Westminster Leningrad Codex Tanach

I was reading YudelLine today and was intrigued by a pointer to The Internet Sacred Text Archive, and started following some links until I stumbled across the The Westminster Leningrad Codex (WLC) Tanach. It’s an incredibly well-annotated copy of the Hebrew Bible, and this online copy is easy to navigate.

From a technological standpoint I’ve long been skeptical of XSLT and DHTML. They promise a lot of functionality but bring with them a ton of complexity, and I’ve never been convinced that the tradeoff was worth it. This is one of the first applications I’ve seen that’s clearly more powerful than the good ol’ 1994 Web (all of the logic on the server-side) but isn’t too complex to understand. I need to stare at the code a bit to learn what they’re doing, but on first glance it looks like really simple XML with a sprinkling of XSL and the sarissa Javascript library to control the display of parts of document at runtime.

Funny what you end up learning when you follow a few random links…

Amy’s Kitchen Kosher Certification

amys-vegetable-lasagna.jpg I’ve often seen Amy’s Kitchen vegetarian frozen meals at supermarkets but haven’t purchased them in the past because they didn’t display a hekhsher. Ariella sent email on Sunday to ask if they’d consider getting rabbinic supervision and they replied back with some good news:

Amy’s Kitchen’s Kosher certification is from Rabbi Dov Hazdan of Ner Tamid K in Staten Island, NY. Amy’s became certified in November of 2003. With one exception, Amy’s products are certified as Kosher Dairy or Kosher Pareve as noted below. The Low Sodium Marinara is the only Amy’s Kitchen product that is not certified Kosher due to the presence of non-kosher red wine vinegar.

I guess they haven’t updated their packaging yet, but they did put a note in their FAQ. I guess it’s been asked frequently enough that it deserves a spot in the FAQ!

The consumer relations rep went so far as to send us a list of their kosher products, which I’ll post here.

These products are Kosher Pareve. They contain no dairy or meat ingredients:

  • All American Veggie Burger
  • Apple Toaster Pops
  • Asian Noodle Stir-Fry
  • Bean & Rice Burrito – Non Dairy
  • Black Bean Enchilada Whole Meal
  • Black Bean Vegetable Burrito
  • Black Bean Vegetable Enchilada
  • Breakfast Burrito
  • Brown Rice & Vegetable Bowl
  • Brown Rice, Black-Eyed Peas Bowl
  • California Veggie Burger
  • Indian Samosa Wrap
  • Mexican Tamale Pie
  • No Chicken Noodle Soup
  • Non Dairy Vegetable Pot Pie
  • Organic Alphabet Soup
  • Organic Black Bean & Corn Salsa
  • Organic Black Bean Chili
  • Organic Black Bean Vegetable Soup
  • Organic Butternut Squash

    Biking to work

    I rode my bike to work today for the first time in 4 years. It felt pretty good. I really love that Italian steel frame.


    After staring at the Santa Clara Valley Bikeways Map for several hours, I decided to take Middlefield Road for most of the way, and then hop on the VTA Light Rail for the last mile. Total trip time was just under one hour (versus about 20 minutes by car).

    I had considered biking the whole distance, but Mathilda Ave isn’t very bike-friendly. Then again, the Light Rail wasn’t the most convenient option either. I probably could’ve made it here in 45 mins if I didn’t have to wait for a train. I’ll have to find a different route.

    Hackers need offices, not cubicles

    Paul Graham’s essay Great Hackers is a good read.

    The most compelling statement he made was a rant against cubicles:

    If you want to get real work done in an office with cubicles, you have two options: work at home, or come in early or late or on a weekend, when no one else is there. Don’t companies realize this is a sign that something is broken? An office environment is supposed to be something you work in, not something you work despite.

    I’m not a hacker (not sure I ever was). I’m a manager. But I think Graham’s advice applies to me for completely different reasons. I speak very loudly when I’m on the phone (my parents do this too; I think it’s genetic) and it’s hard to remember to keep my voice down. And if my boss or one of my employees comes by and we need to discuss something sensitive such as a negative performance review or an internal transfer, shouldn’t we be able to have that conversation without needing to wander around the floor looking for an open conference room?

    I had an office (and a really nice chair) back when I worked at Adobe. I liked it better.

    Palo Alto Green

    PAGlogo1.gif We went to Mitchell Park last night to hear a jazz/swing concert and stopped by the Palo Alto Green Energy booth. We just moved in on Sunday and didn’t know that the municipal utilities offered a wind and solar energy program. So we signed up on the spot (and got 3 free compact florescent light bulbs, too).

    It’s going to cost us an extra 30 cents a day, but I’m willing to pay a premium to be environmentally friendly.

    OSCON 2004 Sessions

    I haven’t attended too many tutorials or sessions this year. Yesterday I saw Jim Winstead’s Practical I18N with PHP and MySQL and David Sklar’s Cleaning Up SOAP.

    php-version5.gif Right now I’m sitting in Adam Trachtenberg’s PHP 5 + MySQL 5 = A Perfect 10. He quipped that it really should’ve been called PHP 5 + MySQL 4.1 = A Perfect 9.1, but the O’Reilly folks didn’t think the title was sexy enough.

    Initially we looked at the mysqli (“MySQL Improved”) extension which offers prepared statements, an Object-Oriented interface, and the ability to query the database over SSL.

    mysql.png Next, Adam started speaking about new MySQL 4.1 features. He gave some tips on how to use the new subselect functionality, reminding the audience to think carefully about using = or IN if the subselect returns a single or multiple rows. Then he spoke about MySQL 5.0 features such as Stored Procedures, Cursors and Views.

    HTTP Caching and Cache-busting for Content Publishers

    oscon-logo.gif Slides are now online (HTML, PPT) for today’s talk on HTTP Caching and Cache-busting for Content Publishers.

    Abstract: A user’s web experience can often be improved by the proper use of HTTP caches. Radwin discusses when to use and when to avoid caching, and how to employ cache-busting techniques most effectively. Radwin also explains the top 5 caching ad cache-busting techniques for large content publishers.

    OSCON 2004

    oscon-logo.gif I just arrived in Portland, Oregon. I’ll be speaking about HTTP caching and cache-busting at the O’Reilly Open Source Convention tomorrow. If the talk goes well, I’ll propose it for ApacheCon this fall.

    The conference hotel was all booked up by the time I made my travel arrangements, so I’m staying at the closest available hotel (which is about a mile away). Not sure if there’s something else going on here in Portland this week or if OSCON’s attendance spiked this year.