September 25, 2003
@ 12:58 AM
Organik 2

This past weekend I attended Lovetribe's Organik 2 which was recommended to me by a coworker. I've been curious about what raves are like in the Pacific North West and thought it would be interesting. So on Saturday night a friend and I headed down to Washington Hall to check it out.

The rave had the typical characteristics I'd come to expect from previous experiences; decent music, candy ravers in outlandish costumes complete with angel wings & fake fangs, pacifiers, a few cuddle puddles, and an interesting light show. However I couldn't get over the fact that a lot of the folks there seemed quite young. My fears were confirmed when I went to buy a pack of cigarettes and got carded. While I was contemplating whether I should leave or not some girl walked up to me to bum a cigarette and she seemed so young I wanted to ask for ID but decided against it.

That was the straw that broke the camel's back and I got the hell out of Dodge.


T-Shirts that get you in Trouble

I went T-shirt shopping this weekend and almost picked one up that had the following written on the front
I don't have a girlfriend but I do know a girl who'd get mad if she heard me say that
but decided against it from past experience from similar shirts. I have a shirt that says I only date crack whores which I think is amusing as hell and garners some raised eyebrows whenever I wear it. However it caused me nothing but trouble with members of the opposite sex. The girlfriend I had when I got the T-shirt got mad whenever I wore it and after we broke up the shirt used to be quite the impedement when talking to members of the opposite sex in social settings.

I'm still debating on whether to go back and pickup the shirt or not. :)


Rockstar Games Comes Through

During the aformentioned shopping trip I stopped by Sam Goody and found out that it is offical that both Grand Theft Auto 3 and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City will be coming to XBox later this year. Now 2 years later I to can play the game in which an affirmative answer to the question "Have You Ever Been Convicted of a Felony?" is a plus not a minus.


Representing Fine Grained Errors Via Exceptions Revisited

On monday I bumped into Eric Gunnerson at the gym and asked for his opinion on the exception issue from my last diary where users end up looking at the error message in an XmlException or XmlSchemaException to figure out what type of error it was. I told him what I'd been considering around adding some sort of error code property to the exception classes and he pointed out that it could lead to the following type of code
      XmlDocument doc = new XmlDocument();

    }catch(XmlException xe){
      if(xe.ErrorCode == XmlError.InvalidCharacter){
          Console.WriteLine("Invalid Character Error");


the problem being that people may indavertently "eat" exceptions after handling the case they are interested in resulting in rather hard to find bugs in their application. Eric leaned more towards creating class hierarchies even if it lead to a large number of exception classes as opposed to the duality I proposed. I tend to agree with his point of view. I need to ping Brad Abrams since he is Mr. .NET Framework Design Guidelines and seeing what he thinks the best approach is.


Information Aggregators and Content Producers

A mildly interesting thread developed around Joi Ito's paranoid post about Microsoft somehow seeding the Web with structured metadata (XML documents) as opposed to the current tag soup mess (HTML documents) in a plot to foil Google. In the responses John Robb brings up an interesting point
In this syndication debate, the juice in the aggregator tool space and not with weblog tools.

Why? There is so much out there that is worth subscribing to if it had a feed (from HBO high-definition schedules to low cost air fares on routes I frequently travel). Current aggregators just fall short, and that is likely where Longhorn will clean up. To make this clearer, the writing tools are much less important than the tools by which you aggregate and manipulate the data you subscribe to (the ratio of writers to readers will always be 100 to 1).
this is something I agree with to some extent. It is true that the information aggregators are more interesting and valuable than the authoring software to end users (after all web browsers are more important than web server software to end users) but he fails to understand a critical point. It doesn't matter if you build a kickass information aggregator that does interesting things with the metadata provided in an XML feed if few of the content producers provide such interesting metadata. I face this problem with RSS Bandit already, I have all these features like displaying all the comments to a post, being able to post a response directly from the UI or being able to display the author of a piece that are useless most of the time because content producers do not provide enough metadata in their RSS feeds. This is the main reason I'm interested in BlogX and now that RSS Bandit has hit a feature plateau I can concentrate on it full time.

After reading Robert Scoble's Why Microsoft won't beat Six Apart which I completely disagree with it looks like my inspiration will be figuring out how to make BlogX/dasBlog as featureful, configurable and as easy to use as Movable Type, should be fun.

PS: There are some stability bugs I need to fix in RSS Bandit before I focus fully on BlogX such as the problems pointed out by Peter Van Ooijen but these wil be bugfixing excercises as opposed to new feature work so shouldn't take long.


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Disclaimer: The above comments do not represent the thoughts, intentions, plans or strategies of my employer. They are solely my opinion.


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