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English-language version of Luistxo Fernandez's blog

Creating Excel files from Zope, and preserving formulas

Luistxo Fernandez 2005/09/16 18:05

Some days ago, Jon Udell, a well-known tech guru, posted an article about Excel spreadsheets that might be generated dynamically with Zope. His point was that the next generation of MS Office products, with XML capabilities, will be a great advance as it will be possible to generate spreadsheets or other documents, generating XML output out of web applications.

Well, my coleague engineers at CodeSyntax (mainly Gari and Jatsu) opened their eyes... Of course Udell is right, but spreadsheet generation can be achieved (in the case of Excel) even without XML, since Excel deals with HTML tables to directly convert them as spreadsheets. You don't need to wait for that new Office version. We already do it a long time ago with Zope, learned from here, and use this in several projects,

You just need to export from Excel to HTML, and then upload it to Zope as ZPT or DTML and insert the required ZPT or DTML sentences.

So, Gari pointed this to Jon Udell, and, well, the guru was intrigued, particularly if this method did preserve formulas in the Excel files generated... The answer is yes. Here, a little demo to demonstrate it.

I post this at my blog 'cause these friends of mine don't blog in English. Gari and Jatsu were also excited that a tech-guru exchanges info with them, just around the same time that he interviews Bill Gates.

Geocoding in classified-ads websites

Luistxo Fernandez 2005/09/13 15:04

I am acting now as a sort of Spanish reporter for Google Maps Mania where I have written about a new Spanish project: Vivirama. What Housingmaps does with Craigslist ads, that's what Vivirama does with Loquo ads from Barcelona.

The creator, Xabi Caballé, uses a GIS to geocode addresses. Cannot reach to other Loquo cities for now, because address geocoding is a expensive and propietary thing in Europe. In the US looks easier, as there is there.

However, in my opinion the future for Craigslist and Loquo lies not in letting others do the geocoding thing, but in geocoding addresses by themselves, and offering them in the RSS feeds. That way, the ones like Vivirama or Housingmaps will proliferate in a much easier way: the ads will be featured in maps and local/locative services smoothly. Geocoding the whole of Europe is certainly expensive for Xabi Caballé, but might be a sensible step for Loquo. I guess that there might be resources there, as Loquo was acquired by eBay (which also has a stake in Craigslist) some months ago for its Kijiji network of city-classified sites.

I posted this opinion at Ubaldo Huerta's blog (he is the creator of Loquo) and he seems to agree...

Ancient Roman remains detected through Google Maps

Luistxo Fernandez 2005/09/07 18:14

Fascinating story that I know from Ogle Earth. A blogger in Italy, checking the Google Maps satellite imagery of the places that he knows, detects some strange anomalies on the lands of Sorbolo, blogs about them, maps them, and then, well, it happens that there is an ancient Roman Villa in those fields!

Ogle Earth added the first point in Tagzania. Then I couldn't resist to reproduce at Tagzania the locations that Luca Mori found around Sorbolo. There it is, the listing and seen from the satellite.

This weblog is geolocated now

Luistxo Fernandez 2005/09/05 07:51

Now my weblog is geolocated. I included the ICBM tag in the meta-code of its HTML, so it follows the GeoURL convention. The English Cemetery, can therefore, as well, be geottaged at Tagzania with the GeoURL bookmarklet that we deployed. There it is.

It may work the other way round, locate yourself at Tagzania, and then use the lat/lon coordinates to add ICMB metatags to your blog.

Some Tagzania users have commented that they would like just their feeds to be added to Tagzania, so their geolocalization automatically updates, instead of manually adding items. It could be, but I have doubts: has a geolocated blog make much sense? The location of a blog lies in cyberspace, it is the Universal Resource Location quite obviously. Can a blog or blogger be tied to a precise geographical location? Maybe, particularly for corporate blogs, but generally, it's this post or that one that refers to a given location, or perhaps, several locations mentioned in a post. A travel blog, for instance, it doesn't make sense that it might be geolocated with the GeoURL ICBM stuff.

But well, after all, the English Cemetery is an actual place, the blog title refers to a real burial place in "Donostia: ... so, I "geolocated it. Now, don't expect me to find me around blogging with a laptop.

Blogs and geolocation: there are experiments out there, certainly. This Slovenian community of blogs is geolocated following the GeoURL-ICBM model. But rather than trying to do such a thing among Basques, I would prefer that people could geolocate things they mention in their blogs... the way this Spanish literary blogger does it is nice: he blogs about a novel, Rayuela, by the late Argentinan writer Julio Cortazar, a story located in Paris. The blogger posts comments and pictures of places mentioned in Ratuela, and then uses Tagzania to trace them, and to show them to readers. That's more consistent geolocation of blogs, than the other one, in my opinion. However, this is open to tastes, and people pushing in different directions, that's nice.


BTW, I updated the image on the right corner of the header, as well, with a new Tagzania snapshot. Awful design remains unchanged.


Luistxo works in CodeSyntax, tweets as @Luistxo and tries to manage the automated newssite Niagarank. This Cemetery is part of a distributed multilingual blog (?!). These are the Basque and Spanish versions:

Ingelesen hilerria

El cementerio de los ingleses


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