Tim’s Weblog Tim's Weblog
Tim Strehle’s links and thoughts on Web apps, managing software development and Digital Asset Management, since 2002.

Template Engines

Brian Lozier back in 2003 - Template Engines:

"I'm basically advocating a "template engine" that uses PHP code as it's native scripting language. I know, this has been done before. When I read about it, I thought simply, "what's the point?" After examining my co-worker's argument and implementing a template system that uses straight PHP code, but still achieves the ultimate goal of separation of business logic from presentation logic (and in 40 lines of code!), I have realized the advantages and honestly, can probably never go back."

Thu, 21 Dec 2006 13:47:37 +0000

IBM OmniFind Yahoo! Edition

"IBM OmniFind Yahoo! Edition is a no-charge, entry-level enterprise search software solution that enables rapid deployment of intranet and file system search for both employees and customers.

  • Up to 500,000 documents
  • Support for 200+ file types
  • [...]
  • Built on Apache Lucene
  • Open URL-based APIs (REST)"
Fri, 15 Dec 2006 12:13:35 +0000

Validation considered harmful

Mark Baker - Validation considered harmful:

"A good rule of thumb in document design is to avoid making assumptions about what won’t be there in the future, and a rule of thumb for software is to defer checking extension fields or values until you can’t any longer. On the Web, you need to be able to process messages from the future."

Thu, 14 Dec 2006 06:41:55 +0000


"yEd is a very powerful graph editor that is written entirely in the Java programming language. It can be used to quickly and effectively generate drawings and to apply automatic layouts to a range of different diagrams and networks."

(Via Norbert Ehreke.) 

Tue, 12 Dec 2006 22:26:50 +0000

Adobe MARS: Looks Interesting

Eliot Kimber - Adobe MARS: Looks Interesting:

"MARS is an XML-based format that is intended as a functional replacement for PDF. It's not really accurate to call it an XML version of PDF because it's not a simple transliteration of PDF into tags (which could be done easily enough) but a ground-up exercise in designing and XML-based scheme for doing what PDF does.

[...] MARS tries to use standards as much as it can and it seems to do so to a remarkable level of completeness. It uses SVG for representing each page, supports the usual standards for media objects (bitmaps, videos, etc.). Uses Zip for packaging, and so on." 

Mon, 11 Dec 2006 11:18:02 +0000


Joel Spolsky - Simplicity:

"Donald Norman concludes that simplicity is overrated. [...]

I think it is a misattribution to say, for example, that the iPod is successful because it lacks features. If you start to believe that, you'll believe, among other things, that you should take out features to increase your product’s success. With six years of experience running my own software company I can tell you that nothing we have ever done at Fog Creek has increased our revenue more than releasing a new version with more features. Nothing."

Sun, 10 Dec 2006 13:33:41 +0000

A conversation with Jon Udell about his new job with Microsoft

Jon Udell - A conversation with Jon Udell about his new job with Microsoft:

"For those of us in the club, it's a golden age. With computers and networks and information systems we can invent new things almost as fast as we can think them up. But we're leaving a lot of folks behind. And I'm not just talking about the digital divide that separates the Internet haves from the have-nots. Even among the haves, the ideas and tools and methods that some of us take for granted haven't really put down roots in the mainstream.

Over the years I've evangelized a bunch of things to the alpha-geek crowd: Internet groupware, blogging, syndication, tagging, web architecture, lightweight integration, microformats, structured search, screencasting, dynamic languages, geographic mapping, random-access audio, and more. There's a purpose behind all this, and Doug Engelbart saw it very clearly a long time ago. The augmentation of human capability in these sorts of ways isn't just some kind of geek chic. It's nothing less than a survival issue for our species."

Sat, 09 Dec 2006 01:02:13 +0000

General-purpose intermediation

Jon Udell - General-purpose intermediation:

"But slogger notwithstanding, there's a much deeper and more general thing that ought to be happening on every web-enabled system. It ought to be trivial to attach an observer and/or filter to HTTP pipelines. Among other things, it could shovel data into a search engine so that I could instantly recall a remembered transaction by search term, by date, or by site."

Fri, 08 Dec 2006 09:48:17 +0000

Intalio Workflow

"Intalio|Workflow is an integrated human workflow suite based on the new BPEL4People extensions and compatible with any JSR 168 portal. Because it offers an AJAX-based XForms implementation, it gives workflow participants a productive and engaging user experience, while remaining compatible with any major web browser in use today."

Wed, 06 Dec 2006 22:54:15 +0000

Microformats Icons

Wolfgang Bartelme  - Microformats Icons:

 "As Microformats have gained much popularity over the last year we thought it was time to standardize the way they are represented on a website. So we created the Microformats Icon Set. The starter set contains icons for hCal, hResume, hCard, XFN and a generic TAG icon."

Wed, 06 Dec 2006 22:52:04 +0000

eZ Components Workflow Engine

Sebastian Bergmann - eZ Components Workflow Engine:

" The Workflow components that I developed as part of my Diploma thesis ("Design and Implementation of an Activity-Based Workflow Engine") and that will be part of the eZ Components, an enterprise ready general purpose PHP components library by eZ Systems, provide this layer in the form of an abstract virtual machine for Graph-Oriented Programming (GOP) with PHP.

[...] You can find the sourcecode for the three components that I developed as part of my thesis here: Workflow, WorkflowDatabaseTiein, and WorkflowEventLogTiein."

Tue, 05 Dec 2006 11:28:50 +0000

The Problem with Programming

Jason Pontin interviews Bjarne Stroustrup at Technology Review - The Problem with Programming:

"In theory, the answer is simple: educate our software developers better, use more-appropriate design methods, and design for flexibility and for the long haul. Reward correct, solid, and safe systems. Punish sloppiness.

In reality, that's impossible. People reward developers who deliver software that is cheap, buggy, and first. That's because people want fancy new gadgets now. They don't want inconvenience, don't want to learn new ways of interacting with their computers, don't want delays in delivery, and don't want to pay extra for quality (unless it's obvious up front--and often not even then). And without real changes in user behavior, software suppliers are unlikely to change.

We can't just stop the world for a decade while we reprogram everything from our coffee machines to our financial systems. On the other hand, just muddling along is expensive, dangerous, and depressing."

Tue, 05 Dec 2006 09:16:13 +0000

PHP 5.2 upload progress meter

Dragan Dinić - PHP 5.2 upload progress meter:

"Yesterday I’ve spent considerable amount of time in order to find out more about the most interesting new PHP 5.2 feature - hook for upload progress meter."

Mon, 04 Dec 2006 09:49:50 +0000

They can’t hear you

Pete Lacey - They can’t hear you:

"Maybe you don’t work for or with a Global 2000 company, so I’ll let you in on a little secret: They Can’t Hear You! That’s right, the CIOs, and Enterprise Architechts, and, yes, even the journeyman programmer employed by these firms have no idea that there’s even a discussion going on. [...] And the typical corporate technologist (broad strokes here, of course I don’t mean you) hasn’t considered REST and decided against it, they haven’t even heard the term. Ditto RelaxNG, Django, Atom, and everything else that makes the Web work and makes working with the Web easy.

[...] Business-oriented technologist refuse to beleive that simple solutions apply to their problem set. It’s always been complex before, and gosh darnit, it’s gonna stay that way. They want transactions, and reliability, and asynchronous messaging, and orchestration, and everything else. If it doesn’t look like Rendezvous or Tuxedo or BizTalk, then it can’t be a business grade solution, therefore it must be some toy."

Fri, 01 Dec 2006 09:58:08 +0000