Simon Willison’s Weblog


Thursday, 20th June 2002


XFML—eXchangable Faceted Metadata Language (via Guide to ease). Now this is interesting. It’s an open XML format designed to facilitiate the publication and distribution of metadata—it uses a load of terms that are currently way over my head (hierarchical and faceted taxonomiest, topicmaps?) but the general principle looks fantastic. I wrote a metadata system last year that used a relational database and it was something of a nightmare—XFML looks like it solves some of the problems I faced, although my biggest challenge was how to grab and present usable information from the huge amounts of metadata collected which is a problem that falls outside the scope of XFML. XFML is best summarised by the following quote:

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OOP and XP

There’s an interesting rambling thread on SitePoint at the moment which started off talking about coding standards but has moved on now to discussing OOP and eXtreme Programming. In it, I try to explain inheritance and the difference between -> and :: while Vincent Oostindië explains the principle of refactoring from eXtreme Programming.

Apple rant

John C. Dvorak: E-Mac, i-Mac, No Mac. This is so poor I just had to link to it. John claims that the Mac is on it’s last legs and deserves to be put down, which is a complete contradiction to almost verything I’ve read about Macs in the past siz months. I’ve never had a Mac and I’ve had few chances to use one, but I would jump at the chance to own one at the moment. Why? Simple, OS X. Apple have taken a truly world class operating system (FreeBSD) and added a truly world class GUI—a combination that I don’t think is matched anywhere else in the computing world. They’re innovating like never before—AirPort and the i-series of software are great examples. John completely fails to back up his viewpoint at any point in his article—in fact the worst he does is to criticise Apple management of running Apple “like a tire company”.

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Mozilla versions

Peter-Paul Koch on evolt: One browser, many names—an invaluable guide to the many different version numbers and user-agent strings resulting from the Mozilla project.

RSS XML stylesheet

This is clever. The RSS feed for the World Wide Web Consortium uses an XML stylesheet to render visually in both Mozilla and IE. It’s a shame the links don’t work but it’s still a nice idea.

Additional navigational links

Today’s accessibility tip: Providing additional navigation aids. Mark explains the concept of “relative” links using the <link> tag, which can be used to provide shortcuts to the next and previous page in a sequence as well as links to a site’s homepage. He also provides instructions for implementing them in Moveable Type, and asks for suggestions as to how it could be done in Radio. These links are not rendered in the actual body of a page but can be used by many browsers to provide additional navigation aids. My blog has these already but only as shortcuts to my categories and a link back to the home page—I haven’t yet implemented them for next/previous buttons while browsing the archives (which is arguably their most useful ability). Time to get hacking...

Next-Prev implemented

I’ve implemented the next/previous additional aids options in the archives. It ended up being quite an ugly hack, but it works.

Amazon’s hairy feet

Elegant Hack: Today Amazon introduced the soon-to-be standard dancing tab with hairy feet.

2002 » June