Curiouser and curiouser!

 20 December 2003

12:32:20 AM     : Weigh anchor

Apologies if I wasn't very clear about my anchor problem. As Michael Fagan realised; What I wanted was to be able to go to an arbitrary page and see all the anchors available in the page. Michaal was able to suggest a possible solution for IE users however I am Mozilla convert these days.

Not to be out-done I learned how to write a bookmarklet to do the job. Drag this link to your toolbar and call it something like Show Anchors. Then go to a page that you know there will be some anchors hidden in and click the button. All anchors will appear as link with text [*] and whose href is the fully qualified URL of the anchor point.

 19 December 2003

3:45:46 PM     : Keeping your anchor out of sight

Something puzzles me every time I start looking for references to things (for example right now I am trying to find the best reference I can that describes what a Published Subject Indicator is in simple terms) is why Browsers don't have a feature that might called something like:

"Show me all anchors in the current document and let me copy the fully qualified URL of a selected anchor to the clipboard."

Why am I forced to view source, pick my way back to the point I started from and copy from there?

Has anyone got any tricks for making this easier?

12:51:09 AM     : Guess where the Evectors christmas party is going to be?

It's not so far to travel for dinner with friends ;-)

12:43:23 AM     : Name a shrub after me

I've been in the strange position this week of seeing not just one movie, but two.  I think this is the first time I've been to the cinema since August.

I heartily recommend Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World which has a ripping yarn feel to it like no film I can remember in quite a while.  I found the story by turns gripping and amusing.  The characters worked for me and came alive.  Oh and I had forgotten that films could have dialogue -- it was quite a surprise!  To top it off the battles were superb without being overblown.  Overall I can't remember enjoying a film this much since maybe L.A.Confidential.  Go and see this film!

On the other hand, and I realise I am in a minority here, I found The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King to be flat, over indulgent, laden with wooden dialogue, indifferently acted (with the notable exception of Bernard Hill) and way too long.  Tolkiens not so good that I want to sit through nearly 3 and a half hours of this stuff.  It might have been rescued by being an hour shorter, he could have started by cutting any scene with an elf in it. The Rohirrim were nicely done though.

 04 December 2003

9:00:40 AM     : At a cross-roads

There is definitely no way I am voting Labour next time around.  I cannot, in good conscience, vote for this party and it's leader.  Whilst I have been disappointed by Labours delivery of policies and it's abondonement of government reform I am most perturbed by recent events in Afghanistan and Iraq.  I accept that some response to the events of 9/11 was required but what has transpired is not it.  I did not give Blair/Labour a mandate for the actions they have taken, nor do I support those actions.

As a child of the Thatcher years I still bitterly resent the conservative party:  Listening to Michael Howard & co., they have not changed.  Asylum island?  Might as well be next to cloud cuckoo land.  I hope Britain has not become so frightened and narrow minded as to hand our government over to such people.

Of the mainstream parties that leaves only the Liberal Democrats.  I guess I am going to have to take them more seriously and learn whether they are a party I could join.  I am interested to see how they are engaging with people, what use they are making of weblogs, and how they are encouraging community around their policies.  I guess I'm looking to see whether they are awake to what is happening in the US right now with Dean and others.

Anyone know any active lib dems?

 03 December 2003

8:57:30 PM     : Damned extortion

You know, what really galls me is that I am in favour of the London congestion charge and am happy to pay it.  Except when I don't think I should.

Coming back from the airport this evening I passed through the congestion zone briefly sometime around when charging finishes at 6:30.  It's hard to tell because I tend to spend more time keeping an eye on the assholes trying to kill me than watching the clock.

So when I got home I phoned up and asked the congestion charging people if they could tell me if I had been in the zone during the charging period.  "No we can't tell you that." They said and then went on to say "We recommend that you pay the charge if you think you were in the zone."  Well obviously there are civil liberty implications in my question so I wasn't too perturbed.  So I asked "I assume that if you find I wasn't in the zone you'll refund my £5?"  "We don't give refunds."

So they can tell if I was in the zone and didn't pay, but can't tell if I paid but didn't have to.  They'll take my money now or fine me (£80 and upwards) if I make a mistake.

This feels a lot like like extortion to me. 

 02 December 2003

9:43:39 PM     : First steps with Lucene

I'm playing with the Jakarta Lucene search engine at the moment as a way of implementing some neat new stuff for K-Collector.  I've got a Java app talking to K-Collector via XML-RPC and indexing posts from our database.  I think it took me about 15 minutes from cold to having butchered the sample apps to do what I want.  That seems like a good sign to me.  While browsing for more information about Lucene I came across an article talking about Lucene and another Jakarta library called Digester.  Digester is a neat XML to Java object mapper.  I'll be taking a better look at it over the next few days.

8:57:57 PM     : What do you write after a Tonno e Zucchine sandwich?

It's been a good trip - I can't believe I fly back tomorrow.  Where did the time go?  Paolo and I have discussed a lot of the strategy behind how we are going to offer K-Collector to customers. All those questions we've been putting off till last have come due.  I think we've got some good answers and we'll be publishing the details soon.  I'll also be spending increasing amounts of my time on sales & marketing now which, strangely, I find I am looking forward to!

 01 December 2003

1:31:29 PM     : Where did the sun go?

Here I am in Gradisca.  Yesterday it was sunny and bright.  Today the English weather seems to have caught up with me.