Monday, May 28, 2007

x2svg 1.0 released

I am happy to anounce the first stable version of x2svg, a tool to
render tree like structures in scalable vector graphics (SVG).
Currently the following three input formats are supported:
- Document Type Definition (DTD)
- Java properties files
- ant build-files

Please check out the release information at Freshmeat.

And as always: please provide me with feedback, bug reports etc.

Sleepless in Stuttgart - the second month

Marlene is now two month old. I have been at home for a month as paternitiy leave, as this is now quite nicely supported with the new Erziehungsgeld from the Government. Also my team lead at Red Hat was quite forthcoming on this topic.
Nights are getting better and better.; the intervals between feeding Marlene are getting longer and somtimes reach 5 hours already. And even if this is not the case, it is relatively painless, as she seldom fully awakes.
As the days are now longer and the nights shorter, it is rather Orlando who doesn't want to go to bed in the evening and wakes up too early in the morning.
I am back at work since last Wednesday and found my way back into the code. For our JBoss ON, we now have a nice gui based installer which is also I18N'ed with (some) German messages. It's fun to see this.
As written in the previous post I was also able to create a tools to render DTDs in SVG. Even if I don't plan to write a new book in the near future, I am interested in finding a solution that could be used in such a project.
Over the bank holiday a week ago, we made a family trip to the town of Weikersheim, stayed at a Framhouse and made some trips into the surroundings.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Kindergarden Dad

Yesterday I spent the morning at the kindergarden of Orlando. Parents have the possibility to stay there to lurk around and see what the kids are doing. As I am currently at home, I took this opportunity.
And I must say that I don't regret it. It was very interesting. For the start the kids are in the courtyard. At 9:30 they go upstairs in the group room, drink tea, eat some fruit and talk about different things. Then they have one hour / 1:30 from 10am on to play at various places or paint or build things etc. At 11:30am lunch starts where the kids pick the meal themselves. After lunch, they
uncloth, go to the bathroom and then to bed for a little nap.
That was the point in time where I left again.
Orlando was very proud that his dady stayed at the kindergarden.
It's also interesting how children's brains work. They asked "Do you stay in kindergarden today?" Me: "Yes" They: "Then you are a baby, because babies stay in kindergarden". Or course they don't consider themselves as babies :-)

Thursday, May 10, 2007

x2svg first beta release available

A few days I wrote that I will release my dtd2svg tool as open source.
Meanwhile I refactored the code, fixed some bugs and also wrote a properties parser to visualize properties files.
As there are now not only DTDs accepted, I also renamed the project to x2svg, as I plan to add more parsers in the future.

You can grab the source distribution from here.
To build you also need fop and dtdparser, which need to be present in the lib folder.
Those can be obtained from

Have a look at the readme.html file in the doc/ directory of the distribution about details on how to install and run the tool.

x2svg is released under the LGPL.

Monday, May 07, 2007

SVG on Mac OS X

In a recent post I wrote that Safari on the Mac does not know about svg natively.
Inspired by a blog entry by Jeff Schiller, I just downloaded a nightly snapshot of Webkit, the browser engine behind Safari.
This snapshot is already quite well able to render svg on screen, even if it is not yet complete, as you can see on this chart.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Visit to a historic iron mine

Today we made an excurs to an abandonned iron mine in Aalen-Wasseralfingen (around 80km from Stuttgart). The mine itself has been shut down after WWII and is now open for visitors. With little trains one drives into the 400m into the mountain. After a little film about the history of the mine and its general layout, one walks for about 800m through the mine and gets a very good impression why it is a good idea to wear a helmet.
The tour gives a very good impression under what bad conditions our ancestors were pulling iron ore out of the mountains, and it is a perfect occasion to go there when kids start to learn about those things in school.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Where does organic food come from?

For quite some time now, we're getting each week a box delivered that contains organically grown fruit and vegetables. Our supplier is a company called Laisacker from about 30km outside of Stuttgart.
A nice thing about the box is that they put each week fruits and veggies from the current season in, which might be items that we would not buy ourselves, but which will always taste very well :) Laiseacker is growing much of the stuff themselves or buying it at regional partners. In total that organically grown food tastes very good.

Yesterday we made an excurison to the company, as they invited their customers to have a peek. For children there have been various stations to play or to get face painted. The adults could drink a coffe and look at how the boxes are packaged.

SVG resources

Holger and Juliane have a cool repository of SVG related resources, nice drawings in svg and (gui) components done in XML, XSLT and SVG. Among those are e.g. Login-Boxes rendered in SVG or various versions of bar charts processed in SVG.
All this is available at
Note that for visiting the site, you need a browser that is svg capable like Firefox or a SVG plugin for the browser (as for Apple Safari).

Thursday, May 03, 2007

DTD2SVG reloaded

In a past article I wrote about drawing DTDs in SVG in order to convert them to PDF later.
Recently I found some time to work on this matter again (actually I got inspried to do so as I saw that Batik and FOP are making some progress as well). The code is still somewhat *ehm* ugly, but I think the result is already not bad:

I plan on releasing the code in the open source in the next few weeks, so one can use and adopt it to its own needs. Also one of the more interesting features would be to allow for parsing of XML Schema as well.