# Monday, March 01, 2004

I'm currently listening to Tenacious D's eponymous first album, and I've got to say every time I hear it I'm amazed. 

Not only is it some of the funniest stuff I've ever heard (Tribute being my personal favorite) but it's actually pretty good musically too.  If you like that sort of thing that is.  I guess I do. 

Speaking of good music, I listened to the new Johnny Cash box set, Unearthed.  I guess I'd never fully appreciated Johnny Cash.  What a great collection of music.  Some of the modern rock songs he covers are truly fabulous, and there are some great duets.  I love his cover of Marley's Redemption Song with Joe Strummer, and his cover of Nine Inch Nails Hurt is possibly one of the saddest and yet most beautiful songs I think I've ever encountered. 

I'm getting all this through Rhapsody, but I might just have to shell out for Unearthed (which just happens to be available on iTunes).  So much media, so little time.

Monday, March 01, 2004 9:42:16 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [2]  | 
# Thursday, February 26, 2004

Bah!  I'm trying to make some sense of some "schemas" that I got from a third party.  Whoever wrote them is stuck in the 1998 "isn't XML a neat idea" stage of their career.  They are, of course, DTDs instead of W3 schemas.  Better still, pretty much every single element in the entire corpus (the whole thing is defined in one file, although it contains multiple messages) is defined as a global element, which makes a complete mess. 

As if that weren't enough, the DTDs don't actually validate. 

Sigh. 

So I'm struggling to rationalize them into some more useful (W3) form. 

All I can say is that it's 2004 for cryin' out loud.  XML isn't just a neat idea, and people should know better than this by now.  If you're defining a group of atomic messages, do yourself a favor and define one per schema file.  If you have repeating elements, import is your friend.  It makes it so much easier for the schema consumer to deal with.  Don't define every single element as global.  If you have structures that are used in more than one place, great, but for simpleTypes, it doesn't make much sense to make them global, and it really clutters up the schema. 

As with any other design task, think about how your schema is going to be used, and by whom, instead of starting from the idea that it's just really neat.  It's been long enough now that we should really be seeing better XML practices globally, but I fear that's not really the case. 

Keep trying!

XML
Thursday, February 26, 2004 9:42:18 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Friday, February 20, 2004

I'm just pages away from finishing Drop City, by T.C.Boyle.  This is one of the more riveting novels I've read in quite a while.  It's been hard for me to put it down.  It portrays two completely different sets of people who really have the same goals, but come at it from two totally different perspectives. 

It's set in 1970, and the two groups of people are a hippie commune from Sonoma County and the residents of Boynton, Alaska, 150 miles from Fairbanks where the roads stop.  The health department shuts down the commune, which decides to relocate itself to Alaska. 

The focus of the story is really around how the long term residents of Boyton, and the surrounding bush, are just as "dropped out" of mainstream society as the hippies are.  They too are looking for personal freedom, and escape from the rat race and rapidly plasticized society of the late 60's early 70's.  The difference between them is in their approach.  Libertine vs. Libertarian.  Peace love and brotherhood vs. live free or die.  It's a very interesting and original juxtaposition, IMHO.

I grew up in Marin in the early 70's and I remember first hand what the peace love and brotherhood crowd was like.  Boyle does a great job of capturing not only the ideal of hippieness, but also the factors that inevitably crushed it. 

If you remember the hippies, are into Alaska, or just looking for a diverting read, check it out.

Friday, February 20, 2004 1:58:49 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [2]  | 
# Friday, February 13, 2004

As I'm sure you've probably heard elsewhere, SourceGear has released a new version of their Vault SCC tool.  The single user version is now free, lot's of cool new features, etc. 

I was just looking through the list of new features, and this one has to be my favorite

 Blame: Displays an annotated view of the file showing which user last modified each line.

That'll come in handy. :-)

Friday, February 13, 2004 3:55:26 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  |