Monday, October 30, 2006


Today is the greatest
Day I ve ever kown
Cant live for tomorrow
Tomorrows much too long
I burn my eyes out
Before I get out

I wanted more
Than life could ever grant
Bored by the chore
Of saving face

Today is the greatest
Day I have ever known
Cant wait for tomorrow
I might not have that long
Ill tear my heart out
Before I get out

Pink ribbon scars
That never forget
Ive tried so hard
To cleanse these regrets
My angel wings
Were bruised and restrained
My belly stings

Today is
Today is
Today is
The greatest day
That I have ever known

I want to turn you on
I want to turn you round
I want to turn you on
I want to turn you

Today is the greatest
Today is the greatest day
Today is the greatest day
That I have ever known


Smashing Pumpkins - Today


Every Monday needs some Weird. And there are few things weirder than a rain of frogs.

Generating a User Manual From JavaHelp

I'm working on an application that needs to have the user documentation accessible when you click the big, bright, friendly 'help' button, and also as a printed manual. We're using JavaHelp, which has its moments but seems to do the job, and was quite painless to get going.

JavaHelp needs pages to be in html 3.2 (why? why?) - this means you need to be careful when writing / editing help with a wysiwyg editor. On my system, I get strange-looking pages when editing with nvu, but openoffice works fine.

JhelpDev is a JavaHelp generator. It’s easy to use - create your html pages then use the TOC editor to organise them into a table of contents. Then, export the helpset and related files. The methods to create and display the help from java are:

* This method creates the help frame

private void createHelp() {
try {
ClassLoader cl = Welcome.class.getClassLoader();
URL url = new URL((new File(".")).toURL(), "doc" + File.separator
+ "help.hs");
JHelp helpViewer = null;
// Create a new JHelp object with a new HelpSet.
helpViewer = new JHelp(new HelpSet(cl, url));

frame.setSize(800, 600);
frame.setTitle("iDART Help System");


} catch (Exception e) {
System.err.println("API Help Set not found");

* This method displays the help

private void showHelp() {


Once you’ve got the help working fine from the application, you can turn it into a user manual by:

  1. Generating an ordered list of the files you want to concatenate into the help. Since this order is probably the same as the order of the TOC entries for JavaHelp, it’s easiest to just extract the file names from the xml TOC file.
  2. Use the ordered list as input to htmlcat, a perl script for concatenating html files. This should give you one long html file, in the correct order
  3. Open the html file in your word processor and save it as a document. Insert page breaks as necessary.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

The Needle

My shotcode tattoo - still healing, but it did scan on Friday, with some patience and careful positioning of my head! It didn't point to exactly the right url (something about Sprite, in Spanish..) but i'm still really pleased with it. Better pic to follow

Friday, October 06, 2006

2 Days

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Rocking the Windswept Tundra

So, despite no daisies in anywhere Rocking the Daisies (in a cow field somewhere near Darling) was good, muddy fun. No clean water, except Valpre from the bar at R8 for 500ml, and also the heavy rain on Saturday night. The Rudimentals, Hogg Hoggidy Hog constituted the punk side of the gig and were fun as always - the Finklesteins also played, giving everyone a chance to trip over eachothers tents looking for the showers (which weren't there. ha ha got you with the flyer, didn't we). Other bands were The Parlotones, who actually got to play this time, and The Dirty Skirts - really good despite being achingly indie and looking very cold in their skinny jeans.

Anyway the whole gig was in aid of South Africans Against Drunk Driving, which is an admirable cause but I think maybe misdirected. Their strategy seems to revolve around stricter laws and better enforcement - both important but not the whole story. I'd rather see the money they raise going towards providing alternative transport so that there is no reason to drink and drive. Enforcement is not a priority to an already stretched police force and judicial system. Along with the taxes already imposed on all alcohol, and the annual contribution of SAB etc to the Industry Association for Responsible Alcohol Use, this could fund some kind of subsidised-but-not-free taxi scheme, which could be much more effective.

Anyway, a cool festival - someone doing something isin any case better than the rest of us just blogging about how things should be done!