2005.04.07

Three Weeks of W3C

Below are pointers to about a dozen activites coming out of the World Wide Web Consortium over the last three weeks. You can follow along on their homepage or with their feed. Standards-based design and development can be about more than using existing standards; in the best cases, it's about helping to create the standards in the first place! By being aware of the work underway at the W3C, you can have a good sense of where the industry and technologies are going, even if you don't get your hands dirty in any of the working groups.

Three Weeks Worth


Working Draft: SVG's XML Binding Language (sXBL)

2005-04-06: The Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) Working Group and the CSS Working Group have released a third Working Draft of SVG's XML Binding Language (sXBL). The sXBL language defines the presentation and interactive behavior of elements outside the SVG namespace. The XBL task force welcomes comments and seeks feedback on three issues outlined in the status section. Visit the SVG and CSS home pages. (News archive)

Last Call: XQuery, XPath and XSLT

2005-04-04: The XML Query Working Group and the XSL Working Group released twelve Working Drafts for the XQuery, XPath and XSLT languages. Seven are in last call through 13 May. Important for databases, search engines and object repositories, XML Query can perform searches, queries and joins over collections of documents. XSLT transforms documents into different markup or formats. Both XQuery and XSLT 2 use XPath expressions and operate on XPath Data Model instances. Visit the XML home page. (News archive)

Working Draft: Compound Document Use Cases and Requirements

2005-04-04: The Compound Document Formats Working Group has released an updated Working Draft of Compound Document by Reference Use Cases and Requirements Version 1.0. A compound document combines multiple formats, such as XHTML, SVG, XForms, MathML and SMIL. This draft introduces compounding by a reference like img, object, link, src and XLink. Compounding by inclusion is planned for a later phase. Visit the Compound Document home page. (News archive)

Last Call: Web Services Addressing

2005-03-31: The Web Services Addressing Working Group has released two Last Call Working Drafts. Web Services Addressing - Core enables messaging systems to support transmission through networks that include processing nodes such as endpoint managers, firewalls, and gateways. SOAP Binding defines the core properties' association to SOAP messages. Visit the Web services home page. (News archive)

XML Binary Characterization Notes Published

2005-03-31: The XML Binary Characterization Working Group has released its evaluation, recommending that W3C produce a standard for binary interchange of XML. Published today as a Working Group Note, XML Binary Characterization is supported by use cases, properties and measurement methodologies. Optimized serialization can improve the generation, parsing, transmission and storage of XML-based data. Visit the XML home page. (News archive)

Upcoming W3C Talks

2005-03-31: Browse W3C presentations and events also available as an RSS channel. (News archive)

Last Call: XML Schema Component Designators

2005-03-29: The XML Schema Working Group has released a Last Call Working Draft of XML Schema: Component Designators. Comments are welcome through 26 April. The document defines a scheme for identifying the XML Schema components specified by the XML Schema Recommendation Part 1 and Part 2. Visit the XML home page. (News archive)

Working Draft: RDF/Topic Maps Interoperability

2005-03-29: The Semantic Web Best Practices and Deployment Working Group has released the First Public Working Draft of A Survey of RDF/Topic Maps Interoperability Proposals. The document is a starting point for establishing standard guidelines for combined usage of the W3C RDF/OWL family and the ISO family of Topic Maps standards. The group expects to publish Survey and Guidelines Working Group Notes based on this draft. Visit the Semantic Web home page. (News archive)

RDF Data Access Use Cases and Requirements Updated

2005-03-25: The RDF Data Access Working Group has released an updated Working Draft of RDF Data Access Use Cases and Requirements. The draft suggests how an RDF query language and data access protocol could be used in the construction of novel, useful Semantic Web applications in areas like Web publishing, personal information management, transportation and tourism. The group invites feedback on which features are required for a first version of SPARQL and which should be postponed in order to expedite deployment of others. Visit the Semantic Web home page. (News archive)

C

all for Participation: W3C Workshop on XML Schema 1.0 User Experiences

2005-03-23: Position papers are due 20 May for the W3C Workshop on XML Schema 1.0 User Experiences to be held 21-22 June in Redwood Shores, California, USA. Schema authors and users, developers and vendors of schema-aware code generators, middleware, validators, and the W3C XML Schema Working Group will gather to discuss user experience with XML Schema 1.0. The workshop goal is to arrive at plan of action for XML Schema 1.0 interoperability, errata and clarification. Read about W3C workshops and visit the XML home page. (News archive)

Last Call: Timed Text Distribution Profile

2005-03-21: The Timed Text (TT) Working Group has released a Last Call Working Draft of the Timed Text (TT) Authoring Format 1.0 Distribution Format Exchange Profile (DFXP). The format enables authors and authoring systems to interchange style, layout and timing associated with text. DFXP helps to transform and distribute subtitles and captions to legacy systems. Comments are welcome through 11 April. Visit the Synchronized Multimedia home page. (News archive)

Working Draft: Compound Document Use Cases and Requirements

2005-03-15: The Compound Document Formats Working Group has released the First Public Working Draft of Compound Document by Reference Use Cases and Requirements Version 1.0. A compound document combines multiple formats, such as XHTML, SVG, XForms, MathML and SMIL. This draft introduces compounding by a reference like img, object, link, src and XLink. Compounding by inclusion is planned for a later phase. Visit the Compound Document home page. (News archive)

Working Draft: Timed Text Distribution Profile

2005-03-14: The Timed Text (TT) Working Group has released an updated Working Draft of the Timed Text (TT) Authoring Format 1.0 Distribution Format Exchange Profile (DFXP). The format enables authors and authoring systems to interchange style, layout and timing associated with text. DFXP helps to transform and distribute subtitles and captions to legacy systems. Visit the Synchronized Multimedia home page. (News archive)

Call for Participation: W3C Workshop on Frameworks for Semantics in Web Services

2005-02-10: Position papers are due 22 April for the W3C Workshop on Frameworks for Semantics in Web Services to be held 9-10 June in Innsbruck, Austria. Participants will discuss possible future W3C work on a comprehensive and expressive framework for describing all aspects of Web services. The workshop's goal is to envision more powerful tools and fuller automation using Semantic Web technologies such as RDF and OWL. Read about W3C workshops and visit the Web services home page. (News archive)

Posted by Nate Koechley on April 7, 2005 at 01:15 AM in Accessibility, Internationalization, CSS Media Types, Browsers, News, References, Search, Search Engines, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social Networking and Community, Software and Tools, Web Development, Yahoo! | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

2005.04.05

Steroids vs Falsification of Nuclear Documents

A couple weeks ago I ranted about the Government Reform Committee's investigation of steroids in baseball.

[N]ot that I'm pro-steroids or anything, but doesn't the GOVERNMENT REFORM COMMITTE have anything better to do than get autographs from a bunch of athletes? Even if steroids were the worst thing under the sun, what exactly does it have to do with GOVERNMENT REFORM? It's not like that don't have anything to do: Haven't they heard of DeLay's illegal and unethical actions, the federal government's falsification of documents related to the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste dump, or that BushCo is prepackaging television news in a blatant propaganda plan? (And then there's the whole "torture" and "1500 Americans dead" thing...)

Well, I feel a little better today after reading that the House Government Reform subcommittee held hearings today into the falsification of Yucca Mountain documents by government scientists.

"The fact that data may have been intentionally fabricated in service of shoring up predetermined and politically driven conclusions calls into question the very legitimacy of this entire program," [Nevada Governor Kenny] Guinn said.

At least the Government Reform committee is in the right ballpark again.

Posted by Nate Koechley on April 5, 2005 at 04:51 PM in News, Politics | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

2005.03.31

Yahoo isn't just back in the game - it's winning.

Ben Hammersley writes an interesting piece in the Guardian today titled Second Sight. It's well worth reading, and looks at recent developments from Yahoo and Google, and reports that "Google, it seems, has jumped the shark." His conclusion is that it's "Three-nil to Yahoo." Give it a read, I think you'll be impressed, and probably find out some things about each company that go against the prevailing PR winds.

Yahoo is the new Google. Google is the new Yahoo. Up is down, and black is white. This spring has been very strange. Google, it seems, has jumped the shark. It has been overtaken, left standing, and not by some new startup of ultra smart MIT alumni or by the gazillions in the Microsoft development budget, but by the deeply unhip and previously discounted Yahoo.

The article provides a good overview of recent Yahoo activity, including the Yahoo Search API, research.yahoo.com (and next.yahoo.com), live traffic conditions on Yahoo! Maps, a gig of storage on Yahoo! Mail, Yahoo! 360, Flickr, and even the quietly released Creative Commons search on Yahoo!: http://search.yahoo.com/cc

Update: Danny Sullivan, Editor of the premier search industry publication, released their 5th Annual Search Engine Watch Awards today, and for the first time Yahoo! Search takes first place, bumping Google to second.Remember what I said about prevailing winds, and hold onto your hat.

Posted by Nate Koechley on March 31, 2005 at 11:30 AM in Design, Engineering, News, Search, Search Engines, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Software and Tools, Yahoo! | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

2005.03.23

Yahoo! News - Plants Challenge Genetic Inheritance Laws

Link: Yahoo! News - Plants Challenge Genetic Inheritance Laws.

Challenging a scientific law of inheritance that has stood for 150 years, scientists say plants sometimes select better bits of DNA in order to develop normally even when they inherited genetic flaws from their predecessors.

Pretty amazing that everything that seemed to be thought might now be more complex:

"This means that inheritance can happen more flexibly than we thought," said Robert Pruitt, the paper's senior author.

Posted by Nate Koechley on March 23, 2005 at 11:49 PM in News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

2005.03.16

Depressed Today

Not like that last several years have been happy or anything, but the headlines today really got me down:

  • Senate Votes to Open Alaskan Oil Drilling - a sad day for the environment, and to me signifies that the democrats in congress and just overworked. It's horrible, but in the scheme of things isn't not even the worst. Makes me realize that BushCo is slowing numbing us to agenda.
  • House OKs $81.4 Billion on War Spending - " the fifth emergency spending plan Bush has sent to Congress for wars".... how many times can you call wolf/emergency? I wish my bank account was as forgiving.
  • Bush Recommends Wolfowitz for World Bank - So now, our peaceful development efforts are headed by our chief war strategist, a raging conservative hawk!? Great, that sends a nice subtle message to the world.

There's plenty more where those came from, but I can't bare it anymore right now...

And by the way, not that I'm pro-steroids or anything, but doesn't the GOVERNMENT REFORM COMMITTE have anything better to do than get autographs from a bunch of athletes? Even if steroids were the worst thing under the sun, what exactly does it have to do with GOVERNMENT REFORM? It's not like that don't have anything to do: Haven't they heard of DeLay's illegal and unethical actions, the federal government's falsification of documents related to the Yucca Mtn Nuclear Waste dump, or that BushCo is prepackaging television news in a blatant propaganda plan? (And then there's the whole "torture" and "1500 Americans dead" thing...)

May the world forgive us, and accept our apologies.

Posted by Nate Koechley on March 16, 2005 at 12:26 PM in My life..., News, Politics | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

2005.01.28

We the People: Women and Men in the United States

I totally love that soooo much data floats around freely these days, thanks to the Web. Even when it doesn't related to me personally, I like thinking that it's perfect and crucial for somebody's interests. Today's example is a special report on Women from the US Census Bureau (via).

Some Factoids

  • Men outnumber women through age 34; Women outnumber men after age 34, increasing with age.
  • In 1970, 36 percent of women 20 to 24 and 12 percent of women 25 to 29 had not married. By 2000, the proportions rose to 69 percent and 38 percent, respectively.
  • Married-couple households dropped from 69 percent of all households in 1970 to 53 percent in 2000.
  • A greater percentage of women graduate high school. I greater percentage of men graduate college.
  • A greater percentage of men than women are in the workforce.
  • 47% of the workforce was female in 2000, up from 37% in 1970.
  • The % of women in the workforce did not increase for Construction, Extraction, and Maintenance industries.
  • Women continue to earn less than men. [Surprisingly to me,] Black, Hispanic and Other women earn 85% of mens pay, while White women earn only 70%.
  • Poverty: 13.5% of the female population; 11.2% of the male population.

Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.

Posted by Nate Koechley on January 28, 2005 at 11:11 AM in Idea, News, Other, Politics, Pop Culture, References | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

2005.01.11

Newsmap

For all the news junkies out there, and for those of you interested in visualizations, check out newsmap if you haven't seen it before.

  • Notice the legend in the lower right corner. Color = age.
  • The size of the area represents the number of sources.
  • Layout controls are in the lower right corner too. I think I prefer "standard" over "square".
  • You can select countries across the top. Each country will get a proportional section of the page. Turn on US, NZ and Canada, and notice how different stories are variously prominent.
  • Archive controls are in the lower left. You can examine news from earlier in the day, or earlier in the week.

Posted by Nate Koechley on January 11, 2005 at 02:41 AM in Design, Information Architecture, Interaction Design, News, Social Networking and Community, Visual Design | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

2005.01.07

2014 EPIC - The Future of Online [Media]

Go watch this flash movie right now. (Or the first time you have 8 free, it doesn't have a pause button.).

It's the history of the media wars, with a dateline of 2014. What happens with Google, Amazon, Blogger, Microsoft, Friendster and TiVo play together? What happens when search, news, shopping, social networks, blogging, camera phones, recommendations, filtering, archiving, the long tail, and everything else that's ALREADY in motion congeals?

Remember that feeling you got when you "got it" in the first Matrix movie? I got that feeling watching this. Remember that feeling you got when you actually realized that scale of the Internet, and what it will eventually enable?

Go watch it.

It's not clear how you're supposed to feel when it's over. Sounds pretty cool. Sounds pretty scary. Come back here and leave some comments after you've watched it. Technorati lets you monitor it as it spreads across the Web.

(I guess this was on metafilter in mid November, but it's new to me today.)

Posted by Nate Koechley on January 7, 2005 at 12:49 PM in Blogging, RSS, Idea, Knowledge & Content Management, News, Search, Search Engines, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social Networking and Community | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

2004.12.31

Republicans Are Criminals. House Lowering Ethical Standards.

Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives "are considering a change in House ethics rules that could make it harder to discipline lawmakers".

This according to the Associated Press, Washington Post, CNN, and others.

I believe that our elected representatives should be held to the highest ethical standard, not the lowest. Criminal and unethical behavior in the line of duty should be incomprehensible. It is shameful and ugly to squirm for some fuzzy gray area. I refuse to be represented by anyone of questionable character.

"It would lower the standard of official conduct, and if that's the case, it would be the first time that it has been done since 1968, and it would be done on a completely partisan basis," said Jennifer Crider, spokeswoman for House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (search | wiki).

"If House Republican leaders are allowed to prevail, they will have gutted the single most important ethics standard in the House and turned House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's multiple ethics transgressions into acceptable conduct for all House members,"

If my open community-edited Wikipedia encyclopedia entry ever has a section devoted to proven ethical shortcomings, I'll be forced to consider Seppuku. He has no such shame. The House Ethics Committee has found him guilty. Judicial Watch, a right-leaning watch group, has called for him to resign from his Majority Leader post. He is the focus of a current grand jury probe into his campaign finance practice: Here, here, here, and here.

"We think this sends a message that there are no consequences for unethical behavior,"

said Mary Boyle, a spokeswoman for Common Cause, part of a coalition fighting the proposals.

I refuse to send that message. Write your personal elected Representative and choose to refuse.

Posted by Nate Koechley on December 31, 2004 at 07:32 PM in My life..., News, Politics | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

2004.09.28

Hip-Hop Dreams

The Washingtop Post has an interesting 3-chapter video called Hip-Hop Dreams that reports: "Organizers at an Orlando voter registration drive hope hip-hop will become a political voice for young blacks.

While the youth vote has been declining since a high-water mark in the early 1970's, turnout of black youth between the ages of 18 and 29 has remained the same or better than that of other youth voting groups.

African-American are actually more electorally engaged than their Latino or Asian-American counterparts, and just as engaged as their white counterparts.

Can the hip-hop generation make a statement on November 2nd?

Posted by Nate Koechley on September 28, 2004 at 01:06 PM in News, Politics, Pop Culture | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack