July 2004

Why does the BBC hate Australia?

Australia is adjusting its immigration requirements in response to changes in population. The BBC has to report this by (a) claiming Australia is harder to get in to than Wimbleton Centre Court, which I doubt, and (b) running some crap comedian who proceded to air every bewhiskered stereotype about Australians the British have devised, and in the most offensive terms possible. Fuck off, says I. If you want to have a humour piece about Australian immigration politics, at least hire an Australian comedian. They're good at it. Read more

Bizarre fantasies of an Extensible Mark-Up Language

I'm awake at 05:00 unable to sleep and instead working on migrating the working copy of my web site to my laptop so that I can eventually retire my old desktop. One of the importunate thoughts bouncing about in my sleep-deprived brain is something someone at work said about some weirdos he'd heard of who actually (ab)use XML as some sort of (standard) generalized mark-up language. This bizarre (to him) concept involves one choosing a set of XML tags to express the structure of the text (as if text could have structure!), which is ludicrous because how would anyone be able to read it? One would have to use XSLT to transform it in to HTML, so why not use HTML in the first place, eh? Read more

MU: A notation for mark-up

Discussions of Apple's proposed extensions to HTML made me wonder if perhaps XML is suffering from being too complex and too strict, and that a different generalization of HTML might make sense. Here's my completely half-baked ideas, a language I shall call MU. Read more

MU part 3: More MUD

Apologies to people reading this via LiveJournal's syndicated feed; a combination of my software converting every header in to an RSS item and LiveJournal duplicating each item every time I edited the title has created a flurry of links to essays that I expect no-one but me has any interest in anyway. Read more

1024x768@85 please

This is the first time I have used a Linux system with a display manager -- that is, a program whose job it is to run X and log me in. I have run the xserver-xfree86 configuration many times in an attempt to persuade it that my monitor can handle a refresh rate over 70 Hz. At 70 Hz I find the shimmering of the display uncomfortable. Checking the file /etc/X11/XFree86-4 it definitely appears to have changed. But how do I restart X so that it takes notice of the new configuration file? Read more