reasoning behind the OSMIC proposal: MODELS OF TIME, BACKTRACK AND GROUPWARE"

Out meta-ering the competition

Ning - a meta social app platform ""So after being offered a large number of social media applications, we are now into the meta-framework to build social media applications. The notion is interesting: as we have come to expect that any consumer application will include some element of social networking, collaborative filtering, tagging, etc., Ning has the first shot at claiming platform status in the social phenomena by offering building consistent building blocks (though wikis could probably claim anteriority)."...What it does do is make APIs an even more important feature for social apps to have, because Ning users will potentially have less need to visit the websites of Flickr,, 43Things and others. Ning will drive customers to those other services, but via the APIs. "

I always seem to quote people who quote other people, seems apt in this case.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005


Google and Sun together "Google and Sun Microsystems will hold a press conference on Tuesday at which they're expected to announce a collaboration to bring StarOffice productivity applications to Google users..."Imagine StarOffice running on the desktop, and Google perfecting the [file synchronization]," said Edwards. "Then you have your collaboration space carved out immediately for you, and Google is hosting it.""

Does it even make sense for a company that is selling open standard, network centric, highly scalable applications on Unix combines with a company that invented Java?

Imagine a host of GApps (GMail, GCal, GIM, GWorld, etc.) working on your desktop.

Via Update: Sun Marries Google? and a smidge more Sun turns up volume against Windows Vista and Office 12 (links to The Value in Volume).

Monday, October 03, 2005

The Future is Google Ads Everywhere (powered by SPARQL)

Scoble ? RDF "SPARQL is an answer to the question “What if I want to do SQL-like querying when I know perfectly well that everybody will be using their own incompatible database schema?” I’ve been a SemWeb skeptic, but I look at SPARQL and I think: Suppose you could assemble a ton of property-value pairs about web sites, and suppose on the front end you could build a nice responsive query page that allowed you to compose queries like Scoble’s hotel search; well then, SPARQL would be more or less exactly what you need to bridge the gap. Hey, isn’t Guha’s Alpiri project more or less that back-end? And isn’t Guha working at Google now?"

And what would we do with this perfect engine and ubiquitous bandwidth - ads. Author: Google's Patents Reveal Strategy To Beat Microsof "In Arnold’s analysis, he said some filings in the patent portfolio point to an accelerated use of high-speed fiber and wireless that could be used to deliver Google technology...An ultimate goal of the firm is to deliver completely individualized ads to users."