Friday, July 29, 2005

My favorite show returns on DVD

AirWolf. I've been waiting for it for a long time. I finally picked up Season One on DVD a week or so ago, and it's awesome! This was one of my favorite shows back in junior high, and I remember my friend Don and I making blueprints and chopper drawings constantly due, in no small part, to this great show.

My dad also picked up the Ertl model for me on a business trip to New Mexico, and I was ecstatic when he brought it home as a surprise. Too bad I later chopped it in two, trying to make a custom spaceship or something.

Now you can build your own AirWolf in Lego! Check out for the instructions.

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Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Way to go, Discovery!

I'm so thankful Discovery had a safe launch this morning, and the US Manned Space program is back in action! NASA TV had great coverage, and thanks to the DVR, I can watch it later!

My son, Connor, wore his flight suit for the occasion. He's seen the Shuttle Enterprise at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center near Washington Dulles, and been to Space Camp in Huntsville, AL. Watching the STS-114 coverage helped tie it all together for him. I've also been to Kennedy Space Center twice! Now we just need to see a launch in person, or get a ticket for the BIG trip!

You can get all the latest information at: and at and

Also, thanks to Jason for the link to track the shuttle:

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Monday, July 25, 2005

DocBook NG: The "PTO" Release

Norm Walsh has just issued DocBook NG: The “PTO” Release.

Changes are primarily around XInclude support and the section content models.

This may very well be the final NG release prior to the DocBook V5.0 alpha release we are planning for August.

Please try this out, and report any problems ASAP! Norm has been gracious enough to also produce a Simplified NG version of "PTO", available at: :-)

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Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Google Moon

This is TOO COOL! Check out, based on Google Earth/Maps technology.

From this site, you can locate the landing sites of the Apollo missions. Today also happens to be the anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing (and my cousin, Brandon's birthday).

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Farewell, Scotty

Today we mourn the loss of another member of the Original Crew of the Starship Enterprise. James "Scotty" Doohan lost his battle with Alzheimers at the age of 85. It would be quite appropriate to accompany this blog entry with the playing/listening of Amazing Grace on the bagpipes.

Thankfully, James Doohan was awarded his Hollywood star last year in his final public appearance.

I always liked the episodes and scenes where Scotty wears his kilt. ("Is There No Truth in Beauty?", "The Savage Curtain"). I also liked his crossover to Star Trek:The Next Generation in "Relics".

Scotty's ashes will be launched into space via the same private launch service that carried Roddenberry's remains into orbit after his 1991 death. That's the way I want to go, too(or in a Photon torpedo casing like Mr. Spock)!

Scotty's Engineering Log will continue to bring you the latest news in Space and Sci-Fi in James Doohan's honor. Farewell, Mr. Scott.

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Monday, July 18, 2005

New DocBook Stylesheets!

It's been a few months since the last stylesheet update, but I think it's been worth the wait! Michael Smith has announced the release of version 1.69.0 of the DocBook XSL stylesheets. This is not the production release, but the public experimental release. If no bugs are found, a 1.69.1 version should be released in short order.

The stylesheets can be found at:

Changes in this release include:

* This release adds localizations for the following languages: Albanian,
    Amharic, Azerbaijani, Hindi, Irish (Gaelic), Gujarati, Kannada, Mongolian,
    Oriya, Punjabi, Tagalog, Tamil, and Welsh.

  * Added support for specifying number format for auto labels for chapter,
    appendix, part, and preface. Contolled with the appendix.autolabel,
    chapter.autolabel, part.autolabel, and preface.autolabel parameters.

  * Added basic support for biblioref cross referencing.

  * Added support for align on caption in mediaobject.

  * Added support for processing documents that use the DocBook V5 namespace.

  * Added support for termdef and mathphrase.

  * EXPERIMENTAL: Incorporated the Slides and Website stylesheets into the
    DocBook XSL stylesheets package. So, for example, Website documents can
    now be processed using the following URI for the driver Website
    tabular.xsl file:

  * A procedure without a title is now treated as an "informal" procedure
    (meaning that it is not added to any generated "list of procedures" and
    has no affect on numbering of generated labels for other procedures).

  * docname is no longer added to olink when pointing to a root element.

  * Added support for generation of choice separator in inline simplelist.
    This enables auto-generation of an appropriate localized "choice
    separator" (for example, "and" or "or") before the final item in an inline

    As a temporary workaround for the fact that most of the DocBook
    non-English locale files don't have a localization for the word "or", you
    can put in a literal string to be used; example for French:
    <?dbchoice choice="ou">. That is, use "ou" instead of "or".


  * Added content-type property to external-graphic element, based on
    imagedata format attribute.

  * Added support for generating <rx:meta-field creator="$VERSION"/> field for
    XEP output. This makes the DocBook XSL stylesheet version information
    available through the Document Properties menu in Acrobat Reader and other
    PDF viewers.

  * Trademark symbol handling made consistent with handling of same in HTML
    stylesheets. Prior to this change, if you processed a document that
    contained no value for the class attribute on the trademark element, the
    HTML stylesheets would default to rendering a superscript TM symbol after
    the trademark contents, but the FO stylesheets would render nothing.

  * Added support for generating XEP bookmarks for refentry.

  * Added support for HTML markup table border attribute, applied to each
    table cell.

  * The table.width template can now sum column specs if none use % or *.

  * Added fox:destination extension inside fox:outline to support linking to
    internal destinations.

  * Added support for customizing abstract with property sets. Controlled with
    the and parameters.

  * Add footnotes in table title to table footnote set, and add support for
    table footnotes to HTML table markup.

  * Added support for title in glosslist.

  * Added support for itemizedlist symbol none.

  * Implemented the new and attribute sets.

  * Added id to formalpara and some other blocks that were missing it.

  * Changed the anchor template to output fo:inline instead of fo:wrapper.

  * Added support for toc.max.depth parameter.


  * Eclipse Help: Added support for generating olink database.


  * Added a first cut at support in HTML output for DocBook 5 style
    annotations. Controlled using the parameter, and
    implemented using JavaScript and CSS styling. For more details, see the
    documentation for the annotation.js, annotation.css,, and annotation.graphic.close parameters.

  * Generate client-side image map for imageobjectco with areas using calspair

  * Added support for <?img.src.path?> PI.

  * Added support for passing img.src.path to DocBook Java XSLT image
    extensions when appropriate. Controlled using the
    graphicsize.use.img.src.path parameter.

  * Added support for (not valid for DocBook 4) xlink:href on area and (not
    valid for DocBook 4) alt in area.

  * Added new parameter default.table.frame to control table framing if there
    is no frame attribute on a table.

  * Added initial, experimental support for generating content for the HTML
    title attribute from content of the alt element. This change adds support
    for the following inline elements only (none of them are block elements):
    abbrev, accel, acronym, action, application, authorinitials, beginpage,
    citation, citerefentry, citetitle, city, classname, code, command,
    computeroutput, constant, country, database, email, envar, errorcode,
    errorname, errortext, errortype, exceptionname, fax, filename, firstname,
    firstterm, foreignphrase, function, glossterm, guibutton, guiicon,
    guilabel, guimenu, guimenuitem, guisubmenu, hardware, honorific, interface
    , interfacename, keycap, keycode, keysym, lineage, lineannotation, literal
    , markup, medialabel, methodname, mousebutton, option, optional, otheraddr
    , othername, package, parameter, personname, phone, pob, postcode,
    productname, productnumber, prompt, property, quote, refentrytitle, remark
    , replaceable, returnvalue, sgmltag, shortcut, state, street, structfield,
    structname, subscript, superscript, surname, symbol, systemitem, tag,
    termdef, token, trademark, type, uri, userinput, varname, and wordasword

  * Added support for chunking revhistory into separate file (similar to the
    support for doing same with legalnotice). Patch from Thomas Schraitle.
    Controlled through new parameter.

  * l10n.xsl: Made language codes RFC compliant. Added a new boolean config
    parameter, l10n.lang.value.rfc.compliant. If it is non-zero (the default),
    any underscore in a language code will be converted to a hyphen in HTML
    output. If it is zero, the language code will be left as-is.

Thank you to all who have contributed to the bug fixes, stylesheet coding, and testing! Thank you as well to everyone in the DocBook user community for your feedback and continued support of DocBook!

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Monday, July 11, 2005

Lars' DocBook Cheat Sheet

Lars Trieloff has created a DocBook Cheat Sheet based on Jeff Beal's DocBook Quick Reference Card. Very handy! Thanks, Lars. Details are available at: Software Documentation Weblog

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Friday, July 08, 2005

Citation processing and DocBook

Bruce D'Arcus has just announced the CiteProc project.

This project uses DocBook NG, MODS from the Library of Congress, and formatted with his citation style language (CSL).

Bruce is also working on the OpenOffice bibliographic project, which may incorporate some of this technology.

Check it out at: Thanks, Bruce!

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Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Riding the rails

We had a very special 4th of July weekend treat: riding the Cumbres & Toltec Railroad.

So, now we've done two of the trains in Colorado this year. We still need to ride the Durango/Silverton, Pikes Peak Cog, Cripple Creek, Royal Gorge, Leadville, and others. We are probably done for this year, though. Some of them can get pricey with a family of 5! There's a complete list at:

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