XML Paths in Programming Languages

Jun 5, 2007

I’ve finally finished my “Progress in Processing” talk for this year’s XML Summer School. It’s been really interesting looking at the different APIs developed for different programming languages in the last few years, all so much easier to use than the DOM. One of the themes is the use of path-based syntax to query XML.

Cross-processor XSLT extension functions

May 30, 2007

David Carlisle’s posted a great tip on getting exsl:node-set() to work in IE:

In the above XSL-List thread I casually suggested that an alternative would be to just always use exslt:node-set in the body of the stylesheet and use the msxsl:script extension to define exslt:node-set for IE. That turned out not to be as easy as I thought as node-set isn’t a valid function name in either of the supported extension languages in msxsl (JScript or VBScript). However Julian Reschke came up with the construct needed, use associative array syntax so you can use [‘node-set’] to define the function.

Pipelines (of lentils) in action

May 29, 2007

We went to the Science Museum on Monday. In Launch Pad, there are lots of hands-on activities for children. One of them starts with a big container with lots of lentils in it. You have to fill a bucket with lentils, then hoist the bucket up and along so it meets with a device that flips it over so that the lentils spill down a funnel into a tube and along a chute into another large container. From there there are two Archimedes screws linked together that, when you turn their handles, take the lentils into another funnel and down another tube into yet another large-ish container. From there, there are two conveyor belts with scoops attached that take the lentils up to another funnel, down another pipe and back into the first big container, where they can start the entire process again.

"Hot" compost bin

May 29, 2007

We’re going to be moving to a new house soon, and one of the first things I intend to do is get a compost bin. We produce an inordinate amount of food waste in our house, at least partly due to two small children who can be quite fussy eaters, so I’m looking for a compost bin that takes cooked food as well as vegetable peelings and the like (ie a digester as well as a composter).

The Green Johanna looks like it’ll do the job perfectly, and actually benefits from a mix of waste so will take our cardboard too! Plus it comes with a little coat for winter. How sweet. It’s on the expensive side, but Recycle Now shows that there’s roughly a 25% discount in my area, plus a whole pound off for shopping online.

XTech 2007: Thursday 17th May Afternoon

May 27, 2007

UPDATE: Dare Obasanjo has written an interesting critique on using the Atom Publishing Protocol as the basis for general purpose sharing of data in the way that the Google Data API does.

Thursday afternoon had a few really interesting talks. I learned about the Google Data API (no longer called gData); Oracle’s use of XLink to represent relationships between documents, and the requirements that entails; using XSLT to create JSON to use Exhibit widgets; and using XMPP to enhance instant messaging.