Norman's blog

Assorted brief essays, better out of my head than in (RSS feed atom feed). I also have some stuff on Twitter, as @normangray.

2015 September 19 (modified 2015 September 25)

Unicode is simpleThere are many many introductions to Unicode. Here is another.

2015 May 27

Xoxa: normalizing and signing XMLNormalising and signing XML is a well-known pain in the neck. You don't have to look far to find expressions of horror and dismay or even the outright rejection of the idea that XML is signable other than as a text string (Peter Gutmann: ‘XML is an inherently unstable and therefore unsignable data format.’).

2015 March 28

Python methods are not functionsWhen I first looked more closely at Python, I was pleasantly surprised that its semantics seemed significantly simpler than it appeared to be at first: everything's a dictionary, and symbol resolution is a matter of walking up through scopes; functions are first-class objects. It's practically a Scheme!

2015 February 19

A registry of BibTeX conventionsThere are a number of informal BibTeX conventions for things like the url field or doi or eprint. They're 'informal' since they're not documented anywhere, but are either obvious, or have some obvious consensus on use. As well, there's at least one fairly common BibTeX entry type – @webpage – which I at least support in the 'urlbst' style.

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