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Friday, December 21, 2007

Schema-Typed Languages

BEA Systems may have invented something quite novel and useful. In a recent patent application, BEA's John Schneider proposes using XML schema definitions as data types in, say, ECMAScript. The main intuition is that you would use an import statement to make the interpreter aware of a particular schema definition. From that point on, you could instantiate whole objects based on that schema def, or (if it's a simple data type) declare variables to be of type "MyElement.xsd" and manipulate them directly. Type-checking is delegated to the schema validator; and suddenly you have a scripting language that acts like a strongly typed language and groks XML to boot.

At first blush, it sounds and feels a lot like a new twist on object relational mapping, but it's actually a bit more than that. This goes to the heart of language design and behavior.

Neat. I wonder what BEA plans to do with it next?

Friday, December 14, 2007

IE8 and XHTML

I ran across an interesting post by Mary Jo Foley talking about Internet Explorer 8. It mentions that IE8 probably still won't support XHTML properly.

This is all so very wrong.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Google Charts

Projects under the heading "Google Apps" don't tend to excite me very much these days, but this one is too good to go unmentioned.

Google Charts is a simple REST-style API for creating graphs and charts on the fly, such as this one:



Details here:
http://code.google.com/apis/chart/#encoding_data