Magpie Engineer


My own thoughts on fun with Data, MarkLogic, XQuery, fp, emacs, opencv, unix and anything shiny that catches my eye ...


  1. The Law of Software Release

    The 'Law of Software Release' asserts that any major software release will immediately be followed by a minor release within 24-48 hours. A kind of tunnel vision occurs during software release where the tension between 'get it out the door' overcomes 'doing it right'. For my own software dabblings, I…


  2. release ml-utils

    Released a small collection of modest command line utilities for working with MarkLogic. ml-log: retrieve server logs ml-hist: retrieve resource metrics (requires gnuplot for graphing) ml-status: retrieve resource status ml-xq: evaluate xquery ml-js: evaluate javascript ml-load: load data ml-config: manage MarkLogic ml-browse: browse resources htt…


  3. Thanks Kurt for the (re)memories ...

    I read most of Kurt Vonnegut’s books as a young teenager. Over the years I often return to them - mostly for pure entertainment but often I prise new little gems of understanding. Lets be clear, Kurt is no Goethe and while he himself despised to be put…


  4. Lazy programmers catching my eye

    In the Perl of yore …​ laziness was considered a virtue. Often it meant one would go far beyond what was needed in the short term in the knowledge that the investment would pay back over the long run. How do you think Perl remains in the top 10…


  5. Balisage pre-conference symposium program announced

    The balisage pre-conference symposium, XML In, Web Out: International Symposium on sub rosa XML, has finally taken shape and (along with the full conference) it looks to be a good one. Having read the papers I can give a little of the flavor of what to expect. Welcome Jim Fuller,…


  6. Is it me ? What am I doing wrong ...

    We are getting some great submissions to Balisage 2016 symposium though all from men and none from women. So for those of the smarter sex I will eschew expiating and provide a list to cajole, convince if not amuse: No, you will not be the only female in attendence, after…


  7. XML Prague 2016 this year was great

    I left this years conference brimming with energy and excited for the year to come. All the talks were of a high standard and I would recommend checking out the proceedings and related presentations/code. A few talks sparked my interest. Romain Deltour’s double barrel of EPUB () Michael…


  8. Balisage pre-conference symposium 2016: XML in, Web Out

    For many years, every August I ruefully wondered if I would ever get a chance to attend Balisage, the premiere Markup conference, a required pilgrimage for any self respecting XML devotee. However, living in Prague, it is far away and always coincided with summer holidays or birthday celebrations. So I…


  9. XML Prague 2016

    It does not seem possible that this is the http://www.xmlprague.cz/archive/ [11th version] of XML Prague, but yes once again XML Prague 2016 is about to come to my domicile, giving me a chance to learn from many respected practioners in the industry. Over the decade I&…


  10. Not your Father's XQuery

    Last year, I embarrassed myself slightly by losing patience with someone who was blindly slagging off XSLT. What the (unnamed) individual did not realise was that they were talking about an ancient version of XSLT. We can partially blame browser built in support of v1.0 (almost to the point…