And we’re back

July 26, 2007

Our short caving expedition is already finished. The Canto system is now almost 80km long!

Luc in Cantabria


Caving in Spain

July 13, 2007

There will be no updates for a week and a half as I’m caving in Spain.

Droplet by David De Roest

BBCode – live editor

July 12, 2007

I’m working on a BBCode generating bookmarklet for Freebase data. I didn’t want to pollute online forums with lots of test posts so I whipped up my own BBCode live editor.

Type BBCode into the top textarea and the rendered HTML will appear after a second of inactivity.

There are other live editors on the web but since I’m running my own I can easily configure it to support the different dialects out there.

Will’s live editor in action:

  1. bolded text
  2. italicized text
  3. underlined text
  5. Wikipedia

Step by step MQL with Jimi Hendrix

July 12, 2007

When I show developers Freebase and the query language MQL, the first thing they often try to do is extract all the info they can out of the database for a generic topic.

This is actually quite a good learning experience, as you have to learn lots of MQL concepts:

  • How “*” expands (default values v objects, type specified or not)
  • Multiple queries v nested queries
  • Reflection

I had been keeping my own notes, but I thought they might be worth sharing so I whipped up a nice stylesheet and here they are:

Step by step MQL with Jimi Hendrix

Still lots of uncompleted TODO points but I’d be interested in your feedback. Is this something worth working on?

Auto-suggest with MJT – two demos

July 9, 2007

Nick’s demo

The latest version of MJT supports auto-complete. See Nick’s simple example.

Will’s demo

image Here’s my example (currently specific to films) Notice how the thumbnail updates as you navigate the menu 🙂 I had to add an extra ‘onchange’ hook, see source code for details.

Map of Freebase users – updated

July 9, 2007

I made some updates to my Map of Freebase Users (see old post and Freebase topic)

  • Lots more user photos (using /common/topic/image rather than picture_s)
  • Does not randomize if map location is unqiue (Thanks Dannyman!)
  • Disabled clustering – it seemed to be a performance hit. It’s easy to make maps with 1000’s of markers so I may have to reconsider this.
  • Markers are added to the to map in a separate thread. GUI is more responsive
  • Built-in error reporting
  • Code is now valid xhtml


  • Use cursors to make data-loading more responsive. This should also fix the timeouts that Dan reported.
  • IE support (but only if somebody bugs me)

MJT: Built-in bug reporting

July 9, 2007

I’m a big believer in built-in error reporting. When your app goes wrong, most users just give up and the ones who do report a bug tend to write things like “It doesn’t work”.

By building error reports into your app, your users can send detailed bug reports with just two clicks.

Here’s a self-destructing MJT app with error reporting.

Is there any interest in having this included in the MJT library? It could be My demo shows how it could be added to the template compiler and the the MQL task runner. (Updated: 21 Aug)