the release of mozCC 0.9.0, promising that existing users could simply
use the Extension Manager to update. Apparently I was wrong. The
update.rdf format changed from Firefox 0.9 to 1.0PR, but thanks to
Jed Brown’s excellent resource,
that problem has been fixed. Update away!
I listened to the Presidential debate last night on
NPR, and just like the vice-presidential
question I found most interesting regarded gay marriage.
I was pleasantly suprised when Mr. Schieffer asked the President
directly, “Do you believe homosexuality is a choice?” Of course, the
president said “I just don’t know.” Way to dodge! The president went on
to say “I believe in the sanctity of marriage. I think it’s very
important that we protect marriage as an institution between a man and a
woman.” Really? With a greater than 50% divorce rate (between men and
women, no less!), you really believe that? How does that work? Citing
reasons the constitutional amendment is necessary, President Bush said
he wanted to protect against “activist judges.” Right, like the 5 who
installed our current President. Oh, not those 5? Huh.
While Kerry doesn’t support gay marriage either, he did attempt to put a
human face on the issue by citing our Vice-President’s daughter, Mary.
apparently White House staffers and Fox debate panelists didn’t watch
the Vice-Presidential debate. They both blasted Kerry for “outting” Mary
Cheney. Excuse me?
|category:||my life, politics
As I’ve reported before, Garrett and I play volleyball in a city
league. Our team, the ironically named “Hot
Shots”, has historically embodied the idea of a recreational league:
little to no talent, and booze after losses. “Seasons” run 8 weeks and
last season we won, uh, 3 games out of 32. You get the idea.
The new indoor season started last week, and we have new people on our
team. And last night, we won, not 1, but 3 games out of 4, including
1 win against a much more talented team (which has historically crushed
us). To quote Office Space,
With the release of the Creative Commons
it seems prudent to document some of the development process. The
implies that developing a channel is easy as pie. As a developer
unfamiliar with the tools, I found the process any but straightforward.
In retrospect certain things make sense now that I have a working model,
but I’m still no expert.
First, the sourcecode for the CC channel is available in CVS at the CC
Tools SourceForge.net project. The
module is named sherlock. This may serve as a good jumping off point
for someone looking for a working example.
Second, the process involved in developing a Sherlock channel consists
of a few distinct steps. Your interface is built using Interface
Builder, and consists of a single View. The actual code consists of
XQuery or both. Events (at least as I
know them) are called Triggers, and usually (at least in my code)
fires an XQuery script to do the actual scraping.
Finally, things I wish I had known when I started writing my channel:
When saving your NIB in Interface Builder, make sure you save it in
either “Pre-10.2 Format” or “Both Formats (Pre/Post-10.2)”. If you
save it in “10.2 and Later Format” Sherlock will refuse to load your channel.
XQuery has great XML dissection utilities, but has a really different
paradigm than other programming languages. It can’t (so far as I can
tell) read directly from the Datastore (which stores the values of
the Interface widgets), so everything you need must be passed in as
an input. Anything you need to set needs to be returned in the dictionary.
If you want to add more than three items to an NSPopUpButton you need
to use the Menu items palette in Interface Builder. This may be
obvious to others, but I spent quite a bit of time struggling with
figuring out how to initialize the list of options correctly (and get
the value back from within XQuery).
Finally, everything is XQuery is an assignment. Well, not everything,
but more than you’d expect, so you may as well start thinking that
way. For example, an if...then...else (and yes, the else is
mandatory) block is actually more like a ternary construct than a
decision block. That is, instead of the following:
if ($foo > 0) then
let $bar := 5
let $bar := 10
You do this:
let $bar := if ($foo > 0) then 5 else 10
Additionally, the following resources may or may not be useful to you if
you’re contemplating writing a channel.
* W3C XQuery 1.0 * XQuery:
Reinventing the Wheel?
(covers some interesting aspects of if syntax) * a working example of
In conclusion, writing a Sherlock Channel was a lot more painful that it
felt like it should have been. But I’ll be back; there’s work to be done
in the CC Search Channel, and I’ll continue to post my experiences here.
For all you Mac OS X users who can’t get enough Creative
Commons licensed content, your fix has
arrived: a CC search plugin for
(cc search for text documents containing ‘yergler’; full size)
You can open the channel at
There are still some improvements to be made, like display of the
license icons in the search results, but that’ll have to wait. If you
have suggestions or feedback, let me know. I’ll make the
source code available and blog about the actual development process a
little later. Enjoy!
This weekend was the 16th annual Lesbian and Gay Dinner
webpage hasn’t been updated in, well, a while, but you get the gist), a
local benefit for the AIDS Task Force.
Usually a good time, and this year we had a table full of friends.
Rich and Jeanne came in from Milwaukee, and Jeanne dazzled us all with
her card playing competitiveness. If anything was missing, it was booze;
for some reason, I just didn’t drink as much. Oh well, it was fun to
watch Kacee (who is straight and a woman) give all the gay boys “fuck
me eyes” on the dance floor. I’ll put up pictures at some point.
Sunday Garrett and I went to Indianapolis to meet up with my friend
Michelle and Curtis. I went to Purdue with Michelle and Curtis, and now
Michelle is working on her PhD at American
University, so I don’t get to see them that
often. It was great to see them both and spend the evening quoting MST3K
and reminiscing about [STRIKEOUT:better] simpler times. Add to that the
fact I managed to use Geertz and Wagner as a punchline, and you have a
oh, the humanity!
Of course, not all was wonderful this weekend. On Saturday afternoon,
Melissa Minix ran into the side of my car with her lovely 87 Beretta
(I’m guessing, but you get the idea). The experience turned a little
surreal, though, over the past few days as her story went from “I don’t
want a claim, I’ll pay for it myself,” to “You were so speeding, it’s
not all my fault,” to “Well I was going to get rid of the car, so I was
letting the insurance lapse, and don’t know if it has yet,” to “Maybe I
could just pay your deductible and you could file it as a hit and run.”
Right. So longer story short, I’ll probably end up getting fucked one
way or another on this, but I’ve given up on “working it out” with her
and will let my insurance company handle it from here on in. It’s just easier.
From the mozCC News page:
mozCC 0.9.0 has been released. This upgrade includes support for the
as well as improved detection and support of the Sampling and
It’s not a huge upgrade, but more of a maintenance release; check it
out and let me
know if you find any bugs or have any suggestions.
I also just realized that the screenshots on the site are horribly out
of date, displaying a details dialog that’s be gone for half a dozen
releases. Here’s a new
screenshot, showing off the new details dialog. And by “new” I mean
“added in the last 9 months.”
I watched most of the vice presidential debates last night and the only
real suprise to me was the brief exchange over the issue of Gay
Marriage. Two things struck me. First, I’m voting for Kerry/Edwards, but
after Edwards statement of his opinion on gay marriage (“Senator Kerry
and I believe marriage is between a man and a woman”), all I could think
was, “Gee, John, thank you so much for standing up and saying I should
be treated equally. Oh wait, I guess there wasn’t any mention of
equality.” So far as I could tell, the Kerry-Edwards position boils down
to, “Gee, we really should recognize their relationships once they hit
their death bed.” Is this really the best we can do?
The second thing that struck me is how far from removed Cheney is from
Bush on this issue. He all but said he disagrees with the president’s
push for the Federal Marriage Amendment, while hiding behind that great
conservative foil of State’s Rights. When Edwards praised him for
publicing acknowledging his daughter, all Cheney could say was “Thank
you for your kind words.”
Holy crap, his response almost seemed more humane than Edwards! So it
would seem that what conservative Republicans really, really need is a
gay family member to remind them just what “compassion” really is.
|category:||my life, politics
We’ve had command
for quite some time, but today I
our new graphical lookup tool, imaginatively named ccLookup.
ccLookup is a GUI tool built on wxPython which
allows you to drop a CC licensed MP3 on the app and lookup the
verification RDF. There are currently a few cosmetic problems to be
worked out, along with packaging issues. Currently we have a Mac OS X
disk image and Windows .zip file available from SourceForge. Before we
hit 1.0 we’re planning to create a Windows installer, as well as a Linux build.
Go on, try it; let me know if you run into trouble, or if
you have any suggestions.