Just some random thoughts.

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Debian 7
  Created - 2013/09/29 15:34:07+0000

I've recently upgraded to Debian 7 Wheezy. So shiny. With it came Gnome 3 which isn't as bad as some say. It is a change from what I was used to there are plenty of extensions that make it more familiar. Some of these extensions are to do simple things, like display the Power Off option by default. Without this extension status menu displays a Suspend button that become Power Off when you hold down the alt key. Some of the decisions taken by the Gnome team are weird like getting rid of the Start Menu, no wait that's Microsoft. Adding shell extensions is easy and smooth and they can get you around decision you don't like with out waiting for a .1 release. I hadn't expected to get Gnome 3 though I'd heard of the changes when Ubuntu switched to it. The main reason I decided to upgrade was Maven. The maven package in Squeeze was Maven 2.x with Wheezy I have gone up to 3.x which a plugin I tried to add recently insist on. There are a few bugs, not found anything debilitating yet. Wheezy was released in May and Squeeze is a couple of years old now. As Wheezy is updated I expected it to get more stable. For now I will keep getting used to the changes. Going back is not something I would consider.

Stick it in the Manifest
  Created - 2013/02/18 22:42:03+0000

Recently at work I came across a Great Idea or at least a very good practice for Java developers. I was gathering information on the use of open source software at work, which no one had kept track of before. This meant that the libraries, versions and license information was unknown. Sometimes this was simple enough. The JAR files would start with the library name and had the version appended to them. The licenses could be looked up online. Sometimes it wasn't straight forward. The version wasn't appended or in the case of the Servlet API is a standard and has multiple implementations. So I opened up the JAR file to try and find the information I needed and there in the manifest file was everything I needed. Manifest entries detailing the library, version, license, vendor and everything else I needed. It is already a widespread practice, most of the libraries I looked at had this information but not all of them. This practice should be universal. The version information can entered using Java's package versioning specification which allows the version information to be retrieved programmatically. If you are using Maven, the Maven JAR plugin can put these values into the manifest. There is an Ant task that can be used to create a manifest file. It was pointed out to me by a gentleman at work that JD-GUI is a much better way to read the manifest file than using an archiver to peek inside.

RDFa
  Created - 2013/02/17 00:04:02+0000

Furthering my efforts with linked data I have now begun to include RDFa markup on my website. You may have noticed (if you spend time looking at my site's web pages as plain text) that I have changed the doctype. This was one of the bigger problems, the new doctype does not provide many of the entity references I have used throughout the site. I have gone through my site changing them to numeric codes. The markup is mostly generated information about the pages but I have also manually included markup inside the articles. I will continue to include RDFa where I can, not that this update adds anything but the generated markup. Some obvious markup I can add is the foaf:topic, using the resources provided by DBPedia I can refer to a large number of topics without difficulty.

Always Something New to Learn
  Created - 2013/02/02 11:43:41+0000

And now I'm learning C♯. I am quite excited about it, I have been meaning to for a while now. I keep hearing good things about it. The syntax is new and familiar. Visual Studio (Express) makes an impressive IDE. What will I learn next?

Twins
  Created - 2013/01/24 22:10:04+0000

My cousin and his wife have just had twins! Wishing them all the best.