The assorted finds of Artefact Publishing

Have I been here before?

It turns out that some people have done something which might be fairly close to what I am planning for mapping Germanic migrations, in terms of the software to drive the creation of maps and so forth: the Historical Event Markup and Linking project. I say “might” for the following reasons:

So, I can’t actually see the samples on the HEML site. I would simply read the documentation, except the site annoys me by using frames and failing to wrap text within my browser window. Yes, I know that that is largely a separate issue from what is actually said on the site, but really, I think people could pay attention to the small and simple things.

Okay, irritation over; I’m going to read a book — one of those things that is well designed and actually works.

Posted by jamie on February 13, 2004 20:25+13:00


Director of Heml writing in response to some of the concerns expressed in your blog.

1. The url was kindly given to me by a colleague in Comp. Sci., who frame forwards it from his home address. You will find a more direct connection to the site at the URL above,

2. The wide text in the documentation page is caused by code samples, which naturally I don't want to be wrapped. This tends to depend on the users' choice of sans-serif font. I'll try to fix it in the next revision.

3. You experience with ASV3 is quite unusual. If you email me with OS and browser, perhaps I can help.

Posted by: Bruce Robertson on February 25, 2004 09:56+13:00

Hi Bruce. Thanks for taking the time to respond. I’m very happy the site doesn’t use frames, but you can fairly easily fix the wrapping issue. If you remove the tables in the HTML (which is a good idea regardless, since it’s not tabular data that you’re marking up as such) and add overflow: auto; to your stylesheet in the block for pre.programlisting and pre.faq, a conforming browser will add scrollbars to those blocks which require it, while leaving everything else to wrap nicely. While you’re there, you might want to make changes based on the results of validating the CSS.

As for the Adobe SVG plugin, it appears to be a known problem with it and Mozilla (and Firebird) on Linux. While I can use it fine on a different browser on a different operating system, I will not spend any more time than I must using Microsoft Windows, and so the project has stalled until I or someone else develops a working viewer which handles most if not all of the SVG specification.

Posted by: Jamie on February 25, 2004 17:40+13:00

Thanks for the direction regarding CSS and HTML tables. When I last worked on the CSS/HTML for the Heml website, it was 2001 and I had to make it work for Netscape 4.7 as well as recent Moz. builds. No legal CSS would do the trick. I should go back over this.

I can offer good news about ASV for Linux. In December, Adobe updated is offering of ASV3 for linux, listed as a tar.gz file here: It works for me on RH 7.3 and 9.0 using a variety of Moz-based browsers, including Fire{Bird|Fox} and Moz 1.4 itself. There are limitations on this plugin, mainly revolving around scripting between html/svg or svg objects on the same page, but I've made my peace with that a long time ago, and am simply glad that I can see SVG while developing in Linux (as I could back in the moz 0.9 days!)

KDE 3.2 has nifty SVG support, too, I'm told. Heml timelines should work well there, but the more dynamic/scripted stuff could by hairy.

Posted by: Bruce Robertson on February 27, 2004 08:28+13:00

I just checked, and it was that latest version for Linux that I was using, and which didn’t work on Mozilla Firebird — while the browser thought the plugin was enabled, it wouldn’t display anything. On the other hand, checking tonight with Mozilla, it works in part: the demos have a certain degree of functionality (I can, for example, get the aeroplane’s switches to toggle), but nothing like full (the lights do not display on the aeroplane). The first sample on your site does not display properly at all.

This may of course be my own system, which seems to fall prey to random strangenesses (even as I type this I note that instead of Archæology, this blog is shown as being Archऌology (actually, not quite; I cannot find what character it is actually displaying — perhaps it is from a different font from the one all the other text is displayed in?) — why is it that I am haunted by inappropriate fonts?).

In any case, should the situation improve, I shall certainly investigate HEML further.

Posted by: Jamie on February 27, 2004 21:59+13:00