Tuesday, November 29, 2005

DocBook Tutorial slides now available!

Norm Walsh has been gracious enough to post his DocBook Tutorial slides from the XML 2005 conference. Norm's most excellent tutorial is available at: http://nwalsh.com/docs/tutorials/xml2005/.

Check it out!

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Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The New Voyages

The latest issue of Wired magazine brought Star Trek: The New Voyages (http://www.newvoyages.com/) to my attention. I used to be quite in touch with Trek, even through Star Trek: Enterprise, but since Paramount cancelled what I considered to be a quality show, my interest has waned.

I grew up on ST:TOS (Star Trek: The Original Series to the uninitiated...). My mom and I used to watch all of the classic episodes after I got home from school. Mr. Spock was actually my favorite, followed closely by Scotty (hence my blogname). I have tons of the novels, engineering guides, and various props. Sure, the effects are limited, but the best science fiction encourages the imagination, and is not merely about futuristic special effects.

Along with ST:TOS, I've loved The Time Machine, The Day The Earth Stood Still, The Forbidden Planet, War of the Worlds and other classic sci-fi shows and movies because of the science and imagination involved. In fact, I'm rather disappointed with the remakes because the focus is more on CGI effects, than story.

The New Voyages brings back that focus on story. It's a labor of love, and not a greedy $$-generator that Paramount has turned into. The producers are pouring their personal money into the project, and because they are using the characters and designs with permission, they are not allowed to make a red-cent on it. The episodes are freely distributed on the internet, as zip or torrent files, too!

I was able to get at least one episode downloaded, and am quite pleased with the production. Most fan films are parodies (like the one my friends and I made in high school, entitled "Star Wrek: The Home Video" or the popular "In the Pirkhinning"), but the New Voyages is earnestly finishing the 5-year voyage of the Enterprise, which was cancelled by NBC after its third season.

Check it out!


Thursday, November 17, 2005

Take-aways from XML 2005

Well, another great XML conference has come to a close. It's always a pleasure to interact with the industry experts, and meet all the first-timers! My favorite sessions were David Megginson's closing keynote, Bob DuCharme's schema and XSLT sessions, Ken Holman's XSL case study, and Norm Walsh's XSL unit testing, and Bob Stayton's "Linking outside the box". Thursday had a heavy emphasis on XSLT, but all of the sessions were quite informative.

I learned a fair amount of new things this year. Here are just a few of my take-aways:

Cool things to follow up on:

Did you know?

DocBook XSL stylesheets consist of:

  • 2,500 match templates
  • 800 named templates
  • 250 modes
  • 115 modules
  • 62,000 lines
  • with 485 parameters

Subversion will allow you to set up pre-commit tests, to make sure all tests pass before checking the code in.

End to end XML processing performance estimates:

  • Best: XPath
  • SAX
  • Worst: DOM

Security and Identity Standards in the land of XML are complementary, not overlapping!

  • XML Signature – fine grained data origin authentication
  • XML Encryption – fine-grained confidentiality
  • XKMS – outsourced key management
  • SPML – user provisioning services
  • XACML – auth policy expression and evaluation
  • WS-Security – end to end SOAP messaging headers
  • SAML: the universal solvent for identity information

MS Linq is over my head...

Limitations of DITA: current stylesheets for FO are very limited, and not production quality. DITA is more complicated to produce output than DocBook.

Targeted search using XQuery in MarkLogic is lightning fast, and enables the creation of a variety of new outputs!

Not enough XML authoring tools provide validation against RelaxNG schemas! Good job, oXygen. Now, how 'bout the rest of you editors? Arbortext?! DocBook v5.0 is here!

I hope to see you all at XML 2006 in Seattle!

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Imperial Invasion?

It's amazing the way our minds can associate objects in reality with fantasy. For example, look at the proof of Imperial invasion in our solar system:

Tie Fighter in our solar system?
Tie Fighter?
that's no moon, it's a space station!
Death Star?

So, who's going to build a wedge-shaped spacecraft that looks amazingly like a Star Destroyer to complete this little Imperial fantasy? :-)

For the real stories, please see: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/cassini/multimedia/pia05423.html
and http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap051116.html


Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Congratulations, Norm Walsh and Michael Kay: XML Cup recipients!

Today has been a big day for DocBook! Norm Walsh and Michael Kay both received the XML Cup award at XML 2005. Where would DocBook (and XML) be without these giants in the field?! I am biased, but Michael Kay's Saxon parser is THE preferred method for processing DocBook. Okay, my preferred method at a minimum. :-)

And speaking of processing DocBook, the great Bob Stayton gave an excellent presentation on "Linking Outside the Box" that explained olink in DocBook.

We also had the traditional DocBook Dinner this evening, with DocBook TC members Norm Walsh, Bob Stayton, Dick Hamilton, Gary Cornelius and myself. Since we are in Atlanta, we dined at Pitty Pats Porch - a Southern Dining experience. Good food and discussion all around.

Norm also submitted a poster announcing the release of DocBook v5.0b1. Norm, Eric Severson and myself also have posters detailing some perspectives on the DocBook vs. Dita debate, so check them out at the conference!

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Self Contained

Be sure to check out my entry in the XML Artwork exhibit at the XML 2005 conference in Atlanta. The piece is entitled, "<Self_Contained/>".

There are many other great entries, so check them all out in the exhibit hall!

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Monday, November 14, 2005

XML 2005 Conference

The XML 2005 conference is finally here!I flew in to Atlanta yesterday, and am really looking forward to all of the great speakers and fellow XML'ers. The conference wiki is available at: http://2005wiki.xmlconference.org/wiki.

There is also a news page and Technorati tag:.

My interests, as you can tell by many of the posts on this blog, are: DocBook, XSLT, RelaxNG, Topic Maps, and Content Management. Some of the sessions I'm planning to attend include:

    • DocBook: From Markup to Publication
    • Cause-and-effect Web Application Development with XForms
    • New Ecology of the Semantic Web (Jim Hendler keynote)
    • XML and Web Services: Blueprint for NextGen Web Services (Steven Harris keynote)
    • Linking Outside the Box
    • Performance in XML Application Data Structures
    • Federated Identity Management: An Overview of Concepts and Standards
    • Microsoft's Language Integrated Query and XML
    • Benefits of Avoiding Runtime/Build-Time Distinctions for Metadata Vocabularies
    • Intro to DITA
    • Plugging into the pervasive XML Infrastructure (Soumitra Sengupta keynote)
    • The future of XML Information Management (Robert Picciano keynote)
    • Your schema and the industry-standard schema
    • XQuery By Example: Making O'Reilly Books Sing and Dance
    • XSL Transform Self-Documentation
    • XML Authoring Panel
    • XSLT Throughout the Document Lifecycle
    • Global large-scale stylesheet deployment case study
    • Unit Testing in XSLT 2.0
    • Automated mass production of XSLT stylesheets
    • Developing a Business Case for XML-based Content Management Systems
    • The eXtensibility Manifesto: A Blueprint for XML Implementation
    • DITA Case Study: Encoding the Joseph Smith Papers
    • Reaching New Levels of Interoperability and Collaboration with DITA
    • Everyone's Using XML, but Does Anyone Care? (David Megginson keynote)
    • RESTful Web Services: building them without tears, SOAP, or WSDL

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Friday, November 11, 2005

Thank you, Veterans!

I've been in D.C. for the past few weeks, and finally had a chance to take in a few of the sites I haven't seen before. My favorite, by far, was the World War II Memorial. I also got to see the FDR memorial and the Jefferson memorial.

The World War II memorial was especially stunning at night! Since my grandfather, Frank E. Mason, served in the Pacific theater during the war, it was especially meaningful. His brothers also served in the war, though in the Atlantic theater.

To all the Veterans: thank you for your years of service defending this wonderful country! I appreciate all of the training and hardships you have endured for our sake.

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Monday, November 07, 2005

Get it while it's hot -- Saxon 8.6 now available!

Michael Kay has released Saxon 8.6. This is a complete and conformant implementation of the XSLT 2.0, XQuery 1.0, and XPath 2.0 Candidate Recommendations from the W3C! The saxon8.jar looks to be about twice the size of 8.5, so there should be lot's of good stuff in there.

If you're like me and want to use the latest and greatest right away with oXygen, remember to put it in the Oxygen/lib dir... Thank you Michael! A nice gift before XML 2005 and Christmas. :-)


Tuesday, November 01, 2005

DocBook 5.0 - now in Beta!

Announcing DocBook 5.0! The DocBook Technical Committee has released an official Beta 1 of DocBook 5.0, also known as DocBook:NG

The schema is maintained in RelaxNG, which is transformed into W3C schema and DTD versions. RelaxNG is much easier to work with than W3C schema, IMO.

Norm Walsh has also blogged on the 5.0 release here: http://norman.walsh.name/2005/10/28/docbook50b1

Please give 5.0 a try! The stylesheets also support DocBook 5.0, so it's almost ready for prime time! As a member of the TC, I'm very proud of the work we've accomplished here. Also, special recognition goes to Norm and Jirka for the extra efforts on this release!

See also: