All posts made the week commencing Sunday 28 Jan., 2001:

On Lamp [via Camworld] is O'Reilly's information and resource 'site for Linux, Apache, mysql, php, python and perl -- a combination that is apparently now being regarded as a web development platform in it's own right (what is LAMP?).

I've been looking at the styles of rss feeds of weblogs [from Weblog Madness]. There seem to be two main styles, both having each item in the rss document (what is rss?) correspond to a single recent post. Each item has a link and a description.

For one style, the link is to the weblog post, and the description either the post itself (with more links embedded) or a summary of the post.

The other style is dependent on there only being a single link in any single post. The link element is filled with the subject of the post, and the description is the post with the link no longer embedded.

I'm not sure which style I prefer, but I don't want to alter my type of writing. And I don't want to give myself any extra work. But I'd like to provide an rss of this page.

Because I still can't get it working, and this might be useful: php for pdf at I'm hoping that somewhere among the many comments and pages there'll be a hint to what's not working for me.

(An hour later, and it works. zlib needed to be compiled as a shared library, or something. Or maybe it was one of the other things I tweaked. But anyway. I'm getting somewhere.)

Good grief, more bedtime reading. The Hyperlinked Metaphysics of the Web [via ex machina]. More good looking content at the home of this essay, the Journal of the Hyperlinked Organization. So much to read, so little time.

Bloody hell. Introducing the Lazy approach to database tables [via haddock]. A British entrepreneur, Simon Williams, invents a revolutionary new kind of database that works by associating object, object, connection (where a whole link triplet can also be an object). He's patented it, and got several million in funding. Patented? wtf? Dirk has been working like this for over two years. I own prior art, big stylee.

A dissertation on The Taboo Of Sexual Discourse. Cunt: Taboo, Patriarchy and Liberation.

There's a plateau on Mars that has carved into it motifs of sacred biology. It is the BioMesa, and it's a signal from intelligent beings. Well. Quite.

Umbrella rage in New York [via blue ruin]. I sympathise. Fucking umbrellas. Why can't people just wear hats?

From the archives: Umbrella rant.

Funny post today at lysdexia about cognitive mapping. Go read. I'd love people like this to write for upsideclone, when that eventually launches.

Ecologies of technological metaphors and the theme of control: "This paper explores the theme of technologies out of control as it is reflected in the metaphors of two cases: 100 years of theorizing about organizations, and the development of recombinant DNA techniques and their regulation". Looks extremely interesting, and random articles in the rest of the journal look to be similar. Much bedtime reading here.

In fact, the digital library of VirginiaTech seems like a whole wealth of browsing potential.

Today, I feel magical. Today, I feel like I'm standing at the top of a mountain and that the path in all directions is clear. And then I read that Pyra is now just one person [MeFi thread] (Pyra make Blogger and the ease of use of the product have helped create a new wave of personal content). Yesterday, I think this would have concerned me. It would have bothered me, at least a little bit. I still feel for the people involved. It must hurt a great deal.

But today, I feel like we've been cut free. I feel that the fallout from this will be beautiful. Think of the tools that will get created. Think of the collapse of monolithic applications into tiny utilities that all work together to give people greater flexibility to express themselves online. Think of what will be created now people have stopped, thought, and decided that yes there is space to compete. Blogger has been humanised, it can return to being just something people use rather than the roots of the community (and there is a community here). Interoperating personal content management systems. Standards. Growth. Taking over the world. Letting a thousand flowers bloom. Etc.

I'm feeling like this about so many things. We lose roots, we gain the chance to fly on the wind, spreading spores where we go. Today, I feel magical.

(Later. This post sounds insensitive, doesn't it? I don't mean for it to. An awful thing has happened to people who have given a lot but they've got so much they can be proud of. And out of this, there's potential and opportunity.)

Hens are fat, cos they are full of eggs.

Thursday, new Upsideclown! This time, the arts: musicals.

I have successfully taken control of the International Arts Council, with the aid only of fawning and cunnilingus. My first piece of policy is to be the strict enforcement of new regulations on the content of musicals.

Victor gets those musicals sorted, good and proper, and about time too. Today's Upsideclown is Les Miserables.

The Spork FAQ: Sporks and the alt.plastic.utensils.spork.spork.spork newsgroup.

What does music look like? Beautiful pictures created with an algorithm to find repetition in binary data.

Some good Java applets (to watch) are also to be found at bewitched. See especially whirligig and the shortcut.

Unnovations is truly inspired today. "Your lifelong quest for a loyal, compatible sex partner has come to an end". The last line is simply beautiful.

Shockingly, there's some extremely funny stuff at the BBC's micro tv. The article Fifteen Things that Refresh the Spirit just gets better and better the further you read, and all the time you're thinking "surely the BBC can't say that".

Good article on Effective Web Writing (but concepts are not necessarily taken to conclusions, so we hear about reading skimming and scanning, but fine-grain topics like single-topic paragraphs, headlines-as-summaries not headlines-as-teasers, &c. are not mentioned) [via today's gorjuss].

Social Translucence: An Approach to Designing Systems that Support Social Processes [via Peterme; thanks Nick] is a long but fascinating discussion about how to include unconscious interation in computer communications that allow people to work and communicate better together. Interesting examples of how to introduce social cues into the virtual world are MUDs (which don't work so well) and an activity-based messaging system (which does).

Passing Glances [via NotSoSoft] starts as a forum for people who pass each other on the street to get in touch. See also i saw you: send "zonagrams" (ugh) to people who caught your eye. Basically a location-based message board. (Nice idea, but not well implemented, and suffers heavily from scaling problems: works well if everyone in an area takes part, and progressively less well the fewer people use it. Obviously going to be very bad to start off with then, so no incentive for people to start using it. Therefore will never take off.)

Easier: Take a photo of your stalkee and have it printed on a postcard with your (temporary) email address at the bottom. Drop the card on the pavement just before your victim comes along, and hope they pick it up. Or have the picture printed on a t-shirt with "Talk to me, I'm desperate" in big writing underneath.

php manual: pdf functions.

(I've provided today's essay for Upsideclown.) I remember the last time I wrote about capital-L "Love", many years ago when I still battered out reams of text on an almost nightly basis (virtually all of it makes me cringe to read. What doesn't, I'd published -- and even some of that is painful). I got a few paragraphs in and my treatise on love and the human condition was sounding like a cheap vampire horror paperback, so I gave it up as a bad idea and moved onto the general themes of good, evil, and nuclear holocaust -- more typical subjects for a 16 year old.

Anyway, so I've had another crack at it, and maybe it's a little trite and a bit obvious, but if I'm addressing a topic billions of people know from personal experience it's not going to be easy to come up with anything original. But it's okay, I think, and I reckon you'll enjoy this most clownish take on Truth in Advertising.