Archive for January, 2010

Organizing Information


Every time I write this down, I dislike how it sounds, so I’m going to brainstorm for a while.

Templates build composite documents from constituent documents. The example that I mentioned previously was:

<html>
  <head><title>Greeting</title></head>
  <body><p>Hello <?php print $name ?></p></body>
</html>

Which can be represented as a tree by:

What I would like to explore is a templating system that is drawing from a content tree which organizes binary strings.

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Using GitHub

I’ve been playing around with git for a while and today I hit a problem with the new release of jQuery. Version 1.3.2 could be loaded into svgs, but v.1.4 dies.

To check it out, I thought I’d give GitHub a try.

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Versioning Basics

Versioining systems are pieces of software that track changes in files. They exist in a variey of forms, and one of the more popular currently is git which was designed for maintaining the Linux kernel.

The basic building blocks of a git repository are “blobs.” In git, a blob is simply a file:

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Templating Basics

We’ll start with the natural building block of any digital system: the bit. A bit is just a binary digit, a one or a zero. Bits are used to encode information. For example, imagine I have a bunch of red cards and a bunch of green cards. I give a red card to everyone in the country except for the President to whom I give a green one. Since the cards only have two possible states, they are a form of bit. The information associated with that bit, however, is highly complex.

Bits are combined into series to represent larger sets of possibilities. Whereas the President bit could only represent two possibilities: someone is the President (red card) or not the President (green card), a string of n bits can represent 2n possibilities. Almost all digital information in the world today is stored as groups of eight bits called “bytes.”

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Testing SVGWeb

I like to use SVGs in my posts. They’re easy to create in Inkscape, scriptable and anyone who wants to can download and edit them. The problem is that though the specification is seven years old, IE still lacks SVG support.


SVG support

The SVGWeb plugin fixes IE by inserting a flash applet to render the image.

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Writing It All Down

I’ve been revisiting the ol’ life plan since turning 31 two months ago. It’s been almost a year now that I’ve been dreaming of starting a business and what I thought was a hill that I could climb with patience and perseverance increasingly looks like a mountain whose top I can’t even see.

All that I really want to do at this point is write down the ideas so that at least I’ll have those to show for the weeks I spent hunkered in front of my monitor searching for a way to get my sense of hope and desperation into a form that the rest of the world could understand.

Wanu Picchu

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Putting Sites In Git

For years, I have version controlled my websites, first using CVS and then subversion. As part of my masters thesis, I am moving to git for versioning.

This requires figuring out how to handle my basic use case of allowing me to pull parts of the site and edit them from various locations on the net and push changes to the web server for publication.

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