Sam Wilson's Website

January 2023

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    ‘It had just vanished’ - the shock when tech fails by Chris Baraniuk:

    Her site had been in the hands of cloud hosting provider Gridhost, which shut down in November. Mrs Brown never received notifications about the switch-off because her blog had been set up by a third-party business, which had stopped trading.

    And she had no access to the backup for her blog either, since it had also been hosted in the cloud by Gridhost. Days of stress ensued. Many tears flowed.

    Yet another reminder that a “backup” that lives in the same place as its source is not a backup!

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    I’ve just released version 5.0.0 of PhpFlickr, the Flickr API wrapper that I forked a few years ago and have not given much time to. I think I meant to get this out in 2019. Wouldn’t have happened without all the contributors, such as @stevenmaguire for sorting out the deprecated methods, and @carlos-mg89 for forking the OAuth library and maintaining that, so thank you to them!

    There’s more work to be done, and if anyone has any issues please shout.

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    I’m trying to find a new temperature and relative humidity monitor, and this one seems much better than my old one. It’s even a bit cheaper. I never could get the old one to work reliably on Linux, but this Tzone TempU 03 looks like it just mounts as a USB storage device. Much better. Of course, it means I can’t get the data unattended, but that’s okay because the thing is going to go in a cupboard anyway.

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    I added a newly-scanned photo to ArchivesWiki yesterday, and none of its images were loading (via InstantCommons). I think I was probably a bit tired, because I immediately assumed that I’m a crap sysadmin who has no business trying to run a wiki.

    Coming back to it this morning, it turns out that it was some transient issue with retrieving info from Commons, and it’s now resolved and everything’s working normally again. Like it has for a decade or so. I’ll guess I’ll put off Giving Up till tomorrow.

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    In two places yesterday I noticed MediaWiki wikis with slightly odd phrasing relating to their site names:

    • under the login form a button that says “Join Join the Fediverse” (message userlogin-joinproject) which has a repeated word; and
    • in the sidebar of Vector-2022 a box with “On this Example Inc. the language links are at the top of the page across from the article title.” (message vector-language-redirect-to-top) which makes the assumption that there are more wikis with this name (which is true for wiki-per-language setups such as Wikipedia).

    There are many other uses of the site name in messages, and of course any wiki with a site name that makes these messages sound funny should probably be overriding the messages locally (as we did on the WMAU wiki where ‘Join Wikimedia Australia’ has a different meaning to ‘Create an account’).

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    I’m trying to figure out what I want next with my website: Webmentions, or some sort of feed reader. Probably I should focus on improving the visual differentiation of authors better. Things all look a bit same at the moment. Also need to do more work on untitled posts, to perhaps completely hide the post ID.

    We had a chat at a meeting somewhere recently about how to mark up authors, preferably with some way of adding the Wikidata ID or ORCID for each, so that they’re unambiguous. I’ve not done it yet, but it looks like it’ll be possible. I think a similar thing can be done with tags. Then things like Citoid and web2Cit can possibly extract better info (not that they’ll be citing my site).

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    You’re invited to join us for an evening of throwing around ideas, gathering thoughts and scheming for the year!

    We’re holding a casual meetup for anyone who’s interested in open geospatial data, tools and technologies. Come along if you have ideas about talks/workshops/events you’d like to attend. Or if you’d like to be involved in other ways… or if you’d just like to talk geospatial over a drink!

    We’ll gather ideas for Geogeeks meetup themes and OSM mapping days, and discuss a potential FOSS4G Perth 2023 event! So many possibilities - come get involved!

    Drinks and snacks provided! BYO laptop if you wish.

    When: from 5:30 pm Tuesday 24th January

    Where: 49 Phillimore St, Fremantle. Entry is via 1 Pakenham St.

    If you’d like to be involved or have ideas to contribute but can’t make it in person, please feel free to contact us on Slack or by email. All suggestions, ideas, thoughts welcome!

    We look forward to seeing you there!

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    Someone asked about how to send an email if a MediaWiki page hasn’t been updated in a year, and it reminded me of an extension I wrote in 2013 that was for just that sort of thing. It was quite cool, for the year or so we used it.

    It was on a wiki that stored information about fleet maintenance and tools and things (documentation sorts of stuff mostly), and people wanted to be reminded of pages that they needed to review on a regular basis. It could target things quite well, so people wouldn’t get emails if other people had already done the review, and I think that helped with the response rate to the emails actually being quite high (although maybe that was just because the whole project was closed down after a year and people didn’t have time to get sick of it).