Emacs and XML

Jujusoft e-book library and reader

It must have been a year or more since I download The Origin of Species, by Charles Darwin, from Project Gutenberg, but it is only today that I find a very interesting e-book reader that is designed specifically for free text files like the ones distributed by Project Gutenberg. The Jujusoft BookReader appears to be just the ticket, at least for Windows users. The program has a much nicer display than a text editor ever did.

Open Source and Anarchism

I love this title by Michael Truscello, The Architecture of Information: Open Source Software and Tactical Poststructuralist Anarchism. (culled via wood s lot). This is another essay I have yet to peruse, but the skimming is interesting. Most of the text seems to focus on Eric Raymonds’ famous Cathedral and the Bazaar essay. One of the parallels drawn between Truscello is the similarity between Cathedral and Brooks’ Mythical Man-Month. In part this links back to my previous post about language design.

Language, and the Limits of the Web and Thought

Paul Ford of Ftrain has produced 4,500 words (Processing Processing via wood s lot) on a topic that has fascinated me since I argued about whether language or thought came first in Mr. Borgerding’s high school English class. How, in particular, do the languages we use to program computers affect the way we think? I took a class in Scheme two years ago, when I was toying with the idea of going back to school to get a computer science degree, and was blown away by the elegant recursive structures you could create.

Computer Auditing and Security

I’ve worked for the past year on a computer security committee at work and just wanted to put a couple of items out here to spur my memory. The Information Systems Audit and Control Association & Foundation has two certifications CISA-Certified Information Systems Auditor and CISM-Certified Information Security Manager. They also provide the intriguing Control Objectives for Information and related Technology CobiT. A lot of the content of the CobiT framework seems to parallel some of the efforts I’ve worked on to create a strategic plan for our corporate IT department.

An Ontology Building Tool

Found on JavaWorld: An AI tool for the real world-Knowledge modeling with Protégé, an open-source tool for developing ontologies. While artificial intelligence (AI) is often regarded as an exotic academic playground, its tools and techniques have matured to contribute to real-world software technology as well. This article introduces Protégé, arguably the most successful open source knowledge-modeling platform. Using Protégé, developers and domain experts can build conceptual models and knowledge bases and access them via an easy-to-use Java API.

Content Management Systems: Open Source

Tony Byrne has an interesting article at CMS-watch: Open-Source CMS: Prohibitively Fractured?. In it he tries to come to terms with a common problem in open source development, the proliferation of projects that address the same problem but with a different programming language or design. What appears to have happened is that development resources have become dissipated among so many different initiatives that seemingly none of them is achieving critical velocity.

Creativity in Software

Peter Lindberg, blogger at, linked to an intriguing interview with Richard Gabriel, a Distinguished Engineer at Sun, about the poetry of programming. Writing software should be treated as a creative activity. Just think about it – the software that’s interesting to make is software that hasn’t been made before. Most other engineering disciplines are about building things that have been built before. People say, “Well, how come we can’t build software the way we build bridges?