legally superfluous

Hey there!

I'm Martin Jansen and this is my tumblelog. Most cool kids seem to have one these days. Do you?

The things I publish here are replicated on my other home page and there is more stuff there, too.

Mar 9

Hacking Status

Today I rolled a first release of the URI_Template package in PEAR. As the name suggests, this is a parser for URI Templates. I wrote the code around Christmas as a finger exercise and to become familiar with what URI templates are, but unfortunately only found time today to get it into PEAR’s CVS and prepare a release. Documentation including installation instructions can be found over there. Should you encounter bugs, make sure to report them via the bug tracker.

Next up: Getting documentation for File_DeliciousLibrary (also released today) out of the door. Then probably a little implementation of Bloom filters.

Feb 20

Feb 10
“TimBL ignored the entire body of theory and pasted together the simplest possible version […]. No computer scientist could have conceived of anything so tenuous and fragile.” Tim Bray on HTML.

10 Years of Markup

On February 10th, 1998, XML 1.0 became a W3C Recommendation. This means that  as of today it has been with us “officially” for the past 10 years.

Happy Birthday, bitch! Great to have you around. 

Feb 1

Some thoughts on MSFT’s offer for Yahoo!

Microsoft has placed an offer to buy Yahoo!. Some initial, mainly unsorted thoughts below:

  • My first impression is that Microsoft is really despaired for not being able to catch up with Google on their own.  How else can they justify a 62% premium over Yahoo’s stock price from Thursday night?
  • $44.6 billion dollars is a whole lotta money.
  • Microsoft and SAP AG once cancelled their plans for a merger because of the resulting complexity. Yahoo is significantly smaller than SAP (11.400 vs. ~40.000 employees) but still I wonder if Microsoft is capable of handling a nearly six-figure headcount with different cultural backgrounds properly. Quite a challenge for McKinsey, Accenture, Deloitte et al.
  • What about the overlapping properties of both companies? Assuming the buy-out actually happens, will e.g. the search sites be merged? What about messaging? Free mail? Since the main reason for the offer is strengthening their position in the ad market, I doubt that Microsoft will change much regarding the other properties in the short term after the acquisition.
  • Both companies have a diametrically opposed technological infrastructure regarding their web projects: Microsoft eats their own dog-food (Windows, ASP.NET, SQL Server, …) while Yahoo is built on top of FreeBSD, PHP, MySQL, Hadoop and things like that. (Remember how long it took Microsoft to port Hotmail from FreeBSD to Windows? But still it happened.)
  • Judging from the outside there is a huge cultural difference between Microsoft and Yahoo. I don’t think they can be combined without pain.
  • I’d love to be in Yahoo’s headquarter today. Or as Jeremy Zawodny puts it: “I predict that today will be one of our least productive days since 9/11 at work.”
  • Today is a good day for Yahoo shareholders to make some quick money: At the time of writing this, the stock price has grown by 44%.

Jan 29
“How come technology, communication, and infrastructure is getting cheaper while the costs of SMS messages are increasing exponentially? My theory: SMS messages are transfered over air made of solid gold.” Sam Garfield

A scruffy (and execrable) flower pot and some dead plant in my building’s staircase. Neighbors: If you need to get rid of your junk, please don’t dispose it in the staircase. Kthxbye.

A scruffy (and execrable) flower pot and some dead plant in my building’s staircase. Neighbors: If you need to get rid of your junk, please don’t dispose it in the staircase. Kthxbye.

Jan 27
“Not only do everything you say you’re going to do, but do more. Offering low marginal cost items for free is a shortcut to generating word of mouth, which is a lot cheaper than buying ads.” Seth Godin

Jan 26

Drawing The Curtain

Yesterday evening I rolled out a new incarnation of incorporating some things I had been wanting to do for quite some time.  Most importantly, the site does not have any sort of administration interface anymore but only pulls content from other sites.  This is what’s called a Mashup these days.  The sources are:

  1. Tumblr for texts, photos, and quotes.
  2. for some numbers on my listening habits.
  3. for links I find interesting. (Coming soon)
  4. Flickr for photosets. (Coming soon)

The system is built in such a way that I can add more sources easily. I would for example love to include my movie vote history from IMDb, but the corresponding RSS feed does not contain the ratings but only the names of the movies. Perhaps it is time for some screen-scraping there.

As indicated by point 1, I am writing all of the textual things that appear on in my Tumblr first. I enjoy quite a few things at Tumblr (especially the dashboard), but also have a thing or two I don’t particularly agree with. Think I’ll write about this later. Still everybody with interest in blogging and little time should give it a try. 

Anyway. As you can see from points 3. and 4. above, I’m not yet done with it, but I wanted to get out of the door with what I have right now. I have been sitting on the new “design elements” since Christmas. As usual the code-related work took me like half an hour, but the graphics and CSS stuff totally outgrew my capabilities.

Should you spot any errors or missing links, let me know.

Jan 24

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