Collector or Digital Librarian? | Brewster Kahle’s Blog

The digital librarian has no long term memory other than what is captured in the library.

Source: Collector or Digital Librarian? | Brewster Kahle’s Blog

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I’ve finally got an account on micro.blog. Looks interesting.

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Creating Wikisource author pages

I figured out how to do some slight video editing in OpenShot, and have tried to make another Wikisource tutorial:

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On not hosting everything

I’ve been moving all my photos to Flickr lately. It’s been a long process, one complicated by the fact that it seems silly to run my own WordPress installation (and things like ArchivesWiki) if I’m not going to bother hosting everything myself. Of course, that’s not really very logical, and so I’ve decided that it’s perfectly okay to host photos on Flickr, videos on YouTube, and all the text (and miscellaneous) stuff here on my own server.

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Importing books from IA to Wikisource

After being inspired by Ewan McAndrew at Wikimania, I’ve taken a crack at doing my own video about importing books from the Internet Archive into Wikisource:

There are a few mistakes here, and as I’ve yet to figure out how to edit videos properly (I’ve only managed to hang my video editing software so far), they’ve stayed in; I’ll do another video correcting things.

The pagelist creation process is probably the hardest bit for beginners to Wikisource, and it’s something we need to work on. Metadata copying, on the other hand, mostly works fine (of course, we should not be copying the metadata, but that’s another story).

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All the stations have an adventure

Today is All The Stations‘ “have an adventure” day, in which they’re asking people to visit a railway station that they’ve never been to before. When I first heard about it I figured I have to end up at somewhere boring like Aubin Grove but as it turns out I’m actually at Wikimania in Montreal! So it’s rather easy to find a station to which I’ve never been; in fact, with the assistance of a friend, I have today been to seven new stations.

Bonaventure:

All the stations have an adventure

Square-Victoria-OACI:

Square-Victoria-OACI station

Place d’Armes (no photo).

Champ-de-Mars:

Champ-de-Mars station

Berri-UQAM:

Berri-UQAM station

Jean-Drapeau:

Jean-Drapeau station

Longueuil:

Longueuil station

And also Windsor, which isn’t actually a station any more:

Windsor station

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Metropolitan Museum of Art

I went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York with a gang of Wikimedians and led by the wonderful Wikimedians in Residence at the Met, Neil and Richard. It was the day before we were all to catch the Adirondack (Amtrak #69) to New York, and it was raining, and I was completely jet-lagged from the trip from Australia the day before.

But it was wonderful!

After an initial (whirlwind) tour by Richard, our group of a dozen or so organically decided that we’d really quite like a bit of alone time, and went our separate ways around the hundreds (literally!) of gallery rooms in the museum.

I found George Washington of greenback fame:

I'm in the States now I guess

But reasonably quickly gave up on being a good art-looker and hid myself in the cafeteria with an overly-salty soup and some dry crackers… I’d been up since 3 already, and wasn’t sure I’d make it through the rest of the afternoon without crying.

However, after lunch I found the Frank Lloyd Wright room and the American Arts and Crafts items; and what a joy it was.

The American Wing

Frank Lloyd Wright room

I remember Greene & Greene vaguely from my days at art school, but seeing their armchair (1992.127) and library table (1981.316) was a breath of fresh air, and a reminder of the joy of truth to materials. These were pieces in which one could see the reality of the work. Ebony through-tenons in a table-top? That’s a beautiful idea!

Greene & Greene table with tenons

Then Gustave Stickley in the next room: his library table (1976.389.1) with a leather-clad top, screwed down with steel butterfly lugs (to the outside of the rails), and sidways-pegged tenons to the six legs. The inside bottom rails didn’t intersect, but are stacked on one another; such obviousness!

Library Table MET DP209329

Stickley’s sideboard: the doors are solid boards, jointed only with butterfly through tenons and seemingly no other bracing (they don’t need any). This stuff is about design, not so much for the Common Person, but for the Common Craftsperson. Design that makes things easy to make, honest in their representation of the abilities of the materials, and from those things to exhibit a raw and accessible beauty.

After that I returned to the open storage area, where large numbers of items from the collection are displayed in shelved glass-fronted cases, with as many items squeezed in as possible. It’s not the most flattering way to see some things, but then most of it was overly-ornamented 19th century stuff that I had little interest in. The good stuff, the simple and wooden furniture, was if anything enhanced by being often up higher than eye level (we could see underneath it with ease).

One piece caught my eye, and a visit to the weird huge touch-screens taught me that it was actually another Stickley piece (well, built by him; designed by Harvey Ellis). A small writing desk, 1981.440.1:

Desk MET 234742

This simplicity of construction gives an easier path between the designer and the maker (ideally, the two should be the same person). These ideas were explored more in Stickley’s journal The Craftsman (1901–16); I shall see if we can add these to Wikisource.

The Met has uploaded a huge number of images to Wikimedia Commons, and so as I went around I tried not to take a million photos—there are so many better ones already on the web, and freely usable. But I had to take some, either as aide-mémoires or because it seemed unlikely that the professional photographers would have paid close enough attention to the things that I am interested in. So I’ll upload at least a few new ones to Commons; the rest of mine can stay on Flickr.

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Jazz and the MediaWiki package

And rain, I mustn’t forget the rain. I’m worrying about the roof, although far less than I used to (it’s a different roof). The jazz is the radio; it’s on.

But the main point this morning is exploring the mediawiki-lts package maintained by Legoktm. I’ve been meaning to look at it for a while, and switch my (non-playground) wikis over to it, but there’s never enough time. Not that there’s enough time now, but I’m just trying to get it running locally for two wikis (yes, the smallest possible farm).

So, in simple steps, I first added the PPA:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:legoktm/mediawiki-lts

This created /etc/apt/sources.list.d/legoktm-ubuntu-mediawiki-lts-xenial.list. Then I updated the package info:

sudo apt-get update

And installed the package:

sudo apt install mediawiki

At this point, the installation prompt for MediaWiki 1.27.3 was available at http://localhost/mediawiki/ (which luckily doesn’t conflict with anything I already had locally) and I stepped through the installer, creating a new database and DB user via phpMyAdmin as I went, and answering all the questions appropriately. (It’s actually been a while since I last saw the installer properly.) The only tricky thing I found was that it asks for the “Directory for deleted files” but not for the actual directory for all files — because I want the files to be stored in a particular place and not in /usr/share/mediawiki/images/, especially as I want there to be two different wikis that don’t share files.

I made a typo in my database username in the installation form, and got a “Access denied for user x to database y” error. I hit the browser’s back button, and then the installer’s back buttons, to go back to the relevant page in the installer, fixed the typo and proceeded. It remembered everything correctly, and this time installed the database tables, with only one error. This was “Notice: JobQueueGroup::__destruct: 1 buffered job(s) of type(s) RecentChangesUpdateJob never inserted. in /usr/share/mediawiki/includes/jobqueue/JobQueueGroup.php on line 447”. Didn’t seem to matter.

At the end of the installer, it prompted me to download LocalSettings.php and put it at /etc/mediawiki/LocalSettings.php which I did:

 sudo mv ~/LocalSettings.php /etc/mediawiki/.
 sudo chown root:root /etc/mediawiki/LocalSettings.php
 sudo chmod 644 /etc/mediawiki/LocalSettings.php

And then I had a working wiki at http://localhost/mediawiki/index.php!

Configuring

I wanted a different URL, so edited /etc/apache2/sites-available/000-default.conf (in order to not modify the package-provided /etc/mediawiki/mediawiki.conf) to add:

Alias /mywiki /var/lib/mediawiki

And changed the following in LocalSettings.php:

$wgScriptPath = "/mywiki";

The multiple wikis will have to wait until later, as will the backup regime.

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As of today, my shed can finally be locked up.  Time now to decide where to put things.

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Is it a coincidence that Jeremy Corbyn on Dead Ringers is rather similar-sounding to their Brian Cox?

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