Updated: 25/08/2004; 15:58:59

 29 June 2004

Open Document Formats - XML to you and me

This is one of the areas I am going to be looking at so its good news that there has been a recent flurry of activity around it.  here are some of the more important links. 

The debate was started by the EC report into this topic which is summarised here the full report can be found here.   One of the nice things about this report is that its been reviewed by Microsoft and Sun, and their comments on it, (at least those they made public), are also published.  Tim Bray, a man with some credibility in this area, (now working for Sun), describes his meeting with the EC team here.  John Udell writes up his views on the EC report here.  Dare Obasanjo responds to Tim Bray here.  

Then the thread starts to drift a bit, but Tim Bray also talks about his views on how the OpenOffice team have used XML, he is impressed!  And a snippet on how Microsoft have used XML in Office 2003, he is less than impressed!  Tim also talks about the use of custom schema’s and concludes they are not a good idea, (Microsoft implement them in Office 2003, OpenOffice don’t).  Jean, (a MS employee), gives his point of view, Jean like Tim is also a member of the team that created XML.

- Posted by Steve Richards - 10:49:58 PM - comment []

AOSD Update

I am doing fairly well.  I track my symptoms, and using that tracking scheme my average symptoms level during the whole flare was 50, during the peak of the flare it was 70 and its now down to 30 and the 3 day average is fairly stable, although there is still plenty of variation during the day and between days.  My mental acuity is still not what it was and I still suffer from fatigue but less weakness as I have done a lot of exercise and so my strength is much improved.  I am finding that the more exercise I do the less pain I am in, provided I take it easy.  I am still taking 10 mg of Steroids and my doc wants me to use anti-inflammatories as well, but I am not keen to take the risk of further side effects and would rather just put up with the pain.


During the last 2 weeks though I have started with really severe, very localised inflammations, in my knee, jaw and back.  The area involved is probably on the size of a 10p piece, but the pain is such that I am unable to open my mouth, twist round or bend my knee.  The pain lasts between 3 and 30 hours, comes on in 15 minutes and at the end goes within about an hour.


I am currently working 3 days a week 4 days a week, last week there was one day where I could not get through the full 4 hours, pain and fatigue and loss of concentration, but I made it up the following day.

- Posted by Steve Richards - 10:20:04 PM - comment []

Graham builds on his Ownership thread

Graham is continuing his posts on the concept of "ownership" in IT with comments on an article in Computer World on Why Business Leaders Ignore You, like most IT people I am sure you have had that experience.  I wrote extensively on a simillar issue a while back when I described the disconnect in perceptions between IT Managers and IT users over how important there personal productivity is, and I built on that yesterday in my post on Work Space design.

- Posted by Steve Richards - 2:53:28 PM - comment []

Update on X1

As I have mentioned before I use X1 for all of my local system searching, a friend of mine asked how I was getting on with it, he is using Blinkx.  So here is an update.

  1. I am running X1 on Windows 2003 Server, its not supported but it seems to run just fine.  I have moved the indexes out of my local profile and onto my data disk, but thats the only change to the standard configuration.
  2. I don't have it configured to autostart when I login because I often have multiple sessions running, one console and the others using Windows Terminal Services, I only have it running in my console session.
  3. I have it indexing 27,000 files out of a total of 130,000 on the machine.
  4. I have had the odd machine slow down when its doing some heavy indexing, like my database of RSS feeds, but since thats 44,000 items I don't hold that against it as its only when I rebuild the index, (for reasons of my own making)
  5. Some people don't like the fact that it has tabs for email, attachments, file and contacts but I think its great because I generally want to search within these scopes not across them
  6. I find the type down searching just perfect, on my machine its effectively instant and the great thing about it is after entering just a few clues you often only have one or two matches and its easy to just look at the document previews to find the correct one.  Without type down you end up building really complex searches that are a waste of time
  7. The document preview is still the killer feature for me, I almost always use it rather than opening the actual file.  For RSS feeds there is never a need to open Outlook.
  8. Lotus Notes indexing is not there yet, nor is support for phrases.  Although a new version is due version is due very soon and promises these.  Lotus Notes is important to me,  I generally manage just fine now without phrases however.
  9. I picked up my copy cheap because I had already purchased Newsgator, (there was a discount if you purchased both together), which I thought was a fine deal, discount after the fact.  I think this is the first time I have ever seen such an offer before.
- Posted by Steve Richards - 2:10:05 PM - comment []