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).

Trenches and boring in Fremantle


I've been for a walk around the streets this afternoon, looking at the various diggings that are going on. There's some massive moving of limestone going on down at High Street, and some lesser but perhaps more delicate horizontal boring of new power lines near Swanbourne Street. The rain came at some point, and I hid under a tree on the edge of Stevens Reserve. I'd upload some photos, but they're stuck on my camera because I don't have an SD card reader to hand.

Genealogy demo site not working


The demo wiki for the Genealogy extension has been offline since the switch from wmflabs.org to toolforge.org, but it's now working again.

I've set up the Diagrams extension on it too: https://genealogy.toolforge.org/wiki/Diagrams

Diagrams rendered locally


I've merged the first part of the locally-rendered stuff for the Diagrams extension. There are still a bunch of things that don't work quite as they should (like captions) but for Graphviz and Mscgen things are nearly done. I'll get it deployed on toolforge:genealogy and experiment a bit.

Ootong and Lincoln


Sitting at Ootong and Lincoln, working on the Diagrams extension.

I don't want it to have to serve up map files for mscgen images (Mscgen only generates imap files, rather than the more modern map HTML that Graphviz's cmapx produces).

Keywords: checkins ·



I don't quite know what's going wrong yet, but with two wikis now I've had the following error when trying to log in after upgrading to 1.34: "Auto-creation of a local account failed: Username entered already in use. Please choose a different name."

The error seems to go away after the session expires, and the user is logged in correctly (sometimes after a subsequent error of "Auto-creation of a local account failed: You have not specified a valid username.").


I'm not very good at remembering to blog.



The wet weather has finally actually arrived, so rather than tramping out across the heath like I'd planned, I'm sitting in Dôme 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.




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