Tuesday, January 31, 2006

bobdc.blog: Putting semantics on the web

After reading Bob's blog entry (bobdc.blog: Putting semantics on the web), I looked at the source for his page. I noticed that metadata is applied using:

<rdf:RDF xmlns:rdf="http://www.w3.org/1999/02/22-rdf-syntax-ns#"
   dc:title="Putting semantics on the web"
   dc:subject="semantic web"
   dc:description="Painlessly adding RDF-compatible semantics to XHTML."
   dc:date="2006-01-31T09:17:35-05:00" />

I have been using the Dublin Core recommendation (http://dublincore.org/documents/dcq-html/):

Also, with the recommendation in the RDF / A Primer, a different approach is used.

Is there a single, best practice for embedding the metadata for the Semantic Web? Are the above approaches compatible?

I have since found out that Bob is using Movable Type, and that's how the metadata is generated. I'm using macros in my blogger.com template. Another approach to consider is/are Microformats.

It would be nice [HINT, HINT to all you folks creating new standards] if there was a standard, easy to use approach for adding metadata for the Semantic Web. RDF and OWL by hand is painful, just like XML Schema. I want something easier like RNC is to Schema -- just as powerful, if not more, but easier to use!

Categories: , ,

Monday, January 30, 2006

Oxygen 7 review

I've used oXygen for quite a while now, and I completely agree with Kurt Cagel (On XMLish Things: Oxygen).

The app is quite robust, and even better, multi-platform! It is definitely the tool of choice for XML hacks. I first chose oXygen because of its support for RelaxNG and easy transformation features.

The only problem, is that it's not the easiest tool for basic authors who just need to write documents in XML. It's not quite WYSIWYG, so I still often recommend Arbortext Epic or BlastRadius XMetal for those folks.

I think the split tabs could work a little bit better (jEdit is fantastic in this regard), but otherwise very useful. I didn't know about dragging an element from the XML and having the template and XPath already created in the XSL. I think this will be a huge timesaver!

Categories: , ,

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Citizens of Heaven

Citizens of Heaven : Show your true nationality!

I had a brainstorm last week, and came up with some bumper sticker designs. Thanks to Cafe Press, I expanded that idea to shirts and hats!

Check these out:

Categories: , , ,

Roving Mars rocks!

We saw the new IMAX, Roving Mars, today!

It is absolutely incredible. Since I've been working with the Boeing Delta folks, it was especially impactful seeing the Delta II launch! I think that entire segment leading all the way to the rover bouncing and unfolding on Mars was my favorite part.

All of our kids really liked it, especially Connor (my Space Camp buddy!). I would highly recommend seeing it. If you get a chance, Magnificent Desolation is also a great IMAX to see. We waited too long, and we missed seeing it in Denver. I did get a chance to see it at the Smithsonian Air & Space, though.

If you haven't noticed, not only am I a space nut, but I'm also a huge Mars nut! I've always dreamt about what it would be like to walk on the Red Planet. We did an activity back when they launched the rovers, where we went on a rock hunt and sent in the rock to the Univ. of Arizona.They analyzed it with the same mass spectrometers that they used on Spirit and Opportunity and sent us the report and a certificate!

It's amazing how long those rovers have been able to continue operating. You can see more of Spirit and Opportunity at the JPL website.


What's your life metaphor?

I've recently started reading "The Purpose Driven Life" by Rick Warren. In chapter 5, he asks the question: What's your view of life [your life metaphor]?

He goes on to say that some people describe their life as a carousel, circus, minefield, roller coaster, puzzle, card game (you have to play the hand you are dealt), etc.

It's your description of how life works and what you expect from it. ... It determines your expectations, your values, your relationships, your goals, and your priorities.

I'd have to say my life metaphor is a Rocket. I think life, specifically my life but also applies to others, is a very complex piece of machinery that requires the expertise and advisement of specialists from many different people.

I think my soul is the astronaut sitting in the capsule at the top of that rocket, and the rocket itself is all of my life experiences. Some of those experiences are from the specialists from a variety of disciplines that become a part of the rocket. In rocketry, those disciplines would include electrical, mechanical, propulsion, guidance, etc. In life, I'd say those disciplines would be work, home, friends, church, etc.

I have confidence because I believe God is over at Mission Control for my particular mission. For others, they may have transferred that Mission Control over to someone or something else. I also believe that because I'm in such good hands, my journey to the Heavens, as I slip the surly bonds of this Earth, will be a complete success.

Now, as with real rocketry, each component must go through very stringent tests during design, manufacture, assembly and launch preparation before the countdown can go down to T minus 0 and go for launch. Many times there are built in Holds during the countdown for final checks. Life can also be a series of tests, but they are all meant for a reason -- a successful mission.

Even though tests can be difficult, it is always better to endure. I don't know about you, but I don't want to end up as a fireball on the pad or in flight!

So what's your life metaphor? Are you on a sound path? These are questions I think everyone should ask themselves. Let me know what your metaphor is! I'm sure it will be an interesting read, as I hope mine has been.

Categories: , , ,

DITA Specialization -- what he said!

Norm has an interesting post about DITASpecialization and Extensibility. I think he brings up some great points.

First of all, DocBook is very customizable in it's very design. What may be missing is a "fallback" mechanism. One thing to consider, though: if you are going to do any useful exchange of content with a partner or between organizations, generalizing that content through a specialization will not preserve the semantic value provided in your customization. In other words, you've invested a lot of analysis and design in creating your customization for a reason; if that customization gets generalized, then your partner/department won't be able to take advantage of that semantic markup.

In order to do any valuable exchange of information, both parties should take a look at the customization and develop appropriate processing expectations. This is where I question the DITA approach. Sure, you will be able to present or process specialized content in a generic manner, but if you want to do useful interchange, then both sides should really meet and develop the processing expectations. If you are going to do that anyways, what else does moving to DITA buy you over DocBook?


Friday, January 27, 2006

Listening for SuitSat

This is pretty cool! I'm going to have to try to listen for this with my mobile Ham rig:

Astronauts turn spacesuit into satellite | The Register: "all you need is 'an antenna (the bigger the better) and a radio receiver that you can tune to 145.990 MHz FM' to catch the 5-10 minute flyby as SuitSat passes over (you can calculate your next scheduled visit here).

What you'll hear is a 30-second transmission, followed by a 30 second pause followed by the message: 'This is SuitSat-1, RS0RS' and a prerecorded greeting in five languages. The transmission ends with an English-language report on 'telemetry: temperature, battery power and mission elapsed time'."

For more info, please visit: http://www.suitsat.org/ and http://www.amsat.org/amsat-new/articles/SuitSat/. Thanks to Joshua for the extra links!

Categories: ,

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

A Man's a Man For A' That

Thanks to Calum, I will hopefully be better prepared for Burns Night next year! As I have no Haggis, nor Scotch, I'll have to settle for some quiet reading of the great bard's works and maybe a wee bit o' Drambuie that I do have on hand!

A prince can mak a belted knight,
A marquis, duke, an' a' that;
But an honest man's abon his might,
Gude faith, he maunna fa' that!
For a' that, an' a' that,
Their dignities an' a' that;
The pith o' sense, an' pride o' worth,
Are higher rank than a' that.

Categories: ,

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Stardust lands safely!

I was hoping that Stardust would not suffer the same fate as the Genesis torpedo. Thankfully, it looks like everything went according to plan: Space.COM coverage and spaceflightnow.com coverage

Now comes your part: If you'd like to help look for grains of cosmic dust captured by the Stardust mission, check out the Stardust@home program: http://stardustathome.ssl.berkeley.edu/

I'm already signed up!


Thursday, January 12, 2006

Space Tornado!

This is too cool. A tornado in space! Okay, if it's not on the ground, technically it should be called a funnel. Of course, since this Herbig-Haro object is almost 2 trillion miles long, maybe it should be classified as an F5 to the 10th power on the Fujita scale! :-)

For details and a picture, check out: SPACE.com -- Space Tornado! Cosmic Front Packs a Punch

The team that made the discovery was headed by John Bally of Colorado State University. Way to go, John! Go Rams!

Categories: ,