Simon Willison’s Weblog


9 items tagged “petervandijck”


The Web Application Scale of Stupidity goes from OGF (One Giant Function) to OOP (Object Oriented Programming), like this: OGF ——– sanity ——— OOP

Cal Henderson (paraphrased) # 2nd November 2007, 6:23 am

XFML (via) Throwing the new home for the XFML specification some Google juice; the domain name got nabbed by a squatter. # 30th August 2007, 10:27 pm

Long pages work. And thanks to Pay Per Click advertising, splitting an article over multiple pages to get more ad impressions doesn’t make sense any more. # 30th August 2007, 12:40 pm

The top 10 presentations on scaling websites: twitter, Flickr, Bloglines, Vox and more. I normally avoid linking to “top 10” lists on principle, but this one pulls together some great resources and adds extra context to each one. # 1st May 2007, 1:51 pm



XFMLManager, Peter Van Dijck’s XFML construction and navigation tool to which I have contributed various chunks of XML related code, has been renamed Taxomita and given a brand new site. Peter hopes to have a public beta out within the next few weeks. It also has a mailing list. Meanwhile, XFML has been cropping up all over the place even despite the current lack of software, with the most recent sighting occurring over at Bill Kearney’s Syndication News.

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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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RDF is dead

Peter provides an interesting perspective:

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Facets understood

And suddenly I understand faceted metadata. Sometimes all you need for that final moment of insight is a good example, and Peter Van Djick’s Columbia Guide Site Map is just what I needed. A facet is simply a “flat”, mutually exclusive (at least as far as the XFML specification is concerned) way of categorising a topic—it can be described as a bottom-up method of categorisation rather than the more common hierarchical top-down approach (as seen on the ODP) which seeks to assign all topics as sub-topics of something else. Peter writes in XFML Background and Concepts that Faceted taxonomies are generally more powerful for websites than classic hierarchical taxonomies—this seems to make a great deal of sense, and it will be interesting to see this demonstrated by XFML in the near future.

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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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