Portrait of Edd Dumbill, taken by Giles Turnbull

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What I make

a conference management web application

XTech Conference
a European web technology conference

On the radar

Here are some interesting things I've come across in the last week.

Boo is a Pythonesque language for the ECMA Common Language Infrastructure, ie, Mono and .NET. Like many people I've been waiting eagerly for more details of IronPython, a Python implementation in the CLI, but it still seems to be a submarine project. Meanwhile, Boo looks like it could be worth a spin. All the scribbability of Python and fun features like generators and functions-as-objects. (I notice that IronPython will be presented at OSCON in a couple of weeks: I really must get along to that!)

Confluence is a wiki on steroids. It seems to be a sort of web-based Groove. Paddling around the demo site I thought it was intriguing but a bit listy. I've never liked wikis overmuch, and the J2EE tag on this makes it something I wouldn't really look at. I think Plone is probably a little more to my taste.

Kupu is a Mozilla and IE compatible WYSIWYG form editor implemented in Javascript. It appears to rock quite considerably. I've never had the courage to implement anything large scale in Javascript, but Kupu to me is a great example of the possibilities. They need a better name though.

And here's what I've been working on this week.

First up, another installment of XML-Deviant, in which I talk about community reaction to Mozilla and Opera's decision to pursue browser technology outside of the W3C.

Secondly, I've been doing a lot of coding on Redland C#, the ECMA CLI wrappers for Dave Beckett's RDF framework. I'm using Redland to write a validator for DOAP files, something I need to do before officially launching the project. Cesar Lopez Nataren provided the original implementation, and I've been working on GC-related bits this week. Now I can use Redland in C, Python and C# I'm a happy bean.

Thirdly, hard as this may be to believe, I wrote my first real RELAX NG schema this week. I'm defining an XML schema for DOAP files, to make it easier to quickly write valid DOAP. Even though DOAP can use the full expressivity of RDF, most people will just want to make their file and then forget about it. These are the things I found most useful: Eric van der Vlist's RELAX NG book, which was exceedingly helpful and well-written; trang, which I used to convert from RELAX NG's Compact form to its XML syntax; and Commons.Xml.Relaxng from Mono, written by Atsushi Eno. I also used the lab on RELAX NG from Niel Bornstein's and my book. Thanks Niel!

Speaking of the book, I'm excited to see that the table of contents is now up, as is a sample chapter, also written by Niel.

Finally, what's ahead?

I travel this Sunday to Ottawa for the Desktop Developers Conference and then OLS. After that I'm off over to Portland for OSCON. At OSCON I'll be speaking on Linux and Bluetooth, and also DOAP. We hope to have the book printed by then, so I'll see the first real-life copy of it. OSCON promises to be a great week, with a lot of people I really want to spend time with.

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