My coffee mug

Hello world, and welcome to my corner of the web. This is where I write words about what I'm working on, and post photographs of things I've seen.

I'm a Software Engineer at the Wikimedia Foundation, and so of course my personal website is a wiki (running on MediaWiki). In my spare time I volunteer with WikiClubWest to work on Wikimedia projects, mostly around my family's genealogy and local Western Australian history (especially to do with Fremantle). I try to keep up with issues on all the things I maintain (but usually fail).

I also try to find time to work in my workshop on various woodworking projects. Recently, that's been focused on restoring a chest of drawers and building a metalworking bench.

Travel features in my life, not because I really hugely want to go elsewhere but because I just do — and also because then I can do some more interesting mapping on OpenStreetMap.

I'm currently reading the following: A Puritan Bohemia (Margaret Sherwood, 1896), and Doctor Thorne (Anthony Trollop), and Perth (David Whish-Wilson, 2013), and The Railway Adventures (Geoff Marshall; Vicki Pipe, 2018).

To contact me, you can email me or find me on Matrix as '@samwilson:matrix.org'. If you want to leave a comment on this site (by creating an account), you need to know the secret code Tuart (it's not very secret, but seems to be confusing enough for most spammers).



The wet weather has finally actually arrived, so rather than tramping out acriss the heath like I'd planned I'm sitting in Dome with a coffee waiting for the early ferry. It's actually quite nice weather, sort of warm, but the later ferry is likely to be pretty rough. I want to head home and get a bit more work done on an idea I've got for a MediaWiki-as-blog feature.




Bald hill


Bald Hill is not at all bald. I assume at some point it was, but it now has head-height acacias growing all over it, and from the direction of approach of the old access track it's nearly impossible to get through. I later figured out that the opposite slope is much clearer, but I was following the track and wondering why it was strewn with lumps of grey concrete so I pushed on through the scrub.

It turns out there's a very sizable concrete footing extant there, with massive reinforcing sticking out of it. There's a water tank further up the hill, and lots of red brick rubble about. I have no idea what it was all for, but I presume WW2 stuff (it looks similar to other brick amd concrete ruins I've come across ob the island). The size of the footings certainly makes it seem likely.

I'll upload more photos here later; the only ones I have on my phone are crappy due to a scratch on the lens (which, I've just read, might be fixable). My camera works well, and I had my GPX turned on so shall have coordiantes for all this too — when I'm back at the computer.

[[File:20200627_115629_HDR.jpg| now700p, it's beer o'clock.



The rain has finally started:20200626 170826.jpg

Writing in the past


I don't really understand how one should write an indieweb:post that belongs in another time other than the one in which one is writing. I mean, to fill in the blanks of the past, and explain what happened or was thought. I'd love to write them with a date property of the correct time — but what is that time? Is it the date of an event? The day after? And what does it mean for feeds, do they stick to chronological, and so probably not show anachronistic posts? It's all a bit confusing.

HWC West Coast, June 2020


It's rare that online events are at reasonable times for me in UTC+8; usually they're aimed at UTC+1ish or UTC-5ish. Today is the Homebrew Website Club West Coast online meetup, which is named after the US west coast but I figure I can pretend it means all west coasts.

It's starting with an hour of quiet writing time. That feels like a strange but wonderful thing to have on a conference call.

The idea of the indieweb has been coming up a bit lately in my life, and I've got a tiny side project to attempt to create mw:Extension:Webmentions — given that I've resigned myself to using MediaWiki for blogging! I don't know if it'll work, because there are a few things that don't really gel well with the unstructured-pages-of-text approach of wikis. Sending webmentions should be straight forward, because on any link it's possible to send something to the target and it's not necessary to know anything about the structure of the wiki page that the link is on. Receiving them on the other hand might be trickier. All I'm working on at the moment is adding a generic notice on the talk page; I guess it wouldn't be too hard to extend it to pulling in some common post types from the sending page. Some of the stuff I'd love to get working is around events and RSVPs, but maybe the unstructured wiki way will not handle that very well.

Anyway, it's good fun.

Keywords: indieweb · meetups ·

Scanning 1975


I've been helping my dad to scan some slides of his from 1975. It's great fun, seeing these old photos merge from the scanner, and slightly strange seeing my parents as young people.

My grandfather did not take well to people putting up "no trespassing" signs:

009 Sign burning.png

New Westralia


This looks pretty loopy: http://friendsofnewwestralia.com/ — some bloke called Garry is trying to set up a new country or something.

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