Monthly Archives: January 2003

More Spooky-ness

I did some more hacking on Spooky last night and ended up splitting the implementation up into a core stylesheet and individual implementations that further refine the project creation. There’s only support for simple Java projects at present, but I’ll add some more.
This’ll make life easier for me, if no-one else. I tend to start hacking away at stuff and then, if the idea looks fruitful, go in and tidy up afterwards adding a project structure, build files, etc.
Now I’ve either got the option of automating the project creation so I work in a tidier way from the start. Or can tidy up after a hacking session by creating a spooky description of my in-progress project.
There’s now a project page.
Little languages are fun.

FTrain to use Cocoon?

Whilst dropping in on the recently revamped Cocoon Wiki, I noticed that Paul Ford has added a page there, noting that he’s going to try, “over the next year, to implement in Cocoon”.
Should be interesting to watch. Ftrain is one of my favourite sites.
Having implemented a (very) little language for working with project structures (Spooky), I’d considered producing another abstract language for describing simple Cocoon applications. That would hopefully help people, like Paul, who are approaching Cocoon for the first time.
Because they provide higher-level abstractions than the implementation (host) language, little languages can also be used as learning aids to introduce at least some of the features (if not all the syntactic details) of the host language.


This is spooky. Matt Biddulph has just posted a template for Java projects which is basically a tar ball of a standard project directory structure and an Ant build script to go with it.
In my last couple of lunch hours, after updating eclectic I’ve been tinkering with something very similar which I’d nicknamed “project maker”. Basically its a little language for describing project structures. The language is implemented using XSLT.

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It Ain’t Just RSS, or even HTML

There’s been a lot of discussion about Mark Pilgrims latest article on See, to pick a few examples, Dorothea, Marks follow-up comments and those of Dare Obasanjo.
I thought I’d comment briefly on Marks’ suggestion that “the ability to parse ill-formed feeds becomes a competitive advantage”. In short, he’s right. And it doesn’t only happen with RSS, or even just XML: I’ve seen it happen with SGML too.

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Quick Hack: W3C List Sidebar

I’ve added another sidebar to my Tools for XML-Deviants. This one just provides quick access to the archives and search function of all of the public W3C mailing lists.
It’s just a quick hack using an XSLT stylesheet to process the W3C archive homepage which happily is XHTML.
Personally I find this preferable to keeping lots of bookmarks, although admittedly the list of archives is rather long. Hope you find it useful too.

Old Scribblings

During some of our more recent house re-shufflings I unearthed several boxes of my old role-playing materials. Most of it is a box full of games, supplements and magazines.

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The Unproductive Web

The more I use the web the less productive I become.

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Tools for XML Deviants

I’m unearthing bits and pieces of code that I’ve got lying around my hard drives at home, so I can finally finish them off and post them to the net.
The first bit out the door is actually nothing new: these tools have just been languishing, somewhat abandoned, on some free web space I was using for a while.
Anyway my Tools for XML Deviants are now back online. These are two Netscape sidebars (plain HTML rather than XUL currently) that provide quick access to the search functions of various XML news sites and, most usefully to me at least, the XML-DEV toolbar which provides easy access to the XML-DEV archives.
Today I started tinkering with a sidebar for the W3C mailing list archives, as I occasionally surf through the recent postings of several of them.


Is it a sign of impending old age if you wake up one morning to discover that the latest Playstation game you’re addicted to is Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2003?
Surely there’s some mistake here? Shouldn’t I be rampaging the streets with GTA3, or stealthy infiltrating with Metal Gear Solid 2? Why has the fact that I can get up and make a cup of tea mid-game and not be either arrested or shot, become an influencing factor in my choice of game?!
And its not just me. Everyone I’ve played it with has gotten addicted too, even my wife. She’s on it as I type. I’ll stop now so I can go and wrestle the controls off her. St. Andrews beckons…

eclectic, wordtin, and this blog

Here’s the relationship between the three websites I’m maintaining at the moment.

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