Kurt Cagle

Kurt Cagle

Areas of Expertise:

  • XML
  • XSLT
  • XQuery
  • XForms
  • XSL-FO
  • AJAX
  • Ontology Design
  • Web Development
  • XML Content Management Systems
  • eXist
  • MarkLogic
  • consulting
  • speaking
  • programming
  • training
  • writing
Kurt Cagle is an author, developer, and online editor for O'Reilly Media, living in Victoria, BC, Canada. You can subscribe to Kurt's published articles here.

HTML5 Graphics with SVG & CSS3 HTML5 Graphics with SVG & CSS3
by Kurt Cagle
November 2014 (est.)
Print: $29.99

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From Pond Scum to Powerhouse: Algae Biofuels Day in the Sun

September 24 2009

The use of algae as biofuel has also become one of the hottest areas of development in an increasingly aggressive alternative energy sector. Large, traditional oil companies are increasingly creating joint ventures with bio-savvy startups, while others, seeking an opportunity in pond scum, are going it alone. read more

Why You Should Be Learning NIEM

September 22 2009

The phrase "government standards" has to be one of the most boring (or, depending upon your context, terrifying) phrases in the English language. The term conjures up institutional green walls, documents crammed full of acronyms, bored looking bureaucrats shuffling paper from one department to the next, their whole purpose in… read more

Balisage 2009 - Running Bright in Montreal

August 10 2009

Balisage has become for many XML (and the occasional SGML) coders the must-attend conference of the year. Run for many years as the Extreme XML Conference, the shift to the use of Balisage  - a French term best translated as running lights, such as those used to highlight a ship or… read more

eGov Watch: The Importance of Data.Gov

March 26 2009

The Illinois River is a slow moving, meandering waterway that originates out of Lake Michigan, flows beneath downtown Chicago, then cuts through the rich Illinois topsoil as it wends its way to Peoria (giving the area its distinctive river bluffs formation) then through the middle of the state until it… read more

Web 2.0 Expo Preview: Will Wright, Sims and Simulations

March 26 2009

Will Wright has been the foundational genius behind a thirty year string of blockbuster games, from the early Raid on Bungeling Bay in 1984 to the first truly fun urban simulation, Sim City. From there he delved deeper into the lives of the individual inhabitants of those cities with the… read more

The Women of XML

March 24 2009

I've long been a fan of Lady Ada Augusta Lovelace. She was not only one of Charles Babbage's biggest patrons, but she also was one of the first to suggest the use of "Jacquard Loom" type cards as a way of programming the Analytical Engine as well providing what may… read more

Blue Sun? What an IBM acquisition of Sun means for software

March 24 2009

However, Sun's software side of the acquisition ledger, especially by IBM, has been rather oddly overlooked, given that it will likely have major implications for software development and cloud computing for years. Sun's software holdings cover five primary areas - Java, Solaris, mySQL, Open Office, and Sun's recently acquired QLayer… read more

Google Voice Set to Transform the Phone

March 12 2009

In 2007, Google acquired the Grand Central Service, a VOIP based service that let users take advantage of a single phone number that could be used to forward to other phones, to record conversations and so forth. This service has been under the radar for some time, but today Google… read more

XProc: XML Pipelines and RESTful Services

March 11 2009

Anyone who has used languages such as XSLT should have a pretty fair idea about the complexities involved in treating XML as a programming language itself - it's verbose, forces thinking into a declarative model that can be at odds with the C-based languages currently used by most programmers, can… read more

XProc: XML Pipelines and RESTful Services

March 11 2009

Anyone who has used languages such as XSLT should have a pretty fair idea about the complexities involved in treating XML as a programming language itself - it's verbose, forces thinking into a declarative model that can be at odds with the C-based languages currently used by most programmers, can… read more

Corporations and Cloud Sourcing

March 09 2009

The news out of the Bureau of Labor Statistics (the BLS) was grim this weak - the unemployment rate had reached 8.1%, climbing two whole percentage points in the last quarter. This rise is even more stunning given that unemployment had reportedly been stable for the past several years at… read more

Is Dreamweaver being beaten by Drupal?

March 08 2009

In 1997, I was at the Macromedia User's Conference to give a talk on creating "intelligent" agents within Macromedia Director. At this particular conference, Macromedia announced a new product called Dreamweaver, an HTML editing application that exercised a profound effect upon the web development community. read more

Fighting the Status Quo

March 01 2009

Seth Godin recently published a rather insightful blog post on how trade groups often work to stifle innovation in order to maintain the status quo. The comments are especially timely now, as industry after industry goes to Washington hat in hand in order to beg a few billion here or… read more

As the Internet Rewires Our Brains

March 01 2009

The Internet, ironically, has been abuzz this week with dire news about how the Social Media and the Internet itself is stunting our mental growth, is turning us into idiot savants, Aspergers and reverting our brains to a more primitive state. The first such statement came from Lady Greenfield, an… read more

XBRL: the Solution for Carbon Credit and Smart Grid Accounting

February 26 2009

During the State of the Union speech, President Obama made formal an assumption that had been emerging since his candidacy - his support for a carbon market as a vehicle for capping carbon emissions: read more

How to Save Journalism? Get Rid of the Newspapers

February 24 2009

I've recently been following a superb series by Michelle McLellan on the Ideas that get in the way of saving journalism. In this series of blogs, she does a superb job of raising some very uncomfortable questions for newspapers, most importantly, whether they are in fact so wedded to the… read more

eGov Watch: OpenCongress.org

February 23 2009

The political process has long been a realm associated as much with back rooms and cigars as it has with helping the people within a country. Otto Bismark, the first chancellor of a unified Germany in the 19th century, famously remarked "Laws are like sausages, it is better not to… read more

WebHooks, Syndication and the Programmable Web

February 19 2009

A friend of mine, NASA systems analyst Joshua McKenty, dropped a note recently in my twitter feed about WebHooks, and why they're superior to syndication as a mechanism for building cross-server applications. While I have run into webhooks periodically in the last couple of years and been intrigued by them,… read more

eGov Watch: Recovery.gov Goes Live

February 17 2009

Within minutes of Obama signing into law the economic stimulus bill (formally, The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA)), the web gnomes at the White House flipped the switch on a new website - Recovery.gov. If there is any question that Obama understands the medium of the Internet,… read more


February 17 2009

The paradox of contemporary life is upon us. I paid $2,000 for the laptop upon which I type these words, in addition to a hundred dollars a month paying for online access, yet the editor I'm using is a web page within a free web browser, connected to a server… read more

Kindle 2.0: Publishing's Killer? Publishing's Savior?

February 17 2009

The new Kindle 2.0 is a cool enough-looking gadget - its hyper-svelt profile (just over a third of an inch) is thinner than most of the books it holds, at ten ounces it's also lighter, and the silvery/white casing (among others) manages to take scuffs and dirt better than its… read more

XBRL Becomes Mandatory - This Should Be Interesting

February 08 2009

The announcement came quietly, a briefly worded memo from the SEC in December that as of the the third fiscal quarter of 2009 (starting in June), companies over $5 billion in assets would be required to start reporting their earnings using the Extensible Business Markup Language, or XBRL. Other companies… read more

Touring With Google Earth 5

February 07 2009

Google Earth 5 hit the Internet earlier this week (visions of some cataclysmic asteroid impact come to mind with that statement), debuting everything from a historical mode that lets you see the evolution of terrain over time to a dramatically expanded oceanographic mode that lets you see a whole new… read more

Trains, Planes and Automobiles: Or why Infrastructure IS an IT issue

January 30 2009

Before we load up on more highway projects, more unnecessary bridges, and more downtown renovation projects, it may behove us as a society to ask the question about whether it will be more beneficial in the long run to use our brains (real and virtual) and the marvellous networks that… read more

Building RESTful Services with XQuery and XRX

January 24 2009

I've been banging on the RESTful services/XRX bandwagon for a while now, and the good folks at O'Reilly have kindly consented to let me get out the entire trap drum set for an O'Reilly Webinar entitled "Building RESTful Services with XQuery and XRX". read more

Email letter from 2019

January 21 2009

I miss a few things - we don't get oranges this far North as often as we used to, and coffee and cocoa have become considerably more dear. Shipping has gone way up on them and because a lot of the cacoa growing areas were overfarmed in the last decades,… read more

Who are you and why are you here?

January 17 2009

I'm going to do something that's just not done. There's this unwritten rule in journalism that when you write, your goal in doing that writing is to be the authority, to ask the hard questions of those who are the experts or the ones with power, to then render these… read more

Printing Solar Panels

January 15 2009

Solar power represents in many ways the purest form of energy available to our energy hungry culture. The sun's energy is endlessly renewable (well, for at least the next three billion years or so, at which point, we'll likely have too much of it), produces no greenhouse gases, and is… read more

Pedal Powered Petaflops

January 15 2009

Chances are that when you think about supercomputing, you think about big machines (or lots of machines) all running full bore while performing complex calculations to determine weather patterns or wind-tunnel simulations. Secondarily is the assumption about power - you need lots of it, as well as ways of cooling… read more

Tech Nomads

January 14 2009

I have a terrible secret. I'm ... I'm a ... well, a tech nomad. On any given day of the week, you stand a good chance of finding me at Starbucks, plugging away on writing articles or hacking on code. You'll find a lot of us here, tech nomads ...… read more

SOA is Dead? It's About Time!

January 13 2009

Anne Thomas Manes of the Burton Group raised quite a few hackles in the IT press yesterday when she asserted that SOA is Dead. Anne has the chops to talk on the subject - beyond her respectable career as an SOA Analyst for the Burton Group, she was also a… read more

The Long Emergency: An Interview with James Howard Kunstler

January 12 2009

We'll, let's just start by saying we've constructed an infrastructure for daily life with no future. That's pretty disturbing, isn't it? I customarily refer to this as the greatest misallocation off resources in the history of the world. Having poured all our post-WW2 wealth in it, we've made ourselves hostage… read more

W3C Hosts Workshop on Social Networking

January 12 2009

Social Networking and Community 2.0 have both become critical parts of the web infrastructure, so it is perhaps not surprising that the W3C, keeper of all things web, is now weighing in on the topic. On January 15-16, 2009, the W3C will host the Workshop on the Future of Social… read more

An Infrastructure for Big Data

January 11 2009

The potential benefits of being able to expose even a portion of data that businesses and organizations produce in a compatible manner would be huge - it would, indeed, be a major boost for businesses that are built on or around the Internet as well as provide the framework to… read more

The Price of Fame? About $750

January 08 2009

I spent about an hour yesterday morning on the phone (at Canada's rather obscene cell phone rates) speaking with an "editor" for Continental Who's Who. The pitch is pretty typical (and I had an idea what was going on, so I decided to follow through with it) - you get… read more

Is It Time for an EXQuery.org?

January 07 2009

For the most part, new EXQuery functions would simply represent wrappers around existing XQuery extension functionality in order to provide a consistent interface between databases. It would also set a bar that determines the minimal expectation of such databases and data systems and provides a way for new entrants into… read more

Analysis 2009: The Financial Crisis Hits IT Hard

January 06 2009

The recession that started in January 2008 looks to be four phased. The first phase, The housing collapse, actually started in August 2007. The financial meltdown hit in September 2008, and likely will continue through to March 2009 or... read more

Analysis 2009: Government Gets Into the Software Business

January 06 2009

The incoming Obama administration has, even before taking office formally, pledged between $650 and $800 billion dollars worth of public works initiatives, a massive shift away from the laissez faire approach of the outgoing Bush administration. Of that, it... read more

Analysis 2009: The End of Traditional Publishing

January 06 2009

For publishing, 2009 is shaping up to be truly ugly. The publishing industry has faced a number of factors that, individually, provided quite a challenge, but collectively they may end up likely significantly altering the industry profoundly over the... read more

Analysis 2009: Energy Sector Faces Volatile Year

January 06 2009

Here in Victoria, my corner gas station has a liter of regular unleaded gas for CAN$0.80, about US$3.00 a gallon. Six months ago, a similar liter cost nearly $1.50, more than $6 a gallon when factoring in the dramatic... read more

Analysis 2009: Carbon Markets Heat Up, but so does the Weather

January 06 2009

Another area where the rise and fall of oil will have a big impact is going to be on climate change amelioration efforts. Reducing carbon emissions is a considerably more hot button issue politically when the price of gasoline... read more

Analysis 2009: IT Departments Disappear into the Cloud

January 06 2009

While other IT sectors may be struggling, one area that will likely be quite hot will be in the cloud computing/hosted services market. This particular market has been the subject of a great deal of hype over the last... read more

Analysis 2009: Application Services come into their own

January 06 2009

As cloud computing goes, so do two complementary technologies - application services, and web services. It's easier to split these into two distinct sections, though it should be kept in mind that they are simply different manifestations of an... read more

Analysis 2009: The Web Services Era Begins in Earnest

January 06 2009

(Warning, this gets technical). This may seem a rather odd statement - after all, "web services" in the traditional SOA sense have been around for the last decade, give or take a few years. I believe, however, that while... read more

Analysis 2009: Syndication forms the backbone of the Writable Web

January 06 2009

The syndication model has long been a major facet of the way that the web works, but for the most part its been a largely single direction notification mechanism - you publish content, this updates a syndication queue, then... read more

Analysis 2009: XForms and XML-enabled clients gain traction with XQuery databases

January 06 2009

I'm beginning to despair about XForms, which is perhaps a good sign. XForms is perhaps the oldest of the W3C technologies that has yet to either die completely or really dramatically take off, and for all that it has... read more

Analysis 2009: Semantics continues to not be RDF, but enrichment, classification and taxonomy

January 06 2009

Within the realm of computational semantics, there is still a fairly broad disconnect between triple pair semantics, the use of RDF (or turtle notation) to create atomic assertions, and the realm of semantics as reflected on the web. I... read more

Internet Explorer Fades, Firefox Stays the Course, Google Chrome Surges

January 06 2009

Poor IE. Like the late comedian Rodney Dangerfield, it seems to have a hard time getting much respect these days. Within Microsoft it has long been the unwanted stepchild - ignored when Microsoft shifted gears towards server-side technologies in... read more

Some thoughts for a New Era

January 06 2009

This particular look forward is definitely longer than what I have written in years past, and for those of you who have managed to wade through the admittedly voluminous text I both admire your fortitude. This has been a hard... read more

Analysis 2009

January 06 2009

The art of prognostication is not that dissimilar to understanding weaving. Few things ever occur out of the blue - they just hadn't emerged out of the background noise just yet, and as such when they do appear, you can... read more

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Webcast - Building RESTful Services with XQuery and XRX
January 28, 2009
Join Kurt Cagle, online editor for xml.com and O'Reilly Media and author of nearly twenty books on web development and xml technologies, as he explores XRX and the use of XQuery to build RESTful services in this 90-minute online presentation.