Archive for July, 2005

Goops! Driving Directions from Vancouver, BC to Victoria, BC

Thursday, July 21st, 2005

Last week I was in Canada for the first time and was trolling around the web to find a way to reach Victoria. Victoria, in British Columbia, Canada was first “discovered” for the rest of the world by Capt. James Cook in 1778 and was a major colonial port during the Queen’s reign in late 18th century. So, in order to set my foot on Victoria I was trying to find ways to reach there. Unmindful of the fact that the island on which Victoria is situated is at least 90 minutes away by ferry, I plunk the following on Google Maps:

Start Address Vancouver, BC, Canada
Destination Address Victoria, BC, Canada

Pat comes, Google Map’s reply:
Distance 108.1 km (about 11 hours 49 mins)
So, when did Google build this 50+ km bridge? I guess doing the polyline is easier on the Maps. BTW, actual time taken was around 2 hours, 90 minutes on ferry (with my rental car on board) and another 30 minutes of driving down south to Victoria from Swartz Bay Terminal.
Goops! So much for fancy technology.

Atom graduates to 1.0

Saturday, July 16th, 2005

Anand Jain reports the release of Atom 1.0. Here’s the summary of comparison with RSS 2.0.

  • There is way to indicate whether the payload is HTML, TXT, or sthg. else. This was a major shortcoming in RSS 2.0. More than that, if the payload happened to be raw HTML, the generators encapsulate the payload in CDATA. This causes major headaches in parsing.
  • Title, Unique Identifier, and a last updated timestamp are a required field both in feed and entry
  • Atom has a new publishing protocol. This was much expected since RSS has MWA as the drumbeat.
  • Atom will turn into a spec. under the auspices of IETF
  • The Atom working group is also coming out with a “pub-sub” extension model for aggregation and notification using XMPP as the transport. This will allow content update/change notifications to be sent to an Instant Messenger (or any other web/desktop client) supporting XMPP protocol.