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inkdroid (3294)

inkdroid
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inkdroid is a person, not a robot. however, inkdroid likes ink. inkdroid likes perl too.

Journal of inkdroid (3294)

Thursday May 22, 2003
08:55 AM

rdf.net challenge

Tim Bray is having a contest to give away the rdf.net domain. All you need to do is come up with an

RDF-based app that I [Tim] actually want to use on a regular basis (at least once per day), and which has the potential to spread virally.

Wednesday May 21, 2003
07:56 AM

info during wartime

Tim Bray's ongoing journal has a short piece on information and war today. I'm so glad Bray decided to maintain a journal...
Thursday May 08, 2003
05:55 AM

Book of the New Sun

I just finished reading Gene Wolfe's four part series Book of the New Sun (1 and 2). I know I heard about Wolfe from someone on use.perl.org or #perl. Perhaps I eavesdropped on Dave Rolsky since he imagined and coded Alzabo (a word from Wolfe's imaginary world). Anyway, these books were absolutely incredible.

"a masterpiece of science fantasy comparable in importance to the major works of Tolkien and Lewis" (Publishers Weekly)

"Arguably the finest piece of literature American science fiction has yet produced." (Chicago Sun Times).

When I read these comments on the back of the first book I must admit I was skeptical. It's almost the ultimate no-no for me to compare anything to Tolkien. I guess that's because I read Tolkien so many times growing up it somehow shaped part of my imagination, and is now inextricably linked to that time in my life.

But as I got into the Book of the New Sun I couldn't agree more. These books have been around for a while, so they are probably not big news to anyone who is into science fiction/fantasy. But if you haven't read them definitely pick up the first one and see what you think. These books have it all: superb language, richly imagined world, complex characters, mystery, magic, science, religion, history, phantasmagoria, sex, love ... the whole #!. Now I need to find something new to read: any ideas? I feel like I'll have to wait a while before finding another gem like this.

Sunday May 04, 2003
11:36 AM

googling

For my SOAP talk at chicago-pm I wrote a small current awareness utility (googling) that will query google's SOAP service and send any new results via email. The idea is that googling can search for new stuff that you are interested in, and email you when if finds new stuff. It can be run from cmd line, or more usefully from cron:

googling --query="link:www.inkdroid.org" --email="me@inkdroid.org" --key="yourgoogleidhere"

This would use your google key to search for all the sites that link to www.inkdroid.org, and will email me@inkdroid.org with any new sites that it finds.

The program recognizes new sites because it remembers what it has seen before on previous runs for that specific search. The memory is of course a little database, implemented in SQLite (ahhh). googling creates the database on the first run, so there's no need for you to create it yourself. You just have to have DBD::SQLite and SOAP::Lite installed.

Friday May 02, 2003
01:45 PM

natrual lnagugaes

Jsut read an itnerseting take on a sbuject clsoe to Perl's herat, prgoramimng lnagugaes copmared wtih natrual lnagugaes.

Thursday May 01, 2003
09:13 AM

text

The third part of Tim Bray's four part "trilogy" on text processing concerns programming languages and text. For a while now Java has boasted Unicode...so it's interesting to hear about the wrinkles. These criticisms are relevant to Perl's Unicode handling as well:

print length("\N{LATIN CAPITAL LETTER A}\N{COMBINING ACUTE ACCENT}"), "\n";

prints 2 not 1.

Unicode is cool, but the issues are so huge (especially for a programming language that is so text oriented). I'm still amazed that the perl5 folks were able to graft Unicode into Perl5 without having to wait till Perl6.

Wednesday April 30, 2003
09:50 AM

p2p++

I must have missed this on slashdot or the evening news (since I haven't been paying much attention to them lately). Dreamcast (the makers of Morpheus) have been able to beat the Recording Industry Association of America and the Motion Picture Association of America in a landmark case with the help of the EFF. This is a promising development, since whatever anyone says about the legality of copying copyrighted works, the technology behind P2P will be allowed to develop and flourish.
Friday April 25, 2003
08:57 PM

emtech

I wish I was at the Emerging Technology Conference so I could check this out..among other things.
Tuesday April 22, 2003
11:10 AM

chicago.pm & soap

The chicago.pm meeting last night went down really well. There was interesting conversation about how Perl is being used in the Chicago area; lots of ideas for upcoming meetings; and beer and food were readily available. The slides for the SOAP talk which I presented are also available. A big thanks to Marsee at O'Reilly for donating books which we could give away. There were lots of first timers at the meeting.
Thursday April 17, 2003
02:19 PM

TT

I've been meaning to learn more about TemplateToolkit for a while, and recently found a side project to get my feet wet. I redesigned the chicago.pm website with the help of group members and Andy Lester. I didn't want to count on the hosting company having TT installed, so the pages are built statically with ttree. Funnily enough when we were moving over the files we found out that TemplateToolkit was actually installed (ttree was in the PATH)!