The short-form week of 4–10 Apr 2011

11 Apr 2011

The week in review, 140 characters at a time. This week, 82 messages in 87 conversations. (With 37 favorites.)

This document was created automatically from my archive of my Twitter stream. Due to limitations in the Twitter API and occasional glitches in my archiving system, it may not be 100% complete.

In a conversation that started on Sunday at 02:20pm

@ndw Obvious simplification: do away w/ XML declaration and say doc is *always* UTF-8, period. Why support other encodings?—@ebruchez
@ebruchez I think UTF-16 is a requirement for some languages, the others are a pretty significant convenience.—@ndw
@ndw How can this be the case? UTF-8 encodes all of Unicode as much as UTF-16.—@ebruchez
@ebruchez I believe, though perhaps am mistaken, that for some languages UTF-8 encoding produces files much larger than UTF-16.—@ndw
@ndw @evlist Some metrics for UTF-8: 717K UTF-16: 1.2M Gzipped: 152K vs. 172K. UTF-8 easily wins over UTF-16 here.—@ebruchez
@ebruchez: Interesting... That contradicts sources like which says utf-16 is "denser for far east languages"! cc @ndw—@evlist
@evlist Seems the case for Wikipedia HTML at least ;) Now if XML elementss/attrs names are in Chinese as well, might be different. @ndw—@ebruchez
@ndw @ebruchez For more on the "size" issue, see the 2nd bullet under (my take: it's a dubious argument). #xml—@avernet
@ndw @evlist Finding some support for UTF-8 here: (Ironically Chinese/Japanese chars are messed up on this page.)—@ebruchez
@ebruchez: that's true, but depending on the language you use, UTF-8 documents can be significantly larger than UTF-16.—@evlist
@evlist @ndw Chinese probably. But how much is overhead, and does it justify complexity of the feature? Can use [bz]?zip if size is issue.—@ebruchez
@ebruchez: That will break tons of legacy applications that deserve to be broken.—@duck1123
@ndw FWIW, I really like the new-syntax-for-XDM approach, particularly as it makes error correction possible.—@JeniT
@ndw C:Python::Java:Jython::XML:NextML.—@davidpriest_ca
@ndw Talking of an alternative syntax for the same data model, what's your thought on something along the lines of Jade?—@avernet

Sunday at 11:21pm

@ndw continues to mine a rich vein of #xml #xmlprague—@xquery

Monday at 01:13am

The #xml Daily is out! ▸ Top stories today via @avernet @ndw @bolsatec @smjwsk @xquery—@aramanc

Monday at 01:39am

Monday at 04:16am

@ndw Things have come to a pretty pass // Our romance is growing flat … You say API and I say XDM … Let's call the whole thing off. #xml—@gimsieke

Monday at 09:39am

"In a democracy people supposed to get politicians they deserve. What on earth did Americans do to deserve these?"—@simonstl

Monday at 09:52am

Suspect Social Security/Medicare won't be there for me because Republicans will have done their damndest to kill it, not for other reasons.—@simonstl

Monday at 09:52am

CFO asks CEO "What happens if we invest in developing our people & then they leave us?" CEO: 'What happens if we don't, and they stay?"—@eranium

Monday at 11:03am

"Big Content" Is Strangling American Innovation Refers to USA, but similar can be said of EU (via @johnmark)—@jgbarah

Monday at 11:22am

Google really is the new Sun -- led by engineers, bogged down by process and with a single and vulnerable source of revenue.—@ekabanov

In a conversation that started on Monday at 12:06pm

I must be the only person on the planet who likes XSLT. But I do find it very natural—it's like LISP with pattern matching—@pragdave
@pragdave You’re not alone :-)—@ndw
@pragdave @vdichev I like XML and XSLT. Especially XSLT 2.0. Although I can't write it without code completion in Oxygen. ;-)—@tommorris

In a conversation that started on Monday at 01:19pm

Weather station I've wanted since I was a kid arrives today. Don't worry - I won't report weather every 2.5 seconds.—@simonstl
@simonstl Setup another Twitter account to do that... with a Perl script!—@gcarothers
@simonstl Once one have you always wanted, or at least, which one did you get?—@ndw
@ndw I went with the most basic Davis VantagePro2 setup available, though wireless for evil expansion dreams.—@simonstl
@simonstl Which one? Was thinking of getting one of those to teach my girls about simple maths, etc.—@kendall
@kendall I went with Davis VantagePro2. A basic one, but maybe more than you want in the city. Explore ,maybe?—@simonstl
@simonstl We have weather in the city, too. :>—@kendall
@kendall yep - I just doubt you'll be testing soil moisture and leaf wetness. Not that you lack them, just that it seems like overkill.—@simonstl

In a conversation that started on Monday at 01:20pm

Animals being sold as live keyrings in China—@shelleypowers
@shelleypowers That’s it. The straw that broke the camel’s back, if you’ll pardon the metaphor. I have lost all faith in humanity.—@ndw
@ndw I thought it had to be an April Fools at first, but verified with other sources. It is beyond despicable.—@shelleypowers

Monday at 01:23pm

One doesn't expect thunder to *shake the house* in April. Nor the Spanish Inquisition, I suppose.—@ndw

Monday at 01:56pm

Only in DC's media culture could Paul Ryan get credit for "courage" for proposing to beat the hell out of society's most vulnerable.—@BrianYoung

Monday at 02:07pm

"Religion seems to make people happy in these dark times, but it's just a delusion. It distracts them from the zombies and everything."—@MrTeller

Monday at 02:23pm

"1. Stop theorizing. 2. Write lots of software. 3. Learn from your mistakes." (hat tip @baob)—@codinghorror

Monday at 03:03pm

Reason is doomed. RT @ACLU Supreme Court Rules ... Lack Standing To Challenge Fund[ing] Religious-Based Scholarships—@ndw

In a conversation that started on Monday at 04:15pm

I'm used to having a lot on my plate and a todo list as long as my arm, but the rest of April is insane. I can haz clone now, plz?—@ndw
@ndw same here :(—@eedeebee
@ndw no sh**! I'm in the same boat. good luck! #stayontarget—@peteaven
@ndw I take it you are fan of duck-typing?—@leighklotz

Monday at 04:39pm

RT @ndw: I'm used to having a lot on my plate and a todo list as long as my arm, but the rest of April is insane. I can haz clone now, plz?—@planlist

In a conversation that started on Monday at 06:07pm

According to @Klout, @kellblog's Klout score is 51. How influential are you?—@Kellblog
@Kellblog I got a 51 as well, but man is the “topic summary” section ever weird for me. But not others I happened to peek at. Odd.—@ndw

Monday at 07:23pm

Dear Citi, Thanks for telling me about the data breach at Epsilon. Q: Why do they have my data in the first place? PS: Die in a fire.—@arclight

Monday at 08:28pm

If all atheists left the USA it would lose 93% of the National Academy of Sciences but less than 1% of the prison population.—@UFLinguist

In a conversation that started on Monday at 09:08pm

Using text/xpath as a content type for an embedded XPath expression appears reasonable, no? Any precedent?—@ebruchez
@ebruchez: perl, tcl, javascript, ... are application/x-perl, application/x-tcl, application/x-javascript... what about application/x-xpath?—@evlist
@evlist I don't like the x-* options. They feels very unassertive. XPath is established, I would use just xpath, whether official or not ;)—@ebruchez
@evlist Since "text" is useless and "application" doesn't say anything: inline: type="xpath"; network: application/xpath and UTF-8 @ndw—@ebruchez
@ebruchez: sounds good!—@evlist
@evlist JavaScript is officially text/javascript in HTML 5, but many options in practice:—@ebruchez
@ebruchez: a difference between text/* and application/* is that for text/* you declare the encoding in HTTP headers. Is that the case here?—@evlist
@evlist Intermediaries can transcode text/* media types and there are charset issues, I think. application/* seems better.—@ndw
@ndw: yep!—@evlist
@ndw I take this to mean that text/* is forever useless on the web. @evlist—@ebruchez
@ebruchez For XML, yes. For other text formats, perhaps not.—@ndw
@evlist Here main use case was embedded within markup. E.g. <script type="text/xpath">inline script</script>.—@ebruchez

In a conversation that started on Monday at 11:02pm

Turn your old school analog 35mm camera into a digital camera? Awesome, if it ships.—@thebrianmanley
@thebrianmanley It looks fantastic. If it ships.—@ndw

Tuesday at 03:57am

Byte walks into a bar looking glum. Barman: "What's the matter with you?" Byte: "Parity error." Barman: "Ah. Thought you looked a bit off."—@sdstrowes

Tuesday at 05:10am

Outside world! Now in 3D! OMG! Awesome!—@jessicahagy

Tuesday at 06:31am

"well, what could be more serious than that? I think I'm going to be sick." -—@simonstl

In a conversation that started on Tuesday at 06:58am

@webmink more importantly, I'd like a block button that actually only blocks @support—@marjoleink
@marjoleink @webmink @Hibari (Mac client) has some nice features for muting and searching.—@ndw
@ndw we need native features!—@marjoleink

Tuesday at 07:32am

I don't want to live in a place where what Paul Ryan has proposed can be called "courageous". That's just too fucked up & immoral for me.—@kendall

In a conversation that started on Tuesday at 07:40am

From a scientific point of view, it takes absurdly long for terrible ideas to be discredited & discarded in politics, at least in the US.—@kendall
@kendall There’s evidence that they’re *ever* discredited and discarded in US politics? Are you sure? ;-)—@ndw
@ndw Well, as @derekwillis pointed out, slavery is pretty much beyond the pale now. Took forever!—@kendall
@kendall @ndw @derekwillis Yet a big story yesterday was on Latino sex slaves in US neighborhoods in 25 states—@shelleypowers

Tuesday at 08:35am

@shellypowers Right, but I don't think anyone's going to argue in favor of that as a *policy* /cc @ndw @derekwillis—@kendall

Tuesday at 09:24am

Trying out "solarized" theme. I dunno, I'm not sure there's enough contrast in the light version.—@ndw

Tuesday at 10:33am

the colour geek in me loves this stuff: Evan Schoonover's Solarized /ht @ndw—@jtauber

Tuesday at 10:34am

RT @jtauber: the colour geek in me loves this stuff: Evan Schoonover's Solarized /ht @ndw—@trevormunoz

Tuesday at 12:27pm

Powerful people should pay lower taxes, poor people should get less medicine. #brave—@mattyglesias

Tuesday at 12:37pm

"In one culture x is OK and in another it's shocking […] the side that's shocked is most likely to be the mistaken one."—@avernet

In a conversation that started on Tuesday at 01:21pm

Protip: CZ receipts are indecipherable to English speakers so take notes. #xmlprague #expensereport #whatdidibuy?—@ndw
@ndw [indecipherable CZ receipts] : remember that "Pivo" means "Beer", should help for more than half #xmlprague #beer #xmlmonks—@innovimax
@ndw protip: in the context of an expense claim, “pivo” is Czech for “item”—@psd

Tuesday at 01:53pm

I just found my new color scheme! RT @jtauber the colour geek in me loves this stuff: Solarized /ht @ndw—@jeffschenck

Tuesday at 03:54pm

Must have C-c C-t d about 25 items off my todo list in the last two days. #notasustainablepace #emacs #org-mode #ftw—@ndw

Tuesday at 04:01pm

"Writing Clear, Concise, Sentences" -- Uh... #total #fail—@kendall

Wednesday at 03:30am

Find myself re-reading @ndw's "XML" Check it out, if you haven't done so already. #xml #MicroXML #xmlnext—@thomas_hansen_

In a conversation that started on Wednesday at 06:41am

Yes,,,, and are down. Fscking defective memory. Back soon. Maybe. Probably.—@ndw
@ndw Memory in the cloud... Dark smoldering plastic cloud?—@dizzzz
@dizzzz Bad DIMM. Hopefully all fixed now.—@ndw

Wednesday at 08:50am

Got it in one. The first 4G DIMM I pulled appears to be the one that has errors. Now running with 12G and we'll see how it goes.—@ndw

In a conversation that started on Wednesday at 09:30am

Hey, but at least all those hardworking Congress people still get paid during the govt shutdown. We must have our national priorities!—@kendall
@kendall WTF! That’s just wrong. Like so much else...—@ndw

Wednesday at 10:36am

RT @chrislhayes: Imagine if the Serious People spent all this energy on making sure we avert climate disaster rather than screwing the poor?—@kdrum

Wednesday at 02:04pm

More anti-government than Newt Gingrich and serving in Congress. That should just not happen in a sane society.—@kendall

Wednesday at 10:49pm

Working on my talk for the MarkLogic User Conference. Talking about some very cool features. And @ndw will demo! #mluc—@mdubinko

Thursday at 05:54am

What? "The Fifth Element" is not a movie about Boron?—@raphv

In a conversation that started on Thursday at 06:05am

"Our in-house technical support team is being a more cost-effective offshore support platform." #doesnotbodewell #eig #dreamhost—@ndw
@ndw April Fool!—@milessabin
@milessabin The newsletter containing the statement is dated 6 April, so they’re either 5 days late or they’re not kidding.—@ndw
@ndw Yes, but it's referring to a blog post that went out on the first. Read the comments ... very funny.—@milessabin
@ndw that's a key part of the reason I pay for a cage with power and an Internet connection downtown.—@simonstl
@ndw re dreamhost - that was a joke, wasn't it?—@andrewwelch
@andrewwelch Yeah, apparently. Meh.—@ndw

Thursday at 06:34am

@ndw do they actually say the *team* is moved? or is the 'support' moved? & WTH is an 'offshore support platform'? oil rig?—@marjoleink

In a conversation that started on Thursday at 06:44am

Color me taken then: but April Fool jokes dated 6 April do not amuse. #dreamhost—@ndw
@ndw You're not the only one. A lot of people (me included) only saw this via the newsletter several days later.—@milessabin

Thursday at 07:25am

In a conversation that started on Thursday at 07:40am

I wonder if I would have joined the engineering team if I had known that I would have to write technical docs in Word. #killmenow—@ndw
@ndw .docx is XML. Is there not a workaround?—@james_clark
@james_clark Yes, I expect there is. Word to DocBook and back or some such, but this particular task is to edit part of someone else’s doc—@ndw
@ndw Why not generate your Word docs out of DocBook? :-)—@grtjn
@grtjn Yes, yes. Mostly because I’m editing someone else’s doc and I forgot just how incredibly painful it is until it seemed too late.—@ndw
@ndw I have to read Word docs now and then here at KUMC, but so far I have managed to avoid editing them. Knock wood.—@dckc
@dckc @ndw I have to write them at times too, particularly for EU grant reports. Solution? Make 1 person that actually like Word "editor."—@kiniry
@ndw Re writing in Word: #killthemnow—@sgmlguru
@ndw revolution starts today ... Look at techdocs build system. I used it for CPF, we could use it again—@mathling
@ndw thought you would have everything on docbook by now.—@kingargyle
@ndw LOL! I laugh with you, not at you. nice to get a visit in the Word trench every once in a while.—@peteaven

In a conversation that started on Thursday at 09:21am

You can't believe that the government shouldn't run the Internet and believe the government HAS to run the FAA at the same time. #utpol—@windley
@windley Sorry, how are those two things related?—@ndw

In a conversation that started on Thursday at 01:02pm

RT @kdrum: How Condoms Are Shutting Down the Government < Now there's an image!—@simonstl
@simonstl @kdrum the US wouldn't need to worry so much about condoms if it didn't keep electing dicks to Congress.—@david_megginson

Thursday at 01:04pm

It's good to know Republicans want to shut the entire federal govt to ban an activity (abortion) that's *completely legal* in the US.—@kendall

In a conversation that started on Thursday at 03:33pm

Connection between computers A and B is worse than A to internet. Problem: 50 cm wall to drill through for ethernet :-(—@martin_probst
@martin_probst That’s a serious bit of wall.—@ndw
@ndw typical late 19th century German city house. People really liked to show off those days, c.f. >3m ceiling height.—@martin_probst
@ndw though the wall itself should only be bricks or maybe even clay in parts. So it's a question of length, not power.—@martin_probst
@martin_probst Years ago a cable installer just rammed a drill through the wall w/no concern for what was in or beyond it. I was stunned.—@ndw
@ndw is there another way? :-)—@martin_probst

In a conversation that started on Thursday at 04:04pm

Can you even imagine the inverse of the present situation? Democrats shutdown govt because their liberal left wants defense de-funded?—@kendall
@kendall No, but bat-shit crazy isn’t the inverse of bat-shit crazy, either.—@ndw
@ndw You think cutting military funding is bat shit crazy?—@kendall
@kendall No, I think one party shutting down the government like a bunch of petulant little snots is bat shit crazy.—@ndw
@ndw I agree completely. I guess I mis-phrased my question, then. :>—@kendall

In a conversation that started on Thursday at 04:54pm

Sigh. RT @skepticscience Fossil fuel companies spend $1 billion on lobbying, receive $90 billion in subsidies—@ndw
@ndw now that's what I call return on investment! They're even extractive that way.—@simonstl

Friday at 05:34am

Woops, direct link to World Wide Catacombs About the buried non-commercial Web. @vwadhwa @DaveWiner @JayRosen_NYU—@dsearls

Friday at 05:38am

Why GUIs suck, revisited—@JohnPelhamBlack

Friday at 06:35am

Really interesting: theory that gravity isn't a force, but a consequence of projecting 5 space-time dimensions onto 4—@mikeloukides

Friday at 06:48am

Less architectural tiers + no data impedence = less problems. #marklogic #xquery (via @xquerywebappdev)—@jpcs

Friday at 07:32am

RT @dsearls World Wide Catacombs: The non-commercial Web is now buried, if not dead.—@ndw

Friday at 07:37am

"They Chose WHO to Look Out for the Water Your Children Drink?" -—@simonstl

Friday at 07:39am

Working at the auto repair shop is one thing. Working through the non-stop talk talk talk of the shop radio is another thing entirely.—@ndw

In a conversation that started on Friday at 08:49am

#GOP #WI Election official use her PERSONAL COMPUTER to store election results and "finds" 7200+ votes? Srsly? #fraud—@dhmspector
@dhmspector Is there anything so outrageous that the GOP won’t do it?—@ndw
@ndw is that a rhetorical question? :)—@dhmspector

Friday at 08:59am

I encourage everyone to refer to the govt shutdown, if or when it happens, as The Tea Party Shutdown. Let's make 'em own it!—@kendall

Friday at 09:36am

The One-second War (What Time Will You Die?)—@windley

Friday at 12:57pm

@ndw no longer laughing. just had to write a TOC using Word and it is *painful*—@peteaven

In a conversation that started on Friday at 01:05pm

@bsletten sweet! yeah, did the vanity check too. mine comes up as a CPF properties file. Was hopin wifey was in there but alas, she's not :)—@peteaven
@peteaven LOL. Now was that for the link or the TOC in Word. I’ll leave that for you to decide.—@ndw
@ndw i think maybe both ;)—@peteaven
@peteaven Mine is, well, different: (and was done especially for @ndw :-p)—@fgeorges
@fgeorges awesome!—@peteaven

Friday at 01:12pm

If men got pregnant, Planned Parenthood would be funded at military levels.—@HunterDK

In a conversation that started on Friday at 01:13pm

I have an irrational dislike of XPath expressions of the form "some-expr/string()". I prefer "string(some-expr)".—@ndw
@ndw I used to dislike them too, but realized I wasn't forward thinking enough to start with string(... and so saves CTRL-cursoring back—@leepollington
@ndw But they are absolutely not the same thing... (think about some-expr returning no or several nodes)—@fgeorges
@fgeorges Yes. I said it was irrational. And illogical, it turns out.—@ndw

In a conversation that started on Friday at 01:14pm

Protip: in XPath, some-expr/@foo/string() and string(some-expr/@foo) are not at all the same if some-expr has no foo attribute.—@ndw
@ndw Not 100% sure on syntax but in XPath 3 I think you can show intent of former more clearly as map(string, some-expr).—@ebruchez
@ebruchez Out of the top of my head, that's map(string#1, some-expr). But really, compared to some-expr/string(.) ... (cc: @ndw)—@fgeorges
@ndw don't get me started on /some/path/expression/text() which is almost always wrong, but accidentally works enough to exist as a meme—@mdubinko

Friday at 01:40pm

This year, we cut $75 million in homeless veteran benefits, but promised $27.4 million for NASCAR sponsorships |—@TIME

In a conversation that started on Friday at 01:48pm

OH "Descartes' geeky nephew paraphrased his uncle: \'I introduce bugs, therefore I am.'"—@ndw
@ndw Codito ergo sum!—@hunterhacker
@hunterhacker Bugito ergo sum...—@iansmall
@iansmall Sum ergo codito. Codito ergo bugito.—@hunterhacker
@hunterhacker There's a follow up that has to do with the "sum" of your "bugs" but I'm too tired to figure it out.—@iansmall

Friday at 02:05pm

Hang on. NPR needs to be shut down to save money and this dead asshole gets MORE money than they do: /ht @meyerweb—@jungshadow

Friday at 02:05pm

So, HTML5 will not have the longdesc or summary attributes, but we get <u>, <b> and <i>. #yippee #not!—@estellevw

Friday at 03:07pm

Planned Parenthood's crimes, which must be stopped according to the GOP? Birth control, pap smears, cancer screenings. #americantaliban—@kendall

In a conversation that started on Friday at 03:19pm

Ubuntu is loads better than it was last time I really used it. But I still like macs better. Right now I miss my OmniFocus.—@bphogan
@bphogan I switched to #Emacs org-mode and I’ve never looked back.—@ndw
@bphogan we've been pairing on an ubuntu box for the past two days. It is actually working well for that—@johnsonch

Friday at 03:23pm

"Probable-cause warrants would only get in the government’s way." You're damned right. #billofrights #privacy—@ndw

In a conversation that started on Friday at 03:24pm

Got a lot of good and imporant things done this week. But a paper for #Balisage was not one of them :-(—@ndw
@ndw There are two more days to the end of the week ;)—@ebruchez
@ebruchez I believe today was the paper deadline. Not that I won’t send something in if inspiration strikes and the words flow before Monday—@ndw

Friday at 03:27pm

What part of "Uphold, protect and defend the Constitution of the United Sates" didn't you understand? #obama #congress—@dhmspector

Saturday at 04:27pm

4 steps to #xproc : 1. read @ndw s intro, 2. see real life samples in @oxygenxml, 3. goto 1., 4. start coding on monday—@herrkerzenbaum

Sunday at 11:58am

Remember when Planned Parenthood & NPR crashed the market, wiped out half our 401Ks and took TARP money? Me neither.—@joelhousman

Sunday at 04:26pm

New Blog Post - Creating an iPad-like dropdown menu in HTML5—@RussB