Monthly Archives: May 2001

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 my.netscape.com 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. GameDev.net still uses 0.91). As always, the upgrade will happen transparently through Java Web Start.