Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /var/san/www/prod/html/blogs/darcusb/wp-settings.php on line 512 Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /var/san/www/prod/html/blogs/darcusb/wp-settings.php on line 527 Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /var/san/www/prod/html/blogs/darcusb/wp-settings.php on line 534 Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /var/san/www/prod/html/blogs/darcusb/wp-settings.php on line 570 Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /var/san/www/prod/html/blogs/darcusb/wp-includes/cache.php on line 103 Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /var/san/www/prod/html/blogs/darcusb/wp-includes/query.php on line 61 Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /var/san/www/prod/html/blogs/darcusb/wp-includes/theme.php on line 1109 darcusblog » 2008 » May - geek tools and the scholar

Archive for May, 2008

git as data store

Posted in Technology on May 16th, 2008 by darcusb – 2 Comments

So the following has me intrigued: using git as a data store for a personal website. The Ruby-based git-wiki is a perfect minimalist example of how this could work, and there’s an interesting fork of it that builds on the git infrastructure for things like search.

See also git-python, and Ben O’Steen’s rather different tack on similar questions.

OpenOffice 3.0 Beta and Metadata

Posted in Technology on May 7th, 2008 by darcusb – 3 Comments

The OpenOffice project has announced a first public beta of version 3.0 of the suite.

The most interesting among the list of new features from my standpoint? Easily the powerful new metadata support that will accompany the move to ODF 1.2. I spent a pretty difficult year helping move this pretty ambitious new functionality through the ODF TC at OASIS, so it’s nice to see not only that it is making it into the spec, but ODF’s most high-profile implementation.

I don’t believe the new RDF API is in this beta version, but we ought to see it soon enough I imagine. For those that might be curious, the API will just be a wrapper for Redland.

Google Docs Adds (Some) Styles Support

Posted in Technology on May 6th, 2008 by darcusb – Comments Off

Google Docs has a lot of potential, but I’ve for a long time been complaining about it’s lack of styles support. Well, Google has made a first step towards resolving this. The new “Edit CSS” support allows a user to pop up a dialog to edit the CSS file directly.

While this is a good first step, there are a number of noted limitations, as well as one obvious one that is not noted: one can only style existing HTML structures like headings, or blockquotes. One cannot do this and have the UI pick up the new style:

h1.title { font-size: 150%; color: blue; }

If Google manages to add that (which at least one of its competitors has had for at least a year), as well as programmatic access to create field-like structures in Google Docs, it might just develop into the serious tool it seems destined to be.

Another, more serious, problem, is that to really take advantage of the new CSS support, the underlying HTML needs to be pretty clean and correct. Right now, Google Docs create a lot of crap. For example, I added this rule to my stylesheet:

p + p { text-indent: 0.5px; }

This rule says to indent all but the first paragraph after another element (say a heading). When you have clean underlying HTML, it results in a really nice, clean, looking output. But it breaks if, as in my example Google Docs, half of your paragraphs aren’t actually paragraphs, but rather one big paragraph with a bunch of br elements! Grrr …