Archive for August, 2003


Internet Technology To The Rescue. If you don’t want to install specific RSS reader software, and you’re already using a “classic” NNTP news reader, then you may want to look at nntp//rssnntp/ /rss, a Java program, installs on your local machine and transforms RSS feeds into NNTP news groups, that you can consult with your own favorite tool. Simple… but effective. In a way, this is the beginning of the integration of different forms of communication – RSS feeds, email, NNTP news, and more. Indeed, who needs yet another program to read “news”? Since Outlook Express or Netscape (or Mozilla, or …) are able to display email as well as NNTP news,nntp/ /rss effectively integrates RSS into a tool that you already know and use.

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The Paintable Web? A recent plugin for JSPWiki allows you to draw on Wiki pages – a neat feat. Of course, the “writable web” should not be limited to pure text. So we’re seeing the first steps on the road to… well, it will be a lot more than a writable and paintable web, that’s for sure – just look at the first “mobile photo logs” from people with mobile phones with incorporated camera’s… Anyway, getting SVG to work in your site or program might be easier if you read Kevin Lindsey’s Tutorials first. Then get what you need at the SVG Wiki.

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Can’t Stop. I have started tracking two weblogs, because they are illustrating (part of) the software development process and the way you can follow it through a weblog. On the one hand there is Russell Beattie and his work on “XML Access Objects” (XAO) in Java. He’s not (yet?) showing much code, but the reasoning behind his choices is illuminating. And the comments on his thinking show the strength of weblogging for this kind of activity: comparisons, links, gentle criticism, … On the other hand I’m following the musings of Alan Little on RSS, on design for weblogs, and on his rumoured development of some kind of weblog tool.

Interesting Reading. Of course, Robert Fisk has an axe to grind, but this interview with him is worth your time. You’ll have to listen to him, of course ;-)

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Strong Language: “…if you can’t even balance your tags, you should get out of the industry“. But the CodeBitch has a lot of sensible CSS advice, so it’s worth surfing to the MacEdition. I also love this cartoon:

Not So Stupid. While rummaging through web stuff about the Newton , I also stumbled upon this not so very Stupid PDA Trick #2304. Turns out that Steve does some very smart tricks with Mac OS X as well: he has a “web page on the desktop” solution for OS X, and a Newton installer as well. Ah, the sweetness of discovery on the Web

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Nice Touch! Mozilla has gained a spot on my computers, because it gives me a WISIWYG editor view on my Manila posts. I don’t really need it (I only use a few simple HTML tags anyway), but it’s good to know that it can be done, and it’s good that another browser besides IE offers this capability without having to resort to COM or Java plug-ins. This could be a great booster of WYSIWYG editing in CMS systems. Watch out, though, and make sure you’re in WYSIWYG mode, not HTML source mode, before POSTing your text – otherwise you’re not going going to like the results…

Rebellious? I don’t think Canon is being a Digital Rebel, but it is a significant announcement –  I can’t wait for a similar affordable camera from Nikon!

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Newton Rocks. Last week, during my holidays, I took the time to play around with the secondhand (thirdhand?) Newton 130 I bought 10 months ago. It takes some time (several hours, in fact) to get used to the handwriting recognition system of the Newton OS, but: yes, it does work (especially if you’re writing in English). The standard tools of the Newton are quite interesting and powerful in their own way: the Notedpad even has a built-in outliner. Now if i could get my hands on a 2000 model, and find a way to synchronize the thing with my iBook… then I would still find myself handling a machine that cannot be put in my shirt pocket. Rats! Anyway, there’s more about the Newton at Planet Newton and other websites (e.g. see the list at Newton Enlightenment).

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Another Significant Birthday: the Debian Project was started ten years ago. Everybody knows Red Hat (and possibly others too) as Linux distributor, but Debian is just as remarkable in the sense that it is still – by definition, one might say – a non-commercial organisation. The Debian Project has a well-defined and laudable Social Contract as reference frame for its operations.

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