Notebook / Archives / April 2003

April 2003 entries.

« March 2003 / \ May 2003 »

April 29, 2003

The Making-Of a Blog: adding a photo-like border to your images

After reading this entry from Paolo Valdemarin about Food blogging (more info here in a previous entry) and watching the beautiful photo effect, I wanted to do the same thing.

I tried to mimic the effect with the command line tools conjure from ImageMagick (a collection of tools and libraries to manipulate images) which can process a Magick Scripting Language (MSL) file – conjure is useful to accomplish custom image processing tasks without using PerlMagick for example (PerlMagick is the Perl binding to ImageMagick). Apart ImageMagick, you will need the XML parser which comes with Libxml2 (The XML C library for Gnome); you can find the Windows port on Igor Zlatkovic's website (on the page where you can download binaries, do not forget to get iConv if you do not want to be reminded by conjure that you lack a library). After theses downloads, you must modify the path to point to the two new libraries.

To accomplish this effect, I wanted to take a JPEG file f.jpg to get another JPEG file f_photo.jpg (without needing to add the file extension):

  1. resize the original image to get a width of 200 pixels;

  2. add a white border of 4 pixels;

  3. add a black border of 1 pixel;

  4. rotate the image by -5 degrees.

Here is my MSL file:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<read filename="%[f].jpg" />
<resize geometry="200x" />
<border fill="white" width="4" height="4" />
<border fill="black" width="1" height="1" />
<rotate degrees="-5" />
<write filename="%[f]_photo.jpg" />

You can interpret this doeffect_photo.msl XML script and see the result on Windows using IMDisplay with the following batch file:

@echo off
conjure -f %1 doeffect_photo.msl
imdisplay %1_photo.jpg

My result:

As you can see, I have two main problems. First, the image is aliased and it seems you cannot script an antialiasing inside a MSL file (and I have many problems today with convert and as always with mogrify – the first reason I am using an MSL script is that I do not succeed using these tools :( ). Secondly, I absolutely do not know how to make this shadow effect which gives a relief to the image.
I have to explore further. But I think it could be easier with the Perl binding.

Posted by Jean-Philippe on April 29, 2003 31 Comments, 1135 TrackBacks

I need to work on my stylesheet

While writing the previous post, it came to my mind I absolutely need a stylesheet which can handle big portion of code, with very long lines. The question is for example: how to automaticaly cut an URL inside an anchor tag?
If I do not find answers with a cascading stylesheet, maybe I will have to write a MT plugin... hum... it would be fun to have a plugin which indent code alone!

Posted by Jean-Philippe on April 29, 2003 15 Comments, 937 TrackBacks

April 28, 2003

The Making-Of a Blog: displaying your online status

It could be very useful to display your online status on your weblog, that is to say which instant messaging network you are connected on when someone is visiting your website.
Almost all instant messaging companies are providing tools to actually perfom that job:

  • ICQ offers the more powerful tools, "The ICQ Web Tools" which are covering many aspects of the ICQ network. Among these tools, there are "The ICQ Panels", which provide “basic ICQ features to empower your site, while each panel has unique features & design to fit your site perfectly”. On this page you can easily find "The ICQ Status Indicator", with actually ten different designs. For example, if you want a soft and little ICQ status indicator, you just have to add the following HTML code in your webpage, where the indicator must appear:

    <img src="

  • AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) only provide the "AIM Remote", a way to add an AIM communication center to your website (a panel to contact you by instant messaging or email, to join your chat room, etc.).

  • Yahoo! just offers an online presence tools for its Yahoo! Messenger. Here is the HTML code if you want to compare it with ICQ's one:

    <a href="
    <img border=0 src="

  • Microsoft does not provide a MSN/Windows Messenger presence tools. This is a strange situation because the Hotmail email service displays your friends' online status if you have received emails from them...

So as you can see, you will have much work to do for a result which won't look homogeneous. Hopefuly here comes the Online Status Indicator, OSI for intimates! This is a service which allow you to display a small image on your website to show if you are online (OSI can handle ICQ, MSNm, AIM, Y!M and Jabber – there are icons for Trillian but the OSI server uses the ICQ account in order to detect your presence). You can use the default icon (the one on the OSI server) or create your own for online and offline status. You can too host yourself an OSI server (written in Java): all you need is a permanent internet link.
I see two main servers with different icons: "" (actually down) and "" (more servers on the OSI WebRing).
You will have to create each icon separatly: you must select the medium (the instant messaging network), fill the user id (your id on this IM network) and the addresses to online and offline icons (it's a good idea to put them on your website to minimize the loading time of your page).

Example of the HTML code needed for AIM (note that the online and offline adresses for icons must not contain "http://"):

<!-- Begin Online Status Indicator code -->
<!-- -->
<A HREF="aim:goim?screenname=[your_aim_pseudo]">
<IMG SRC="[your_aim_pseudo]
   ALT="Online Status Indicator"></A>
<!-- End Online Status Indicator code -->

If you put like me your online and offline icons in media/images/im_osi_icons/ with respective names aimonline.gif and aimoffline.gif, using Movable Type variables (MTBlogHost to get the hostname of your blog and MTBlogRelativeURL to get its relative URL), you have (using lower case tags and a more meaningful “AIM Online Status Indicator” for the alt tag):

<!-- Begin Online Status Indicator code -->
<!-- -->
<a href="aim:goim?screenname=[your_aim_pseudo]">
<img src="[your_aim_pseudo]
   alt="AIM Online Status Indicator"></a>
<!-- End Online Status Indicator code -->

Repeating this process for all your favorite instant messaging networks, you get:

<!-- Begin Online Status Indicator code -->
<!-- -->
<a href="[your_icq_number]">
<img src="[your_icq_number]
border="0" alt="ICQ Online Status Indicator">
<a href="[your_msn_id]">
<img src="[your_msn_id]
border="0" alt="MSNm Online Status Indicator">
<a href="aim:goim?screenname=[your_aim_id]">
<img src="[your_aim_id]
border="0" alt="AIM Online Status Indicator">
<a href="ymsgr:sendIM?[your_yahoo_id]">
<img src="[your_yahoo_id]
border="0" alt="Y!M Online Status Indicator">
<!-- End Online Status Indicator code -->

In conclusion I can say that I am very impressed by the Online Status Indicator, particularly the click-and-contact functionality: if you click on one of the presence icons while having your instant messaging client opened, you will be able to send a message to your contact (for AIM and Y!M, using their respective protocols via a web link, generating the appropriate data flow via the OSI server for ICQ and MSMm).

However I think a complete hosted-on-your-MTBlog Perl solution could be nicer. But this is another story I would tell to you later this year...

Posted by Jean-Philippe on April 28, 2003 36 Comments, 253 TrackBacks

Small visual bug corrected

I have fixed a small bug in the stylesheet of this website. Now you can comfortably look at the archives of this blog. But I definitively do not know when I will find time to go on with the refactoring...

Posted by Jean-Philippe on April 28, 2003 20 Comments, 476 TrackBacks

« Plateforme »

« (...) Un jour, à l'âge de douze ans, j'étais monté au sommet d'un pylône électrique en haute montagne. Pendant toute l'ascension, je n'avais pas regardé à mes pieds. Arrivé en haut, sur la plateforme, il m'avait paru compliqué et dangereux de redescendre. Les chaînes de montagnes s'étendaient à perte de vue, couronnées de neiges éternelles. Il aurait été beaucoup plus simple de rester sur place, ou de sauter. J'avais été retenu, in extremis, par la pensée de l'écrasement ; mais, sinon, je crois que j'aurais pu jouir éternellement de mon vol. »

Michel Houellebecq, Plateforme (2001)
[pages 310-311, Éditions J'ai lu]

Posted by Jean-Philippe on April 28, 2003 16 Comments, 0 TrackBacks

After the french japenese restaurant, the real one

Joi Ito went to his favorite restaurant to eat Japanese snapping turtle, or suppon. It looks absolutely delicious, but I must confess it will be very hard to find this kind of meal in a japanese restaurant installed in France, like the one we visited with Valery two weeks ago. Maybe we must start to search for a more expensive one...

(On "Joi Ito's Web": “Japanese Suppon Snapping Turtle at Daiichi”)

A cultural comment here:

The "suppon" snapping turtle is also called "maru" in Kyoto. Now, "maru" in japanese means "circle", hence the brush-stroked circular logo.
Depending on the context, thus, "maru-nabe" might mean either "a round pot" or "suppon stewed in a pot".

And another french fan of japanese food (François Nonnenmacher from "") “wonder[s] why all Japanese restaurants I know of in Paris are limited to the sushi/sashimi/maki/teriyaki quartet?”:

Love that too, but compared to the extent of Japanese food art, isn’t that their equivalent of fast food? It would be like saying that american food is nothing more than what you get at McDonalds!.

There is one answer to my question about good japanese restaurants in Paris in a comment from this site: maybe we should try the Tagawa restaurant (37bis rue Rouelle 75015 PARIS - 01 45 77 85 43).

Posted by Jean-Philippe on April 28, 2003 30 Comments, 235 TrackBacks

I do not want to work in a fastfood!

Via "OSNews" - “Enterprise and Server Software to Become Commodity”:
In "NewsForge: The Online Newspaper of Record for Linux and Open Source" - “There may never be another software billionaire”:

I think that the “restaurant business” is a good analogy for the “software business”. When you are creative and come with new ideas, really new ideas, you have your chance, a fighting chance at success. Nevertheless I know that there will always be opportunities in area close to software engineering. It's the reason why after I graduated from a computer science engineering school, I choosed to go on in the deep world of cognitive sciences: being wider, the next century might offer jobs for billionaires in this domain.

Posted by Jean-Philippe on April 28, 2003 17 Comments, 255 TrackBacks

Introducing “The Making-Of a Blog”

This week I will start to publish on this weblog a series of entries entitled “The Making-Of a Blog”. After weeks of reading blogs and design tips for websites, I think it is time to write entries about the way I am conducting the design of my website.
For the moment, this site does not successfuly display itself on every browsers. It's a problem but I need to find a lot of time to correct the templates. Even the design of this site will soon dramaticaly change.
I will begin my series of tutorials explaining how to add functionalities like resume, calendars, archives, syndication and metadata handling, referers, photo bars and other cool features... I will try to use the better methods to produce a clean result, always refering to the best weblogs around. The first blog I saw which made me scream: “What an amazing design!” is owned by Kevin Lynch; so you are right if you think that the design of my blog came from him.
Kevin Lynch was mainly inspired by Jason Kottke ( for the linking icons and by Jeffrey Veen's weblog for the general design (a top bar with your name, a right side bar with your personal info, like the Meg Hourihan's weblog ""). For the name of my blog, I choosed to sound like the well known (although incredible) "Russell Beattie Notebook".
However you will see at the end that my influences are numerous...

Many of these tips will find their room in my upcoming PHP book about group-blogging.

Posted by Jean-Philippe on April 28, 2003 108 Comments, 1247 TrackBacks

April 27, 2003

Too few entries this week

Sorry for my lack of entries this week... I was very busy sleeping or thinking (it depends on the point of view). I will try to fix this state of my timetable beginning... right now!

Posted by Jean-Philippe on April 27, 2003 32 Comments, 2068 TrackBacks

April 22, 2003

Prison de verre

« Je regarde une mouche qui se cogne contre la fenêtre de ma chambre et je songe qu'elle est comme moi : il y a du verre entre elle et la réalité. Séparée du bonheur par une prison invisible. »

Frédéric Beigbeder, L'amour dure trois ans (1997)
[pages 146-147, Éditions Gallimard, collection Folio]

Posted by Jean-Philippe on April 22, 2003 17 Comments, 0 TrackBacks

An OS crash test

What is happening after an electricity lost of power to your computer? Ah... ah... good question. Here are the results based on what I get when two of the computers of my lab tried/succeeded to restart: my workstation (Sun Solaris 9 12/02 Operating System, x86 Platform Edition - in fact SunOS 5.9) and on one of our servers (OpenBSD/i386 3.1 Release).

No problem for OpenBSD to go on (and it has a lot of work with all servers running on itself) but the Solaris station always crashes its filesystem. It is very confusing to have to manualy fix the filesystem everytime. Hopefuly this new release of Solaris was free...

Posted by Jean-Philippe on April 22, 2003 1 Comments, 437 TrackBacks

Spring is here!

Last week I was very happy to go to work after another ultra white night. But my courage (great courage...) was awarded: spring was here. Moreover, through my way to the train station, I saw a hilarious and wonderful advertisement from Decathlon: “Spring is the time of sport's rebirth.” Time to laugh! So, it was a very cool morning indeed.

Posted by Jean-Philippe on April 22, 2003 3 Comments, 157 TrackBacks

Le débaptême, ça existe !

Tu as été baptisé(e) et tu ne sais pas pourquoi ? D'ailleurs tes parents ne savent pas non plus pourquoi...

Bon... le cauchemard quoi ! be si après tous les cadeaux reçus tu te sens une âme de non-catholique, une seule solution : la débaptisation !

(Via "" : « Mode d'emploi »)

Posted by Jean-Philippe on April 22, 2003 21 Comments, 0 TrackBacks

April 18, 2003

The japanese restaurant before the WC

After the NMI's meeting, I was supposed to join Valery in a street behind Les Champs Élysées, Paris (where he is actually working). Mister V. was late and difficult to join (no more functional phone), so I made a little trip around his work: bouah... I can say that Les Champs Élysées are beautiful, but the street I explored was ugly.
After that, we went to the Gare de Lyon to manage some things.

The next stage was to find a restaurant to have rest, eat and talk. We choosed a very cool japanese restaurant near the train station.

It was very good (but meantime we were very hungry). After a walk near La Bastille, one of us needed to evacuate water...

Finally, I was obliged to go back home. For me it was direct taking the subway to the Gare de l'Est (and after, the suburbs train)...

... but Valery prefered to walk to go to the nearest RER A station (regional train).

At the diner we talked about our day, work, life, war and last but not least, Wittycube and the Kromacube-OS!

Posted by Jean-Philippe on April 18, 2003 12 Comments, 257 TrackBacks

Welcome to the world of KarabOS!

« Les documents ont conscience qu'ils sont doués d'ubiquité. »

We can translate this thought by:

“Documents are aware of their own ubiquity.”

J.-P. Leboeuf, New Methods for Interaction's meeting (2003/04/16)

KarabOS (name from Xavier Pétard) is the scientific prototype where many core ideas of the Kromacube-OS are explored.

Posted by Jean-Philippe on April 18, 2003 28 Comments, 2187 TrackBacks

April 14, 2003

« Sans rire, il y avait quelque chose dans l'air. »

« Je comprenais de moins en moins ce qui se passait. La société moderne était-elle devenue un film porno grandeur nature ? Ou bien étais-je simplement devenu beau ?
En tout cas, je plaisais, c'était un fait – et c'était nouveau. Je n'ai pas tendance à généraliser de façon hâtive, mais là, force m'était de constater que ma jeunesse insouciante, ma chemise propre et mon mental responsable m'avaient transformé en rouleau compresseur sexuel. Trois filles en une matinée ! Quelle bonne action avais-je accomplie pour mériter pareille récompense ?
Plus tard – l'après-midi brillait de tous ses feux – je pris l'autobus. Je fis l'amour à Joséphine, Murielle, Antoinette, Pascaline, Anne-Christine et Naomi entre les stations Bac-Saint-Germain et Trocadéro. Un teckel prénommé Marcel se frotta même contre le bas de mon pantalon.
Mon charme n'expliquait pas tout. Il devait y avoir autre chose. Ce n'est pas de l'humilité mais de la lucidité.» 

Frédéric Beigbeder, Le jour où j'ai plu aux filles (1994) in Nouvelles sous ecstasy (1999)
[pages 32-33, Éditions Gallimard, collection Folio]

Posted by Jean-Philippe on April 14, 2003 13 Comments, 0 TrackBacks

Heavy reconstruction

This website is under heavy reconstruction.
I will explain all in the following days, publish my scripts and templates, and give my inspirations.
But for the moment, you shall consider this website as a work in progress (best viewed at this time with Phoenix)!
Thank you.

Posted by Jean-Philippe on April 14, 2003 23 Comments, 1965 TrackBacks

April 11, 2003


Une vieille ode composée il y a de cela quelques mois lors d'une discussion avec Valéry sur ICQ (monsieur semblait absent) :

alethes: une seconde j'ai un petit boulot à faire. Je reviens dans 2 minutes.
Nef: oui, va faire ta commissino
Nef: commission
Nef: petite ou grosse
Nef: c'est une commission
Nef: elle mérite d'être commise
Nef: toujours elle sera excusée
Nef: oh oui toi commission
Nef: cette ode est pour toi
Nef: tout entière dédiée
Nef: toi compagne de ces instants
Nef: de solitude
Nef: loin,
Nef: parfois dans le jardin
Nef: parfois dans le p'tit couin(couin)
Nef: toujours de tes petits flicflac
Nef: tu egayes mes journées si moroses
Nef: oh oui toi ma commission
Nef: tu es vraiment une amie fidèle
Nef: !!!
Nef: mais oh toi commission
Nef: quand tu te transformes en constipation
Nef: alors oui tu deviens mon ennemie
*** Auto-response from alethes: User is currently away
You can leave him/her a message
Nef: car de suite tu prends des proportions
Nef: qui frolent l'indécadence
Nef: peut-on alors parler de toi en toute quiétude
Nef: non, point n"en faut trop qu'à la fin la cruche elle se lache
Nef: et si elle se lache, alors, et bien c'est que tu es en voie de disparition,
Nef: oh toi passagère mais fertile constipation !

Posted by Jean-Philippe on April 11, 2003 15 Comments, 0 TrackBacks

Quand Frédéric présidera-t-il le Salon du Livre ?

« L'une des filles s'est enfoncé un stylo feutre dans le vagin. Accroupie, elle écrit avec son sexe sur une feuille de papier. Au bout de quelques minutes de cette gymnastique complexe, elle se relève et brandit la feuille où est écrit : « Welcome. » Frédéric est heureux de constater que la chose écrite a encore un avenir. Une telle performance ferait un tabac au Salon du Livre ! »

Frédéric Beigbeder, Extasy à Go-Go (1999) in Nouvelles sous ecstasy (1999)
[page 90, Éditions Gallimard, collection Folio]

Posted by Jean-Philippe on April 11, 2003 16 Comments, 0 TrackBacks

Vie minimale à exiger ?

« Frédéric ne peut s'empêcher de penser à la devise du peintre Francis Bacon : « On naît, on meurt, et s'il se passe quelque chose entre les deux, c'est mieux. » »

Frédéric Beigbeder, Extasy à Go-Go (1999) in Nouvelles sous ecstasy (1999)
[page 87, Éditions Gallimard, collection Folio]

Posted by Jean-Philippe on April 11, 2003 23 Comments, 0 TrackBacks

Commentaires sur Nouvelles sous ecstasy

J'ai été assez impressionné par Nouvelles sous ecstasy (1999) de Frédéric Beigbeder, car ces textes courts donnent un bon aperçu de ses capacités d'écrivain : le fabuleux Spleen à l'aéroport de Roissy-Charle-de-Gaulle est dans la veine des Exercices de style de Raymond Queneau, Le jour où j'ai plu aux filles vous donne cette sensation bizarre que quelque-chose-ne-va-pas-mais-on-ne-sait-pas-quoi, Manuscrit trouvé à Saint-Germain-des-Prés est une fiction délirante, Comment devenir quelqu'un revisite l'histoire récente de façon « alternative », La nouvelle la plus dégueulasse de ce recueil s'approche des perversions qu'un Dantec sait si bien nous conter, et enfin (cependant la liste est non exhaustive) Extasy à Go-Go (bien que proposant une fin légèrement prévisible) vous plonge dans un univers cher à Houellebecq.
Donc un livre permettant de passer de bons moments...

Posted by Jean-Philippe on April 11, 2003 20 Comments, 0 TrackBacks

Cosmogonie et tecnonique des plaques à visage humain

« Il fait nuit noire dans tout l'univers. L'univers est une immensité vide et obscure ne rimant à rien. Quelque part dans cet espace infini se trouve une petite sphère inutile nommée la Terre. Sur cette planète ridicule, plusieurs continents sont posés sur l'eau, qui se battent en duel pour rien. (...) »

Frédéric Beigbeder, Extasy à Go-Go (1999) in Nouvelles sous ecstasy (1999)
[page 83, Éditions Gallimard, collection Folio]

Posted by Jean-Philippe on April 11, 2003 0 Comments, 0 TrackBacks

Le classique au goût du jour, ou comment trop d'ecstasy peut nuire à votre humour

« (...) Je compose des airs de house incroyables dans ma tête. Je suis Wolfgang Amade-House ! »

Frédéric Beigbeder, La première gorgée d'ecstasy (1994) in Nouvelles sous ecstasy (1999)
[page 38, Éditions Gallimard, collection Folio]

Posted by Jean-Philippe on April 11, 2003 24 Comments, 0 TrackBacks

April 10, 2003

Fureur d'achats

Je suis passé assez brièvement hier à la Fnac du Forum des Halles... et après mes fureurs d'achats Dantec puis Houellebecq des dernières semaines, je me suis cette fois déchaîné sur Frédéric Beigbeder (dont j'avais déjà lu 99 F... hum, excusez-moi : 14,99 €).
J'ai ainsi acheté : Vacances dans le coma (1994), L'amour dure trois ans (1997), Nouvelles sous ecstasy (1999) et Dernier inventaire avant liquidation (2001). Malheureusement, je n'ai pas réussi à trouver Mémoires d'un jeune homme dérangé.
Pour alléger ma conscience, Nouvelles sous ecstasy fut dévoré dans la soirée...

J'en ai aussi profité pour compléter ma collection Houellebecq, avec Rester vivant et autres textes (1991, mais 1999 pour l'édition Librio) et Lanzarote et autres textes (2002). Je cherchais d'autres ouvrages, notamment les poésies, mais je ne les ai point trouvées.

Posted by Jean-Philippe on April 10, 2003 4 Comments, 0 TrackBacks

Les lectures du moment

Dans la nuit d'avant hier, j'ai terminé les Interventions de Michel Houellebecq, lecture rapide et facile pour un collage de textes qui recèle quelques bonnes surprises. Parallèlement et après des débuts difficiles, on peut dire que j'apprécie maintenant pleinement L'insoutenable légèreté de l'être de Milan Kundera. J'ai déjà placé quelques extraits de ces deux ouvrages sur ce site (d'autres sont probablement à venir). Enfin, dans ma volonté de lire tout ce qu'a écrit Maurice G. Dantec (romans, journaux polémiques et métaphysiques, interviews), je commence lentement Les racines du mal.
Je m'aperçois cependant peu à peu que Houellebecq et Dantec sont deux auteurs relativement commerciaux (ce qui n'enlève rien à l'intérêt personnel que je peux leur porter). Houellebecq est très aisé à lire, même amusant par son cynisme dégoulinant... on est cependant encore loin de la prose d'un Camus. Quant à Dantec, bien que j'aie été fasciné par les deux tomes de son journal (Le théâtre des opérations puis Laboratoire de catastrophe générale), je suis pour l'instant un peu déçu par ce broyeur de pensée unique en tant que romancier, après avoir dévoré La sirène rouge : l'intrigue étant trop simpliste et les personnages présentés à l'aide de procédés trop scolaires. On sent vraiment que son style s'est amélioré et a même changé en bien avec Les racines du mal ; il en va de même pour sa maîtrise des structures scénaristiques. Comme Dantec l'avoue lui-même, il est brouillon, ce qui ne dérange pas trop dans des romans de littérature totale. Mais dans ses réflexions, certaines imprécisions commencent à me poser problème, notamment par le peu de sources qu'il cite (je pense que je développerai ce point lorsque j'aurai fini de lire toutes ses productions).
On trouve aussi dans mon tohobuhu littéraire actuel La pierre et le sabre de Eiji Yoshikawa, roman que j'ai commencé il y a de cela plusieurs mois et dont j'ai arrêté net la lecture faute de temps. Je viens tout juste de m'y remettre.
Pour boucler cette liste, certains remarqueront un phrasebook d'espagnol d'Amérique latine... voyez-y ce que vous voudrez...

Posted by Jean-Philippe on April 10, 2003 30 Comments, 0 TrackBacks

April 09, 2003

Y'en a qui méritent plus que des paires de claques

« Ses soucis retombèrent sur lui d'un seul coup, dès qu'il eut franchit la porte de l'appartement. Johanna, la baby-sitter, vautrée dans le canapé, regardait MTV. Il haïssait cette préadolescente molle, absurdement groove ; chaque fois qu'il la voyait il avait envie de la bourrer de paires de claques, jusqu'à modifier l'expression de sa sale gueule boudeuse et blasée. C'était la fille d'une amie d'Audrey.
Il passa dans la cuisine, se servit un verre d'eau. Ses mains tremblaient. Sur le plan de travail, il aperçut un marteau. Les paires de claques n'auraient pas été suffisantes pour Johanna ; ce qui aurait été bien, c'est de lui défoncer le crâne à coup de marteau. Il joua quelques temps avec cette idée ; les pensées se croisaient rapidement dans son esprit, assez peu maîtrisées. Avec effroi, dans le vestibule, il s'aperçu qu'il tenait le marteau à la main. (...) »

Michel Houellebecq, Plateforme (2001)
[pages 252-253, Éditions J'ai lu]

Posted by Jean-Philippe on April 09, 2003 7 Comments, 0 TrackBacks

April 08, 2003

La beauté sans préméditation

« Franz dit : « En Europe, la beauté a toujours eu un caractère intentionnel. Il y a toujours eu un dessein esthétique et un plan de longue haleine ; il a fallu des siècles pour édifier d'après ce plan une cathédrale gothique ou une ville Renaissance. La beauté de New York a une tout autre origine. C'est une beauté non-intentionnelle. Elle est née sans préméditation de la part de l'homme, comme une grotte de stalactites. Des formes, hideuses en elles-mêmes, se retrouvent par hasard, sans plan aucun, dans d'improbables voisinages où elles brillent tout à coup d'une poésie magique. »
Sabina dit : « La beauté non intentionnelle. Bien sûr. On pourrait dire aussi : la beauté par erreur. Avant de disparaître totalement du monde, la beauté existera encore quelques instants, mais par erreur. La beauté par erreur, c'est le dernier stade de l'histoire de la beauté. » »

Milan Kundera, L'insoutenable légèreté de l'être (1984/1987)
[pages 149-150, Éditions Folio]

Posted by Jean-Philippe on April 08, 2003 23 Comments, 0 TrackBacks

A new life for DOS software?

(On "Kuro5hin": “OpenXP: From Shareware to Free Software”):

Return of the living dead

OpenXP is a testimony to the open source model. An ancient DOS application which was already as good as dead was revived and became relevant again simply by being released as open source software. OpenXP now joins the fray of excellent mail/news software that is freely available (such as Ximian's Evolution, KDE's KMail, and the newsreader PAN). That makes you wonder how much other good old DOS software is out there that could be brought back to life.

This article mention the “gift economy”: “a gift economy means everything is free, but it also means that everyone - or almost everyone - must contribute”. A gift economy deals with synergy and reputation too, points which I think are problematic in open source software (partly). Maybe I will write more on my point of view someday.

Posted by Jean-Philippe on April 08, 2003 36 Comments, 446 TrackBacks

Dictionary of Security aspects

For those like me who do not understand clearly english words related to security, here they are defined by questions:

Confidentiality: Can prying eyes see it?
Authentication: Are you who you say you are?
Trust: Have I agreed to work with you?
Non-repudiation: Can you claim that you didn't send or receive it even if you did?
Integrity: Was it altered before I got it?
Authorization: Are you allowed to have it?
Auditing: Can I prove what happened?

(On "::Manageability::": “Security in Plain English”)

Posted by Jean-Philippe on April 08, 2003 11 Comments, 281 TrackBacks

French cultural theorists and DVD

Via "": “A nice po-mo chuckle”:
In "Kieran Healy's Weblog": “Betrayed by Consumerism”:

On opening a DVD box:

(...) Can you imagine the fun that French cultural theorists could have with an event like this? E.g., Baudrillard:

The DVD is a simulacrum of the movie, which in turn is a simulacrum of the real. Yet here is a new phase in postcapitalist hypersignification, the fourth-order representation of reality where the signifying link has been broken. The simulation seduces but its outcome is not the doubling of representation but rather the natural tendency of hypercapitalism to eliminate the very possibility of representation.

Or maybe Lacan:

In the empty DVD, we see the externalization of the negation of the desire for wholeness. The desired-for fusion with the world that consumption represents is here inverted and its reality is brutally reversed as the hole in the self becomes the emptiness in the box. Jouissance is directly rather than subliminally denied as desire is focused on its tangible absence and not simply, as it always is, on its intangible presence. The chain of signifiers is broken at its strongest link.

Actually, I think I agree with Lacan. The central bargain of consumer society is that the feeling that one’s life is meaningless can temporarily be alleviated by buying things. It’s me who’s supposed to be empty inside, dammit, not the DVD.

Posted by Jean-Philippe on April 08, 2003 4 Comments, 2366 TrackBacks

Another test, mutant this time

“What SuperHero Are You?”

My result:

(Via "Vanity Foul": “What SuperHero Are You?”)

Posted by Jean-Philippe on April 08, 2003 21 Comments, 905 TrackBacks

Another temperament test

“The Keirsey Temperament Sorter II(French)”
(from “Temperament: Different Drums, Different Drummers”)

(Via "Rêves Maeviens" : « Le test de la mort qui tue »)

Posted by Jean-Philippe on April 08, 2003 15 Comments, 2241 TrackBacks

French influence to be removed from American English: is it a joke?

From Kuro5hin: “French Influence to be Removed from American English”:

WASHINGTON, DC, April 3 - In the wake of French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin's scathing comments condemning the United States' attack on Iraq, the House today unanimously passed a bill which would undo centuries of French influence on English and officially revert the spoken and written language used within the United States to English in its pre-French form. "Renaming foodstuffs like `Freedom Fries' and `Liberty Toast' is definitely a step in the right direction, but my colleagues and I decided that it just doesn't go far enough. We must purge all French influence from our great language," said House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) at an afternoon press conference. "Us is riht micel ðæt we rodera weard."

As a reader said, the word “liberty” came from French...

Posted by Jean-Philippe on April 08, 2003 11 Comments, 2440 TrackBacks

April 07, 2003

A must have for hackers

Structorian, the tools you need to view and edit binary data:

Structorian is, essentially, a viewer and editor for structured binary data. After you describe the structure of your data in a special language, Structorian enables you to view and edit data files.

The structure description language supported by Structorian is quite powerful, and its syntax resembles that of C. Describing simple data formats in Structorian is no more difficult than writing C structures. For more complex tasks, Structorian provides support for hierarchical data, loops and conditions, a comprehensive expression evaluator and other powerful features. Ideally, Structorian should be able to describe adequately any real-world file format or protocol.

Posted by Jean-Philippe on April 07, 2003 21 Comments, 4847 TrackBacks

Only for girls

“What Amazing Woman Are You Most Like?”

I did not test... I am a men (I hope so).

(Via "Rêves Maeviens" : « Yeaaaah ;) »)

Posted by Jean-Philippe on April 07, 2003 19 Comments, 357 TrackBacks

« Oui, c'est cela : un peu plus seulement. »

« (...) Il est faux de prétendre que les êtres humains sont uniques, qu'ils portent en eux une singularité irremplaçable ; en ce qui me concerne, en tout cas, je ne percevais aucune trace de cette singularité. C'est en vain, le plus souvent, qu'on s'épuise à distinguer des destins individuels, des caractères. En somme, l'idée d'unicité de la personne humaine n'est qu'une pompeuse absurdité. On se souvient de sa propre vie, écrit Schopenhauer, un peu plus que d'un roman qu'on aurait lu par le passé. Oui, c'est cela : un peu plus seulement. »

Michel Houellebecq, Plateforme (2001)
[pages 175, Éditions J'ai lu]

Posted by Jean-Philippe on April 07, 2003 15 Comments, 0 TrackBacks

Must Free Software applications stand united?

Via "OSNews" - “Too Much Free Software”:
In “Too Much Free Software” ( editorial):

“The plethora of Free Software applications available today, none working perfectly, is a problem which stands in the way of major adoption of Linux on the desktop. In order to conquer the desktop, we have to stand united.”

Posted by Jean-Philippe on April 07, 2003 10 Comments, 1065 TrackBacks

The american way of being God

Via "OSNews" - “Steve Jobs the Best Paid CEO in US”:

Steve Jobs (Apple Computer, Inc.) was paid more than 116.3 millions of dollars last year (according to Forbes). Steve is now the most well paid CEO in US. OSNews suggests, if we consider Apple's main income comes from Mac machines (743,000 sold out in 2002), it represents an average $155 “Jobs Tax” on each computer bought by a Mac user.
Although we must interpret those numbers correctly (the same thing happened in 2001, Fortune told that he got 872 million of dollars and Steve decided to lighten this affair), we can see that Jobs is going on cashing in spite of the the biggest tech down turn in probably 20 years.
But the question is now: is Steve Jobs overpaid? He kept Apple profitable, launched new computers (iMacs, iBooks), a wonderful new OS (Mac OS X) and so on... However, all these ideas were in the wind, yes... he only made them become real.
So, if Apple would probably have done better keeping its cash, paying more employees, reducing prices, investing in R&D... why this situation?
The answer might be somewhere else, as someone said in an OSNews comments:

The United States version of the Dalai Lama.

I mean he is *so* enlightened and really made computers enlightened too! Steve has devoted his entire life to bringing common computing to the common (wo)man to the joys of enlightenment through the most enlightened Operating System and colored plastic.

They say just being in the presence of Jobs brings one to enlightended states of oneness. Even his helicopter is enlightened!!

Nevertheless “Macs are NOT made by elves living in the Magic Kingdom”, so maybe Jobs could apply a modesty function to his income.

Posted by Jean-Philippe on April 07, 2003 14 Comments, 548 TrackBacks

April 06, 2003

Du degré de complication des « relations humaines »

« Ce n'est pas aussi compliqué qu'on le raconte, les relations humaines : c'est souvent insoluble, mais c'est rarement compliqué. »

Michel Houellebecq, Plateforme (2001)
[pages 159-160, Éditions J'ai lu]

Posted by Jean-Philippe on April 06, 2003 28 Comments, 0 TrackBacks

Le « commerce des femmes »

« La seconde joie que m'apporta Valérie, ce fut l'extraordinaire douceur, la bonté naturelle de son caractère. Parfois, lorsque ses journées de travail avaient été longues – et elles devaient devenir, au fil des mois, de plus en plus longues – je la sentais tendue, épuisée nerveusement. Jamais elle ne se retourna contre moi, jamais elle ne se mit en colère, jamais elle n'eut une de ces crises nerveuses imprévisibles qui rendent parfois le commerce des femmes si étouffant, si pathétique. (...) »

Michel Houellebecq, Plateforme (2001)
[page 158, Éditions J'ai lu]

Posted by Jean-Philippe on April 06, 2003 15 Comments, 0 TrackBacks

Vivre sa vie comme un chien

« On peut caractériser la vie comme un processus d'immobilisation, bien visible chez le bouledogue français – si frétillant dans sa jeunesse, si apathique dans son âge mûr. »

Michel Houellebecq, Plateforme (2001)
[page 115, Éditions J'ai lu]

Posted by Jean-Philippe on April 06, 2003 21 Comments, 0 TrackBacks

April 05, 2003

Unix versus Microsoft philosophies

“If Unix development philosophy is small pieces loosely joined, Microsoft's philosophy is big chunks tighly coupled.” (Jason Kottke)

This sentence must be read as an echo of Small Pieces Loosely Joined { a unified theory of the web } from David Weinberger.
This is a clever remark ; however I think Microsoft's philosophy is more based on a Russian nesting dolls philosophy...

(From "": “Larry Ellison in a dream world”)

Posted by Jean-Philippe on April 05, 2003 18 Comments, 313 TrackBacks

USB RAID array on Mac OS X

No, it's not an April Fool! Some guys have build an USB RAID array working for floppy drives and memory stick readers. Photo here.
I see no application of that technology...

(Via "Jeremy Zawodny's blog": “USB Floppy RAID on Mac OS X”)

Posted by Jean-Philippe on April 05, 2003 18 Comments, 920 TrackBacks

April 04, 2003

Les autres me font vomir

« (...) C'est dans le rapport à autrui qu'on prend conscience de soi ; c'est bien ce qui rend le rapport à autrui insupportable. »

Michel Houellebecq, Plateforme (2001)
[page 89, Éditions J'ai lu]

Posted by Jean-Philippe on April 04, 2003 23 Comments, 0 TrackBacks

April 03, 2003

April Fools

I did not post on the 1st of April, I was too busy.
But Jim O'Connell from made a hilarious “parody” of Joi Ito's Web. I love especialy the Pope entry:

Brunch with the Pope [ Po-Blogging ]

Had brunch with the Pope this morning at St. Peter's in Rome. I set him up with a Movable Type blog and started to explain how blogging could possibly replace the sacrament of confession, if we could somehow just arrange a trackback ping to God.
He was a bit unconvinced, but after seeing a few blogs, he realized that more sins are confessed on a typical blog than in any confessional booth.
I started to explain that the Apostles were a lot like bloggers but he just kept bugging me to ride my Segway. When I finally let him take a spin around the square, he wound up crashing it into a statue and DENTED it.
It's like 3 days old and the old geezer dented it. (Oh, I think he may have broken a hip, too.)

But take a look at the website, there are photos!

(Via "Joi Ito's Web": “April Fools - Joy of Being Ito Web”)

Posted by Jean-Philippe on April 03, 2003 5 Comments, 251 TrackBacks

Typography with MT

The plugin SmartyPants is a typographic plugin for Movable Type which can translate some plain ASCII punctuation characters into “smart” typographic punctuation HTML entities:

SmartyPants can perform the following transformations:
  • Straight quotes (" and ' ) into “curly” quote HTML entities
  • Backticks-style quotes (``like this'') into “curly” quote HTML entities
  • Dashes (“--” and “---”) into en- and em-dash entities
  • Three consecutive dots (“...”) into an ellipsis entity

This plugin can be used in combination with MT-Textile plugin (Textile is Dean Allen’s “humane web text generator”).

Maybe I will find time to port those plugins to french typography in order to use them on this weblog.

Posted by Jean-Philippe on April 03, 2003 39 Comments, 4712 TrackBacks

April 02, 2003


« (...) Le christianisme a besoin de la maladie, à peu près comme l'hellénisme a besoin d'un excès de santé – rendre malade est la véritable intention cachée de toute la thérapeutique du salut pratiquée par l'Église. Et l'Église elle-même, n'est-elle pas l'asile d'aliénés catholique conçu comme suprême idéal ? – la Terre entière conçue comme un asile d'aliénés ? (...) »

Friedrich Nietzsche, L'Antéchrist (1895)
[page 69, Éditions Folio, collection folio essais]

Ce sacré Friedrich est toujours un peu excessif, mais on y trouve toujours quelques éléments à réflexion.

Posted by Jean-Philippe on April 02, 2003 27 Comments, 0 TrackBacks

Premier critère à exiger chez son patron

« Tu vois, c'est un super bon patron.
On se tutoie...
On sort en boîte ensemble... »

Entendu aujourd'hui dans le train de 14h21 allant de la gare de Meaux à la gare de Paris-Est lorsque le train (en retard comme souvent) était encore à Meaux.

Posted by Jean-Philippe on April 02, 2003 20 Comments, 0 TrackBacks

La société de la communication comme dérision

« La publicité échoue, les dépressions se multiplient, le désarroi s'accentue ; la publicité continue cependant à bâtir les infrastructures de réception de ses messages. Elle continue à perfectionner des moyens de déplacement pour des êtres qui n'ont nulle part où aller, parce qu'ils ne sont nulle part chez eux ; à développer des moyens de communication pour des êtres qui n'ont plus rien à dire ; à faciliter les possibilités d'interaction entre des êtres qui n'ont plus envie d'entrer en relation avec quiconque. »

Michel Houellebecq, Approches du désarroi - Le monde comme supermarché et comme dérision in Interventions (1998)
[pages 76-77, Éditions Flammarion]

Posted by Jean-Philippe on April 02, 2003 14 Comments, 0 TrackBacks

Entries on this page

Entries by month

Entries by category