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Implementing Hypermedia Clients: It’s Not Rocket Science

By Simon St. Laurent
February 28, 2014

At Fluent 2013, O’Reilly’s Web Platform, JavaScript and HTML5 conference, Layer 7 Principal API Architect Mike Amundsen demonstrated how to build hypermedia clients, for situations with and without humans in the driver’s seat. (If you’d like to know more about …

Seduced by Markup

By Simon St. Laurent
November 20, 2013

A friend wanted to show me a great new thing in 1993, this crazy HTML browser called Cello. He knew I was working on hypertext and this seemed like just the thing for it! Sadly, my time in HyperCard and …

MathML Forges On

By Peter Krautzberger
November 1, 2013

20 years into the web, math and science are still second class citizens on the web. While MathML is part of HTML 5, its adoption has seen ups and downs but if you look closely you can see there is …

Transformative Programming

By Simon St. Laurent
October 16, 2013

“Small pieces loosely joined,” David Weinberger’s appealing theory of the Web, has much to say to programmers as well. It always inspires me to reduce the size of individual code components. The hard part, though, is rarely the “small” – …

Walking Trees and Handling Events

By Simon St. Laurent
August 28, 2013

This summer, I’ve seen all kinds of programming approaches as I’ve bounced between the Web, XSLT, Erlang, and XML, with visits to many other environments. As I look through the cool new possibilities for interfaces, for scaling up and down, …

Can Markup Unite?

By Simon St. Laurent
August 8, 2013

A few years ago, I stopped talking about XML and starting talking about markup. After a few too many conversations with developers who had found XHTML, web services, and various other things that had proudly branded themselves with the “X,” …

Can We Do Better Than XML and JSON?

By Simon St. Laurent
August 7, 2013

Today’s Balisage conference got off to a great start. After years of discussing the pros and cons of XML, HTML, JSON, SGML, and more, it was great to see Michael Kay (creator of the SAXON processor for XSLT and XQuery) …

A Hands-on Introduction to R

By Ray DiGiacomo, Jr.
July 23, 2013

R is an open-source statistical computing environment similar to SAS and SPSS that allows for the analysis of data using various techniques like sub-setting, manipulation, visualization and modeling. There are versions that run on Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, and …

PowerShell Command Line Introduction

By Doug Finke
June 12, 2013

Here’s a slick PowerShell 3.0 one-liner. If you want to pull down an RSS feed from a blog, displaying only the title and publication date try: Invoke-RestMethod "http://www.dougfinke.com/blog/index.php/feed/" | Select title, pubdate It’s that simple. No looping, no checking end …

A Matter of Semantics

By Mike Amundsen
May 16, 2013

Messages on the Web carry three levels of information: Structure Semantics, Protocol Semantics, and Application Semantics. No matter the implementation style, all three of these are needed for any successful communication between client and server. This threesome (S-P-A) forms the …

Stop standardizing HTML

By Simon St. Laurent
April 24, 2013

When HTML first appeared, it offered a coherent if limited vocabulary for sharing content on the newly created World Wide Web. Today, after HTML has handed off most of its actual work to other specifications, it’s time to stop worrying …

Math typesetting

By Adam Hyde
November 26, 2012

Typesetting math in HTML was for a long time one of those ‘I can’t believe that hasn’t been solved by now!’ issues. It seemed a bit wrong – wasn’t the Internet more or less invented by math geeks? Did they give …

InDesign vs. CSS

By Adam Hyde
November 19, 2012

The explosion in web typesetting has been largely unnoticed by everyone except the typography geeks. One of the first posts that raised my awareness of this phenomenon was From Print to Web: Creating Print-Quality Typography in the Browser by Joshua Gross. It …

Shrinking and stretching the boundaries of markup

By Simon St. Laurent
August 14, 2012

It’s easy to forget that XML started out as a simplification process, trimming SGML into a more manageable and more parseable specification. Once XML reached a broad audience, of course, new specifications piled on top of it to create an …

Applying markup to complexity

By Simon St. Laurent
August 9, 2012

When XML exploded onto the scene, it ignited visions of magical communications, simplified document storage, and a whole new wave of application capabilities. Reality has proved calmer, with competition from JSON and other formats tackling a wide variety of problems, …

XML's Dialect Problem - Diversity is not the problem; it is the requirement

By Rick Jelliffe
March 17, 2012

XML standards and technologies do not provide an adequate layer for coping with dialects.

The agile upside of XML

By Jenn Webb
October 3, 2011

Frankfurt TOC presenters Anna von Veh, a consultant at Say Books, and Mike McNamara, managing director at Araman Consulting Ltd & Outsell-Gilbane UK Affiliate, discuss xml workflows, the (sorry) state of ebook design, and how books and the web will evolve.

The agile upside of XML

The agile upside of XML
By Jenn Webb
October 3, 2011

Frankfurt TOC presenters Anna von Veh, a consultant at Say Books, and Mike McNamara, managing director at Araman Consulting Ltd & Outsell-Gilbane UK Affiliate, discuss xml workflows, the (sorry) state of ebook design, and how books and the web will evolve.

XML Schema development approaches - Can we free our documents from the straightjacket of structure?

By Rick Jelliffe
August 9, 2011

The way that people approach developing schemas has evolved over the years: each new approach grows out of problems with the status quo (see Hegelian dialectic) but enriches rather than supplants. I thought I would take a little walk through...

ETL and Publishing

By Rick Jelliffe
June 5, 2011

I have for a few years been trying to come up with a good definition of publishing workflows: as an architectural pattern. The two key distinctive features, I think, are that publishing workflows are one-way flows rather than two-way flows...

Australian Whole-of-Government Common Operating Environment Policy and OOXML - AGIMO boots OpenOffice but Libre Office reboots OpenOffice?

By Rick Jelliffe
January 28, 2011

Two big stories this week: AGIMO's COE and LibreOffice. AGIMO is the Australian Government Information Management Office. They are the ones who set policies such as requiring govt web page meet the W3C's WCAG 2.0 guidelines for accessibility, or that...

Nuke! - If I wanted an XML for 2010, what would its design be?

By Rick Jelliffe
December 8, 2010

Nuke is a mix of XML and JSON, with several new ideas thrown in.

Four short links: 3 December 2010

By Nat Torkington
December 3, 2010

Data is Snake Oil (Pete Warden) -- data is powerful but fickle. A lot of theoretically promising approaches don't work because there's so many barriers between spotting a possible relationship and turning it into something useful and actionable. This is the pin of reality which deflates the bubble of inflated expectations. Apologies for the camel's nose of rhetoric poking...

Schema coverage report - SVRL to XSL and Ant

By Rick Jelliffe
October 23, 2010

You have a large or complex Schematron schema and it produces no errors. How do you know it is working? A coverage report lets you see how many of each Schematron rule was fired when checking the document(s). The report...

The gravitational pull of information

By Mac Slocum
October 18, 2010

Content creators, designers and programmers all speak slightly different languages. Bob Boiko believes that a focus on information -- its structure and its delivery -- can get everyone on the same page.

The gravitational pull of information

By Mac Slocum
October 18, 2010

Content creators, designers and programmers all speak slightly different languages. Bob Boiko believes that a focus on information -- its structure and its delivery -- can get everyone on the same page.

Understanding C#: Simple LINQ to XML examples (tutorial)

By Andrew Stellman
October 16, 2010

XML is one of the most popular formats for files and data streams that need to represent complex data. The .NET Framework gives you some really powerful tools for creating, loading, and saving XML files. And once you've got your hands on XML data, you can use LINQ to query anything from data that you created to an RSS feed. In this post, I'll show you two simple LINQ to XML tutorial style examples that highlight basic patterns that you can use to create or query XML data using LINQ to XML.

Under-estimating XML as just a Tree - Composition, primary structure, internal links, external links

By Rick Jelliffe
October 9, 2010

Programmers and academics often think and theorize about XML as kind of tree data structure. And so indeed it is. But it also allows much more: it is a series of different graph structures composed into or imposed on that tree.

Four short links: 8 October 2010

By Nat Torkington
October 8, 2010

Training Lessons Learned: Interactivity (Selena Marie Deckelmann) -- again I see parallels between how the best school teachers work and the best trainers. I was working with a group of people with diverse IT backgrounds, and often, I asked individuals to try to explain in their own words various terms (like “transaction”). This helped engage the students in a...

Do you need to make your own XSLT2 function definitions when using Schematron?

By Rick Jelliffe
September 27, 2010

Recently I have seen some Schematron schemas written by good XSLT programmers which basically represented all assertion tests as custom XSLT2 functions. (Schematron allows this.) The schemas were successful, in that they functioned as desired, but I don't think there...

Vale Java? Scala Vala palava - and Go too

By Rick Jelliffe
August 28, 2010

Dave Megginson (who drove the development of the SAX API that will be familiar to many XML developers who use Java) recently wrote Java is dead. Java stood out as a programming language (though not as a platform) in that...

UK PRESTO

By Rick Jelliffe
August 16, 2010

From the Cornell Law School's blog, Head of e-Services and Strategy at The (UK) National Archives, John Sheridan has written on the launch of Legislation.gov.uk. and mentioned this blog! A major influence on legislation.gov.uk was a blog posting by Rick...

Deliberate non-conformances in XML Schema implementations - Really, how could it be any other way?

By Rick Jelliffe
August 6, 2010

From SAXON's Michael Kay, on the XML-DEV mail list today: On interoperability, there are at least three reasons why you might get different results from different processors. One is because the specification leaves the behaviour of certain things implementation-defined (for...

Schema languages as if annotation mattered - with more on Operator Grammars

By Rick Jelliffe
July 26, 2010

In 2001 we had an interesting exchange about schema languages on the XML-DEV mail list. I had written Are we losing out because of grammars?. What do I think of it now? Four heads: disconnection, importance, a category error, and operator grammars.

ZVON: the Information Plunger

By Rick Jelliffe
July 9, 2010

I see the ZVON.org site has recently been renovated. It is a great site with tutorials or reference material on dozens of Web-related topics. Highly recommended. The site slogan is ZVON.org cleaning information pipelines but the logo says ZVON the...

Highly Generic Schemas - A schema is like an aircraft: it can be designed for stability or maneuverability but not both.

By Rick Jelliffe
July 7, 2010

Developer Christophe Lauret recently commented: "A schema is like an aircraft: it can be designed for stability or maneuverability but not both." I recently have been trying a different method for designing intermediate schemas in publication chains. It is an exercise in taking the three-layer model for XML with Schematron to an extreme. The best name I can think of this is Highly Generic Schemas.

ODF and OOXML Translation: Working Draft 2 of ISO technical report out - Scorecard of translatability

By Rick Jelliffe
June 28, 2010

The gnomes of ISO (err, ISO/IEC JTC1 SC34 WG5) have released the ">second draft of their Technical Report comparing ODF and OOXML (PDF). It is up to 126 pages now, and much more fleshed out than the first draft. One...

Is ZIP in the public domain or not?

By Rick Jelliffe
June 22, 2010

What is the IP status of ZIP? This is a question of interest to standardizers and developers implementing standards, because so many new standards use ZIP. ODF and OOXML for example. Here is what the current PKWARE site says (with...

Understanding C#: XML Comments

By Andrew Stellman
June 14, 2010

As C# developers get more experienced, there are a lot of things they pick up along the way that are really useful and important to know, even if they aren't necessarily directly code-related. One of those topics is XML comments, and I've been surprised at how many developers -- even really experienced ones -- don't use them, or even know about them. They're really useful, and they can help you build better software, even if they don't actually change the way your programs behave.

Europe to force all 'significant market players' to provide information necessary for interoperability?

By Rick Jelliffe
June 12, 2010

Three news items caught my interest this week. all slightly related: Dr. Neelie Kroes has made a significant speech How to get more interoperability in Europe on practical steps on interoperability and standards. She presents this as building on the...

Ruby Schematron

By Rick Jelliffe
June 4, 2010

Francesco Lazzarino has a project up at RubyForge for a Ruby runner for ISO Schematron. (Open source: MIT/ Consortium License) Schematron is a small ISO-standard language for making assertions or reports about patterns in and between XML documents, typically using...

Australian Government procurement policy on Open Standard document formats - Open Source and Open Standards: Chicken and Egg or Apples and Oranges?

By Rick Jelliffe
June 2, 2010

Over the last few years I have linked to various national government policies on Open Source software and procurement policies. But I see I omitted us in Australia. So here is what I can find, from 2005: Guide to Open...

Four short links: 1 June 2010

By Nat Torkington
June 1, 2010

XML in Legislature/Parliament Environments (Sean McGrath) -- quite detailed background on the use of XML in legislation drafting systems, and the problems caused by convention in that world--page/line number citations, in particular. (Quick gloat: NZ's legislature management system is kick-ass, and soon we'll switch from print authoritative to digital authoritative) Large-Scale Social Media Analysis with Hadoop -- In this...

EGovernment at the Legislature - From Emerald Isle to Emerald Slippers

By Rick Jelliffe
May 29, 2010

Sean McGrath is writing a series around the design issues for KLISS (Kansas Legislative Information Services System) which his company is doing.

7 reasons to write in ActionScript

By Jeffry Houser
May 26, 2010

There seemed to be some disagreement about my previous post on InsideRIA about moving your Flex Components from MXML to an ActionScript only base. The article was intended to teach readers about the Flex Component lifecycle; but backed into...

Miguel de Icaza: we can't blame third parties for our failures

By Rick Jelliffe
May 5, 2010

I wish I did not agree with Miguel de Icaza's blog from last month The Right Spirit. I interpret him as not meaning "you should" when he says "we should": I think he is not being dogmatic. Here are some...

Tim O'Reilly State of the Internet Operating System - The consumers are restless

By Rick Jelliffe
May 4, 2010

I usually don't link to posts here at oreilly.com (which kindly hosts this blog), but Tim O'Reilly has a strong pair of articles out: The State of the Internet Operating System in two parts: Part 1 and Handicapping the Internet...

Harmonization

By Rick Jelliffe
May 4, 2010

It strikes me that harmonization of XML standards (i.e. where you have different XML standards covering much the same ground and you want a workable strategy for converging them) needs to be as much concerned with granularity issues as it...

Mock the Web Service

By Phlip Plumlee
May 4, 2010

This post shows how to write a web service using Test-Driven Development. Our source code example is the exemplary active_merchant contribution to Ruby on Rails. It reveals how developer tests can correctly attack remote web services. Programmers writing clients (or servers) for any kind of web service should use these techniques. My next post will extend this one into the Abstract Test Pattern.

Getting started with the SplitViewController on the iPad

By Elisabeth Robson
April 23, 2010

In this screencast, I show you how to build a simple iPad app using the new SplitViewController. As we build the app, you'll learn the basics of creating a SplitViewController-based app, and how to implement a simple XML reader to read an XML feed, display a list of article titles and load an article into the detail view when its title is tapped in the list.


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