24 Jul 2008 Ankh   » (Master)

Cats and Dogs

It's been the rainiest July on record here - and the month isn't over yet, of course. We discovered that the swimming pool can indeed fill above the top of its liner.

And during the storms, the dog, who is possessed by a daemon, becomes uncontrollable. or controllable only with difficulty.

I still miss being able to have time to concentrate, to focus enough to write reasonable amounts of code, to program. Working at W3C means I get to have a vague warm fuzzy feeling about helping the world a teeny bit, but it isn't always enough compensation.

In what little spare time I have, I scan pictures from old books. Soemone recently made a set of photoshop brushes from the 16th century demonic seals from the Goetia, and they two sets have each had over 900 downloads (they are here

and here if you are into such things). I have well over 2,000 images now, with sometimes fairly substantial extracts from the books, captions and other metadata. And there's an encyclopædia, some dictionaries of slang (including Brewer's Phrase and Fable), most of a vitriolic satirical political dictionary from the 1790s, and a bunch of other stuff.

Most of the text is in XML, so every now and then I update the XSLT that makes the HTML files and add smarts to find more cross-references. I want to do geotagging and links to maps, but this is harder than it sounds because the placenames I have are usually from when the books were published, not today.

Today's addition is some pictures of fonts, from a book I bought in Boston a couple of weeks ago, although these are not font samples as most people here would expect them to be, I suspect :-)

I did get to do some programming recently, though, and added some XML support to my ancient text retrieval package, lq-text. The changes aren't yet released, until I finish with some UTF-8 issues, but if you are interested, drop me a line. I wrote a short paper on it for the Balisage markup conference, too. I hope soon I'll use lq-text for the search function on my Web site, alongside the XQuery-based search that I have now.

Spending time on XML as character strings makes the world of RDF seem even further away, but I'm reading an interesting book on Ontology Matching to make up for it, inbetween scanning pictures and working on stuff for XQuery and for XSL-FO 2.0.

Now it's time to go and sedate the dog with some herbal calmer.

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