Upgrading PHP

Wednesday, November 29th, 2006

I’m getting ready to install PHP 5.2.0 here. Mostly I just want to try to make it link to a newer version of libxml. If it all goes pear-shaped, I’ll post a note on Cafe au Lait while I restore.
(more…)

Upgrading Mac Libraries

Wednesday, November 29th, 2006

Does anyone know how to upgrade open source libraries bundled with Mac OS X? My specific concern is with the version of libxml installed on this server (2.6.16) which has serious bugs in RELAX NG validation. I want to upgrade that to version 2.6.26.
(more…)

Starting a New Book

Wednesday, November 29th, 2006

Today is an auspicious day. For the first time in several years I am putting fingers to keyboard to commence a completely new book, my first one since Effective XML. This is always an exciting and anxious time.

For the last few years I have written several second and third editions, and generated a copious amount of articles and conference presentations. However the book work has really slacked off. Quite a few good ideas never found a publisher; but the contract for the next book is now signed. It’s still a computer book, but it’s branching out into a new area I haven’t previously written about. Look for it in early summer 2007.

Microsoft admits they copy from Apple

Tuesday, November 28th, 2006

Steve Jobs and others have said for years that Microsoft copies Apple. Remember the “Redmond, start your photocopiers” banner from WWDC 2004? Well now, someone deep inside the beast has admitted it. Straight from the horse’s mouth, here’s Moishe Lettvin, formerly of the Microsoft Windows Mobile PC User Experience team:

My team had a very talented UI designer and my particular feature had a good, headstrong program manager with strong ideas about user experience. We had a Mac that we looked to as a paragon of clean UI. Of course the Shell team also had some great UI designers and numerous good, headstrong PMs who valued (I can only assume) simplicity and so on. Perhaps they had a Mac too.

Emphasis added. Wow.

Why I hate weak typing

Saturday, November 25th, 2006

I just wasted at least two hours hunting down a bug that turned out to be in this PHP code fragment:

      if ($reader->hasValue) {
        echo ": " + $reader->value;
      }

Do you see the bug?
(more…)

Buy Nothing Today

Friday, November 24th, 2006

Once again this year I am celebrating Buy Nothing Day. For one complete day, I will buy nothing. I will not stand in lines, browse department store circulars, save $4.95 on a $19.95 toy I didn’t want anyway, and otherwise participate in our annual consumer frenzy. Instead I plan to sleep in, make love to my wife, maybe write a little, and wander around the park looking at birds and hunting for mushrooms (which I don’t have to pay for). Beats the hell out of a day at the mall.