Monday, May 21, 2007

Scratch Me

I've been thinking about this for oh 25 years now but never did get around to doing it myself. Thanks to some good folks at MIT, there is now a simple graphical programming language, Scratch !
My idea was something more advanced, but this has huge advantages. The authors claim that they Kindergarten age kids have been successful at using this. I tried it out for a few minutes and am very impressed. Its certianly not going to replace "real" programming languages for complex things, but its amazing how simple it is to create apps like simple games, animated cards, talking characters. The best part is its FUN, and teach logical thinking in a way that doesnt look like "learning". I plan on setting this up for my son John and seeing if I can get him interested.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

See David Lee at "Xtreme Markup 2007"

Looks like I'm speaking again !


2:00 - 2:45 From Word to XML to mobile devices
David Lee, Epocrates

The clinical content delivered by Epocrates to the mobile devices used by medical practitioners is sent to the mobile devices in an efficient form of binary XML. But much of the content was created in Microsoft Word; Epocrates does not control the creators’ authoring processes. The task of ‘matching the impedances’ of the Word sources to the delivered XML has been approached multiple times in multiple ways, including ways that use Word macros (VB scripts), RTF, HTML, Word 2003 XML, and a variety of tools. An XML-oriented pipeline process has evolved, that makes heavy use of the Saxon XQuery implementation; it has proven to have great advantages and may serve as a design pattern for others facing similar problems.