phil wilson :: a geek commodity

4:18 PM

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Wednesday, June 04, 2003

I’m back on final front-end web development at work, which means HTML and CSS, which a) I’d like to think I’m quite good at and b) is the cause of my earlier post.

This generally means other people have written the basic HTML and CSS and I go through it, making sure it does what it’s supposed to and in a reasonable way.

On the plus side, all our CSS seems OK, so I don’t have to do much cleaning, the HTML isn’t as bad as it was on the apps I was given to finalise when I first started working here (hello tag soup HTML abominations one and two).

On the minus side, it means I’m writing HTML and CSS again. Or rather trying to, but I just can’t. stop. getting. frustrated. with Internet Explorer. This is the last ever standalone version? Puh-lease. The rendering engine is just a complete joke. I know I’ve moaned about this recently, but that was focussed on developing new features whilst old specs were being left unimplemented. By all accounts IE doesn’t seem to be moving at all. It seems stuck in some 1999 timewarp where no-one really uses CSS that much, and there’s no real browser alternative.

Anyway, blah, this is all old news and everyone in the entire world has griped about it before so I’ll shut up about it now.

In other news, Leigh Dodds got in touch with me about my fork of his FOAF-a-matic mk2, and it turns out he’s done some significant work on it since the last beta, which far surpasses where I’d taken it, hurrah! At least I got to use Jena for the first time, and have a better understanding of RDF and how to manipulate it using the right tools now.

RDF seems to be such a sleeping giant it’s incredible – there are so many v0.1 apps and potential apps out there with such mass appeal and potentially mass use that it’s painful. I mean, FOAF is a wonderful thing, and easily the most appealing facet of any semweb to someone who just sees it. This is why I’m particularly interested in getting a FOAF tool that works and can be used easily.

It seems as though Leigh has taken the FOAF-a-matic over to XUL, which is an interesting development not only because it potentially limits its use. I think a huge benefit of the original FOAF-a-matic was that it was available on a webpage, and indeed the Thinlet version of FOAF-a-matic2 could be embedded onto a webpage as an applet, or downloaded and run easily. XUL would necessitate Mozilla or some XRE (or perhaps a GRE), but I’ll be able to tell better when he drops some code into my inbox in the near future (you reading this Leigh? I'll hold you to that. ;)).