Java Real Time System (RTS) Interview

Version 2.0 of the RTS Specification (JSR 1.0) was announced in one of the Keynotes at JavaOne 2007. In Podcast #124, The Java Posse interview Greg Bollella and Dave Hofert of the Java RTS team. The interview gives a nice overview of what real-time means in the Java context. I’m now looking forward to the release of the recorded lectures. (The slides are already available.) You have to join the Sun Developer Network to access these, but registration is free.

While I’m here, let me recommend that every who’s interested in Java should tune in to the Java Posse podcast!

Microsoft Finally Gets Web Standards

MS Frontpage was long known (and often derided) for its tendency to walk all over web standards. It looks like this is about to change. [Best Tech Videos On The Net]( (which incidentally is a great place for finding new Tech Videos) has just published a set of videos and demos from [Microsoft MIX07]( One of these that I’ve just watched concerns how the new version of [Microsoft Visual Studio (ORCAS)]( can be used to create great-looking AJAX web sites (tied to .NET of course!). I found the video particularly compelling because of the way MS now embrace standards-driven design and proper separation of *Style* from *Content*. For example, the HTML shown in the demo was properly marked-up XHTML 1.0 Transitional and the styles where kept out of the markup. But even better, there’s a visual designer for CSS that shows the padding, margins and styles all linked to views of the tags, style properties, and live display. This stuff apparently is in [Microsoft Expression]( and if so, it will make that product a really compelling replacement for Frontpage. It’ll be even more so if Microsoft has recognized that not all web sites are based on ASP.NET! But I guess I’ll have to evaluate the product to see if that is true!

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My Heroes Collection: TiddyWiki Author Jeremy Ruston

While doing some vaguely formulated research today (it is a Bank Holiday so vagueness is allowed!), I did a search for Wiki on [Google video]( today and came across this video of a presentation by Jeremy Ruston (developer of [TiddlyWiki]( recorded (I believe – the video description is a bit unclear) at a meeting on social software held in Vienna last year. You can’t see the slides, but it is clear that, for documentation, Jeremy has no love for the standard office tools and makes a good case for [wikis]( and in particular TiddlyWiki.

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Birthday present

Ahlem sent me a Birthday present which I’m wearing in this picture. I’m watching the FA cup final.
The text, which comes from an episode of the Simpsons is:


Renate took the photo!

Multimedia Consumption Day

Today, I’ve been mostly watching Google videos! Aside from the previously blogged video on the death of the desktop I’ve also watched Brion Vibber’s Google Tech Talk on Wikipedia and the MediaWiki software that drives it. Also from Google Video was this Documentary on Open Source available on Google Video:

> “Revolution OS is a 2001 documentary which traces the history of GNU, Linux, and the open source and free software movements. It features several interviews with prominent hackers and entrepreneurs (and hackers-cum-entrepreneurs), including Richard Stallman, Michael Tiemann, Linus Torvalds, Larry Augustin, Eric S. Raymond, Bruce Perens, Frank Hecker and Brian Behlendorf.”

Here’s the video:

In my copious remaining free time, I have also added a links and a few new pages to the [Swansea Learning Lab Resources Wiki](, and listened to Part 1 of the [JavaOne retrospective podcast](, the first of two special podcasts from the [Java Posse](

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Away with Applications: The Death of the Desktop

In this video, recorded at Google and released as a [TechTalk Video](, Aza Raskin from [Humanized](, the company behind [Enso](, tells us what the next user interface technology may look like.

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New Blog

I have created a Google Code project for the continued development of one of my project student’s projects (A Module Catalogue for my School). This is the first of (I hope) many Google Hosted projects that will provide my students with valuable experience in the use of modern software project development tools.

Dasher – writing with gestures

Just watched a [fascinating video]( of a new gesture-based writing system called Dasher on Google Tech Talks. Dasher is a writing system which uses information theoric concepts to allow the user to steer through an emerging web of possible word completions. Developed at Cambridge University and demonstrated by Dave McKay, [Dasher]( is seen as a tool with immediate applicability for mobile phone users as an alternative to predictive texting and for people with disabilities. However, it seems to me that with a claimed rate of 35 words per minute, it would be useful alternative to “hunt and peck” typing on a keyboard. It’s difficult to describe, but there’s a [Java applet version]( that you can try on-line. Dasher has been ported to multiple platforms and is freely down-loadable. Worthy of further investigation!

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