Friday Dec 12, 2008

ruby script to set skype and adium mood message with twitter on osx

Twitter is a great way to learn many little web2.0ish things. I wanted to set the status message on my Skype and Adium clients using my last twitter message. So I found a howto document by Michael Tyson which I adapted a bit to add Skype support and to only post twits that were not replies to someone else - I decide there was just too much loss of context for that to make sense.

#!/usr/bin/env ruby
#
# Update iChat/Adium/Skype status from Twitter
#
# Michael Tyson 
# http://michael.tyson.id.au
# Contributor: Henry Story

# Set Twitter username here
Username = 'bblfish'

require 'net/http'
require 'rexml/document'
include REXML

# Download timeline XML and extract latest entry
url = "http://twitter.com/statuses/user_timeline/" + Username + ".atom"
xml_data = Net::HTTP.get_response(URI.parse(url)).body
doc    = REXML::Document.new(xml_data)

latest = XPath.match(doc,"//content").detect { |c| not /@/.match(c.text)}
message = latest.text.gsub(/\^[\^:]+:\\s\*/, '')
exit if ! message

# Apply to status
script = 'set message to "' + message.gsub(/"/, '\\\\"') 
         + "\\"\\n" +
         'tell application "System Events"' 
         + "\\n" +
         'if exists process "iChat" then tell application "iChat" to set the status message to message' 
         + "\\n" +
         'if exists process "Adium" then tell application "Adium" to set status message of every account to message' 
         + "\\n" +
         'if exists process "Skype" then tell application "Skype" to send command "set profile mood_text "'
         + ' & message script name "twitter"'
         + "\\n" +
         'end tell' + "\\n"

IO.popen("osascript", "w") { |f| f.puts(script) }

This can then be added to the unix crontab as explained in Michael's article, and all is good.

What can one learn with this little exercise? Quite a lot:

  • Ruby - this is my first Ruby hack
  • Atom - twitter uses an atom xml feed to publish its posts
  • unix crontab
  • AppleScript to send messages to all these silly OSX apps
  • vi to edit all of this, but that's not obligatory, you can use less viral ones
  • the value of reusing data accross applications
So that's a good way to spend a little time when one has had a little bit too much to drink the night before. Hmm, is this what one calls procrastination (video)?

Tuesday Sep 30, 2008

video iChat to flight 59 from JFK to SFO

snapshot of iChat session with Rinaldo DiGiorgio in plane

I just got a instant messaging call from Rinaldo. He was (and as of writing this still is) in an American Airlines flight from New York to San Francisco. They recently added internet to some flights for a $13 fee. We wanted to try out what could be done with this. We tried Skype, but that did not work for some reason. This was too cool to give up, so we also tried iChat, which as you can see from the picture did work - after a few false starts. I could not hear Rinaldo very clearly as the airplane makes a lot of noise. For a conf call one would clearly need a head set, and good lighting too (I had to add a bit of exposure to the picture see here).

I am writing this from Fontainebleau, France. At Sun we really form a distributed team. :-)

Monday Aug 11, 2008

No iPhone for me

image of the netshare app

It is five years now that I have not had a cell phone. I was hoping the iPhone would change that soon. But I just find the limitations imposed on these devices unacceptable. The latest such restriction: "thou shalt not use the iPhone as a modem to connect your computer to the internet". (see Christian Fauré's article in French). As a result Apple pulled the Netshare app, described by a recent WIRED article, from its iStore. I hear rumors that one can get this to work by hacking (illegally) one's iPhone, but why should I break the law? That would just be a way for me to pour energy into a system that I don't own. I have not become a Linux hacker to give up my rights that easily.

Why do they have this rule? In France for €50 a month, you get "unlimited service" with a small print restriction to no more than half a gigabyte per month of download bandwidth. Using your laptop to connect to a 3G phone would, unless you are very careful to close all applications that consume bandwidth, probably use up that limited space very quickly anyway. It can take an hour for Skype to use up 50MB of bandwidth I noticed. Perhaps that is why this rule is there. But that just indicates to me that 3G really is not ready for prime time yet.

Oops. I lied. I did get a cell phone I remember now, when I was in the US in May. For $15 I got a throwaway cell phone from Virgin Mobile. The price was right, and it saved me money making phone calls, and saved me wasting time looking for coin operated phones. Plus of course there were no roaming charges, as it was a US phone. And with Skype, I could just forward my calls to that phone, so I did not even have to give anyone a new phone number that would soon be out of date. Some people from Europe showing off their iPhones had some hefty roaming bills later when returning home. I even discovered that to change your SIM card in the US for such a phone could cost you $50! A sim card was more expensive than a cell phone!! Sound like Europe in the Middle Ages to me. Wherever you go you would have to pay some baron a fee for crossing his land. Security not guaranteed.

Thursday Nov 08, 2007

Why Apple Spaces is broken

Space: they way I would like to set up my workspaces

I have been using virtual desktops, what Apple now calls Spaces™, since 1995 on X11 Unix. So I have quite good experience with this feature. I know what it needs, and I can tell very clearly that although Apple's implementations is the most beautiful version available, it clearly has not been thought through correctly. As a lot of Apple users will be novel to this, they may not quite understand what is broken immediately, but may come to the conclusion that it is not very useful. So first we have to explain why virtual desktops are useful. Then I can explain why Apple's implementation is broken.

The use case

The reason for developing multiple spaces is to be able to clearly separate one's work. I for example, have one desktop for Mail and other communication related activities, one for programming, one for blogging, and one for other tasks such as giving a presentation.

When I read mail, I sometimes need to browse the web to check up on links that people may have sent me. I don't want that to make me jump over to the browser I opened in my development space where I was reading javadoc. That would both mess up my development environment, and switch the context I was in. If no browser is open in my mail environment I would like to just be able to hit ⌘-N and have a new browser open up there. Then pressing ⌘-⇥ (command-tab) - which should only list applications available in that space or at least offer those applications available there in priority - I should be able to switch between my mail and the browser instances open in that space.

Having read my mail, especially the mail by my manager, telling me to stop helping Apple improve its copy of something that was available over 12 years ago on unix, and to get working on the next great ideas, I switch back to my NetBeans space, where I am developing a Semantic Address Book. Here I would like to switch quickly between the applications that are open in that space: Netbeans, my AddressBook, the shell, Safari and Firefox. So at the minimum, I would like the applications that are present in that space again to be the first in the ⌘-⇥ list. And! I would like it that when I switch to Safari to read the docs, I don't get thrown into my communications space.

There is no way I can have only one browser open for all of my work. I need different browsers open for different purposes in each spaces. The same is true with the shell. Sometimes it may even be true with Mail. Perhaps someone sends me an email relating to a piece of code I am working on. I would like to move that window to my editing environment (easy using F8 of course), in order to be able to switch between it and my editor with ease.

What's broken

So currently it is not possible to work like this with Apple's Spaces™. When switching between applications using ⌘-⇥, Spaces™ throws you across virtual desktops without any check to see if a window of that application is not already open in your space. Spaces™ always switches one to the virtual desktop that an application was first opened in, or where the first opened window from that application actually is. One cannot use the F9 or F10 Exposé keys either. Even though they only show the applications open in one space, they will still in some unpredictable way, switch you to a different space. They do this even if you clearly select a window from the space you are working in. So there is no way to switch reliably between applications open in one virtual desktop space, and so there really is no way to separate your different work related tasks. The way it is set up you need to have all your browsers in the same space, all your shells in the same space, etc... etc... So really these Spaces™ are not designed around a person's work habits, but around software components. That is the most basic of all User Interface failings.

Updates

30 May, 2008 Many, if not most, of the issues I complained of in this post have been fixed with release 10.5.3 of OSX. It seems useable now. ⌘-⇥ no longer randomly switches between workspaces, which was the biggest problem. John Gruber explains how 10.5.3 fixes spaces in detail on his blog.

Nov 20, 2007 eliottcable proposes a solution on quintessentially open. I am not convinced that ⌘-⇥ should create new windows on a space by default if there is non there. It should certainly not switch to another space if there is a window on the current space. In any case I find that the F9-F10 expose keys are clearly broken, since they do have me jump across spaces, when they never should.

This post received a huge number of readers from daring fireball. Thanks. Dave Dribin has a good write-up on this issue. Some further discussion is developing on the reddit discussion forum.

Friday Nov 02, 2007

Vote for Java6 on Leopard!

As mentioned previously a lot of Java developers on OSX are upset at Apple's silence as to its intentions with respect to the release of Java 6. There used to be a developer preview available, which was pulled recently with no indication as to when a replacement would be available. People like me who upgraded in the hope of having the latest and greatest - which we have been very patiently waiting for over a year for - are very disappointed. It creates all kinds of annoyances, like not being able to run Java Tutorial examples. Some who are working on Java 6 projects cannot use their computer easily, without resorting to installation of a separate OS in a virtual machine, to do their job. We all like OSX: its a beautiful easy to use Unix that usually really helps us get our work done. I have been very happily using it since 2004.

The first solution of course is to have our voice heard. One way to do this is to file a bug with Apple. Please do this! The only problem I have with it is that as opposed to the Java bug database which is completely open, the Apple bug database is completely closed. So there's no real way of verifying how many people have posted a report. We must therefore complement that action with an equal Open action. Following the noble example given to us by Nova Spivack, when he asked for people to make their voice heard in support of the Burmese people and got some real results, let us do the same to help Apple make the right decision.
Anybody who would like to support this issue in the blogosphere, should help post a blog with the string

13949712720901ForOSX

The first part of the string is the decimal notation for 0xCAFEBABE [1], the magic cookie for JavaClass files (thanks David for the number and the pointer to Fredericiana's photo). Then post similar instructions on your blog or point people here. Let's see how far this gets us! [2]

We should then be able to use any search engine, Google is a good choice, to search for this string [3], and hopefully motivate the managers at Apple to invest more time on Java and be more open about their plans with the community.

Your vote may also be an energizer to those groups that are starting to port the OpenJDK to OSX (via the mac java community).

Notes

  1. Oops I just noticed a mistake here. 13949712720901 in dec = 0xCAFEBABE405 in Hex. Even better. So that's CAFEBABE + the HTTP 405 Response, which means "Method not available". :-)
  2. If you know a foreign language then please translate the instructions and explanations so that more people can understand what is going on. Always post a link to some instructions. Language is a Virus, but it is most virulent when it is understandable and hyperlinked, of course.
  3. A search on Google Web returns more results - more than AllTheWeb or AltaVista - but Google Blog Search contains less duplicates. The real number of votes is somewhere between those two numbers, as some people are voting on their open source web sites, which are not always feed enabled. Simon is keeping count.
  4. Karussell is keeping a list of related articles.

Update

Tuesday Nov 13: Landon Fuller has been able to get a very nice hello world GUI app running on OSX using the FreeBSD jdk1.6 port. It runs under X Windows only. Excellent work!

Nov 20th, 2007: Dave Dirbin publishes the first beta release of the open source java 6. This campaign has gathered 105 blog votes if we count the results from Google Blog Search, placing it easily among the top 10 bug reports at the Java Bug database. The Google web search returns 256 results, which will contain the blog search, many duplicate pages pointing to blogs + some extra votes people may have placed on the web. I guess that those extra votes may pop this bug report up to the top 5 position.

Wednesday Dec 19: Apple has put a developer preview of Java 6 up on Apple Developer Connection. It is nice to see things progress on that side. As a result of this conflict, Java development on OSX has become a lot richer, with an open source JDK starting to compete with the closed one from Apple. This can only be good for both, and for developer and customer confidence in the platform.

Saturday Oct 27, 2007

Echo2: building Web 2.0 in Java

During some heated discussion on the Apple Java Dev mailing list as to why there still is not Java 6 available in Leopard, with some serious calls to port OpenJDK to OSX, Will Gilbert pointed to the Echo2 demo by Nextapp, which is written with a Java™ library. Here is what Will had to say:
I eventually found little known framework which blew my socks off with performance and seduced me with the source code I would be writing. It was Echo2 from NextApp.com. Fully open source and free. There is nice demo at:

http://demo.nextapp.com/Demo/app

Use the accordion pane to select the "Technology" panel, the click on the "Java Development" button you can see the source code, then run the app which is defined by the source. You will see an immediate similarity to AWT with a flavor of Swing.

I don't know if you have already committed to a development platform, if not, check out Echo2. More specifically take a look at the Echo2 fork which was done by some guys in Australia called Cooee at Karora.org. They took the Echo2 source, added a nice bug reporting system (JIRA), scheduled releases, and Maven repository support.

I you have Leopard, you now have Maven installed. You can run a archetype which I've been developing to create a runnable demo application. This archetype is underdevelopment and is likely to change.

From terminal run the following. Maven will install what it need and then create the application

% mvn archetype:create \\
-DarchetypeGroupId=org.karora.cooee.sandbox.informagen \\
-DarchetypeArtifactId=webapp \\
-DarchetypeVersion=1.0.0 \\
-DremoteRepositories=http://informagen.com/maven2 \\
-DgroupId=com.foo.bar \\
-DartifactId=xxxxx
   .
   . [INFO] BUILD SUCCESSFUL
   .
% cd xxxxx
% more readme.txt

Anyway, that is a really nice discovery that got my mind off my disappointment with the unavailability of even a preview of Java 6 on Leopard. This is an OSX release that otherwise has many very nice features. Here are some of my initial impressions:

  • The user interface is snappier
  • Spotlight finally works (It used to take forever to find things, and the user interface was terrible).
  • The Finder is very much improved. The nice big graphics previews helped me find a few videos I did not know I had. With the click of a space you can see the first page of a NeoOffice document. (NeoOffice is a free and excellent Office suite with the User Interface written in Java btw)
  • Spaces, the multi windowing environment, is dead beautiful, but broken. You can drag one web browser window from one virtual desktop to another with one simple gesture, but then when you want to switch between a number of web browser in different windows using alt-tab you usually end up in the original window. Using Expose keys does not help that much either. So you have to have all windows from one application on the same virtual window. You also don't get much choice for selecting your short cut keys, which means that you may have trouble with it interfering with other applications.
  • Netbeans 6 beta 2 works very well on Leopard. There have been some improvements to the graphics library in their new Java release which has broken IntelliJ and Eclipse though. NetBeans 6 by the way is getting to be really really good.
  • Matt Neuburg post some well illustrated criticisms on the new features in Leopard, which I agree with. The last point about the help windows being impossible get out of the foreground is, it is true, quite bizarre.
  • Some minor and not so minor bugs in The lame Leopard blog

But the final and best review is as usual John Siracusa's Ars Technica review. No marketing hype. Real facts, and good criticism.

Wednesday Oct 17, 2007

Java for iPhone by Feb 2008?

I just received this email as a response to a bug I had filed at Apple concerning Java's non presence on the iPhone.
(Hmm... Reading the message closely it does not say "Java" though, it just mentions an SDK... I wonder what kind of Software Development Kit they mean?)

Subject: Re: Bug ID 4918928: java on iphone

Dear Henry,

This is a follow-up to Bug ID# 4918928 . Apple has just announced via Apple HotNews an iPhone SDK will be made available to developers in February 2008.

------------------- http://www.apple.com/hotnews/ [no permalink it seems]

Third Party Applications on the iPhone Let me just say it: We want native third party applications on the iPhone, and we plan to have an SDK in developers’ hands in February. We are excited about creating a vibrant third party developer community around the iPhone and enabling hundreds of new applications for our users. With our revolutionary multi-touch interface, powerful hardware and advanced software architecture, we believe we have created the best mobile platform ever for developers.

It will take until February to release an SDK because we’re trying to do two diametrically opposed things at once—provide an advanced and open platform to developers while at the same time protect iPhone users from viruses, malware, privacy attacks, etc. This is no easy task. Some claim that viruses and malware are not a problem on mobile phones—this is simply not true. There have been serious viruses on other mobile phones already, including some that silently spread from phone to phone over the cell network. As our phones become more powerful, these malicious programs will become more dangerous. And since the iPhone is the most advanced phone ever, it will be a highly visible target.

Some companies are already taking action. Nokia, for example, is not allowing any applications to be loaded onto some of their newest phones unless they have a digital signature that can be traced back to a known developer. While this makes such a phone less than “totally open,” we believe it is a step in the right direction. We are working on an advanced system which will offer developers broad access to natively program the iPhone’s amazing software platform while at the same time protecting users from malicious programs.

We think a few months of patience now will be rewarded by many years of great third party applications running on safe and reliable iPhones.

Steve

P.S.: The SDK will also allow developers to create applications for iPod touch.

Monday Aug 20, 2007

Purple Ocean Strategy

A few weeks ago I read through "Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant", By W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne of the Insead business school. This book has sold millions of copies since its publication. It is very easy to read, and contains a lot of clear and entertaining business cases by way of illustration, from the growth of the Cirque du Soleil via the story of the turnaround of crime in New York under the leadership of Bill Braton, all the way to Apple's phenomenal success with the iPod.

The Blue Ocean the book refers to is opposed to the Red Ocean of competition in well established markets where optimization and distinction on well understood, standardized criteria matter. The Blue Ocean stands for the new markets created by businesses where there are no predefined standards, no predefined audience, where no industrial feet have yet been placed; in short the sought after space where there is no competition, where huge fortunes can be made. One of the very nice things about this book is how it shows just how much the blue ocean markets can be created in every walk of life, not just where one expects it the most, in technology driven industries.

The aim of the book is to show how these oceans of innovation are created. The tools it develops to make it possible to understand this are very easy to grasp, and make a lot of sense. One point it makes, and that every creator knows, is that you cannot find a Blue Ocean by asking your customers what they want, or by doing simple market studies. Of course these spaces are created by responding to something people really wanted, and feeling for your customers is an important aspect of seeing new possibilities emerge. But the business owner, the entrepreneur - as opposed to the manager ( the book does not make this distinction ) - is the creator of a new value space which cannot be comprehended by the market ahead of time. More so even since by creating something new, the entrepreneur is redefining the boundaries of the established market, and so redefining the audience. The Cirque du Soleil for example changed both the definition of what a circus was and what theater was. In doing that the Cirque du Soleil became a competitor of not just theater and circuses, but also other night time activities people might have enjoyed in their place. The Cirque du Soleil did that but seemed also to appear out of nowhere.

Blue is the symbol of Liberty. The French flag is blue, white and red: Liberty, Equality, Fraternity. Blue in Europe is also associated with conservatism. The history of color associations in the USA is more complex and currently has the reverse association in part due to the stigma attached to the color red in the battle against Communism. Just as with the colors the book presents what are probably very complex ideas in an amazingly simple way. It separates the strands of thought the way a crystal separates light. Like a beat of electronic music it drums these distinctions into the readers mind, so that there is probably no need to re-read the book twice: reading it once is to read it three times. So my following criticism or thoughts will probably be just very facile remerging of what was separated for clarity.

Following the internet and computer industries I have noticed an element of the relation between red and blue that this book fails to make. As our CEO Jonathan Schwartz often mentions on his blog, it is not because one is in a commodity market that one cannot make a huge profit. The electric plug in your house, voltage, wire sizes and many other parts of the electricity industry are standardized. Those are commodity markets. Yet companies like General Electric or Siemens that produce huge generators for large dams or other electrical installations are in some very profitable markets. Without the standardization of the plugs and voltages, the electricity industry could never have grown so big. Standardization I have noticed, can be a stepping stone to building a Blue Ocean, the blue can build on the red.

To illustrate let me take one example from the book: Apple's huge success in recent years. One of the conceptual tools put forward by Blue Ocean Strategy, is that one has to create a new value curve. Remove some aspects of cost and value from a product (no animals in the Cirque du Soleil), change other aspects of value (price), create something new (artistic dance show). One way Apple reduced cost was by adopting open standards. By building on the Unix Operating system developed and used in Universities world wide they removed the major research cost of developing an Operating System whilst gained a huge pool of ready and highly qualified experts worldwide, and all the software that had been built in an Open Source way over time. The default compiler of OSX is Gnu CC. Think of the huge cost reductions that flow from being able to build in such a way on the works of others. By adding the one thing that had been missing from that system, an artistically coherent and beautiful end user experience, Apple gained those people's hearts and support and gave them a unique value proposition, bringing a very important community to Apple that would never have touched it before. By building on these open standards Apple also brings value to the community, if only in the existential example that it can be done, but certainly also over time in feeding back the improvements to the community. Simon Phipps explains how this works in full detail in "The Zen of Free". The same forces at work also lead Sun Microsystems down a similar path to its logical conclusion: by Opening up all of the software stack. As a result Sun and Apple are able to cooperate in numerous ways that would otherwise have been impossible. By working on a standard base Apple can gain award winning technologies such as ZFS at very low cost, allowing it to focus on differentiating itself where its user base's value is: simple packaging, beauty and fluid end user experience. Apple's switch last year to Intel is a similar move, building this time on an industrial de facto standard.
In all these cases reducing costs is not removing something completely from the system as proposed by Blue Ocean (removing the lions), but building on the commoditization and standardization of one layer, thereby bringing the costs down to close to zero. Building on the Red Ocean of community ownership a Blue Ocean of innovation and creativity, in a way that respects the value of the Red Ocean, is what I would like to call here, on my little blog at the end of the universe, Purple Ocean Strategy.

Having gotten this far it may be necessary to enlarge the notion of what is Red all the way to Green. If Red is what is socially established, fraternal ownership, then further along there is what is common to all living things, the biosphere, the Green. A strategy that took this into account would be looking for how to use and build in a sustainable way on that space. It is clear that not taking this into account can be extremely damaging, as the unfolding drama of Beijing Olympics is revealing. How to take it into account effectlively, may get us to the Turquoise Ocean Strategy.

Thursday Jul 12, 2007

java on the iPhone

According to Ed Burnette' misleadingly entitled post "Apple sneaks Java support onto the iPhone", a java virtual machine named Jazelle runs natively on the CPU that the iPhone is made from, and this feature is enabled on the processor. Apparently it is very small and very efficient, blatantly contradicting Steve Jobs' comments:

Jobs: “Java’s not worth building in. Nobody uses Java anymore. It’s this big heavyweight ball and chain.”
Java is available on every cell phone except his pretty much, on nearly every computer shipped, on robots, and credit cards... Presumably because nobody uses it. And now we find he would not even have to build it into the iPhone, as it is already written for that cpu - well perhaps Apple would have to do some work on the graphics libraries.
Perhaps it's not surprising that he would think this, given that he is surrounded by ObjectiveC programmers. On the other hand I have heard an interesting argument that this may be a way to entice various providers to start creating video streams in h.264 format...
Myself, I won't see the point of having such a phone if I can't have a good version of Java on it that is usable. I can wait.

Friday Jun 01, 2007

Semantic Wonderland

Among the most impressive demos at JavaOne was the open sourced Project Wonderland[1] which James Gosling presented during his Toy show. It is a virtual world that grew out of project Looking Glass, the 2.5D Java Desktop that was unveiled a couple of years ago. The desktop has now been integrated into a full 3D world (or should it be 4D? space+time) where one can move around, meet people, work together on projects, etc...

It was not too difficult to get it to work on OSX (even though Apple is lagging with a 8 months old beta release of Java 6, grrrr!), by following the instructions on the main page, and reading the Java.net thread "Building Wonderland on MacOS" [2].

Once I got it started I noticed this billboard entitled "Knowledge Driven Hyperlinks: A Semantic Web Application". Really intriguing!

Apparently one gets the best out of wonderland by running it on Linux, as one can then interact with real X applications. The one that was most tested with OSX is Ubuntu Edgy, under BootCamp. A new version of Parallels has just come out though, that has OpenGL and DirectX graphics acceleration for Windows, so it may soon be possible to run Wonderland in Parallels using Ubuntu, and so get all the features, before making the leap to a full Linux OS again.

I am going to try one of these options out. This is going to be real fun! :-)

Notes

Tuesday Feb 13, 2007

mSpace: web 2.0 meets web 3.0 meets iTunes

Have you ever found the category browsing of iTunes to be a little limited? If so you have to try out mSpace, a Web 2.0 music browser, but also a whole new way of thinking about exploring relational data. Before reading any further just try it out!

So what does that mspace application do? If you have used iTunes and you view it in Browser mode by hitting ⌘B for example, you will have noticed that you are only confronted with three selection panes titled "Genre", "Artist" and "Album". You can't add any more, nor can you re-arrange them. Well the default is good as a default, but if you like to listen to classical music, then you may find that constraining your search by "Artist" is really not quite as interesting as constraining it by "Composer". So really you would like to have three columns "Genre","Composer","Album". This is what mSpace allows you to do. Not only that, but you can add any number of other columns and rearrange these columns any way you want by dragging and dropping them. You can then use this to search the information space the way that makes most sense to you.

As interesting as the UI is the theory behind it. Based on some 4 year old Semantic Web research (see their papers) this recent implementation makes all the points in an instant. For detailed description of the thinking behind this it is worth reading "Applying mSpace Interfaces to the Semantic Web", which gives a Description Logic (which is in short an Object Oriented declarative logical formalism) basis for their work.

A Java version, called jSpace is being implemented by Clark and Parsia. Looks like one just would need to resuscitate the work on jTunes and presto, one could have something a lot more interesting than iTunes, that worked on all platforms. The theory behind this is certainly going to be really useful to help me implement Beatnik.

Digg it.

Monday Feb 12, 2007

Apple Address Book lost

My Apple Address Book today disappeared. It's just empty. Gone!
Luckily I have a backup somewhere, but that will be a few weeks out of date. So that means I will need to add all the great people I met in Zürich again. I really have other things to do...
I hope this is not a sign that my hard drive is about to fail once more! This is when I wish that ZFS were already released for OSX. Perhaps I should get the developer previews...

The last few things I did before this happened, was that I tunneled into Sun Intranet using Cisco's VPN. There I added a couple of vcards to my Address Book. Soon afterwards my email, address Book and calendar were frozen. I disconnected from VPN, but after force quitting them I could no longer start them. So I tried to reboot, the first reboot in a couple of weeks...

Sunday Dec 17, 2006

ZFS on OSX leopard

According to this World of Apple report our ZFS file system is going to make it on to OSX leopard. After three hard drive failures in the last year I can only applaud that move. ZFS would probably have been able to give early warning of hard disk problems and saved me a lot of trouble.

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