"I have a mind like a steel... uh... thingy." Patrick Logan's weblog.

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Friday, September 05, 2008

Not Much of a Choice

But the Republicans scare me, especially that they'd continue stocking the courts with wackos; they'd feed the war machine ever more; and they'd continue grabbing power for their "unitary executive" theory.

I'll take someone who means well, and expect a reasonable performance and a supreme court that can hold off the fascists for at least another 10 years.

Jon Stewart Calls Rove, O'Reilly, and Morris to Task


Wednesday night on "The Daily Show," Jon Stewart hit Karl Rove and
Bill O'Reilly with damning evidence of their hypocrisy regarding Vice
Presidential nominee Sarah Palin.

While Rove recently praised Palin's experience as the mayor of
Wasilla, Alaska, Stewart showed video of Rove trashing Virginia
Governor — and former Richmond Mayor — Tim Kaine's executive
experience, listing all the cities that are bigger than Richmond and
calling such a pick "political."

Then, after recent video of O'Reilly describing Bristol Palin's
pregnancy as a family issue, Stewart showed a clip of the Fox News
host blaming Jamie Lynn Spears' parents for her teenage pregnancy.

Finally, after showing video of Dick Morris complaining about the
rampant sexism in the media coverage of Sarah Palin, Stewart unveiled
a clip of Morris saying that Hillary hides behind the sexism defense,
and that anytime "the big boys" pick on Hillary, "she retreats behind
the apron strings."

"In Dick Morris' defense," Stewart said, "he is a lying sack of sh*t."


As noted by Joe Gregorio, the AP has finally reported one of the big
lies of the current presidential campaign...


PALIN: "I have protected the taxpayers by vetoing wasteful
spending ... and championed reform to end the abuses of earmark
spending by Congress. I told the Congress 'thanks but no thanks' for
that Bridge to Nowhere."

THE FACTS: As mayor of Wasilla, Palin hired a lobbyist and
traveled to Washington annually to support earmarks for the town
totaling $27 million. In her two years as governor, Alaska has
requested nearly $750 million in special federal spending, by far the
largest per-capita request in the nation. While Palin notes she
rejected plans to build a $398 million bridge from Ketchikan to an
island with 50 residents and an airport, that opposition came only
after the plan was ridiculed nationally as a "bridge to nowhere."


Every so often something or someone prompts me to take a look at RDF
(resource relationships), and that look usually expands out to RDFS
(schemas for certain constraints relationships) and OWL (how to
express more generally specific constraints among relationships). The
descriptions in parens are my paraphrases.

In the context of the RESTful-JSON group, Bill de hÓra compared the
discussion there on URLs for JSON object attributes to using URLs in
RDF from a subject to either a literal or another resource (URL).

Which led me to reread Bill's piece from a few years ago on attempting
to automate the linkages between HTML forms and form elements and
updating resources designated in a service using RDF...


This aspect of REST, i.e. the client side being more general, and not
one-off for a specific model, is still lacking from what I have seen,
for RDF as well as now for JSON. For JSON the solution seems to be
send down the Javascript that is aware of the model expressed in JSON.
I think the same would be true for RDF, except when you get into the
need to make inferences, and so on, then more processing is required.

For either RDF or for JSON, modelling conventions are needed to be
more generically expressive in the client per se. Otherwise
conventions are needed server side to map from simple forms clients as
discussed by Bill.

So anyway... now I am interested in RDF and going a bit deeper with it
than before. I see the RESTful JSON development leading very quickly
into discussions of conventions of usage - what is a "collection"?
what is a "reference"? and so on. So I picked up a new good book
reviewed not long ago by Danny Ayers...

Danny Ayers...


Which led me to a comment on that review by Rowland Watkins. He commented...

"I am surprised that RDFS is still being used (except for certain
relationships), let alone RDFS-Plus - mixing RDFS and OWL is not a
good idea (this may be stated in the book). Unfortunately, FOAF still
suffers from RDFS/OWL (making it OWL Full). Still takes a bit of
searching to find the OWL DL version…"

Which catches this non-semantic-web-insider by surprise. A web search
did not turn up anything about mixing these not being a good idea. I
see a lot of discussions about subsets of OWL (lite, DL, etc. as well
as semi-custom) and so on, for decidability, performance, etc. But I
am wondering what the state of the semantic web standards and
implementations really are?

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

RESTful Clients

Jon Udell's got a piece on languages and runtimes, especially "client-side"...


Jon wrote:
"How these capabilities can and should be used in general, and
specifically both in the cloud and on peers — these questions interest
me a lot."

I think this is the key issue, yes. So far there is one reasonable
RESTful client application: the browser, generally. (Well, and email
clients, arguably.)

Some thoughts...

Good RESTful clients should be more secure than the browser, more
"rich" than the browser, and more easily programmed than the browser
(i.e. easier and more expressive than ajax). Good RESTful applications
should not require "one-off" programming on the client side. Nor
should they expect all the client components to be developed in any
single language, or run in a single runtime container.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Javascript Application Isolation

From Google's v8 documentation...

In V8, a context is an execution environment that allows separate, unrelated, JavaScript applications to run in a single instance of V8. You must explicitly specify the context in which you want any JavaScript code to be run.

Why is this necessary? Because JavaScript provides a set of built-in utility functions and objects that can be changed by JavaScript code. For example, if two entirely unrelated JavaScript functions both changed the global object in the same way then unexpected results are fairly likely to happen.

In terms of CPU time and memory, it might seem an expensive operation to create a new execution context given the number of built-in objects that must be built. However, V8's extensive caching ensures that, while the first context you create is somewhat expensive, subsequent contexts are much cheaper....

With the V8 snapshot feature (activated with build option snapshot=yes, which is the default) the time spent creating the first context will be highly optimized as a snapshot includes a serialized heap which contains already compiled code for the built-in JavaScript code. Along with garbage collection, V8's extensive caching is also key to V8's performance, for more information see V8 Design Elements.

When you have created a context you can enter and exit it any number of times. While you are in context A you can also enter a different context, B, which means that you replace A as the current context with B. When you exit B then A is restored as the current context. This is illustrated below:

Note that the built-in utility functions and objects of each context are kept separate. You can optionally set a security token when you create a context. See the Security Model section for more information.

The motivation for using contexts in V8 was so that each window and iframe in a browser can have its own fresh JavaScript environment.

Thank you.

Monday, September 01, 2008

B.B. King: Sitting On Top Of The World

How many artists of any medium have been on the top of their profession for many decades and then produce one of their greatest works?

B.B. King is one. "One Kind Favor" is his latest album, which is not only great, but one of the greatest blues albums ever, and one of the best collections of music of all time. Well, in my opinion.

No surprise that T Bone Burnett is the producer. King is no slacker at age 76, but Burnett was the perfect choice to draw this one out of King.

If you don't run out and get this music, you may as well stop listening to everything altogether. There would be no point in continuing.

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Portland, Oregon, United States
I'm usually writing from my favorite location on the planet, the pacific northwest of the u.s. I write for myself only and unless otherwise specified my posts here should not be taken as representing an official position of my employer. Contact me at my gee mail account, username patrickdlogan.