December 31, 2004

iso-8859-1 vs ms windows latin-1

just as a relief from the near constant news and grief about the tsunami in this part of the world, here's some of this blog's normally technical content.

while digging around on jguru i stumbled on this quite old, but still relevant, comparison between the iso-8859-1 and ms windows latin-1 charsets. if you scroll down a bit you will see a table of entities with the "extra" ms windows latin-1 highlighted in green. now you know why i'm always harping on about non-unicode encoding--Just Use Unicode.

December 30, 2004

more Thai tsunami victim info

this an official missing persons website setup by Thailand's IT research hotshots (NECTEC) and the Thai Red Cross. another english language site can be found at INET (one of Thailand's leading ISP).

also one of the Kingdom's TV stations this afternoon reported that the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology would be establishing a website dedicated to this disaster,, right this second it appears as some domain parking lot. maybe the name servers aren't updated yet.

December 28, 2004

tsunami victim info

the official site seems to be mostly unreachable right now (maybe swamped). here is a list of sites containing unofficial information concerning the victims of this disaster in Thailand:

December 27, 2004

out with a bang

the year seems to be ending with an awful bang. as you probably already know, my neck of the woods (south/south east asia) got sucker punched the day after Christmas. a series of tsunamis generated by a 9.0 undersea earthquake (revised from an initial 8.9) devastated coastal areas all around the andaman sea and indian ocean. one of Thailand's main tourist destinations, Phuket Island and the surrounding area, got hammered. sadly it looks like the regional death toll will be more than 10,000 people.

frankly we have no experience with this sort of thing--TV news and talk shows were actually reporting the Sumatra quake when it occurred but nobody, officially or otherwise, made the connection to the subsequent tsunamis. when the initial event caused the sea to recede, people actually went out to investigate--Hawaiians or Japanese would probably have started running for high ground.

and if you too think tsunamis are confined to the Pacific area, think again. historically there are very few coastal areas (that's an arcIMS application BTW) that have not experienced a tsunami event. the east coast of the US, Ireland, even Britain have been hit in the past. there are two good data resources for this:
a couple of months ago i built a quake RSS CFC to replace an aging "finger" parser for USGS quake data. as you can see, there are still a significant number of aftershocks still going on. and if my structural geology knowledge has not completely turned to chaos, a 7+ earthquake in the right spot (deep water, thick sedments) might generate another tsunami. i hope not.

December 24, 2004

Gajan Kristnaskon

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year
Yukpa, Nitak Hollo Chito
Afvcke Nettvcakorakko
Mitho Makosi Kesikansi
En frehlicher Grischtdaag unen hallich Nei Yaahr!

Mele Kalikimaka & Hauoli Makahiki Hou
Mata-Ki-Te-Rangi. Te-Pito-O-Te-Henua
La Maunia Le Kilisimasi Ma Le Tausaga Fou

สุขสันต์วันคริสต์มาส และสวัสดีปีใหม่
Selamat Hari Natal dan Tahun Baru
Selamat Hari Natal
Maligayang Pasko at Manigong Bagong Taon
Chuc Mung Giang Sinh - Chuc Mung Tan Nien

Natale hilare et Annum Nuovo!
Buone Feste!
Nollaig chridheil agus Bliadhna mhath ur!
Nollaig Shona Daoibh Athbhliain Faoi Mhaise Daoibh
Nollaig chridheil huibh
Nadolig LLawen a Blwyddyn Newydd Dda
Wesolych Swiat i Szczesliwego Nowego Roku
Vrolijk Kerstfeest en een Gelukkig Nieuwjaar!
Joyeux Noël! Bonne Année!
Glædelig Jul og godt nytår
God Jul og Godt Nyttår
Bon nadal i feliç any nou!
Feliz Navidad y Próspero Año Nuevo

Geseende Kerfees en 'n gelukkige nuwe jaar

December 15, 2004

two new i18n tidbits

first, the latest version of the Unicode Standard (4.1.0) which is due out in march, 2005 is now in beta. some of the new stuff i find interesting are:
  • newly added complete scripts such as new Tai Lue script (it's used in the yunnan area of southern china and south to northern thailand) among others
  • "very significant extensions to the repertoire for the Arabic script"
  • new chars were added to support "roundtrip mapping support for HKSCS and GB 18030"
  • i also find it interesting that "106 CJK compatibility ideographs has been added to support roundtrip mapping to the DPRK standard"--you know, north korea

now, i guess i'm going to have to rework my uBlock CFC. you can read more about the new unicode beta here.

next since i'm always ragging on core java's i18n support, i'd thought i'd point out a nifty new tech tip at Core Java Technologies Tech Tips dealing with resource bundles. this tech tip examines when and where you should be using ListResourceBundle vs PropertyResourceBundle. we normally use PropertyResourceBundle when applications can't access the classpath (ala the javaRB CFC) and plain ResourceBundle when it can (with rbJava CFC). as an added benefit this article gets into some testing using java 5.0 (or 1.5) new nanoTime() method (as in nanoseconds) as well as offering a link to a java one presentation on how not to write a benchmark.

both are pretty good reading.