Just Shelley

If you can read this, you’re lucky

I am playing on the server today, which means if you can read this now, you’re lucky. Expect slow access times and strange pages. Broken Things.

In the meantime, Jonathon finally introduces us to his new friend, Reimi, a beautiful gray haired, green eyed lady. In fact, she looks a bit like my own lovely lady, Zoe.


Dorothea is burning … bread. I hear you Dorothea: my alarm goes off every time I make toast. I personally like burnt toast, almost black in color. I think there’s nothing like a little carbon to get you going in the morning.

BTW, Dorothea and I have the same taglines on a dare, but I kind of like “An unnatural manifestation of androgynous weblogging” for my weblog. I’m thinking of keeping it. A poll to my weblog readers, which do you prefer:

An unnatural manifestation of androgynous weblogging


A node at the edge

Today is an extremely good RDF day, and I am zooming along at the speed of light. Productivity, thou art my middle name. (Well, actually, it’s Rae, but who’s picking nits?) When I get to a good breaking point in the writing, I have two book reviews to post (on “The Sportswriter” and “The Rings of Saturn”), and the weblog to create for my book-on-the-hoof Coming of Age in John Birch Country.

(Hint. And you all should have have an application or two to play with this coming week. Hint.)

That’s all. Go about your lives.


World Summit weblog

Many thanks go out to Farrago for pointing out that there’s an extremely well organized weblog covering the World Summit.

Now, this is what a political weblog is all about. Take a look and tell me you’re not impressed with the organization of this weblog. It’s incredible.

Not only can you keep up daily what’s happening at the Summit, but you can post comments and the people maintaining the weblog will try and get questions answered, follow through on tips, and so on.

It’s a late start, the summit is already under way, but here’s the link.

Update: Rebecca Blood provided coverage of this weblog. And Dave just came through with a link. Thanks Dave!!!



Technology Weblogging

Threadneedle just got competition

Ben and Mena at Movable Type just released a Trackback threading tool that will build an entire tree out of MT trackbacks. Here’s a page showing the Trackbacks from one of my earlier postings

Yes, this is what ThreadNeedle is supposed to do. Yes, ThreadNeedle is not finished.

When you enable TrackBack for a posting, Movable Type embeds a small piece of RDF in the page, such as the following:


<rdf:RDF xmlns:rdf=””
dc:title=”World Summit Weblog”
dc:description=”Many thanks go out to Farrago for pointing out that there’s an extremely well organized weblog covering the World Summit. Now, this is what a political weblog is all about. Take a look and tell me you’re not impressed with…”
dc:date=”2002-08-2514:00:27-06:00″ />


This simplified RDF can be embedded because all of the RDF data is treated as attributes — notice that there’s nothing outside of the Description element? Attributes don’t get printed out via the parsers in the browsers.

So, why can’t I do this with ThreadNeedle? Two reasons.

First, I can’t control the output of the weblogging tools, so if I give you a piece of RDF to embed in your posting, the weblogging tool will try to add break tags (< br/>) to the code to handle line breaks in the RDF. This screws up all RDF processors.

Secondly, anything more sophisticated then the example I showed you requires special handling to embed the RDF in HTML/XHTML. Surrounding the data with the Script tags will work — the parsers ignore anything contained in script tags. However, this still doesn’t solve the problem of weblogging tool munging.

I can generate RDF, and it’s very doable to create an application that finds the RDF, and follows the threaded entries to the new page and looks for embedded RDF and so on (as the Movable Type Trackback threading application does, except that it uses the Trackback data stored in our local data stores) but I can’t control the munging of the RDF by the weblogging tool.

Ben, Mena, this was cool. Really. And thanks! I hate to be greedy, but can you and Ev and Dave and the other weblogging tool builders give us a window in the weblog posting page to include content that is embedded directly in the posting, without manipulation by the weblogging tool? Then others, such as myself, can provide functionality — such as ThreadNeedle — that isn’t dependent on the weblogging tool and without having to go through extraordinary means of handling this markup munging problem.

I realize that webloggers can turn off line breaks (either for a weblog or a posting), but many webloggers don’t know how to include their own HTML line breaking tags. What I’m looking for is the best of all possible worlds — a separate window that takes text which is added to the bottom of a weblog posting without any processing by the weblogging tool, while still allowing tool processing of the weblog entry itself.

Pretty please?

In the meantime, I have the Movable Type Threading CGI application running (Access here, pass in the URL of the page with Trackbacks). Feel free to try this with pages that have TrackBack enabled. If it slows my server too much, I’ll have to pull it, but we can give it a try for now.

Just Shelley

Tired of tech

Seventeen straight hours of working with RDF in PHP, Java, Python, and Perl, including working with half a dozen APIs. Writing about same. Reviewing 200 pages of Unix book. Only 800 pages more to go.

The more I work, the farther I get behind. Light at the end of the tunnel? What light? Who took the tunnel?

Got much accomplished, really, and this is a goodness. But my stress level is exceptionally high at this point. Much more so than normal. However, rather than wander about the weblogging world, looking for things to react to (otherwise known as trolling for a fight), I thought I would try something new:

Turn the computer off.

Damn, I am tired. But I’m finally learning, aren’t I?