People Writing

Head First into Kathy Sierra

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

I received an O’Reilly email update today about a new edition of Head First into Java just hitting the streets. I had reviewed the Head Into series a while back, and particularly liked the EJB book.

Seeing the book notice today reminded me of the discussion on the O’Reilly ETech conference and the 9% solution. During this, I got into a comment exchange over at David Weinberger’s post with one of the attendees at the conference, Kathy Sierra. Kathy is none other than the author of this series.

I was remiss in not linking to Kathy at the time–probably because like all magpies, a bright new shiny caught my attention and there I followed. However, I thought the book announcement was an excellent opportunity to rectify my ommission. If you haven’t chanced by Kathy’s weblog, Creating Passionate Users yet, you really should; she’s brought her “Head Into” use of fanciful and colorful graphics, and her very active, positive writing style into her weblog and it’s a fun mix. Most importantly, she’s a ‘longform’ writer, and we need more of these!

Well, along with women in technology that is.


Testing formatting

One of the things I liked about movable type is that you could choose the formatting on a post by post basic. That doesn’t necessarily work well in a dynamic environment, but I did add an option in the post edit page to choose whether you want the content formatted (using default formatting as per WordPress/Wordform, or plugin), or if you’ll apply your own (X)HTML.

This is a test to see how it works

This is a test


Woo hoo. Worked first time, right out of the box. I’m so bad.

Technology Weblogging

Three big changes

In the last 24 hours, I managed to get three major components of Wordform finished. Go me.

The first was the external application-via-plugin dashboard that allows user-selected filler. With this you can use one or more plugins to provide whatever you want within the dashboard area. For instance, I currently have a list of updated posts through my Feed-on-Feed installation, as well as a list of updated posts from the Burningbird weblogs.

The second was getting the Meta option to work. If you access the individual posts or pages within the site, and there’s metadata defined for them, the RDF/XML is returned. I still have to finish the interface for adding the data, but it shouldn’t be complicated. You can see my test cases at and here. I’ll add code to create a link to the files in the header, and another option whereby if you pass in ‘meta’ rather than ‘rdf’, you’ll get an HTML table of the information, in human viewable format.

With this functionality, if anyone wants to provide metadata support for a specific vocabulary, such as Creative Commons or the Vegetarian schema (yes, true schema), all they have to do is create a plugin that provides the HTML for the form fields (to enable the user to fill in the blanks on the statements) and make some simple API calls to process the data. From the advanced editing page, an option listing all available schemas (as plugins) is provided and clicking on one opens up the form to grab the data and update the database. Once metadata has been created for a page or a post, attaching a ‘/rdf/’ or ‘/meta/’ to the permalink for either returns the formatted data.

No more worries about putting the data into comments in XHTML. No more worries about combining data from different schemas, since it’s all RDF/XML.

The final option I finished today was fulltext, which you can see in the last post.

Still lots of work to do, but these were the three big infrastructure items left. Onwards.