Generating a single, globally unique ID

One that's XML-compliant and not too long.

When something has a unique ID, it has identity, and you can do more with it. For example, you can link to it, and you can add metadata to it from anywhere. I wanted to be able to assign a unique ID to something with one or two keystrokes in Emacs. I came up with something that works, although I’m sure there are ways to make it work better.

I’ve always been a bit confused by the various library-related metadata standards. Recently while researching one of them I found an excellent PowerPoint presentation summarizing most of them by the OCLC’s Eric Childress called Metadata Standards. (While I’m on the subject of the OCLC, don’t miss The Onion’s mention of them last August.) He has individual slides on MARC 21, MODS, METS, ONIX, EAD, MIX, and more. He gets bonus points for adding descriptive comments to…

RDF versus XQuery

Different tools for different problems.

Danny Ayers recently emailed me about a posting by IBM’s Lee Feigenbaum on the W3C’s Semantic Web Education and Outreach Interest Group mailing list. Lee had written about a colleague’s concerns about semantic web technologies, and Danny asked for my thoughts on the issue. I e-mailed him a few paragraphs, and since then I thought that I might as well post them here, with a bit of copy-editing and a few extra thoughts.

Home from XML 2006

New things for the future, interesting things from the past.

Since my last posting, some weblogs have mentioned that I was blogging the XML 2006 conference, so I feel bad that I haven’t gotten to my second posting about it until after the end of the conference. Most of my time sitting at a computer in Boston was spent on a project for a client, and there was enough of this that I had to skip several talks that I wanted to see. (For a little multi-tasking, I reviewed some project documents while Jason Hunter discussed Web Publishing 2.0. Jason was…

Settled in at XML 2006

The biggest annual XML event of them all.

I just got into my Boston hotel room for XML 2006, a conference I’ve attended in one form or another every year since it was called SGML 95. On Thursday afternoon I’m giving a presentation titled Relational database integration with RDF/OWL on a project I’ve written about several times ([1], [2]) here; I’ll be sure to mention the help I got from the excellent comments for those entries of my weblog and several leading up to them. I was also asked to keep a presentation I…

Quaint, old-world Europe

A glimpse of some old technology that's still often useful.

Gran Via is one of Madrid’s main streets, and while walking through the rain looking for its Museum of Ham (Madrid has six of these diner-like “museums”, and I’d already been to two that day, but neither had the gift shop with the crucial Museo del Jamon schwag) I passed this place: