Simon Willison’s Weblog

Entries in Sep, 2002

Filters: Type: entry × Year: 2002 × Month: Sep ×

Basic Lisp

Typically, Lisp is run as an interactive interpreter. People write a whole load of Lisp in a test file and then load it in to the interpreter and try it out to see if it works. Lisp is a very dynamic language—functions can be redefined on the fly and it is perfectly possible to shoot yourself in the foot (by redefining Lisp internals for example) if you really want to.

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Languages and grammars

These notes are from a lecture on the 26th September.

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Managing data

These notes cover chapter one of “Data Management” by Richard T. Watson.

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Aquarionics backups

Aquarion explains how his automated backup scripts work.

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Maths for apps problems class

I didn’t quite understand this part of the lecture as we arrived late. These are the notes copied from the board.

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Pingback and Trackback

Hixie has written a whitepaper comparing Pingback to Trackback, and answering pretty much every question that has been asked about Pingback in the past week.

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XML transformations with CSS and the DOM

Scott Andrew: XML Transformations with CSS and DOM. Forget about XSLT, Scott demonstrates how CSS can be used to visually style XML documents while a bit of Javascript can add additional behaviour such as clickable links. Unfortunately the demonstration document doesn’t seem to work in my 1.1 version of Mozilla (the styles work fine but the clickable links don’t work at all).

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Utter muppets still sucks in Mozilla.

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Taming lists

In CSS Design: Taming Lists, Mark Newhouse explains in detail every CSS list trick in the book, including inline lists, nested breadcrumbs and a variety of other useful techniques. He also links to Eric Meyer’s essential DevEdge article Consistent List Indentation which explains how to deal with the differences between list indentation in Internet Explorer and Mozilla.

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CSS in the real world

Adrian Holovaty: CSS in the real world. Adrian uses CSS to reduce the markup for a list of news headlines by 75%:

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Peter Gabriel

Today’s weird blogging observation: Bloggers love Peter Gabriel. Jeremy Zawodny is a big fan, Scott Andrew can’t wait for his new album, Jeffrey Zeldman praises his sophistication and daypop returns 44 blogs currently talking about him. Despite being good friends with his nephew I’ve never really listened to him that much, but with glowing reviews such as these I’m tempted to grab the new album and see what the fuss is about.

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XFML 1.0 soon

Peter Van Dijck: Future XFML news will be posted on the site. XFML 1.0 will be with us soon.

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Usability and interface design

This course covers HCI with a heavy emphasis on implementation. We will be developing the interface/interaction components of software using Java, in particular the AWT and Swing toolkits.

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Functional programming

These notes cover the first two lectures of Dr Bradford’s Function Programming course.

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More lecture notes

As you can see, I’ve posted some more lecture notes. The second set uses a HTML entities to display greek letters, as listed on this page of the HTML 4.0 recommendation.

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Deng—HTML rendering in Flash

DENG (via WaSP) is a W3C compliant XHTML/CSS/XForms rendering engine written entirely in Flash MX Actionscript.

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String rewriting systems

These notes are from the second lecture in Dr Richardson’s Formal Systems course.

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Formal systems

These notes cover the first lecture in Dr Dan Richardson’s Formal Systems, logic and semantics lecture. I missed the lecture so these notes are being made with the help of the course notes from Dr Richardon’s homepage (which can be viewed using DVI Viewer for Windows).

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Fluid thinking

Peter-Paul Koch explains graceful degradation in Fluid Thinking:

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RSS 3.0 was a joke. ESF is serious, and is already getting a fair bit of attention from the blogging and syndication communities.

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Tony Bowden comments on Boo Hoo:

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Pingback coverage

The Pingback 1.0 specification is getting some serious attention. Mark Pilgrim and Dave Winer have linked to it. Ben Trott (co-author of Moveable Type and creator of TrackBack, the system that inspired Pingback) has objected to Hixie’s suggestion that Pingback is more transparent than TrackBack, claiming that TrackBack could be made just as transparent by the right blog tools. Ben blogged some further thoughts which lead to the following comment by Phil Ringnalda:

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Bath University web guidelines

The Bath University Web Standards & Publishing Guide makes interesting reading. They have standardised on HTML 4.01 Transitional and CSS level 2, although the actual page that suggests those standards has an XHTML doctype and fails to validate. The University also aims to support the W3C’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, priority level 1.

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Pingback 1.0

Hixie has published the specification for Pingback 1.0. In general the specification is an excellent document, but I’m not entirely happy with the following statement:

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How to install Mozilla on Bath University PCs

Since I’m using the University Library computers at the moment I’m having to reinstall Mozilla on a daily basis. Here’s how I do it:

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How the RIAA was hacked

The Register: Want to know how was hacked? They had an un-password-protected admin panel listed in their robots.txt file. Muppets.

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Blogging my lecture notes

So what was all that about? University term started today, and with it comes my grand plan to blog my lecture notes. Don’t worry, I will be restructuring this site in the near future to keep lecture notes off the front page so people who come here for web development stuff don’t have to wade through the details of my Computer Science degree. Unfortunately I have limited internet access at the moment so it may be a week or two until I can make the necessary changes to my blog.

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Maths for Apps lecture 1

These notes are for Dr Daniel Richardson’s course “Mathematics for Applications I” at the University of Bath.The required text book is “Linear Algebra with Applications” by G. Williams, published by Jones and Bartlett

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RSS2 modules

It seems RSS 2.0 has the capability to support modules (I was under the false impression that this ability was restricted to RDF modules in the rival RSS 1.0 specification). Following a post by Mark Pilgrim on B-linking (the blogging equivalent of a B-movie) Dave Winer has released a draft of blogChannel, the first ever RSS 2.0 module.

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Computational complexity

The Computational Complexity Web Log (via Kottke):

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