Thursday, August 25, 2005

Post-meeting with Henry Notes

In summary, Henry basically approves of my chapter outline and the addition of types to functionalXML, although he admits its ambitious, and he thinks that come October if I make it to the functionalXML chapter I'll have something thesis-worthy to submit. Now once I get approval from Johanna over the general outline and narrative part, and get Andy to inspect the philosophy, I'll be ready to write the thesis plan over next week.

Second, I think I've noticed an interesting aspect of functionalXML that gives it a strong case for use *in conjunction* with other programming paradigms. Wadler has just posted code snippets of Links and they've received a more or less a negative response from the web programming community at large. The main point of critique is that Links as presented is just embedding functional code in HTML, which proves to be a horrible way of doing web programming.

What a good selling point of functionalXML could be is that it is XML-compliant, and can thus be a universal format for "embedding" processes (of whatever kind, be it Javascript/AJAX, Web Services, or even Links 0.2) into XML while keeping the actual process in XML compliant. Unfortunately when using PHP/Links the code that does the work is actually non-XML stuff embedded in XML, while in AJAX/RubyonRails methodology basically generates parts of an Infoset selectively *but* you can't tell what nodes its manipulating without first viewing the javascript code. An approach that abstracted away from the actual programming language details and just said "The content of this node will be changed by a program" and specifies the type and arguments of the program (and optionally its location, such as a http URI for a WebService, or a reference to a piece of client or server side code) would actually make web design and programming much easier. I'll write this point up over the weekend with some example code inline.

In other news, IMC Scotland just got its own office near the Uni. at Forest Cafe, and I'm in charge of installing networks. Also just installed ubuntu on my laptop after doing a thorough house-keeping on ibiblio and my laptop.

As for narrative stuff goes, I went through the corpus picking out the stories that needed to be regraded, and had a great meeting with Johan Bos to help guide him with refactoring the XML representation of ccg2sem.

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