April 2005 Archives

Docbook stylesheets adapted for .NET

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Sadly but fact, .NET 1.X XSLT processor - XslTransform class has some nasty bugs. Actually it even can't load Docbook stylesheets :( So it was really nice to see Altsoft (maker of Xml2PDF tool) has adapted Docbook 1.68.1 stylesheets to make them working in .NET. Changes are really small.

After reading this, I bought this:

just to realize the damn fingerprint reader only works with Windows XP and I've got XP only on my laptop. Oh, shit. Can you believe it? Microsoft fingerprint reader doesn't work with Microsoft Windows Server 2003 or Windows 2000. :(

Oh well, still it's an excellent keyboard. I've got also Wireless Desktop Elite keyboard:

and while it looks and feels awesome, I just can't work with it productively. Absence of leds in combination with f#cking F Flock button just kills me, I do use F buttons all the way. Weird buttons configuration - F buttons go in triples, not quadruples, unusual middle sectoin with no home/end buttons - it can be quite disorienting and get you looking at keyboard more than it's needed.

Finally Microsoft Knowledge Base provides RSS feeds. Quite expressive list.

[Via Sergey Simakov]

Dave Pawson is blogging!

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Dave Pawson is blogging! Great, subscribed.

As many were saying, XSLT is finally coming to client side. The rumors came true today - latest version of the Safari browser from Apple supports XSLT via libxslt. Now what about Opera?

[Via Cafe con Leche]

I'm studying new XSLT 1.0 implementation provided by Microsoft in the .NET 2.0 Beta2 - XslCompiledTransform class. The guys who wrote it are my good friends and excellent developers, but let me to complain a little bit, not because I'm a complainer, but trying to make this cool piece of software even better.

Useless RSS feeds

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I was writing very enthusiastically about upcoming MSDN webcasts RSS feed. It's really nice to see more and more orange XML icons on Microsoft sites. But what about quality? I was trying to make use of the the webcasts RSS feed and found it merely useless. What information would you expect from a feed about some events? At least event description, link and a date. Surprisingly upcoming MSDN webcasts RSS feed contains no information about when announced webcasts gonna happen. Weird. Can you guys fix it?

I has hoping to leverage the webcasts feed for updating events module on a site I'm building. But with no webcast dates, what I do? Screen scrapping, just like it's still ninetieths?

C-Omega webcast at May 11

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Interesting webcast:

Learn about Cω (C-Omega), an experimental research language from Microsoft Research that extends Microsoft Visual C# with new constructs for relational and semi-structured data access as well as asynchronous concurrency. Cω is a strongly typed, data-oriented programming language that bridges the gap between semi-structured hierarchical data (XML), relational data (SQL), and the .NET Common Type System (CTS). Join this webcast and learn how the language presents a simple and powerful model of concurrency applicable to both multithreaded applications running on a single machine and to the orchestration of asynchronous, event-based applications communicating over a wide area network.
Presenter: Gavin Bierman, Researcher, Microsoft Corporation
Register here.

Hey, just look at this. It says Visual Studio 2005 Beta2 will ship April 25, in just 16 short days and nights. Great. After Visual Studio .NET and Visual Studio .NET 2003 it's third version and it will rock not only according to the third version law. I especially enjoy improvements in XML area. I hope finally to be able to work with XML in Visual Studio and throw XML Spy out.

5 years in Israel

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Today it's 5 years as my wife and I repatriated to Israel (in Hebrew it's called aliyah - ascent) from Ukraine. I'm happy we did it. Today Israel is our country and we just love it, it's amazing, unique and beautiful.

XQuery as Perl for XML

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New bunch of XSL/XQuery working drafts has been published, some in Last Call. Now it's 12 documents, including a new interesting one. Changes are mostly minor though so if they wouldn't get another zillion of comments (do many realize than by posting a comment, even about a small typo to W3C they effectively defer the spec?), we probably will see the very first Candidate Recommendation in a couple of months. I bet it will be XSLT 2.0.

It's always fun to read official W3C announces - the people writing them have good sense of humor. The previous time they have called XQuery "an XML-aware programming language" and Mike Champion (one of Microsoft representatives in W3C) said he wants to clear it up if that's not a mistake. He took care indeed. Now W3C calls XQuery a Perl-like language, great:

XQuery 1.0: An XML Query Language:
A non-XML, Perl-like syntax for querying collections of structured and semi-structured data both locally and over the Web - Last Call
Does it mean XQuery is positioned now as Perl for data (no XML is mentioned actually)? A write-only language for quick and dirty solutions? Ok, ok, I love Perl, this blog is run by Perl. But you get my point.

Part 1 of my "Indexing XML" article went live at the MSDN XML Dev Center. In this article I discuss various aspects of indexing standalone XML documents - XML IDs, XSLT Keys and introduce IndexingXPathNavigator class, part of the Mvp.Xml library, which enables lazy or eager indexing of any IXPathNavigable XML store (XmlDocument, XPathDocument or XmlDataDocument) thus providing alternative fast way to select nodes directly from the index table and not searhing the XML tree. This allows drastically decrease selection time and improve scalability on preindexed selections.

Here is benchmark results on searching 1000 random orders by order ID from differently sized XML documents using XmlDocument, XPathDocument and IndexingXPathNavigator:

'nuf said.

Any comments are welcome! In the next part of the article I'm focusing on XML indexing aspects of the SQL Server 2005.

Norm Walsh writes about a very nasty problem waiting to happen when anybody naive enough is trying to validate an XML document after XInclude processing against XML Schema. Ooops, XInclude processor appends xml:base attributes at top-level included elements, which you gotta allow in the schema, most likely on every element! And XML Schema of course doesn't support declaring of such globally allowed attributes, so you have to add its definition to every single element declaration. And that's not all! Norm forgot about xml:lang attribute, which XInclude processor can and should append too. I mentioned that issue in the "Combining XML Documents with XInclude" article.