January 18, 2007
@ 02:59 PM

I've been spending my free time putting the finishing touches on the next beta of the Jubilee release of RSS Bandit so I've been remiss at blogging and have accumulated a bunch of things to blog about which I never got around to posting. Here is an outpouring of links from my 'to blog' list

  • 20Q.net: The classic game of twenty questions powered by a neural network. It is uncanny how good this game was at guessing what I was thinking about. This is the closest to magic I've seen on the Web.

  • programming.reddit.com: If you are the kind of geek who find Jeff Atwood's blog to be a fun read then this is the meme tracker for you. Light on fluffy A-list geek wankery over the latest from Apple & Google and heavy on programming culture from the trenches.

  • The Story of XMLHTTP: The most complete account of the creation one of the cornerstones of AJAX, I've seen online. I 've actually worked with some of the people mentioned in the story.

  • Zeichick's Take: Remember CUA Compliance? Microsoft Doesn't: The most amusing rant about the new ribbon in Microsoft Office 2007 I've seen yet. My favorite quote, "Microsoft says that the problem was that users couldn't find and use the more obscure features of Word, Excel and the other Office tools. No, that wasn't the problem. The problem was that there were too many features". I guess his solution would have been for Microsoft to cut a bunch of features from Office instead of redesigning the UI. Yeah, right.

  • To DTD or not to DTD: It looks like Netscape is getting ready to break all of the RSS 0.91 feeds on the Web which reference their DTD which is practically all of them. I need to ensure that this doesn't cause problems in RSS Bandit. I like how the Netscape guy tries to blame RSS reader developers for using XML as designed. Another example of how XML schemas in general and DTDs in particular were one of the worst concepts foisted on XML. We should have been trying to make our programming languages as dynamic as XML not make XML as rigid as our programming languages. Maybe we'll have better luck in the JSON era.

PS: If you are an RSS Bandit user then check back this weekend for the final beta. We are now feature complete and should now work just fine on Windows Vista. However some of the podcast-related features had to be scaled back for this release.


 

Thursday, January 18, 2007 7:23:52 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
Hey Dare --

Thanks for the reddit tip. Another good low-fanboy developer-oriented blog is http://www.dzone.com/. There sometimes seems to be a disproportionate amount of content on Ruby and Rails, but that's not too surprising given how much buzz there is about the two these days. Also lots of content on PHP, Java, .NET.

Hope you -- or your comment-readers -- find it useful.

cheers!
stuart updegrave
Thursday, January 18, 2007 8:32:59 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
I can't believe NS is still using DTDs, period. I thought the use of DTDs with XML was just a stop-gap measure until Schemas were ready to roll...?
Thursday, January 18, 2007 11:07:35 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
The Idiot Developer,
I'm not sure what you mean by that. The problem has nothing to do with the Netscape browser or RSS reader. The problem is that most RSS 0.91 feeds usually refer the Netscape DTD at http://my.netscape.com/publish/formats/rss-0.91.dtd

Netscape no longer wants to host this file which means that anyone using an off-the-shelf XML parser with the default settings to process an RSS 0.91 feed will likely have it blow up in their face with a "DTD not Found" error. An example of such a feed is http://www.linuxtoday.com/backend/biglt.rss
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