Sam's notebook

Extension:DocBookExport February 21st, 2018, 9AM

Open content

There’s a new extension recently been added to mediawiki.org, called DocBookExport. It provides a system of defining a book’s structure (a set of pages and some title and other metadata) and then pipes the pages’ HTML through Pandoc and out into DocBook format, from where it can be turned into PDF or just downloaded as-is.

There are a few issues with getting the extension to run (e.g. it wants to write to its own directory, rather than a normal place for temporary files), and I haven’t actually managed to get it fully functioning. But the idea is interesting. Certainly, there are some limitations with Pandoc, but mostly it’s remarkably good at converting things.

It seems that DocBookExport, and any other MediaWiki export or format conversion system, works best when the wiki pages (and their templates etc.) are written with the output formats in mind. Then, one can avoid things such as web-only formatting conventions that make PDF (or epub, or man page) generation trickier.

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Twittery February 21st, 2018, 8AM

Miscellaneous

There’s not really much that can be said on Twitter that can’t instead be said much more verbosely and with far fewer people seeing it on one’s own blog. There’s no limit to the meaningless silly things you can write on the internet, so they might as well be written in one’s own place.

I’m just a bit sick of the non-chronological nature of Twitter, where some mysterious inner force in the machine is telling me what’s “important”, and leaving me with the feeling that it’s not showing me things that I might actually want to see.

So I think I’ll come back here, to blog in this quiet secluded corner of the web. This, in combination with a bare-bones chronological RSS reader, has worked pretty well for 15 years; might as well carry on with it.

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Flickr2Piwigo 1.3.0 February 20th, 2018, 8AM

Programming

I thought I’d help out and try to update the Flickr2Piwigo plugin to support OAuth, but having done so I now seem to have become a maintainer of the thing. So that’s good. I’ve just released version 1.3.0.

I’ll try to see to all the outstanding bug reports (well, there’s only one at the moment). And then perhaps add some extra features (support for approximate dates? automatic downloading? download of other people’s photos?).

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Updating Flickr2Piwigo February 18th, 2018, 8AM

Programming

I’ve decided to try to bring the Flickr2Piwigo plugin up to date in order to support OAuth (Flickr’s old system of authentication was turned off in the middle of last year). I’ve been tinkering with getting the PhpFlickr library working properly lately (which is what Flickr2Piwigo uses to talk to Flickr), and although there’s lots more to do to it I’ve at least got the OAuth parts working (thanks to the lusitanian/oauth package). So now I’m going to add this to the Flickr2Piwigo.

There’s no support for Composer in Piwigo, so I’m not really sure how this is going to work. Probably some custom distribution-generation process; I’ll worry about that later. Hopefully we’ll not resort to committing vendor/.

Once this is working, I’ll go back to PhpFlickr and write some better documentation (probably Read The Docs) and fix up the caching system (it’s a bespoke oddity at the moment, that I think should be replaced with simple PSR-6 support).

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Open Source hacking afternoon January 14th, 2018, 5PM

Programming

I went along today to my first open source hack afternoon,
a regular language/platform agnostic hack group that’s now meeting at the Artifactory.

It was a hot day today, with dark orange skies from the fires up near Mundaring,
and when I got to the Artifactory there was a bit of a delay in getting inside
and so we sheltered in half a metre of shade against a hot wall for a little while.

We had a pretty good room with an portable air conditioner that made it just about a bearable temperature (and provided white noise, in case that’s useful).
Stephen brought a projector, so we could share things more easily.

I’m looking forward to next month—and maybe more people will come! Maybe it’ll be nicer weather.

https://perthhackers.github.io/

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Monday MediaWiki December 4th, 2017, 6AM

Miscellaneous

Monday morning, hot and humid, and the rain’s been falling all night (nearly 5 mm!). It’s one of those lovely days when you can look out to the ocean and stand on the limestone and feel this place.

I’m reading through the position statements that have been accepted for the Wikimedia Developer Summit in January. It’s great to read other people’s ideas in this form. I think there’s not really enough of that, in MediaWiki development: it’s hard to get an idea of other people’s ‘big picture’ thoughts of what the future should hold.

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