Hixie's Natural Log

2004-04-11 21:12 UTC Sunny newspaper clipping

I was reading Google News earlier today...

... "See loads more girls on our super cyber site" The Sun, 7 hours ago. "A white house memo released today has revealed that US President George Bush was warned about a possible hijacking plot inside America more than a month before September 11 2001." ... "The selection and placement of stories on this page were determined automatically by a computer program."

No comment.

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2004-04-06 16:41 UTC Ow

Today we went skiing.

Tomorrow we will be actively not doing anything.

2004-03-28 20:33 UTC Ramblings from the North

I'm at the back of a dark room sitting next to an air vent listening to Let Me Entertain You being played by a big band on a stage 20m in front of me.

Look me up in the yellow pages
I will be your rock of ages
Your see-through fads and your crazy phases, yeah
Little Bo Peep has lost his sheep...

This dark room is far underground for a shopping mall which has been rented away for the night for the purposes of entertaining 4000 people. Actually the mall is only half the party, they are also using the concert hall across the street.

The 4000 people are all musicians, members of Norwegian concert bands who are here for the annual concert band competition. I'm here because I'm a member of one of those bands, the Romerike Konsertorkester.

"Here" is in Trondheim, the furthest north I've ever been as far as I know. This town has the prettiness of Bergen but the weather of Oslo. In fact the weather is probably even worse than Oslo. It was sunny yesterday (if ridiculously cold), but today someone aimed an incessant stream of crystallized water pellets at the town for no apparent reason, and it became all slippery, white, and wet.

The band I'm in came fourth out of about twelve in our division. We're in division 1. (It's a zero-based index. There is one division above us, the Elite division, and three divisions below us.) I've never been here before so I really have no point of reference, but based on the looks of extreme joy on my fellow band members, I'm guessing this is extremely good. (We were apparently hoping to be lucky and place eighth or ninth.)

I'm currently singing along quite loudly to the music being played on stage. It's drawing looks. It has to be said, I'm the only person who has a laptop here. They are all enjoying themselves with alcohol and tobacco, much to my disgust, but hey, to each his own.

Before sitting down here I tried to get myself a drink.

Me: Har du eplemost?

Bartender: ...?

Me: Har du eplemost?

Bartender: ...!


Bartender: ...!!

They didn't have any apple juice.

Me: Vann?

Bartender: ...?

Me: Vann!

Bartender: ...?!

Me: VANN!!

Bartender: ...!!

They didn't have any water either.

Eventually I found a bar that did have water, about 100m from where I'm sitting now. I came back to enjoy the Jazz with my glass; by the time I'd gotten here I'd drunk half of it already.

I'm not going for more water for a while. Trying to push myself through the increasingly drunk people isn't too fun.

The age range here is quite dramatic. There are people from early teens all the way to retirement age. Sadly the smoker population spans the same age range. There are also quite a few cute girls, although many are smokers too, and none of them are the right cute girl.

Much to my amusement somebody just asked me if what I was doing (using a computer) had anything to do with what was going on around me. I went for "no". How anyone can communicate with the level of noise in here I have no idea. There's no wireless network, so the obvious answer (an IRC network) is right out. It certainly isn't vocally. I can't hear a word of what people say even when they shout in my ear. I've often wondered this about events of this nature.

As is probably obvious, I don't go to these kinds of these parties very often. My kind of party is usually very quiet, with very little sound except the hum of several dozen fans and the occasional expletive from an indignant party-goer. (And at that kind of party, IRC usually is indeed the preferred communication method.)

Young man, there's no need to feel down.
I said, young man, pick yourself off the ground.
I said, young man, 'cause you're in a new town,
there's no need to be unhappy.

Everybody just stuck their arms in the air simultaneously, then folded them, then threw them to the side, then brought them together again above their head. How odd.

The same guy just asked me what I was doing again. I gave him the same answer (DIARY!!) and he nodded and went away again. He'll probably be back.

In other news, I recently bought 30 DVDs from the UK. (Not coincidentally, last weekend my parents came to visit, which was nice, since I hadn't seen them in ages.) I would have bought the DVDs in Norway, but the prices here are astronomical, and despite this being highly appropriate given the content of the DVDs, it was not very attractive to me.

This purchase increased my total DVD ownership by a good base-10 order of magnitude. And it is quite impressive on the shelf.

The DVDs were seasons one through six of Stargate SG-1. My flatmates are eating it up like addicts, it's quite funny. They watched season one in about a week. They'll probably have finished season two by the time I get back tomorrow. I'm having a great time rewatching the early episodes, too... I might even resume my detailed analysis of key episodes which I started a year or so ago.

Jack O'Neill: ...what now?

Master Bra'tac: Now we die.

Jack O'Neill: Well that's a bad plan.

My ulterior motive for purchasing these DVDs was actually to attempt to get someone hooked on SG-1. I'm going to get an extended period of quality time with this someone and her three cute ferrets at Easter to attempt this.

I didn't used to think ferrets were cute, by the way. Now I consider them almost honorary cats. That's quite a statement, coming from me.

During the rehearsals for the band I mentioned above we sometimes spend many minutes playing sections where I have long 24 bar rests, so I've been taking the opportunity to work on a proposal for a Web Applications specification. This would be something along the same lines as Web Forms 2, but specifically for client-side application development. (I asked for ideas along these lines a few weeks ago — thanks again to those of you who responded.)

Some of the things I'm thinking of are:

The house lights just went up for a split second (someone probably leant on the wrong switch) and after they went back down, a girl came over and asked me what I was doing. I'm writing about the party, I said. She found this fascinating. I have a feeling "I'm brainstorming ideas for extensions to HTML to enable richer user experiences with Web applications" would have gotten a rather less warm response, but maybe I should try it if someone asks again. Sadly they would probably reply "but you should come enjoy yourself! Have a beer! Horrah! Skål!" or some such, oblivious to the fact that I live for this spec stuff and don't like the taste of beer... Did I mention "to each his own" already?

Speaking of girls, I've noticed I get a lot more looks from girls now that I've shaved and cut my hair. I don't recall ever noticing this happen when I cut my hair in the past. I wonder what the difference is this time.

Incidentally, XBL is progressing nicely, despite seemingly insurmountable differences between "us" (the CSS working group members who are interested in XBL) and "them" (the SVG working group members who were behind RCC). I have a bunch of action items to deal with tomorrow, and then we'll be down to pretty much only one real blocking issue before publication.

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2004-03-12 14:58 UTC New arch nemesis (still a kind of script, though)

The reason I nominally joined the SVG working group is so that I can remain one of the editor of the XBL spec (draft basic version, draft complete version) while we publish it through the SVG working group. As part of this, I've been spending the week so far working mostly on editing that spec.

Doing this, I ran into some edge cases that I need to define. If you create an html:script element, then insert it into a document, should it be evaluated? If you then take this element out of the document, and reinsert it, should it be evaluated? If you take this element and clone it, then insert the clone, should it be evaluated? If you take this element's parent node, and rename it using renameNode(), causing the children (including the script element) to be removed from the document then readded, should the script get reevaluated? What about if an ancestor is adopted into another document, causing ownerDocument to change? And what script context should be used in that case? What if the node doesn't have the script included inline, but uses a link to an external file instead?

I have a headache.

2004-03-05 10:40 UTC W3C Technical Plenary 2004

All this week I was at the W3C Plenary in Mandelieu La Napoule, in France. (Saying it's in Mandelieu La Napoule is a neat trick for those people who don't want to tell their companies that they are going to Cannes lest their management think they are using their travel budget for fun. The hotel is about 4 meters from the official edge of Cannes.)

Some choice quotes that I've heard so far (left anonymous to protect the guilty...):

So in my right hand I have a content declaration...

So if we dropped it. Would they lynch us? Yes.

The other solution is to give it an RDF property— (laughter erupts)

So the government normalised your name?

Hard day tomorrow? Hard? No. It's Semantic Web IG.

*bzzz, bzzzz* *bzzz, bzzzz* Our bathroom is ringing!

Wednesday was the middle day of the Technical Plenary, where instead of working group meetings everyone gets together in one big room and watches presentations and panels and asks questions. In the past this has sometimes been a lot of fun, but in this particular instance I found most of the sessions somewhat tame. It's much more fun when they pick very controversial topics.

One of the sessions was on Writing Test Suites For Your Working Group (or some such, I forget the exact name) and I was one of the panelists. For my slides I used a document Tantek originally published back in April 2002: the test suite documentation for the CSS Working Group. This document was obviously never written with slides in mind, so I applied the following stylesheet:

* { margin: 0 ! important; }
h2, h3 { font-size: 3em; }
p, dl, ol, ul, span, #abstract, #contents, #intro,
#conventions, #history, #usingtestsuites, #cover,
#getting, #next-and, #test-content, #something,
#sooner, #atomictests { display: none; }
.head p, .head dl, .head ol, .head ul { display: block; }
.head span { display: inline; }
.head dd { padding-left: 50px; }
.copyright { padding-top: 1.25em; }
hr { margin-top: 0.75em ! important; }
h1 { padding: 2em 0 0.75em; }
h2 { padding-top: 3em; page-break-before: always; }
h3 { padding: 5em 0 1em; page-break-before: always; }
#validtests + p { display: block; text-indent: -500em; }
#validtests + p a { text-indent: 0; font-size: 2em; float: left;
   padding: 0.5em; content: 'Suite #' counter(suite, decimal-leading-zero);
   counter-increment: suite; }
a[href="http://jigsaw.w3.org/css-validator/"] { display: none; }
#testthetech { width: 80%; }
#incremental { font-variant: small-caps; text-align: center;
   letter-spacing: 0.12em; text-indent: -0.8em;
   padding-top: 9em; content: 'Fin'; }
[lang=tr] { content: 'Tantek \C7 elik'; }

However, since I couldn't change the document to add this stylesheet (the document is on the W3C Web site) I instead wrote a small little javascript: URI that dynamically added this stylesheet, using the DOM and an embedded data: URI, to the document, when I followed it (which I did my pasting the following into Opera):

javascript:void(function(){var e = document.createElement('link');e.rel='style
,%23atomictests{display:none}.head p,.head dl,.head ol,.head ul{display:block}
.head span{display:inline}.head dd{padding-left: 50px}.copyright{padding-top:1
.25em;}hr{margin-top:0.75em!important}h1{padding:2em 0 0.75em;}h2{padding-top:
3em;page-break-before:always}h3{padding:5em 0 1em;page-break-before:always}%23
validtests+p{display:block;text-indent:-500em}%23validtests+p a{text-indent:0;
font-size:2em;float:left;padding:0.5em;content:\'Suite %23\' counter(suite, de
:\'Tantek %5CC7 elik\'}';document.getElementsByTagName('head')[0].appendChild(

Throw in Opera's projection mode and *tada*, instant presentation!

Also on Wednesday, we have the Birds Of a Feather lunch tables. This is where people sign up to sit at tables with assigned topics, and have a friendly chat to see what other people think about something or other.

During this lunch I accidentally joined the SVG working group. I don't mean I accidentally sat at the wrong table and found myself sitting with lots of SVG people. I mean I accidentally became an SVG working group member. I had no idea that sort of thing could happen during meal times. I'll endeavor to be more careful in future.

This brings the total number of official W3C-related activities I'm involved with to four: the CSS Working Group, the SVG Working Group, the Linking task force, and the Binding task force.

I've also come away from this week with a bunch of new and renewed action items. Expect new releases of the CSS3 Generated and Replaced Content module and the CSS3 Lists module to come out "soon".

All in all, a very productive week.