Dan Connolly's tinkering lab notebook

RDF, Microformats, and Javascript hacking in person at the 'tute

My regular schedule of working group meetings and conferences had a gap in April, and my list of reasons to chat with Ben was growing, and we're recruiting some UROPs to work on the tabulator project this summer, so I flew up for a visit to MIT.

I didn't have any particular appointments the first day, so I used the few spare minutes on the T between the airport and MIT to scare up contacts using my handheld gizmo. It turned out Aaron was in town and available for lunch in Harvard Square. We talked about life in start-ups, standards orgs, and research. He suggested layout stuff from Java and Apple should make its way into CSS and offered to write up a few details.

I spent much of Thursday with Ben working on javascript hacks to explore calendar data in RDFa. We did some whiteboard noodling about RDFa and microformats. He showed me the JavaScript shell, which is pretty cool... it gives a read-eval-print loop and tab completion in firefox... just like a lisp machine ;-) Elias dropped by and mixed in some javascript hacking he's been doing to connect SPARQL with the google calendar. Ben and I didn't get around converting my itinerary to RDFa like we planned, but we got pretty close; he sent out a New RDFa demo the next day. That same day, he came down to meet with me again, but I had to go work on a DARPA report, so we were trying to figure out next steps, and he came up with a cool idea and sent it out: Proposal: hGRDDL, an extraction from Microformats to RDFa. Elias and I did some whiteboard noodling too, in the neigborhood of JSON and templates and microformats.

Elias is learning more than he ever wanted to about calendars and timezones. It's like Dougal Campbell said to microformats-discuss:

My server is in timezone A, but I live in timezone B, but I'm posting information about an event that will occur in timezone C. Shoot me now.

On this trip, a Samsonite Dimension Notebook Case from SAM's replaced my aging W3C bag in my travel kit. I think I like all the little pockets and such, but I'm not sure; sometimes I miss the simplicity of one big compartment. I'm sure that I'm not happy that my Kensington K33069 Universal AC/Car/Air Adapter stopped working somewhere between MIT and MKE.

That's one of the reason that I always pack some light reading on dead-trees. I enjoyed escaping into Scott Lasser's Battle Creek on the way home. Baseball and fathers. Good stuff.