'Reports' in Tabulate

2015 archive

This page is part of the archives of my blog.

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This is the full archive for 2015

New blog for Planet Freo

Fremantle Reform has been added to Planet Freo.

Planet Freo back online

Sorry to everyone who noticed; Planet Freo‘s been offline for 48 hours. I thought I needed access to my home machine to fix it; turns out I didn’t, but anyway I waited till I was home (and powered by a dram of Ardmore) to fix it. It is now fixed.

I’ve updated the FreoWiki page that lists the feeds (if anyone’s keeping track of who’s been censured).

Anyone know of other blogs that should be on the list? Let me know!

3 sites gone from Planet Freo

Three feeds are gone from Planet Freo. Only two of the sites are kaput though; the SFFC still has a site, but they’ve ditched the feed (not on purpose, I’d say, because they’ve still got an icon for it on their homepage).

  1. South Fremantle Football Club http://southfremantlefc.com.au/
  2. FreOasis http://freoasis.org
  3. Fremantle Carnevale http://www.fremantlecarnevale.com.au/

CuppaShack (Winterfold Road cafe)

Just tried the new cafe that’s opened at the shops near the corner of Winterfold Road and Carrington Street. It’s far nicer than I was expecting! Not that a suburban shopping centre should be expected to produce boring cafes, it’s just that they rather often do. :-)

It was a nice place to sit outside, the tables are nothing unusual (the chairs weigh a ton), and they weren’t playing the radio but rather had chosen what music to inflict on people — with good results. And the coffee was terrific.

Updated: I got the name wrong earlier; it’s not got a space in it.

Updated again: It was still going a few years later.

Bookkeeping 0.3 (necro’d)

Not sure why, but earlier this morning I thought it’d be fun to revisit some ancient code of mine, in the form of the Bookkeeping plugin for WordPress. So I’ve brought it (more or less) up to date and released a new beta version.

Post 2262

Pear_Exception makes it to a stable v1.0.0 after 11 years!

Sync’ing all LDAP users into Drupal

Required modules: ldap_feeds, ldap_query, feeds, …

  1. Add desired fields to user accounts.
  2. Create an LDAP query that fetches the relevant attributes.
  3. Create a feeds importer:
    • Fetcher: “LDAP Query Fetcher”
    • Parser: “LDAP Entry Parser for Feeds”
    • Processor: “User processor”

Where to work on ebooks? Wikisource vs GITenberg

<figure style="width: 432px" class="wp-caption alignright"> <img class="" src="http://photos.samwilson.id.au/i/upload/2015/03/20/20150320213911-0c94c225-xs.jpg" alt="" width="432" height="288" /> <figcaption class="wp-caption-text"> Not enough photos are taken of the undersides of shop awnings. </figcaption> </figure> This morning I’m at Parlapa, the lovely little caffe opposite the town hall. It’s a good place to be sat, with a slight hangover, with some nice small WordPress code to be working on, and of course with a coffee. The only down side is the fact that the City wifi almost reaches here, so I’ve got the most tantalising of faint signals and so keep trying to connect; I should give that up, and read a book.

I’m re-reading Tolstoy’s Dictaphone, which is a terrific book. But I’ve left it at home, un-terrifically, and so instead am reading Live and Let Live by Catharine Maria Sedgwick. Only read the first two pages so far so I’ve no idea what it’s about, and anyway keep getting distracted by typographical errors (so far, all resulting from the fact that Kobos don’t support small-caps. What a joke!).

Talking of small-caps, there’s movement at the GITenberg station, with a project underway to convert PG books to unicode and to use proper punctuation characters (for quotation marks and dashes, at least). The idea is to use Asciidoc, but there is no standard way to express small-caps. In fact, none of the popular lightweight markup languages seem to have small-caps; what an oversight!

So if I were with a more solid connection, I’d try to run the punctuation-fixing scripts against one of Mr Gissing’s works. Because there’s something nicer about working on books as stand-alone Git repositories, rather than in the mammoth universe of Wikisource and the WMF. A feeling that one is producing single editions, and perhaps a number of different formats for each — and is able to give each its due attention. The wikitext-as-source-format paradigm gets a bit tiring sometimes, because although the HTML output is great, and that makes for good ebooks (well, Kobo and its small-caps-ignorance aside), I’d really like to be able to produce printable (and thus bindable) output as well. Say, via LaTeX. And maybe Asciidoc is one way of doing that.

Really, the main thing that PG is missing (and GITenberg, although it’s probably easier to rectify there) is the ability to confer with the original source scans.

Melbourne and Mars, by Joseph Fraser

Melbourne and Mars, by Joseph Fraser.

You cannot go twenty miles in any direction without finding an electric fountain, free to the public, from which the accumulators of any travelling machine can be instantly recharged.

…indeed, we have no wilful lawbreakers anywhere.

We have no hunting of wild beasts; they have all been exterminated long ago. This extermination has extended to vermin and insect plagues, and even to some kinds of animalculæ. There is nothing that can bite, sting, or injure us in any way.

I now use curly quotation marks when proofreading

There are currently two things that are annoying me about Wikisource books. These are: the inclusion of hyperlinks (to be all 1990s about it, with using that word); and the usage of straight quotation marks.

Links I can forgive, or even actively enjoy, in non-fiction; but in fiction, they have no place. (So think I, anyway.) Especially when they link to a sodding dictionary term! I know how to look up a word I don’t know. Sigh.

The curly-vs-straight argument is an odd one. We only have straight ones thanks to typewriters (or their manufacturers, I guess) not wanting to have two sorts for each type of quotation mark. So why we persist I cannot say! No, I can say… it’s mostly to do with ease of typing, on common systems, I think. It’s annoying to type the opening and the closing glyphs, when there’s only one button on the keyboard. But really! That might hold sway where there’s no automatic system for handling these things, but we have those systems and they work admirably. And certainly, when it comes to typesetting books that are going to be read by (we hope) very many people, it’s worth putting a bit more effort in to make them look nice.

Because that’s what it’s about, ultimately: making the text beautiful! For how many hundreds of years have people been taking terrific care over making books look nice?! Let’s not give up on that.

I’m not really sure why I’m writing this, today. (Probably due to the glass of White Rabbit I’ve just here.) It’s that I’m firing with the zeal of the converted! I am, you see. I used to not care about quotes, and think they should be left straight — now, I stand on speakers’ corner and holler to confused passersby!

So, would that ye enjoy yr ebooks?! Then set them with loveliness!

Right… where’s that beer…


<img src="http://photos.samwilson.id.au/_data/i/upload/2015/06/02/20150602010707-eb3bc131-me.png" width="783" height="594" class="aligncenter" />

I looked out at the weeds, and suddenly didn’t care at all. What a relief.

What tools are changing our world next? – Luis Villa

A good post about how, perhaps, the ‘wiki’ (and other open collaboration systems) are being left behind by proprietary systems. That it’s the vast databases of the big corporations that mean they can provide better services.

That’s going to be difficult (impossible?) for pure peer production models to match.

Read more: What tools are changing our world next? – Luis Villa

OSM needs new machines to “serve the planet”.

OpenStreetMap is run and supported by volunteers like you. With more and more people helping to make great maps, we need bigger and faster servers to keep up with the demand. If you enjoy using or contributing to OpenStreetMap, please consider making a donation.

Donate to OpenStreetMap.

‘Freo Green Guide’ is no more

I don’t really remember what it was, but whatever it was, it no longer is:


(Maybe someone just forgot to pay their hosting bill.)

The Computer Backup Rule of Three – Scott Hanselman

Backing up to a hard drive that is 6 inches away from your computer is #notabackup

The Computer Backup Rule of Three – Scott Hanselman

Drawer for my toolbox

My main woodworking toolbox has two runners inside, near the top edge, on which to slide a drawer. I put them in when I built the thing (I made them too long, or the lid props too long, or something too long, and had to chop a bit out of them so the lid would close; see at right. That’s irrelevant to the task at hand though.)

<img src="http://photos.samwilson.id.au/i/upload/2015/06/19/20150619011728-c176188d-sm.jpg" width="576" height="384" class="aligncenter" />

But I have no drawer — so, I’m making one. I’ve got a few odd bits of pine sitting around, mostly destined to be paint stirrers; I’ll bodge them together in a squarish shape, and my chisels and small things will have somewhere to be put.

<img src="http://photos.samwilson.id.au/_data/i/upload/2015/06/19/20150619011747-f2fd8289-sm.jpg" width="576" height="384" class="aligncenter" />

The piece of 19×42 was a bit fat, or at least I thought it might look a bit odd next to the skinny walls made from the other pieces, so I ripped it in half.

<img src="http://photos.samwilson.id.au/i/upload/2015/06/19/20150619032646-6e48c716-sm.jpg" width="576" height="384" class="aligncenter" />

Docked to length (with a few millimeters to spare for cutting off later), I then cleaned up the sawn surfaces (a bit; I’m not fussy, and sometimes like to see some saw marks). I usually work with Tas. Oak, and am always surprised at the soft squishiness of pine, and the speed with which it can be worked (or butchered, as one might say in this case).

<img src="http://photos.samwilson.id.au/i/upload/2015/06/19/20150619032924-a43de2f8-sm.jpg" width="576" height="384" class="aligncenter" />

The drawer bottom pieces were actually already within a gnat’s crotchet of where they needed to be, so I just planned their ends to get them squared up and the right length. The sides I then marked to length off the bottoms, because I really don’t care how big this thing is (it just has to fit itself).

<img src="http://photos.samwilson.id.au/_data/i/upload/2015/06/19/20150619033028-380e4843-sm.jpg" width="576" height="384" class="aligncenter" />

I really should get around to making myself a bench hook or two; they’re far better than hanging things off the end of the bench. But I’m lazy; whenever I’ve got energy for woodwork, I want to get on with the thing at hand, and not get caught up in jigs and set-up and prep. A ridiculous, inaccurate attitude, I’m sure. It’s not like I get shit done anyway.

<img src="http://photos.samwilson.id.au/_data/i/upload/2015/06/19/20150619033120-b37f00fb-sm.jpg" width="576" height="384" class="aligncenter" />

The time had come for beer, so that was procured (from a shockingly plastic homebrew bottle), and the glue-up commenced. It didn’t go right, at first, but I went and found a proper glass for it (and found my battery drill with a 1 mm bit), and after that the nails went straight and true and didn’t blow out the sides.

<img src="http://photos.samwilson.id.au/_data/i/upload/2015/06/19/20150619033331-d618654b-sm.jpg" width="576" height="384" class="aligncenter" />

Probably, one should try to avoid blogging about gluing things together while actually doing it. But then, the computer was right there in the cupboard playing odd things from Radio Paradise, so it seemed easy enough. Got a bit of glue on the camera grip though.

<img src="http://photos.samwilson.id.au/_data/i/upload/2015/06/19/20150619033543-23a62fa6-sm.jpg" width="576" height="384" class="aligncenter" />

The two short sides were next, being cut to length each to their own. They fitted with no dramas. By this time it was dark, and I was wondering what it would cost to get something more than a single fluro tube lighting my shed. Or even a new extension cord so I could run the computer, amp, and a desk lamp on my bench (radio takes precedence at the moment).

So, all done.

<img src="http://photos.samwilson.id.au/_data/i/upload/2015/06/19/20150619033641-e7ec6402-sm.jpg" width="576" height="384" class="aligncenter" />

The album for all these photos is at photos.samwilson.id.au/index/category/222.

Wikisource needs your input « Wikimedia blog


A new Wikisource survey is being conducted!

During the survey, you will be asked questions regarding your personal involvement with the Wikisource project, your preferences regarding governance and technology, and your opinion on how a Wikisource Conference should be shaped. With the support of Wikimedia Österreich and Wikimedia Italia, a Project and Event Grant proposal is to be presented for such a conference. We would like to involve Wikisourcers in a joint venture both to spread knowledge about the project and to strengthen community bonds. This,

Read more: Wikisource needs your input « Wikimedia blog

Wikisource category browser now has other languages

I’ve updated the Wikisource validated works’ category browser tool to include other languages. So far it’s just Italian, and to some perhaps-incorrect extent French (there’s only four? that’s not right).

I just need more Wikisources to tell me the names of their validated works and root categories, and it’ll just be a matter of adding these to the config to get them running.

The category list is updated weekly.

Loading spatial data into MySQL with LOAD DATA INFILE

Just a note for my future reference: importing an Excel CSV into MySQL. The WKT column has been constructed by hand to be POINT(lng lat) and the CSV contains headers.

LOAD DATA INFILE '/full\_path/to/file-on-server.csv'
REPLACE INTO TABLE the\_table COLUMNS TERMINATED BY ',' OPTIONALLY ENCLOSED BY '"' IGNORE 1 ROWS (name,description,@geographic\_location)
SET geographic\_location = GeomFromText(@geographic_location);

Tabulate 1.0.0

I’ve just realeased version 1.0.0 of Tabulate, a WordPress plugin for working with data in a site’s MySQL database. I’ve been using it for a few months in production, and the shift from 0.* to 1.0 was fairly arbitrary — it just seemed stable enough now. The new feature that got included in this release is the ability to export to OpenStreetMap XML (not a great leap ahead of the KML export that was already done).

Any problems with Tabulate can be lodged on the issue tracker at Github, or on the normal WordPress support forum.

Here’s a suburb’s worth of power pole locations, exported from Tabulate and opened in JOSM:

<img class="aligncenter size-medium wp-image-2385" src="http://samwilson.id.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/hamilton_hill_poles-500x305.png" alt="Poles in Hamilton Hill" width="500" height="305" srcset="http://localhost/~sam/wp-samwilson.id.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/hamilton_hill_poles-500x305.png 500w, http://localhost/~sam/wp-samwilson.id.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/hamilton_hill_poles-150x91.png 150w, http://localhost/~sam/wp-samwilson.id.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/hamilton_hill_poles.png 681w" sizes="(max-width: 500px) 100vw, 500px" />


'Reports' in Tabulate

I’ve been working on a system for integrating custom queries and outputs into Tabulate. So far, it’s only been possible to use MySQL views to combine data from different tables, and the output has been just the same as for base tables. I keep wanting to be able to apply custom formatting to columns or to whole tables — the data is fine, it can almost always be derived with a single SQL statement.

Currently, I’m working on a system of ‘reports’, where one can define a template (using Twig) and a set of SQL queries whose data will be given to the template. Pretty simple, really. I thought about (actually, still wonder if it’s not a better way) making it possible to define custom formats/templates for individual columns and column types, but everything that that approach can do can be done with these ‘reports’, plus a whole lot more.

So, a report (a record in the <em>$prefix</em>_tabulate_reports table) has a title, description, and a Twig template. Then it has a set of SQL queries (in the <em>$prefix</em>_tabulate_report_queries table), each of which has a name (which is what the query is passed into the template as).

It’s hard to know if this is enough. It might even be too much — Tabulate is not meant to be anything more than a CRUD tool, and customisation above and beyond what it does can easily be handled with custom plugins. It does seem that it’s worth making Tabulate able to do some basic display-customisation though, so that site authors can more easily work with data without having to write any custom code.

Because that’s really the goal of Tabulate: it should provide simple ways to work with tabualar data within WordPress in much the same way that spreadsheet programes do on the desktop (well, that’s perhaps a bit of an overstatement, considering the crazy things that people do with spreadsheets). It should easily insert a list of statistics into a post; or add an always-up-to-date chart to a page; or invite submissions of data points from registered users; and generally make it easier (than spreadsheets do) to enforce referential integrity, proper data types, and other essential constraints.

Planet Freo back online 2

Planet Freo has been offline for most of the last week. It is working again now, but I’m doing work to make it more stable. MoonMoon needs some love!

Thanks to everyone who reported the outage; it’s lovely to know that it’s being used.

Piwigo rocks

I have been using Piwigo for a couple of years (photos.samwilson.id.au), and have been really happy with it. The ability to work with large numbers of photos (uploading lots, and bulk-editing) is what made it a pleasure to use to start with; these are usually the initial tasks one does with this photo-gallery software, and they’re usually where systems are not at their best. Now I’ve got a few thousand photos in it, I’ve gotten the hang of a reasonable workflow, and Piwigo has mostly receeded to the background and just carries on working without issue. I’ve added my albums’ URLs to all sorts of places, including in printed archival descriptions, and feel pretty committed to sticking with Piwigo.

So it was nice to recieve a newsletter from the Piwigo development team, talking about their recent shift of the codebase to GitHub, a new Java desktop synchronisation client, and other things. If one doesn’t actively haunt the forums, it’s hard to remember that Piwigo is still a going concern — but I’m very glad that it is!

Open source software is great, I love using it and contributing to it. But sometimes it goes away. :( Of course, that happens to proprietary apps too, but with FOSS failures I feel sad, because it feels like I’ve personally failed the project (I should’ve been more involved). It’s one of the reasons it’s good to pay for free software. I’m glad Piwigo makes money from their piwigo.com service (well, I assume that’s what keeps the lights on).

Anyway, all I wanted to say was: thanks for Piwigo.

MediaWiki as a community resource - Entries in Life

What is the WMF stance on MediaWiki? Is it part of the mission or a by-product of it?

Source: MediaWiki as a community resource | Entries in Life

Freo 2015-12-04


The map state of Fremantle: