Tuesday, October 30, 2007

DITA Learning Content specialization open for review!

The OASIS DITA Learning and Training Content Specialization Subcommittee is proud to announce the availability of our specification for DITA Learning Content for public review.

The design and language specification for the DITA learning and training content is available here, and the DITA Open Toolkit plugin with working DTD, XSD, DITA content samples, and documentation is available here.

The goal of the subcommittee is to develop a general top-level design for structured, intent-based authoring of learning content with good learning architecture, following DITA principles and best practices.

This specification was formally submitted to the full OASIS DITA Technical Committee today, after we completed the designs, samples, and language specifications for the learning topic types, the learning map domain, the learning interaction domain, and IEEE LOM learning metadata. The intention is to have this specification approved by the TC for inclusion in DITA 1.2, though most of this work is built on the existing DITA 1.1 infrastructure.

Please send any review comments via the public comment facility.

Hometown Heroes and the World Series

I just wanted to provide an update to the World Series ticket fiasco and issue a few public Thank Yous. As you may have read in my previous post, the ticket system hung when I was about to submit my credit card info to complete the purchase. This is not a unique situation, and affected hundreds of other native Colorado Rockies fans. I just wanted to take my son to the World Series - a once in a lifetime opportunity, since it was the Rockies FIRST appearance in the World Series ever!

I sent emails to the Rockies ticket sales, VP Jay Alves, and several local Denver TV stations. I also mentioned my quandary to a guy in my office. He happened to get through with tickets and was willing to sell me 2 tickets AT FACE VALUE, because as he said, "baseball is about taking your kids to the ballpark". Jon didn't have to sell me any tickets at all, and he could have scalped them (like the jerks on StubHub) for up to $2,000 each! Jon is truly a Hometown Hero in my eyes!

I also need to throw out kudos to the Colorado Rockies organization, as they did call me back on Friday morning and wanted to make sure I was able to take my son to the game. I turned down the offer of additional tickets, since Jon was kind enough to sell them to me.

Yes, I could have gotten more tickets myself, but I wanted to give the same opportunity I had to others that might have been in my situation. Hopefully they were able to attend the game, and not get greedy and scalp the tickets themselves.

Even though the Rockies didn't win any games in the Series, it was still an awesome opportunity and a lot of fun. Connor even got to meet baseball legend, Dusty Baker!

More pics are here: http://picasaweb.google.com/shudson310/WorldSeries Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Major League Fiasco!

Unbelievable. The Rocks and the Sox are going to be playing in Denver!

I was one of the frustrated fans to experience the Monday ticket fiasco (supposedly a Denial of Service attack), to then run into the SAME problem on Tuesday! I actually got in about 12:15, selected 2 tickets for my son and I, and then have the site crash when I went to register and put in my credit card info! My son and I should be sitting in Game 4, Section 401, Row 6, Seats 1-2.

I took a print screen of the page just in case, and am still hoping the Rockies will honor the transaction. Given how this whole mess has gone, I'm not expecting anything. This is really disappointing, and a shame that it makes the Rockies look bad, when we should be supporting the team and the fans!

I wrote to the Rockies, the VP Jay Alves and Call7forHelp. Don't know if they can do anything about my plight. Keep those fingers crossed...

At least I got to see Spamalot when it was in town. Not all ticket experiences are bad in Denver.

GO ROCKIES! Beat those Beantown Baddies!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Got R done!

Way to go Rockies! The Colorado Rockies have now won the last 21 of 22 games, and swept BOTH the Phillies and the Diamondbacks! Next stop, World Series!

The Rockies have come a long way since I saw them lose to the KC Royals earlier this season. Tulo should get Rookie of the Year for sure. Big kudos to the entire team, though!

There are enough divas in baseball, so it has been very refreshing to see just how much this group of players truly focus on the TEAM. I also appreciate their strong faith.

It was a pain that TBS took all the broadcast rights for the playoffs. I think that's bad for baseball -- it's hard enough to get the country interested in watching, and even more so if you take it away from the local stations! Thankfully Fox has the rights for the World Series. I like listening on 850 KOA, but I'd sure like to be able to watch the Series.

I haven't seen crowds this big since the games I saw back at old Mile High stadium when the Rocks were first getting started. I have many sets of inaugural baseball cards, but nothing from this season. Might have to remedy that...

Go Rockies!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Doc Standards Interoperability Framework whitepaper now available!

Jim Earley and I have presented about the Doc Standards Interoperability Framework at XML 2006, DITA West 2007, Open Publish 2007, OASIS Symposium 2007 and DITA West 2007.

The whitepaper is now available at:
This whitepaper contains greater detail on the business case for interoperability, as well as specifics on the framework. If you are interested in exchanging content between DocBook, DITA, ODF and/or other document standards, you should definitely check it out!

We are still working on the charter for the proposed OASIS Doc Standards Interoperability TC. Hopefully we can get that finished soon to form the TC before year-end.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Motorcycle safety: Star Wars style!

One of the key aspects of motorcycle safety is VISIBILITY. If you've been reading my blog, you know I recently completed the Basic Rider Course (certified by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation) from Thunder Mountain Harley in Loveland, CO. After taking this course, I have a keen understanding of the need for safe riding skills and proper riding attire.

After I got my motorcycle endorsement on my license, I bought a Scorpion EXO400 full-face helmet so I could begin test riding bikes and figure out which bike to buy. I wanted to make sure I would be visible to other motorists, but also wanted to demonstrate my affinity for Star Wars!

Above is the result. Compared to Boba Fett's helmet, I think I'll be much more visible! For Fett, visibility would be bad, but for a motorcyclist, visibility is paramount.

First, I picked out a pattern thanks to the Boba Fett Fan Club. Next, I found some high reflectivity tape (though a 6x6 sheet would have been easier). I lined up the tape on the back of a printout of the logo, and then used an Exacto knife to trace the paper pattern onto the tape. I carefully cut the design out with scissors and laid out the pieces.

I placed the pattern on my helmet first, to make sure it fit (should probably have done this first!), and then carefully placed the tape on the helmet, lining up each piece to minimize error.

This just goes to show, you can still make a visible statement while being safe! You don't have to just put on boring squares of tape to be visible. Pick out a pattern and make a statement! I also chose the helmet, because it will be the highest location for motorist headlights to see. Because of the large (and skull-like) pattern, I think I can guarantee that I'll be noticed!

For more information on reflective tape and safety through visibility, see:

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A powerful ally, this Padawan...

Impressive. Most impressive.

Connor faced Darth Maul in The Trials and successfully completed his training at the Jedi Training Academy!

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Red Bull Air Race in San Diego!

We happened to be on vacation in California the week of the Red Bull Air Race in San Diego. Thankfully, our itinerary already included 2 days in San Diego, and the entire family was interested in seeing the race instead of going to the Wild Animal Park.

We even got to see it for free! You could buy tickets to watch it from the Embarcadero, but we went to Seaport Village and found a spot near a fountain where we could see the entire course! It was absolutely incredible. These guys fly at 300+ MPH and have to do very tight maneuvering in a timed course.

We could only see the Pre-Qualifying runs, since we had to start driving back the next day, but it was one of the best, cheapest events of our vacation!

UPDATE: I've made a public album of race pics here.

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