Simon Willison’s Weblog

Items in Mar

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BCSS

Here’s the reason I’ve been blogging at a relatively low frequency lately: BCSS—the Bath University Computer Science Society. The site is still under heavy development (there’s a surprise) but there’s enough information there now for it to be worth linking to. At the moment the site is valid HTML 4.01 Strict but it works as XHTML as well (try appending ?xhtml=1 to the URL of any page on the site) thanks to an ultra flexible page template class (outlined here) and a few simple tricks to convert XHTML in to HTML beforethe page is displayed.

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Mozilla for bloggers

Matthew Haughey (freshly redesigned) has published a Mozilla advocacy article explaining why Mozilla (and variants) are excellent tools for bloggers. Spot on.

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Sitepoint redesigns

I don’t know how I missed it, but SitePoint have redesigned in funky valid structural XHTML and CSS. I quite like the new look (not so keen on the new logo though) and the navigation is definitely a huge improvement—instead of the previous confusing arangement of several “sister” sites they now divide content in to “Articles” and “Forums”, which makes a lot more sense. They have some clever DHTML enhancements as well, such as a collapsible left hand navigation panel. The right hand navigation that scrolls up and down (jerkily) with the window is quite distracting unfortunately.

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The importance of titles

Gordon Weakliem reminds us that the most important RSS element is <title>. I’m painfully reminded of this each and every time I add a new entry—I have well over 800 entries now, and I’ve promised myself that next time I perform a major upgrade on this blog I’m going to go through and manually add titles to every single one. The task should be made slightly easier by the camelCase permalinks, which I can convert in to “suggested” titles to help the task along. It’s still not going to be much fun though.

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Creative commons query

Aaron Swartz has been talking to Google about indexing Creative Commons licensed works:

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Dependencies suck

Sigh. I guess I’ll stick with the console version.

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An interview with Cory

An interview with Cory Doctorow, via Leonard. Provides some great background insight in to the world described in Down and Out, along with Cory’s thoughts on such topics as the recording industry and the Disney corporation.

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Vector search engines

Building a Vector Space Search Engine in Perl:

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