Sunday, December 26, 2004

Songs of the Season

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! Here's what we were listening to (transformed using my playlist stylesheets:):

Christmas Favorites

Track Title Artist Album Genre
What Are You Doing New Year's Eve? Harry Connick, Jr. When My Heart Finds Christmas Holiday
White Christmas Bing Crosby Merry Christmas Holiday
I'll Be Home For Christmas (If Only In My Dreams) Bing Crosby Merry Christmas Holiday
Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town Bing Crosby Merry Christmas Holiday
It's Beginning To Look Like Christmas Bing Crosby Merry Christmas Holiday
Walking in a Winter Wonderland Holiday
Let it snow Holiday
Sleigh Ride Holiday
Deck The Halls Mannheim Steamroller Christmas Holiday
God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen Mannheim Steamroller Christmas Holiday
Faeries (From 'The Nutcracker') Mannheim Steamroller Christmas Extraordinaire Holiday
Do You Hear What I Hear Mannheim Steamroller Christmas Extraordinaire Holiday
O Tannenbaum Mannheim Steamroller Christmas Extraordinaire Holiday
It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year Andy Williams The Most Wonderful Time of the Year Holiday
The Christmas Song (Chestnuts) Holiday
Have a Holly Jolly Christmas Holiday
Christmas Is Coming Vince Guaraldi Trio Peanuts Christmas Holiday
Linus & Lucy Vince Guaraldi Trio Peanuts Christmas Holiday
Hark! The Herald Angels Sing/The Music Of Christmas Steven Curtis Chapman Music Of Christmas Holiday
Christmas Is All In The Heart Steven Curtis Chapman Music Of Christmas Holiday

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Friday, December 24, 2004

Favorite Gifts from Christmas Past

Thanks to my friend Kirk for finding this link:

I don't remember some of those, but here are some I actually got for Christmas!

#97 Weebles Ranch
#93 Rubik's Cube
#92 Zoids! I had a huge brontosaurus, a swimming frog, and a dodo (bird that didn't fly)
#91 Electronic Kit
#81 Okay, my sister actually got the Merlin, but I played with it a lot.
#79 Who didn't have a ViewMaster?
#35 Spirograph!
#31 Run Yourself Ragged!
#20 One of my favorites! I still have my StarBird and the original box!
#7 My cousin Brandon had a grey BigTrak. I was always enthralled by it.

Such fond memories. My other favorites, not on the list:

  • the Millenium Falcon
  • Batcycle Big Wheel
  • CHiPs Big Wheel
  • TinkerToy
  • Legos
  • Emergency! Fireman's Hat
  • GI Joe/Cobra Rattler Jet and the Hiss Tank

Thanks Mom and Dad! I don't know how you managed it, but you sacrificed to give us things we wanted, even if we didn't need them.

Merry Christmas everyone!

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Thursday, December 23, 2004

McNealy's Christmas Dream

Check out this absolutely hilarious article posted on The Register:

Along with Scott's wishes, I'd also like to wish Sun's customers, employees, partners and shareholders a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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Wednesday, December 22, 2004

'Twas five days before Christmas

I got this from Familyman Weekly yesterday. It cracked me up, so I had to share:

It was five days before Christmas, and the house was a disaster.
We tried to keep up, but the kids were just faster.
The tree was dried up, and the lights were burned out.
If it got any worse, I was going to shout.

With my wife in her pj’s, and I in my shorts,
We had fallen asleep with grumbles and snorts.
The children were tangled in covers and sheets
While Lego's and dress-up lay in great heaps.

When all of sudden, I heard a loud gurgle
I rolled out of bed as quick as a turtle.
I walked down the hallway and into his room
And I knew what was happening in spite of the gloom.

The stench in the room arose from his bed.
He was covered in vomit from toe to his head.
He heaved once or twice with cries in between;
In all of my life, this was as bad as I’d seen.

I pulled off his clothes as chunks fell on the floor
They tickled my feet and splattered the door.
I patted his back and said I love you;
He smiled but once and then started to spew.

Like lightning I grabbed a small pail by his bed;
His neck was all sweaty and his face was all red.
He coughed and sputtered until the last drop,
Then the last little chunk fell with a plop.

My wife who stood in the hall with a bag
Wanted to help but started to gag.
I shooed her away with a jerk of my head;
I was doing my job, she had nothing to dread.

In no time at all, I had mopped up the spew
And tucked him in bed with the bucket in view.
He smiled a tired smile, and I felt so in love
Like the very first Christmas he was a gift from above.

As I lay in my bed with the stench on my knees,
I was thankful to God for times just like these.
I was doing what fathers were created to do,
And I love being a spite of the spew.

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Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Episode III lego preview

Check out these new Star Wars legos!

From, Darth Vader with a light up lightsaber coming in February:

And from a Clone Walker coming in April:

Update:Another preview on rebelscum! Here's one of Darth Vader's Transformation.

Update:Another preview on rebelscum! Here's one of the Droid Trifighter.

Can't wait for Episode III and the accompanying Lego sets!

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XInclude 1.0 now a W3C recommendation

The W3C made XInclude 1.0 a full recommendation yesterday!

Full details are available at:

XIncludes will make merging XML documents a reality. Here's a simple syntax example from the W3C site:

<?xml version='1.0'?>
<document xmlns:xi="">
  <p>120 Mz is adequate for an average home user.</p>
  <xi:include href="disclaimer.xml"/>

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New Saxon release!

I made the switch to use Saxon exclusively for XSLT about 2 years ago. In that time, Michael Kay has made quite a few enhancements, including support for XSLT 2.0.

I kept running into memory problems with Xalan, and the had to use the endorsed standards override mechanism to get past the problems with the ancient version of Xalan that was bundled with Java.Saxon solved all of my problems.

I was fortunate enough to attend a full-day tutorial on XSLT 2.0 with Michael Kay at XML 2004, and will start creating my stylesheets with XSLT 2.0 and use Saxon to transform them.

Michael Kay has just released Saxon 8.2 (both commercial and open source versions) at:

This new version implements XSLT 2.0 and XPath 2.0, and XQuery 1.0. This version reflects the syntax of the XSLT 2.0 Working Draft of 6 November 2004 and the XQuery 1.0 and XPath 2.0 Working Drafts of 27 October 2004.

Thanks for the early Christmas present, Dr. Kay!

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Monday, December 20, 2004

NORAD's 50th Season Tracking Santa

My son happens to be one of my more faithful blog readers (Hi Connor!), and needed a letter to Santa sent Priority Mail last week.

You may or may not know, that the North American Aerospace Defense Command tracks Santa every year!

I was fortunate enough to tour NORAD back when I was an Air Force ROTC cadet, and can confirm that they track millions of objects in both air and space, including Santa.

Still skeptical? Check out their dedicated tracking site at:

Merry Christmas!

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Congratulations to the San Diego Chargers, winners of the 2004 AFC West Division title!

From the Official San Diego Chargers site:

The Chargers clinched their first AFC West title since 1994 after the Denver Broncos’ 45-17 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday. Meanwhile, the Bolts beat the Cleveland Browns 21-0 in the snow at Cleveland Browns Stadium for their 11th win of the season.

I've lived in Colorado all of my life, but I've always liked the San Diego Chargers in football, the Los Angeles Dodgers in baseball, and the Los Angeles Lakers in basketball.

Mind you, I do like the Denver Broncos, the Colorado Rockies, and the Colorado Avalanche, but they have never topped my list.

We've only been to San Diego once, but we loved it! We went to Seaworld, Qualcomm Stadium, Seau's Restaurant, and most importantly, Legoland! We definitely need to go back.

Okay, the real reason I've always liked the Chargers: the lightning bolt on their helmets. Hey, I've always been a weather nut, what other reason do I need!?!

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Happy (Belated) Birthday Handbook!

Got a little busy last week, but wanted to extend a very happy 4th birthday to the Sun System Handbook as of December 15!

Here are some highlights in Handbook history:

  • Initial internal & partner version release: 12/15/00
  • Initial customer version release date: 11/01/01
  • Lifetime page views (December 15, 2000 - November 30, 2004): 97,638,687 !!!

The Handbook should achieve 100 million lifetime page views by the end of December or very early in January 2005 !!

Congratulations to all of those who have worked on and been involved with this project during the last 4 years.

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Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Speaking of the Vizigator...

Looks like I posted my last article too soon! Ontopia released version 2.1 of the Ontopia Knowledge Suite (OKS) today.

I hope those of you who attended XML 2004 saw the Vizigator demo. It's incredibly powerful and easy to use. And here's a challenge to all of you RDF/OWL pundits: show me a tool like this for RDF that's as easy to use!

Here's a sample visualization of a topic map:

Topic Map

For those of you not at XML 2004, have no fear! You can download a free demo copy of the Omnigator 8 (which includes the Vizigator, as well as an RDF2TM plugin!) at:

As always, if you have no idea what topic maps are, please read Steve Pepper's excellent work: TAO of Topic Maps: Finding the Way in the Age of Infoglut

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New TM4J Release!

Kal Ahmed and Christoph Fröhlich have released version 0.9.8 of the TM4J project from sourceforge (

If you've played with Ontopia's Omnigator and topic maps, the TM4J project is definitely worth trying. The tmnav visual representation of topic maps is really cool.

Steve Pepper gave me a demo of the "Vizigator" at XML 2004 that will be coming out from Ontopia soon, but the tmnav viewer has already been around for a year or so with similar functionality.

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Monday, December 13, 2004

Lego Star Wars game review/release date

According to and, the Lego Star Wars game will be released in April 2005 for PlayStation2, Xbox, PC and GBA. The game is being developed by Traveller's Tales, and distributed by Eidos.

Reviews with screenshots can be found at:

I'm glad it's being released on multiple platforms, most importantly the PS2. My kids and I will have a blast playing in cooperative mode!

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Wednesday, December 08, 2004

dbdoclet 0.62.0 released

Michael Fuchs posted the following announcement to the docbook-apps list:

The DocBook Doclet creates DocBook SGML or XML from Java source documentation or HTML files. It is helpful if you want to print reference handbooks of your API. Normally it is used with the Javadoc tool but it can also be used as a standalone application to convert HTML to DocBook. Additionally it comes with a Swing application to manage documentation projects and to transform the resulting DocBook files to PDF, Postscript, HTML and JavaHelp.


  • Generation of a XMI file, which can be used with Umbrello.
  • Improvement of the strict DocBook style flavour.
  • Support for DocBook 4.3 and 4.2
  • Sorting of fields and methods.
  • New synopsis section for public static methods.
  • Many minor fixes and improvements.

dbdoclet can be obtained at

I've used dbdoclet in the past on some documentation projects. It works very well. Check it out!

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Tuesday, December 07, 2004

DocBook is safe!

If the article posted at: has any truth, I think DocBook is safe:

Norm Walsh

My wife won't let me grow a beard, so I guess I won't try to invent any programming languages... :-)

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Monday, December 06, 2004

Happy Wx Hacking!

I posted on this subject several months ago, but it looks like Wired has picked up the story: Weather Data for the Masses

Unfortunately, I haven't had enough time to play with the web service, though I keep trying to find a way to make it a job task to learn web services. :-)

More information on the National Digital Forecast Database XML Web Service is available at:

More information on the Digital Weather Markup Language Specification is available at:

Happy Wx hacking!

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So far behind...

Yikes! I've really dug myself a pretty deep hole for blog updates. With my week out for my grandad's funeral, the week at XML 2004, and the week at Thanksgiving, I've not been around enough to squeeze in my updates.

Here's a list of many DocBook updates I've not been able to announce at web speed:

  • New DocBook Stylesheets available! Version 1.67.2 fixes a table bug introduced in the 1.67.1 release. It's available from
  • Great DocBook Dinner at XML2004. Norm Walsh, Jirka Kosek, Mark Johnson, Derek Dees, Bob DuCharme, Eduardo Gutentag, (and I think I'm leaving someone out... Gary Cornelius?) met at the Lebanese Taverna for dinner. Great food and a great time had by all!
  • DocBook NG release: Gin. Just before the XML 2004 conference, Norm Walsh released the 7th DocBook NG release! Details at:
  • Firefox DocBook-Outliner extension. David Holroyd posted a quick extension to Firefox that provides a TOC-like navigation sidebar while viewing DocBook XML documents. Details available at:
  • DocBook DSSSL 1.79 released. Peter Eisentraut posted a number of bug fixes and updated translations as part of this release. Details available at:

I hope to be much more consistent with DocBook updates now that I'm home for a while... I'd will also post some of the more interesting findings from the XML 2004 conference. Stay tuned!

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