Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Flashback: SusiSGML, Midgard, and Cocoon

Heikki wrote a nice post about how the Midgard project got started some ten years ago.  Bergie's comment also a briefly mentions the SusiSGML system that we used before Midgard.

SusiSGML was a custom SGML vocabulary with a set of DSSSL stylesheets that we used to cook the structured content into HTML with styling based on tables and all that stuff one used before the CSS revolution.

Architecturally SusiSGML was pretty much like early versions of Apache Cocoon, only with SGML and DSSSL instead of XML and XSL. Had we been at it a few years later, Midgard might have been based on Cocoon. :-)

Monday, October 13, 2008

My home away from home

Since July I've had two homes, one in Switzerland and one in Finland. I now live in Basel, Switzerland where I have a nice apartment within walking distance from the old city center and the Day office where I work. Since arriving here I've spent countless hours walking and biking around Basel and neighbouring areas, so I already feel pretty comfortable with the surroundings. Basel is just the kind of place I like, a beautiful city with lots of history and details to discover. And the rest of Switzerland isn't too bad either. :-)

My other home is back in Finland where Kikka, my future wife, and our two cats, Juuso and Nöpö, live cozily close to the nature. I fly back to stay with them for roughly a week per month, and meanwhile we call each other frequently. I especially love the skype video feed on our cats. This month I'm not flying to Finland, as a week ago Kikka visited me here in Basel and next week we're both heading to Turkey for a week of vacation together. 

Kikka is staying in Finland until she finishes her PhD studies at the sleep lab in Helsinki. She's doing some kick-ass research on the neurobiological mechanisms of sleep, and while at times I find myself understanding little of what she does, it still sounds totally awesome. I'm so proud of her.

I guess it's still too early to tell how well this living more than a thousand miles apart thing will work out, but so far I think we're doing great. I feel that the time we spend apart just makes our days together more special.