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Archive for June, 2004

Tiger

Posted in Uncategorized on June 28th, 2004 by darcusb – 1 Comment

Apple gave the first public preview of their next OS upgrade, codenamed Tiger. There are a number of interesting features.

  1. They’re building much of the core functionality of an application like Photoshop into the OS in Core Image.
  2. Improving automation with a simple new interface called Automator.
  3. Adding RSS and Atom support to Safari, along with web archiving.
  4. adding some new GUI gizmos in Dashboard.

However, by far the most interesting new feature to me is the OS level metadata search support, embodied in Spotlight. This is the BeOS-like functionality that has been rumored for a long time. As Apple says:

The metadata engine is available for developers to enhance their applications with additional searching and organizing capabilities. Developers can build importers, so the metadata engine can understand their custom file formats and include those files in searches.

OK, cool enough, but where is XML, or even RDF, in Apple’s metadata universe? Let’s get rid of RTF as the dumb lingua franca of the OS X text service, and replace it with semantic XML. Let me run queries like “give me all documents with quotes by Jane Smith,” or “find me emails in which I include a link to site XYZ.”

I’m also curious how flexible and powerful the metadata engine is. Would it be feasible to use it as the basis for a bibliographic application, perhaps?

The Endnote Yearly Fee

Posted in Uncategorized on June 27th, 2004 by darcusb – Comments Off

Just under a year after releasing its previous “major upgrade” (bugfix), Endnote maker ISI Researchsoft has released another. The major functionality improvement they will seek to convince users to pay $100 for upgrading to? Unicode support.

Sigh … it would be nice to see some smart institution out there take the money they’d spend on this upgrade, and put it into open source development. It would not take much to best Endnote with a free offering. Per previous discussions, if you want to make this happen, see RefDB and OOoBib.

Indeed, a guy working in an optics lab has been working on what he calls an “advanced interface” for RefDB using PHP. He’s even using XHTML Strict and CSS for the HTML stuff. Am looking forward to seeing the results.

z39.50, MODS, and RDF

Posted in Uncategorized on June 2nd, 2004 by darcusb – Comments Off

A quick post to note a very cool new article in the “Hacking the Library” series that involves z39.50-related web services, MODS XML, and RDF. This could be nice in conjunction with RefDB, whose author is working on MODS support.

XeTeX and OpenType

Posted in Uncategorized on June 1st, 2004 by darcusb – Comments Off

A new release of XeTeX, complete with OpenType layout support. Very nice!

New BiblioX Release (almost)

Posted in Uncategorized on June 1st, 2004 by darcusb – Comments Off

One of the problems of living on the bleeding edge is you sometimes get bloodied. In my case, I have an article to submit, but nothing that correctly processes the citations!

Peter Flynn issued a partial new release of his all-xml.xslt-based citation processor BiblioX. Unfortunately, he’s been too busy to finish with a few remaining issues, and I’ve exhausted my xslt skills.

To do:

  1. The TEI driver and key file needs updating
  2. MODS support, which is what I’m most interested in. I have MODS support partially implemented with DocBook and its new biblioref element (which I’m using for a book project), but in-line citation years and multi-author aren’t working. There are also a few other problems.
  3. I think the internal data model is wrong, and too much influenced/polluted by bibtex. The key system Peter uses is based around pub types (book, article, etc.) which is to my mind a) unnecessary, and so inefficient and prone to bugs, and b) limited.

I’ve posted the archive of where I’m at here, complete with a sample file. Anyone out there with xslt skills and a need for xml-related citation processing (including for Word 2003, BTW), take a look, and let me know if you have questions, or if you get it working!