Have you ever had one of those mind-blowing experiences where you are really, really struggling with a problem ... struggling for hours, days, or weeks, and then suddenly - bam! - you find exactly what you need? I had that experience this morning, and it was truly awesome.
Last week during a meeting a user at a customer site asked why it wasn't easy to "copy" behavior from one part of an application to another. My answer to this is so general that I thought I would include it here. Here's a link to an explanation of why some changes to application behavior aren't as easy as a user might think.
The CSS Zen Garden is a great example of what can be done using style sheet magic. They take the same content, and let you view it in at least eight different designs. Of course, having a good artistic touch doesn't hurt either. :)
It's funny in life how you don't hear about something, or know about something, and then it comes up over and over again in unrelated situtations. The "Wonderlic test" is like that for me. I'd never heard it until three recent unrelated conversations.
My obsessive use of LaTeX continues. Here's a link to a sed script I'm creating to convert HTML to LaTeX.
I actually have a reason to do this. During a requirements phase I'm doing a lot of work with HTML prototypes, but the actual specification is being created using LaTeX, and I want to incorporate the HTML prototypes in the LaTeX document. Hence this conversion effort. I know that it can never fully succeed, but I think I'll be pretty happy with 90-95% success here.
Here's a link to a cool "Green plant hyperbolic tree demo". Don't give up on it too quick. If you start exploring the tree, especially by following the Moniliformopses path, you'll start to see some very interesting power here. I'm looking for a new menu/navigation paradigm, and a co-worker sent me down this road.
In other news, here's a recent conversation between me and a Support Guy ("SG" for short):
Over the weekend I saw that I'm on Borland's speaking schedule for their annual conference, BorCon 2004. I guess I better get to work on my presentations. :) Actually, I'm ready to go. I'm set to give one talk on Java Performance Tuning and another on Function Point technology. Giddyup.
I haven't frequented it before, but the Java & Internet Glossary at mindprod looks pretty good.
Here's a link to a quick tip on using
pax instead of
tar to create a large archive. The thing that got me into this problem in the first place was the new Java source code warehouse, where you can "Learn Java by Example". I basically put a search engine on top of a bunch of good open source Java projects to create something that I hope is useful.
I don't know about the mental part, but physically I'm back from Alaska. While waiting for some sys-admin things to get done last night I wrote a few Unix/Linux tips in the "etc" section of the blog. This includes tips on extracting lines from the middle of a file, determining the free memory on a Linux system, using the nohup command, and displaying nonprintable characters from a file. Busy night.