Monthly Archives: May 2001

Death of Douglas Adams

It’s been a few days without an update. That’s largely because I’ve been starting at my new job. Things are going well so far and I’m hoping to increase the frequency of updates back to normal level on Monday.
In sad news, Douglas Adams of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy fame has died. I actually got to see Mr. Adams in person about 15 years ago when he did a book signing for So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish at a bookstore near Rice. People lined up wearing their bathrobes (how original 🙂 and hundreds must have come for the signing. Mr. Adams was wearing a sweater that had the cover of So Long… knitted into it. He said a lady fan had made it for him and given it to him at another signing.

Added Books to Resources Page

Added the first seven of my “must-have” books to the resources page. I don’t have descriptions up yet for the books. Currently there is just a picture of the book and its title up but I’ll have descriptions shortly. Each of the books is a link to purchase the book on so don’t be shy about buying anything I’ve recommended 🙂

Articles About Freenet

Articles worth taking a look at:

The first two articles are information on how to write a Freenet client using the new XML-RPC client so your client can be language independent (most existing Freenet clients are Java based because the reference implementation is written in Java and the clients utilize the reference implemenation code). The last article is a nice overview of RSS, all its various versions, strengths, weaknesses, version compatabilities, most anything you might want to know.

Visual Programming

Oh, I forgot to mention this. I’m also trying to learn more about visual programming and visual languages. I already had some ideas for doing something with a visual system for laying out a process but a friend of mine is also pushing me along that track because it is relevant to something he wants for some software of his own.
Anyway, the incredibly frustrating thing about this is actually trying to find out anything about it. Every time you go to a web page of somebody who researches this area you can get a laundry list of interesting papers that have been written on the topic but no links to those papers. Everything is just a citation to where it appeared in some IEEE journal or something that I might have access to if I was a professor at a well stocked university. As it stands today though, once you are out of school, getting access to the various research papers in a field is a real hassle. I was really pleased to see that a lot of researchers recently began signing a petition that said that they would only publish their papers in the various journals if the copyright fell back to them after a period so they could make their papers readily available via some form of online publishing. Hopefully the mess that exists today won’t persist into the future.

Demo Programs for HotSheet’s RSS Library

I’ve spent a little time working on example programs that use the RSS reading/parsing portions of HotSheet. HotSheet is designed using Model-View-Controller (MVC) and the model portion of it is the portion that deals with RSS channels and the items within them.
I want to get some simple example programs and documentation ready so other developers could utilize parts of HotSheet to build other programs. For example, Don wants to use the core to build something that would generate a portal page that has all his favorite RSS channels on it (basically the purpose that used to serve).
As soon as I get the developer docs done I plan to post everything to Sourceforge so others can use this stuff if they are interested in doing so.

Amusingly Bizarre Stuff

Amusingly bizarre stuff from around the web:

  • Stick Figure Kung Fu – Tolerate the slow startup while it loads because the Flash animation itself can make your eyes bug out. It’s like watching a stick figure Bruce Lee at work.
  • Hyakugojyuuichi – An “innovative” animation set to a song from the Japanese version of Pokemon. Note: Has a few mildly offensive images but the result is pretty much hilarious.

Gainfully Employed

I accepted a position at PDX today (exactly one month after being laid off in the Vast Solutions closure). Not only am I once again gainfully employed, the new job is located in Fort Worth rather than Dallas (as V.Cities and Vast both were) so I’m cutting an hour and a half to two hours off of my daily drive!!! I figure I’ll get back at least eight hours a week of time I spent in the car before.

Added Support for RSS 1.0

Added support for RSS 1.0 format to HotSheet. Now you can get news from Slashdot and other sites that use 1.0 rather than the older but more prevalent 0.90 and 0.91 RSS standards (e.g. still uses 0.91). As always, the upgrade will happen transparently through Java Web Start.