Archive for July 2004


DocBook Beginnings

So its time to actually write my thesis, that means putting words into a word processor, by and large. So immediately I think “Ill use M$ Word!”. And then I think “Word will destroy my documents formatting, 15 minutes before I’m ready to print!”. I mean I like word, but it sucks to fight with it over formatting a complicated document. So then I think “Lets use Open Office, it might be better”. Well it is better, but its not as nice to work with, it too caused me to fight with numbering and formatting. This sucks.

Then I think, “Don’t people write Books and Papers on computers all the time?!”. Well sure they do, they use LaTeX. Well that solves the type setting problem. What about XHTML? Lets be blunt:

  • I want to write in Word (or OpenOffice)
  • I want to get clean customizable XHTML output, both multi-page and single page versions
  • I want to get PDF output that conforms to Florida Tech $21 “Style Guide” (that didn’t come with any templates!)

DocBook is supposed to do all that. That bad news is “its complicated”. You need a ‘tool chain’ that involves several applications processing your text and some sort of script to make it all less painful.

If I get this all working ill have to make a point of providing FIT students with the tool chain so they don’t have to suffer. Come on FIT, there is no excuse for not providing a template!

Website Swizzle

I switched the index page to be an about page instead. This way people can learn about the project without being subjected to my rambling. Oh and check out the new web button:

Get Mindshare!

Brain Share

Well thats what the blue thing is on the web button, a brain. I got sick of fighting with The Gimp and tried out Photoshop. Lets just say the user experience is ‘smooth’. The Gimp crew has a lot to learn, they have the processing all there, the usability is lacking.

Get Mindshare!

What do you think of my handy work?

Website Maintenance

I finally uploaded my resume. That page has been blank for almost a year! Now I guess the job offers will just start rolling in ;-).

I also updated the template for the main page. IT had a small bug that stopped the main page from passing for XHTML 1.0 Transitional. It would almost pass for strict, but I’ve used the underline (<u>) tag in one of my posts and I’m not sure thats something I want to give up just yet. So the XHTML and CSS validity buttons have been added along with the Get Firefox button. I’m glad to finally see them up there. You can click and they will run the validator to prove I’m not fibbing.

I’ll add the buttons to the rest of the site as soon as I get the other templates validated. The Resume page is particularly broken in this regard. It may need custom CSS to render correctly and still validate. Ooo! perhaps I can get my Gimp/Photoshop skills high enough to make a mindshare web button!

Jay sent this one my way this evening: Totally Grid Bag. Anyone who’s done any GUI programming outside of Visual Basic should feel this guys pain. I mean I feel it, or I used to. I felt it so much that I wouldn’t stand for it anymore. Mindshare uses SwixML, a XUL variant for Swing. No more layout code! And, I’m happy to say, not a GridBag in sight.