Jon Udell's article (Feb 2004) Lightweight XML Search Servers in the latest issue of XML.com highlights a number of useful technologies. I am particulary keen to see a real use of the XML ability of Berkely DB as a back end for a lightweight scripting utility. What is great about the article is how he describes the practical issues that arise and how he used existing open source tools to address most of these, rather than programming a monolithic application from scratch. This type of case study really illustrates the way programmers need to behave in today's world. My challenge as an educator is to help produce students who can do this type of thing.
Jon Udell is continuing to open up the debate on how to create a middle ground between the ideal of semantic web with rich metatdata, and the real world, now, of very un-marked up web content. Recent postings on his weblog like Jon Udell: Confession time and Jon Udell: Content-aware search show how through creative use of the XHTML/CSS attribute tags (potentially auto-generated) text-based resources like weblog entries can become a proximate knowledge-base.
An interesting posting on O'Reilly's website The NoCat Night Light
How many cats does it take to screw in a light bulb? shows how it is possible to fit a WiFi access piint into a light fitting and use the powerline for data and power. Though this was posted last May, I only recently noted it.