Articles Never Written

Two articles for were planned and never written. The purpose of this Blog post is to archive the tables of links compiled for these non-articles.

Designing an InfoPath Form Based on OPML 2.0

This article would have shown how Dave Winer’s OPML format could be used with a Microsoft product. This would have been an attempt to bridge the Redmond-outside-word gap that Microsoft designs into its products and prioritizes in its evangelism. To me, there are two obstacles related to using InfoPath 2003. One is the design of InfoPath itself—its very clumsy and violent implementation of security that makes it extremely difficult to connect external data sources. The other is deciding what schema to use with InfoPath. According to most Microsoft preaching, InfoPath is just a flat-file data ’ho’ for SharePoint.

Since Microsoft has this guy Mort in their collective but proprietary thought, the assumption here is that “the average InfoPath user” does not “care” about schemas. My suggestion would have been to not worry about schemas either—just use Dave Winer’s OPML as a first choice for most InfoPath forms. The next choice would be to use RSS 2.0 (and maybe even something Atom). In fact, these ‘famous’ schemas should be options provided by Microsoft out of the box.

OPML 2.0 Draft Dave’s human-readable schema. “Uniform Resource Name This article explains to me why Dave Winer stands by xmlUrl as an attribute name instead of xmlUri. When it is important to mean a location instead of a unique name that might be a location, we need to use URL instead of URI.
Publishing forms: An overview The official description of how InfoPath form publishing works—which only implies why you need to publish forms. The implication may seem obvious to all but the lone developer: you need other people than the people on your “development” machine to access your “production” form. Microsoft’s number one (implied) access point is SharePoint server. The others are Intranet locations (file shares) and Internet locations (Web sites).
Avoiding an Endless Loop During Event Bubbling This is relevant quote: “InfoPath catches endless loops—it will stop them after 16 calls to prevent the form from locking up.”
How to modify an external schema for an InfoPath form The official overview of the recommended practice of using an external schema with InfoPath.
Inserting line breaks into text using Rules An interesting user interaction design detail to incorporate where appropriate.
Date Calculations in InfoPath “The SP1 update of InfoPath 2003 added calculation support—the value of a node can be set to the result of an XPath expression. This makes it possible to avoid writing code (script or managed) in many InfoPath forms. Date calculations, however, still require knuckling down and writing old fashioned procedural code.”
Prevent InfoPath From Autogenerating a Default Namespace Prefix InfoPath can annoyingly generate the my: prefix somehow during design time—which becomes a problem when you open a form with a different prefix for the name namespace. I believe this solution by Greg Collins solves most of the related problems.

Ubuntu Inside: Setting Up Ubuntu Server in Windows XP

The purpose of this non-existent article was to record the difficulties related to setting up a Linux virtual machine in a Windows environment. This idea is still very valid. The only problem is the shelf-life of the information. The original article was based on Microsoft Virtual PC—and now because of hands-on experience my tool of choice is VMware. I actually paid for VMware while Virtual PC is “free”—you do the math while not accusing me of “making up” reasons to “hate” Microsoft.

Virtual PC 2004 SP1 This download comes with a “Laptop Hotfix” that fixes hibernation problems with Microsoft Virtual PC.
TNT1-155: A Technical Overview of Microsoft Virtual PC SP1 version “In this session, we will look at Virtual PC, its key features, benefits, and some usage scenarios. We will look at the requirements and how virtualization works, as well as the integration between the host OS and the Guest OS. Finally, we will cover disks, both upgrading from the Connectix version of the product as well as using the differencing disk…”
Installing Debian GNU/Linux on a Dell Inspiron 8100 A relatively historical document about setting up Debian Linux on a Dell notebook. Ubuntu, of course, is based on Debian.
Some VMware images Get started with and alternative to Microsoft Virtual PC with appliance images for VMWare player.