Infopath trial

Ah ha, I've been playing with microsoft's infopath beta.

So whats the crack?
Well its a form based maker for filling in xml documents. It uses a datasource as the start of the document and you can then build forms to fill in that datasource.

In english – it takes a schema, can be database or xml schema and creates forms for each element in the schema. Sounds good eh? Yes and it actually isnt that bad, it does what it says and within 1 hour I had a form which would fill in a courselet for me.

First problem
it hates my schemas to death. If you import or include a schema in or apply min or max to a choice it goes nuts. Which means you end up writing a schema just for infopath or simplifying your schema to the point it becomes non useable.
My orginal schema for courselets was fine, but the one for courselet 2 which included simple xlink with its namespace and a generic xhtml schema. Threw a error each time, i even tried to fix the errors and ended up making all my current xml documents un valid.

Next problem
Even if like me you make a custom schema just for infopath, and create the forms.

You have to own a copy of Infopath to fill it in! I thought you could open it in word or even ie6 and fill in the forms. No it seems like you must own infopath to save the final xml document. That sucks big time.

Plus points
It allows you to write validation in javascript or vbscript. It also understands xml schema and points out required and optional elements. I havent really tested the attributes too much because all my new schemas dont work in infopath. It also reckonmends how you should layout certain forms based on there schema type. So it will not create a freeflowing block of text for intergers. Or a drop down box for free flowing text.

It deals with repeatable elements better than I actually thought, everytime you press return it will create a new paragraph in my case. You can also change that to shift return or anything else you want.
Its also creates accessable forms using access key and tabs points, which is useful for the future. i have yet to try the xsd:any element and serious xhtml style schemas which allows the author to play with the format. You could allow them to put in element of there own using the greater than less than thing but you shouldnt have to. I would also like the ability to split forms up, so one form could be for dublin core metadata and the other for the xml content. It would then join them together using xinclude or something like that.
because even a form for a courselet looks big and most of the metadata is already filled in. yes you can do prefilled and subs. It will take defualts into consideration too.

So I would say its good but great for simple structured documents where the author doesnt have the freedom do what they like. For creative input, basicly forget it, its far too restrictive. But lets not forget its a beta and things will hopefully change.

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Streamliner on pocketpc

Ok I have to confess Streamliner on the ipaq is actually quite good for writing down notes quickly. So good I might actually buy a copy.
One thing it doesnt do at this moment is, save or open opml files.
It does however save as wiki format and rtf. The rtf unfortually is styled and not in bullet lists as I orginally thought it would be in. The wiki is xml based and is actually valid, so I can always write a xsl which will take the node element and nodetext and turn them into a outline with nodetext becoming a attribute.
For some unknown reason it also puts the DTD for the wiki at the top of the file. Useful? unsure yet.

I tried to put the wiki file from streamliner into Java outline editor and it refuses to read it correctly. Instead it just bungs the whole lot into a new outline. So you can see all the node tags.
After futher experination I realised that Joe is expecting outlines not nodes, even on wiki files. Which is a shame because I'm gonna have to write my transformer soon if I want to keep using them.

I'm hoping the next version of streamliner will support opml natively or at least import/export. Or I can get joe to read nodes like outlines. That would be hardwordk.
I need to find out what officially is a wiki file, I guess streamliner has it right and joe is just being silly.

Its quite interesting that outline is actually a really good way to write structed notes quickly and easily. I never used streamliner before I went to the semantic web talk the other day. But I was able to write quick notes on my ipaq very quickly. And they actually make sense afterwards.

I really can not see one note beating this for speed and structure. Plus the fact theres editors on every platform.
I have yet to play with one note because it crashes everytime I run it, has to be something due to the fact my tablet feature doesnt work no longer. Will have to try it out on a non tablet machine see if it still crashes.
But going on what others have said, one note stores notes in its own format and it is not xml based in anyway. I guess Microsoft were thinking that you will bring your notes into word or something else and export as xml then.

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The power of sunshine

So I've been seriously thinking about my net holiday idea again.
The main problem is the power of laptops, there battery are pretty crap, even my tabletpc lasts around about 3.5 hours with wireless on. Never tried it with just the Lan connection on, or thinking about it now, with just bluetooth on.

Anyway once you put the brightness of the screen up, your 3hours becomes a very sickly 2hrs and if you want to read the screen outside in the sun your gonna need all the brightness your laptop can deliver.
Even while I write this post on the coach ride from Bristol to London, the sun is giving me grief, so much that I had to draw the make shift curtains.
Anyhow, if you plug in power your fine. You can drain all the power you like and still have the brightness on maximum. However, on a net holiday would you want to be confined to one area in which you can have power? Not really, no.

The solutions

Why not have extra thick power packs which will increase the life of the laptops? Yes I guess it would work, but no one wants to carry around a brick of a laptop on holiday? And lets not forget most people will bring there own laptops rather than rent one.

Why not have power blocks everywhere, so people can plugin everywhere? It would kind of work except we would have to once again supply mains power for every type of laptop. We could tell people before hand to take extra power blocks?
Another issue with always on mains power is if one falls in the swimming pool, everyone dies of a nasty electric shock, where if just the laptop everyone gets stunk no one dies. I'm guessing because obvioulsy I've never tried it myself.

Why not use solar power? Ah you hit the nail on the head. If we use solar power in a hot sunny place like south spain, we could easily get the charge of a main supply. But its safer and can be moved around alot more than mains adapters.
So ok theres two ways to do this. Some kind of large one which will power a set of laptops or little mini ones which you put on the outer side of the laptop. Maybe theres some kind of mounting like you get on those usb laptop cameras?
Once you got that sorted and powering the laptop, there should be enough sunshine to power the laptop thought-out the day. because if I'm right in saying, it only really requires daylight not bright and hot sunshine. Maybe it generates charge quicker if its brighter?

This kinda makes me think why cant the hotel be solar powered? And indeed, why not?
What self confessing geek wouldnt want to come on a net holiday? I'm sorry but I wouldnt beable to resist it.

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Best theory of reloaded yet.

Zion is a program, just like the Matrix. How is Neo able to figure out that

he is able to stop the sentinels in Zion near the end of the film? The spoon

given to him earlier. It had obviously been bent loads, but how outside the

Matrix?? This gave Neo the inspiration and the understanding that Zion is

still a matrix.

The One explained

“The One” is a program, but has to be “attached” to someone in the Matrix.

So Mr. Anderson got it in the 6th version of the Matrix. Then “The One”

program's purpose is to allow Zion to be destroyed then to rebuild it. The

reason for this is because of anomalies – the 1% of humans that don't accept

the Matrix. These are all brought out of the Matrix program and into the

Zion program by the “Morpheus” program and other similar “ship captain”

programs. Then once all the anomalies are out of the Matrix (and in Zion),

that is the time for Zion to be destroyed, thus killing all the anomalies

off. The Matrix is then upgraded, thus creating the next version of the

Matrix, but Zion must be rebuilt so that the next lot of anomalies can be

brought out again so that they can be destroyed. This is the feedback-loop,

and is the reason to retain a handful of people so that Zion can be rebuilt.

So this is why Neo said the prophecy was a lie – the One's purpose was not

to end the war as the prophecy stated.

Unfortunately, “The One” program must be re-used each time, or copied, so it

can be “attached” to a new anomaly inside the Matrix. So what happens to the

old “The One” program? It faces deletion, and as the Oracle explained, it

goes into exile instead, just like the French bloke (the Merovingian) did.

He was the first One (probably from the second version of the Matrix), and

once he fulfilled his duty, he became an exile program and “abdicated” his

“Oneness” by choosing Persephone and power. This is evident in the bogs when

Persephone asks Neo to kiss her. She says she wants him to kiss her so she

can feel what it is like again to be kissed by something close to human,

just like the Merovingian used to be. Then she says to Trinity that she

envies her, but that these things are not meant to last. So the Merovingian

used to be just like Neo – a One – thus proving further the feedback-loop

explained earlier.

The correct door in the Architect's room

Now there are two possibilities here:

1. All the previous One's chose the right door allowing a “temporary

dissemination” of their code into the Matrix (i.e., the code they “carry”

thus indicating Neo is indeed human), then he must select (unplug) 23 people

from the Matrix to rebuild Zion. This takes away the possibility that

stories from previous rebuilds of Zion will be carried through. But Morpheus

indicated in the first Matrix that this is the case anyway. He said, “there

was a man born inside, able to change things, it was he who freed the first

of us,” – basically the One previous to Neo. And this proves that the

previous One chose the right door also. Neo's purpose is also to choose the

right door, but he does not because he faces deletion afterwards and has the

choice of going into exile – programs choosing to go into exile is the one

thing that can't be accounted for in program parameters. Thus, he chooses

the left door instead this time. How was Neo able to choose the other door?

Because of his extreme willpower? – Even the Architect indicated that he'd

noticed this – “Interesting. That was quicker than the others.” Or more

likely, because the Oracle upgraded his coding with the candy on the park

bench. The candy/cookie was a method to change the One's program. She said

he has made a believer out of her – this is quite human-like and perhaps the

previous One's didn't accept the upgrade candy, now she has hope… hope

that Neo will finally choose the other door.

2. All the previous One's chose the left door, saving Trinity and letting

Zion fall. So this time is no different. But the Architect does say, “You

are here because Zion is about to be destroyed. Its every living inhabitant

terminated, its entire existence eradicated,” and also, “this will be the

sixth time we have destroyed it, and we have become exceedingly efficient at

it,” – assuming the Architect isn't lying, then they have already destroyed

Zion (i.e., Zion has fallen) five times – i.e., the result of going through

the left door.

Morpheus and Trinity are programs. Morpheus's purpose was to find the One

and deliver him to the Architect. Trinity's purpose is to control the One by

getting in love with him. Trinity is supposed to be the mother of the new

One every time the Matrix is Reloaded. That's why the sex scene was so

important and why she was named Trinity.

The Architect says, “she is going to die, and there is nothing that you can

do to stop it.” He was correct though because she did die just like Neo did

in the first Matrix (Oracle said he or Morpheus would, and she didn't lie,

but he came back to life). Trinity dies, but comes back to life (we are

using medical definition of death in all this of course!).

The Architect has already laid down an ultimatum for Neo choosing the left


The Architect – “Failure to comply with this process will result in a

cataclysmic system crash killing everyone connected to the matrix, which

coupled with the extermination of Zion will ultimately result in the

extinction of the entire human race.”

Neo – “You won't let it happen, you can't. You need human beings to


The Architect – “There are levels of survival we are prepared to accept.

However, the relevant issue is whether or not you are ready to accept the

responsibility for the death of every human being in this world.”

Looking at this further, the Architect does say “coupled” with the

extermination of Zion will the human race be exterminated. So he says

everyone connected to the Matrix will die, but if Zion is not exterminated,

the human race will not necessarily die. Also, there is likely to be a

time-window between not going through the right door, and the cataclysmic

crash, thus allowing Neo to unplug as many as possible from the Matrix, then

those people won't die. This will be the start of the next Zion. As for the

Matrix, a cataclysmic crash doesn't mean the end of the Matrix – just needs

rebooting or reloading!

Agent Smith explained

Agent Smith is the only “human” in this world. He's the one spreading

himself like a virus replicating himself over and over until the Matrix will

finally get overloaded and fail. Smith is the one who wants to get out of

the Matrix for good. He said so in the first Matrix, “I must get out of

here, I must get free! And in this mind, is the key,” squeezing Morpheus's

temples, “my key! Once Zion is destroyed, there is no need for me to be


Smith knows that by killing Neo he can escape the Matrix because Neo is the

key to resetting the Matrix, or to shut it off. It was originally killing

Neo (in the first Matrix) that allowed Smith to become powerful (cloning

ability) – so killing Neo again will allow him to gain Neo's powers

completely, and thus gain the power to shut down the Matrix.

So where the hell did Smith come from if he wants to destroy the Matrix?

He's obviously not meant to be there – he's a computer virus as he has every

characteristic of a virus – he multiplies and spreads and infects (and

emulates) other programs like one. He is exactly as he described humans at

the end of the first Matrix – “You move to an area and you multiply and

multiply until every natural resource is consumed and the only way you can

survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this

planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus.”

But who put him there? This will only be revealed in Revolutions

(Revelations?) I guess – but I'm betting on humans in the real real world,

i.e., outside of Zion and the Matrix. They're at war with the machines and

trying to destroy them by infecting them with this virus – Agent Smith. So

the irony with this theory is that Agent Smith represents the human race!!

Neo represents the machines! Agent Smith says to Neo just after he's seen

the Oracle that he became free when Neo destroyed him in the first Matrix

(remember when Neo entered his body and exploded him from inside out) – as a

virus, Smith has the ability to “inherit” other programs' abilities and thus

inherited some of Neo's.

The anomaly explained

The anomaly is all the humans that do not accept the Matrix. The Architect

says “Your life is the sum of a remainder of an unbalanced equation inherent

to the programming of the matrix. You are the eventuality of an anomaly,

which despite my sincerest efforts I have been unable to eliminate from what

is otherwise a harmony of mathematical precision. While it remains a burden

to sedulously avoid it, it is not unexpected, and thus not beyond a measure

of control.” This includes Neo, but Neo's Matrix avatar is attached with the

One program so that he can follow his purpose as explained earlier under

“The One explained”. However, he is also supposed to protect himself and

destroy anything that gets in his way – i.e., Agent Smith – so that he may

fulfil his purpose.

Further proving Neo – and other non-accepters of the Matrix – are the

anomaly, the Architect says, “Your life is the sum of a remainder of an

unbalanced equation inherent to the programming of the matrix.” The clue

here is Neo's program name – “The One”. Take one-third for example. 1 over 3

is 0.33333 recurring. A computer cannot deal with recurring numbers, so must

accept a limit, let's say 0.33333 for argument's sake. Multiply by 3, you

get 0.99999 – never 1.00000, where has the “remainder” 0.00001 (One) gone?

This is the limitation of computers, this is the mathematical imprecision

inherent in programming (of the Matrix) and the eventuality of the One

anomaly unable to be eliminated.

What is the equation then?

Not sure, but it definitely involves pi. The Keymaker refers to the window

of time to open the door to the mainframe as 314 seconds. 3.14 is pi to

three sig. figs., or the number of radians in half a circle. Half a circle

is like the cross-section of a womb, similar to the alcove of Neo and

Trinity's love scene – conceiving the next One? “NEO”, incidently, is an

anagram of “ONE”. Trinity and Neo – one on one; a choice – one or one. Leads

us to 101. “101” is mentioned numerous times in Matrix 1 and Reloaded. Neo's

room at the beginning, Merovingian is on the 101st floor, the 101 freeway of

the car chase in Reloaded, then when Trinity is hacking into the power plant

system, she resets the password to Z10N0101. Freaky. Indicates that she is a

program because that's not some random password she's put in. 101 is binary

for 5, which in zero-based binary counting: 000 is 1, 001, is 2, 010 is 3,

011 is 4, 100 is 5, 101 is 6 – And this is the 6th version of the Matrix!

Then there's 303. 303 is the room Neo got shot in Matrix 1, the Oracle lives

in room 303, it's also the hotel room number Trinity is in in Matrix 1 and

it's seen at the end when Neo fights the Agents and Smith and begins to

literally see the code that makes up the Matrix. 101 x 3 = 303, a trilogy, 3

+ 0 + 3 = 6 = the 6th Matrix. Trinity means 3.

Who is the “mother” that the Architect refers to?

The Architect says, “Please,” in an almost disapproving sense when Neo

suggests the Oracle, but does not reveal who it really is or even directly

that Neo is wrong. The architect was the one who created the Matrix; the

co-creator is neither Persephone nor the Oracle. Both of them are only

programs that have a purpose in the matrix, just like the rest. The

Architect is in charge of the Matrix world and the co-creator is in charge

of Zion. She has almost the same age as the Architect. Therefore, that woman

is the Head Counsellor, the only woman of importance that lives in Zion and

the one who asked for the two captains to volunteer at the council meeting.

She's the one who knew all along about the Matrix. She was the one who told

Zion's Defence Minister to cool off and to let Morpheus do his work so

things could go as planned.

Or alternatively, it could indeed be the Oracle. She is the only program

that truly wants humans to have a free choice… at the same time, she sees

the future, because she knows the program code – she is like God – which is

why Seraph protects her – see “Who is Seraph?” below.

What's so special about Neo's avatar?

Neo is a skilled hacker, and his avatar in the Matrix is based on the person

that founded the AI of the original machines that eventually took over the

world… How? Take a look at the disc he gave to the bloke at the door at

the beginning of Matrix 1. It said “DISC AI” on it. The hollowed book Neo

takes the disc out of is “Simulacra and Simulation” – a collection of essays

by the French postmodernist philosopher Jean Baudrillard. He opens it to the

section “on Nihilism” (meaning nothing is truly known, etc.). “Baudrillard's

concept of simulation is the creation of the real through conceptual or

'mythological' models which have no connection or origin in reality. The

model becomes the determinant of our perception of reality–the real.” And

Morpheus says, “Welcome to the desert of the real,” in Matrix 1. I'd say

this book describes The Matrix to a tee. So this disc contains the key to

the AI, and thus how to destroy the machines, so I think they'll use this

info in Revolutions to ultimately destroy the machines, which means he'll

have to go back to the nightclub and find the guy he gave it to.

Who is Seraph?

The reason Seraph (the guy Neo meets before meeting the Oracle) had golden

code and was so spectacular is that he came from the first incarnation of

the matrix, which was heaven. “Seraph” is singular for the plural

“seraphim”. The seraphim are the highest choir of angels and included

amongst others: Lucifer, Gabriele, Raziel and Malaciah, and they sit on the

8th level of Heaven just one below God. So Seraph will obviously have a big

part in Revolutions, but whose side will he be on – the machines or the

humans?? That is the question.

The Twins

They are exiled programs that emulate the human myth of ghosts as the Oracle

explained. They are programs behaving badly. Persephone killed one of the

Merovingian's bodyguards with a silver bullet because he was emulating a

werewolf. So if the Twins could phase into ghost form, why didn't he when

his arm was trapped in the door of the garage? Was it because he was wounded

or because he can't phase when his arm is trapped? No of course not. The

doors of that building, when shut, always led somewhere else (usually in the

mountains) when opened again without the Keymaker's key. So if it were

slammed shut due to the Twin phasing into ghost form, the Twin's arm

would've ended up god knows where, but certainly not attached to the Twin's


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The theorys of the matrix reloaded.

Ok I spent one hour with my class of students talking about the matrix reloaded. Its kinda sad / good. I have to say once again this movie is up there with the best. Its gonna be like
Donnie Darko.

Everyone asks have you seen it? I say Yes, they say what the heck happened?

Anyway I subscribe to the theory of dual matrix's because everything in the movie points to that with a little thought. But I'm now thinking that maybe this is too simple?
Harry said, whats the possiblities of the matrix containing unlimited matrix's? Not unlikly, but boring for a film of this depth.
Never even thought about how it would work with Quantum theory in mind. Now that would be interesting because I believe this would be the first hollywood film to bring such a theory to the mainstream?

The theory which kinda of follows my own thoughts
IMDB Board: The Matrix Reloaded
Common Matrix Reloaded Misconceptions – including the theory that mero wasnt a previous One?
Well thought out theory of reloaded – not sure if I think its all right.

Just to repeat, when Matrix Revolutions comes out, were all gonna be scratching our heads and thinking where did we all go wrong… The Brothers did us all proud.

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The ravensbourne blogger system outlined

I and many around me have been thinking this out for over a year now.
Ravensbourne (my college) should be more like a isp. We will supply a few services which students will get as standard as being part of the college. We have talked about the kinda of services, but not really wrote it down as far as i know? Even my students are now coming to me and saying, wouldt this and that be great to have.
Recent example some 2nd years were experienmenting with a wiki and saying we shoul dhave one in college for students. I first said theres no reason why you cant run it off your own laptop for internal use only. No thats not good enough they replied. We want outide access too.

Anyway, heres the list as it stands at the moment I would be safe in saying.

Blogging via blojsom 1.9 with a established set of metadata.
So studnets can fill in there simple text files but also add semantic meaning to items they talk about. This directory will also be webdav'ed, so students can also use other desktop blogging tools and access there blogs from any computer which has a webdav client.

We might think about intergrating blojsim support, so students can blog via there instant messager client too. There will be another directory just for webpages, so each student can have a website too. Maybe there will be a pre generated version already when they first log in which uses there information from ldap. Then they can mess around with the css and html if there confident with them?
Not finished…

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My iCalendar

Its been one of those things, I've been meaning to do in my spare time. Set up a iCal using Mozilla Calendar. Because Outlook 2003 beta still doesnt support iCal as its storage format. which is a real pain in the arse, as I now have two calendars. But at least I can transfer single events between them.

I have my calendar in a webdav directory on my website now. My Calendar page
Direct link to my calendar which you can subscribe to, if you like.
I've made this calendar mostly have design and technical events in it, and kept outlook for personal events. Which is a good idea i think for now.

How I share my Calendar
A great place to sync calendars, could be come the next rss?
Please note mac owners! Moz did it first Apple wasn't the first company to offer public calendars. The phenomenon was introduced by the Mozilla Organization, which released a calendaring application in November of last year.
Interesting debate about ical sharing

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Xml in the public sector

So finally did my talk in west london yesterday at Osney media.
I had to skip certain sections of presentations because we were running behind time before I got started anyway. Which was a shame because there were some very useful parts which people asked questions about afterwards, which I had to explain.

I was also part of the panel dissucssion afterwards which was great. The topic was open source vs closed source. And i was very privilaged to be with 3 great guests. Orginally I was worried that I would be the only person with the open source hat on, turned out to be the opposite. Everyone had there open source hat on.
Anyway the pannel was a guy from the national archives, one of the heads of the e-envoy, me and a guy from open forum europe. It was a great dissussion and we did spend a long time promoting the open source movement to the managers of the public sector. I feel on the biggest things that came out of the talk was the guy from the openforum's remarks about having a open govenment with open source software – its the only way to do it. Also using open source software but selling it in a closed way, with the things you dont usually get much of with open source software – support and the like.

Anyway on the final count, most of the managers were sure they were using open source software anyway somewhere in there business.

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24hrs in the matrix

Ok its been less than 24hrs and I have watched the matrix reloaded twice in the cinema and once on my computer. In total 7 hrs of my day has been spent watching this state of the art movie.
But its not good and i've pledged not to watch it for a few days now. Maybe Sunday with a friend or sometime over the weekend with my wife whos not all that bothered about watching it. Yes she needs help…

I'm still loving matrix reloaded but I cant wait a moment longer for revolutions. Its killing me… /images/emoticons/happy.gif

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