Thursday, May 05, 2005

Busy week!

It has been a busy week with a race to learn as well as perform at work. I have learnt a lot of XML stuff in the past week or so. So much so that I can claim that XSLT is one of the most powerful tools available in the XML world. Allows you to transform data to XML, HTML, Text, PDF , you name the document format amd it does it.

For those who are newbies to XML. You will find lots of tutorials on XML and Parsing it. Things most tutorials lack is- Completeness of Description. I found and very helpful in terms the learning phase and how to do stuff. I used the Microsoft MSXML parser. It is a great parser, very fast and efficient in XML processing but has its limitations. As most XML buffs know,there are 2 different parsing types-DOM( Tree based)parsing and SAX(event based)parsing. One thing I realised was Microsoft MSXML parser is strongly DOM oriented. It doesnt mean,you can't do SAX parsing, but you cannot use SAX to do XSLT transformations. By this I mean the MSXML XSLT processor cannot take the SAX model as input as it requires the DOM structure of the document to transform the document. Thanks to Stuart Celarier (, I realized this fact :).

If you want to do basic XML parsing without need to remember whatever happened as you traversed the nodes, use the SAX parser else use the DOM parser. More on SAX and DOM in the next blog.

Now for my sports blog:
Topic of the Day? Steve Nash voted MVP! Isnt this the hardest choice voters have to decide? What were Shaq's numbers vs his average yearly performance? What are Nash's numbers versus his numbers in Dallas? What about AI? How about Lebron James? How about KG or Nowitski? I love AI and what he has done and i know that NBA is too partial on winning teams but isnt that the case in most sports. Both Shaq and Nash improved in points per Game. Nash had an increase in his Assist numbers from 2003-04 season. So what? wasnt he expected to? especially with the rotation of big men and shooters he has around Phoenix, it was obvious that his numbers would be up. Now what i cant really understand is how voting is done on this? Is the NBA MVP Award a marketing gimmick? Let us defend the point guard who cant defend?Take the MVP winners in the last 10 years: Shaq/Duncan/KG/Malone/Jordan/AI. Is there any player among this list whom you would replace as a coach if the opponent has the last possession? Steve Nash is always replaced on the Suns' last defensive stand. If there was a pickup game and you had the entire NBA to pick from who would you pick first? I would pick Shaq first and then think of Kobe/T-Mac. The voters always honor somebody who brings a huge change or somebody who would be a fresh story in the media. Consider this-Shaq left the Lakers and the Lakers didnt even make the playoffs; Nash left Mavericks and their record improved to 58 games. Consider this: Replace Steve Nash with Jason Kidd on Phoenix and do you think Kidd wouldnt take Suns to a similar record? You remove Wade and Miami still has a chance to enter the Finals.I know Dwayne Wade has done an amazing job for Miami, but Shaq has made them a championship team. You remove Shaq and Miami is not a championship team! On the filpside, Nash is a great player, great distributor, controller of the game but his defensive liability tips Shaq for my vote.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Things are getting a little bit more intense!

As midyear approaches, deadlines approach...meaning higher intensity. My work deadlines get tighter by the day and NBA playoffs keep me awake till 2 a.m. This is by far the most athletic playoff season i have seen in a long time. Houston vs Dallas and Denver vs San Antonio are as my blog says the 2 best series of the playoffs. Boston vs Indiana, Chicago vs Washington have been interesting but nothing compares to my top 2. Let me rate the first round of playoffs based on intensity and game-closeness:

1) Houston vs Dallas
2) Denver vs SanAntonio
3) Sacramento vs Seattle
4) Boston vs Indiana
5) Detroit vs AI( i would rather take AI over the entire roster)
6) Wade+sidekicks vs Nets
7) Bulls vs Wizards( all games were blowouts even though the score is 2-2)
8) Sun Guns Grizzlies ( Was this even a matchup....I wish Minnesota played better).

My second round predictions are straightforward:
1) Dallas vs Suns :
2) Spurs vs Sonics:
3) Detroit vs Boston
4) Miami vs Bulls.

Seems like the whole schedule is going according to what the commissioner predicted. As everyone expects: Phoenix will face San Antonio in West and Detroit will face Miami. I wont predict further till i see the injury status.

Denver(my favorite) Nuggets fell short in overtime today falling to 3-1. The key difference i thought was not lack of effort, but a poor game by Kenyon Martin and Andre Miller and little coaching blunders by George Karl. George allowed the game to drift a little towards SanAntonio before taking timeouts whereas Pop took whenever Denver was threatening to run. Score changed from 61-57 SanAntonio to 61-61...and Pop took a timeout. Karl let the game go away to almost 10 point leads by SanAntonio before calling time. Denver will improve next year for sure..but was Kenyon Martin worth 90 million dollars? This is my big question to Kiki and Stan Kroenke. Denver needs a good shooter and another good rebounder to support Camby. Martin is not a consistent Power Forward and I think shows off his antics more than playing ball. Tim Duncan needs to serve a coaching manual to play Basketball and talk less to him.
Watch this space for more playoff tidbits!