Archive for September, 2003

Happy Birthday Sherri!

Have a great day hon. I love you.

XML Blogging

As I mentioned previously, I use XML, XPath, XSLT, and W3C XML Schemas extensively at work. Recent activity on other blogs has put me to thinking about how XML can be used to run a blog. I’m working on getting Syncato working locally for experimentation, although I doubt I’ll be converting this blog- I don’t think it’s currently compatible with my hosting provider. Instead, I want to use it to experiment with XML blogging possibilities. I’ve created this new category, /WebDev/XML, to document ideas, progress, questions, etc.

OS X Trivia

While installing Syncato via Syncatomatic on my Powerbook, I was idly watching make messages scroll by when I something caught my eye. I’ve always enjoyed watching makefiles talk to themselves, e.g. ‘Checking for xyz… found’. Today I saw ‘checking the maximum length of command line arguments…’

The maximum length of a command line argument under tcsh on OS X 10.2.6 is 16384 characters. Now you know.

Now with HTML!

A few weeks ago, when ironing out my RSS feed, I decided to render permalinks as .html instead of .dev. At the time, I implemented a .html ‘flavour’ by hacking .htaccess with some mod_rewrite slyness, converting *.html to *.dev on the way in. It worked, but links on the displayed page pointing to other pages on this site were messed up for some reason.

This has been bugging me. As well, writings on other blogs and in the Blosxom newsgroup regarding URI cruft have had me rethinking my .dev flavour name.

So, I’ve made a copy of the .dev flavour named .html, and made it the default. The old flavour is still around, in case anyone has bookmarks; but moving forward .html will be the standard (well, unless I get rid of extentions entirely… but that’s a subject for another post).

XPath Rocks

I’ve been using XPath extensively for a couple of years now. The Excel templating engine I wrote for work accepts only XML as source data. XPath is used within the templates to select the elements to insert into the worksheet. The second version of the engine, which I wrote a year ago, uses even more XML – templates are now completely described in an XML schema designed for the purpose, and requests from the web server to the reporting servers for report creation are formatted in another XML schema. Inside the engine, most all manipulation of the various XML bits is done via XPath instead of DOM accessor methods like getElementByName().

Sam Ruby is currently working with a new weblog system known as Syncato, which stores entries in an XML DB (among other cool XML features). Sam has now enabled XPath searches of his archives, using the Atom and xhtml namespaces. Hover the example search links and checkout the search urls.

This is almost reason enough to switch to Syncato immediately. Add the fact that all presentation is done via XSLT (another XML technology I love), and the case is quite compelling.