Wednesday, August 31, 2005

My tryst with XML

I have been using XML in some form or the other for about 6 years now. Till about 2 years back I thought of XML as just another way of storing data. I guess I never really got over the fact that it was so simple and just some sort of extended HTML.

Over the years I got to learn another language TCL, at first I simply did not enjoy working in it. I just could not stand the way the syntax was. It felt so restricted. I always programmed in C/C++ or some or the other flavor of BASIC. But learning TCL was like unlearning a lot of things. But by the end of it I started liking how it worked.

Its not just me but a lot of people I know who develop some kind of phobia or I should say a mental block to technologies and concepts. The biggest place where I lag today is Regular Expressions. I can write the simpler ones but as things get trickier I will “google” is rather than write it myself. That is one place where I really need to work.

Anyhow I guess I have gone far away from the topic. The project was in TCL and it had to save files in XML. Now when two things which you do not like come together is not a very positive sign. And after this my word processor crashed I crashed into bed.. so another post that will be finished tonight.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Microsoft, a misunderstood company.

Need to write this one. It has been going round and round in my head.

Just ignore this post.. will modify it soon

When ever I think of Microsoft I feel that it is one company which is talking a lot of flak for things it’s not done. They are being called slow to respond to a lot of things. Windows Vista is 1-2 years late. But when we see things in a larger perspective can anyone ever say how much time is required to build an OS of that magnitude. When everybody is trying to cut you right, left and center. Let’s see how many OS companies there are, Microsoft, Redhat, Novell, IBM, HP, SUN, Apple and a few others. But can any of those OS’s except for windows support such a diverse range of H/W. I doubt it.

Most of the times companies take decisions which would give them leverage. I will continue this some other time as I am really sleepy but I will complete this one soon.

Okay just for the record, I think Yahoo!, Microsoft and Google as of today are one of the best in there class. Not a very new statement. But what I really mean to say is that they have grown to proportions where it’s hard for them to notice things.  Google for one is what I would call a company that still thinks like a startup and that is its real power. They take so many risks that the other companies simply cannot afford or think about taking. I know I said about Google = BETA in my earlier post. That is what I would call a risk but a calculated risk. When people start trusting you, it’s easy for you to throw anything at them. Find one major security hole in one of their applications and the whole pyramid will fall down, and that is what I am scared about Google. They are a great company but some of the steps they are taking could eventually lead to a fall that would be impossible to control. They can survive till they invent a new thing each day. The day that stops happening they will cease to exist. i.e. if anyone is left to fight them (

Monday, August 29, 2005

AJAX + XUL the next big thing

The coolest thing on the web would be AJAX + XUL. It is the next logical step. With Xforms and other implementations still not ready. AJAX + XUL will make an impact that you will soon see across the web in the next few months. Stay tuned.  

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Google = BETA

Google should soon rename it self to Google the BETA company. There is hardly a product from Google that is not in BETA. Except for search I guess all other products are in BETA. So if anything goes wrong they have the safety net with them. “You were using a BETA product.

Google seems to take less responsibility than it should take. Take for instance GDS 1.0 BETA was launched followed by GDS 2.0 BETA.

When was the final GDS 1.0 launched?

They have started a revolution where nearly every company is trying to release BETA products. Not to the BETA testers but to the general public. I mean if for some reason there is a major bug in GDS 2.0, Google Talk or even for that matter Gmail or Orkut. The BETA tag will be there to bail them out. What happens to the poor guy who tried to do the beta testers work for them.

Google is getting free beta testers or should I say free guinea pigs to test out there products.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Ladies and gentleman XML has arrived

Please join your hands for XML. In the next few months you will see just about everything in XML. After a huge bang and an almost eerie silence XML will be out again. This time to stay for a very long time, XHTML has more or less replaced HTML in most websites that are still being maintained. Soon you will XML in nearly everywhere. Every language has more or less some way or reading and writing XML. At first XML might overwhelm you. But once one gets the concepts right it’s almost like a walk in the park.

I for one have loved binary formats but once in a while if it’s a plain text format I would prefer to use XML.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Yahoo! AJAXed 2000+ downloads in 2 days

Here I go again. Anyhow I had posted a couple of new and old posts but I guess blogger of I screwed up. I will update my blog in the next 2-3 hours if I am still awake till then.

Yahoo! AJAXed 2000+ downloads in 2 days

WOW! After so many years I updated my site. It was last updated in 2002 and made sometime in 2001.

No more tables. It still looks like the older site except that now it is resolution independent. I also got whatever pictures I had clicked with my digital camera in 2001-02 onto flickr

Other than that the Yahoo! AJAX plug-in has been downloaded about 2000 times in the past two days. ( Firefox extension  ( Greasemonkey script

Will hopefully write after some time. Hopefully a plug-in for the google side bar.

Captains log 23rd August

Captains log day 23, wow I always wanted to write that. Anyhow today was one sweaty day. I guess Aman will finally make the XUL application (

I am in love with the concept of XUL, and such kinds of applications. I just hope we can make something using XUL, web services and XSLT. I know all I am doing it throwing big words that mean little or nothing. Anyhow while I am at it I finally learnt XSLT, I had been avoiding it for a rainy day. Finally I did learn XHTML, XML, and the wonderful XSLT that converts XML into XHTML. Wow! This one looks so good with so many acronyms that I will go crazy explaining people what each means.

As far as the Viamatic WebMail++ application is concerned, I guess it’s more or less a DUD(. Anyhow I learned a lot of JS and DHTML while making the script/extension for Firefox. So even though no one will use it, I did learn a lot while making it. I hope this effort does not go waste.

So far I have learned DHTML/XHTML/XML/XUL/XSLT/AJAX and couple of other acronyms while making the script so all in all not a bad thing to do.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Yahoo! Mail AJAXed

Worked my ass of on the Yahoo! AJAX thingy but I guess the whole thing is just turning out a waste of time. No one seems to use it. Guess have to stop thinking of making free stuff and focus on products where there is money. So in the end NO MORE OPEN SOURCE WORK.

XUL the final frontier

Wow! I like the title of this post.  Actually this is the next in series to GBrowser. It could be called part III of the series but I guess a new title is apt for it. Okay going ahead with the reason for creating GBrowser somehow I feel XUL is the by far the biggest reason for it.  You might think I am going back on my words and whatever I said so far makes little sense to what I am saying now.

The big “Evil” company has a technology XAML. In a way that is the Web 2.0 or should I say Web 3.0, in a way the application would work online but with an interface that would sit on your computer. SO WHAT??? Okay now if M$ gets to rule the web with there new technology where does Google go. For XAML applications to be built and run it would require the latest H/W and the latest S/W Windows Vista or the least would be Windows XP SP2.

That is where the browser scores I mean GBrowser will scores. It will hopefully use XUL that is the XML used to define the interface which in a way is a lot like XAML. The good thing about XUL is that it is available for all platforms and if Google makes just one killer application using XUL people will simply forget XAML and that is where they will eventually score. XUL is currently supported on Netscape 6.0 and higher, Firefox 1.0 and higher, AOL browser, Mozilla suite if it’s still there and every other browser that is made using Mozilla. And that my friend is a very huge number. If you make an application for XUL it can run on these browsers. Compare this with Windows IE 7.0 or Windows Vista. How many people are using Windows Vista that will run the XAML applications? And the other big question is how many platforms it supports. Will my latest whiz-bang XAML application run on Mac OS, currently NO. On the other hand will my XUL application run on a Mac OS YES? It will. Same goes for Linux and family.

GBrowser? Why another browser Part - II

So the point I made in Part – I was that Google needs to make there own browser because it would never want to be controlled by the “Evil” Empire (Personally I seem to like the “Evil” Empire and would never call them that unless they mowed me down()

Okay now to the more important point of having there own browser. Let’s talk about Web 2.0 or maybe Web 3.0 or whatever the next level of web is. Today if you want to open a calendar application. You would open up or something similar. What if instead of a simple html page a complete application opened up in seconds and you could simple make the changes online. As a developer you could make changes to the application anytime as it is on your servers and as a user you would be able to access that application from any device (computer) on this planet as long as you are on the net. So what does all this have to do with a Firefox, GBrowser, Safari or IE??
Firefox has XUL okay it will also support XForms and SVG sometime in the future but today it has XUL and that is what the power of Firefox is on which GBrowser would be developed (If it is ever developed).

So if you develop an application in XUL today you can open it and run it without installing a single component on your computer today. Plus the platforms supported by Firefox are Window, Linux, Mac, Solaris, BSD and it’s a long list. It supports nearly most platforms that can support a GUI.

Need I say more?

Saturday, August 20, 2005

GBrowser? Why another browser Part - I

This is what has been going in my head round and round for quite sometime now. Why-O-Why? Is Google interested in Firefox and its developers?

That seems like a stupid question. Well they need a browser that they can call there own. Maybe “GBrowser” or whatever they may call it later.

Why GBrowser???

Browser in a way is the future OS. So who so ever has the browser rules the planet. Now you might think I am talking like a dumb ass.  Well there is one guy who is really smart with all this “Steve Jobs”. Mac for a very long time did not have a brower that Apple made. So those guys spent a lot of time and developed safari of course they used the Konquers source code or to be on the right track KHTML sources to make their own browser. So now Mac controls there own market unlike earlier when Microsoft was controlling the Mac market with IE being the default browser for the Mac.

So where is all this leading to. Well today if you want to search for anything you normally go to Google (at least a majority of the population). So tomorrow Microsoft launches its “Windows IE 7” and has MSN search built in. “Where will Google go then?” Half the population will start using MSN for search and will forget Google since “we” as humans seem to go for whatever is easier. At first we would scream and shout the MSN sucks and whatever but soon we will get used to it and start getting used to it.

This is where GBrowser comes in. They would never ever want to loose there market like this. Okay that is part of the story that you might get from nearly any source you’ve read.

More coming in part II..