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!

What goes Where on the Web

Every now and then I recap on where and what I store online. Today I do so again, while I’m rather feeling that there should be discrete and specific tools for each of the things.

Firstly there are the self-hosted items:

  1. WordPress for blogging (where photo and file attachments should be customized to the exact use in question, not linked from external sites). Is also my OpenID provider.
  2. Piwigo as the primary location for all photographs.
  3. MoonMoon for feed reading (and, hopefully one day, archiving).
  4. MediaWiki for family history sites that are closed-access.
  5. My personal DokuWiki for things that need to be collaboratively edited.

Then the third-party hosts:

  1. OpenStreetMap for map data (GPX traces) and blogging about map-making.
  2. Wikimedia Commons for media of general interest.
  3. The NLA’s Trove for correcting newspaper texts.
  4. Wikisource as a library.
  5. Twitter (although I’m not really sure why I list this here at all).

Finally, I’m still trying to figure out the best system for:

  1. Public family history research. There’s some discussion about this on Meta.

Archiving a password-protected site with wget

The combination of wget and the Export Cookies add-on for Firefox is useful for creating offline, complete, static archives of websites that are only accessible with a password:

  1. First log in to the site and export cookies.txt,
  2. Then run
    wget \
    	--recursive \
    	--no-clobber \
    	--page-requisites \
    	--html-extension \
    	--convert-links \
    	--restrict-file-names=windows \
    	--domains example.com \
    	--no-parent \
    	--load-cookies cookies.txt \
    	--reject logout,admin* \
    	example.com/sub/dir
    

The rejection of logout URLs is especially useful, because otherwise one will probably be logged out by wget accessing the logout link.

Preventing duplicate rows in a tabular HTML form

I am working on a bespoke issue-tracking system at the moment (not for code issue-tracking, in case anyone thinks we’re cloning Redmine; although there certainly are overlaps…) in which each issue has a list of personnel, each of whom have a role on the issue.

The task at hand is to prevent people selecting the same combination of role and person more than once. Of course, the application and database will reject such an occurence; this is to fix the UI so that users can’t easily submit the duplicates. For the purposes of this explanation, we’re working only in HTML and Javascript (jQuery).

The UI looks something like the screenshot to the right (there is also a means of adding new rows to the table—that doesn’t change how this validation works, but it is why we’re using .live() below):

The Problem

In an HTML table full of form elements,
where new rows can be added (dynamically),
we want to prevent duplicate rows being selected.

The Plan

After changing a value in any row,
get a list of the values in that row
and then go through all of the rows
and see if those values are there.
If we find more than one instance of them,
tell the user
and return the changed value to what it was before.

The Solution

The final code is below (it was built using jQuery 1.6.1 and jQuery UI 1.8.5), and a demonstration is available elsewhere.

On saving bits of the web (but not why it’s worth it)

172 doomed BBC websites saved by one geek, for $3.99 [Local archive]

I used to not bother saving anything that I read on the web, figuring that it was all either insignificant ephemera or would be there forever. Now, I save whatever takes my fancy — not aiming at comprehensiveness (of course! I’m not the IA) — and stick it up wherever seems fitting (Wikisource, if it fits there, or one of my own sites).

Of course, there’s no guarantee that *my* copies of this stuff will survive, but that’s why *everyone* should save the things they think are interesting. That way, there’s multiple copies (hmm, which reminds me of LOCKSS), and it also gives some insight into the person doing the saving — personal archives are often more interesting than institutional…

A new look for my website

This is the first post that I’m making on my newly-recreated website. I was going to wait until I’d got things a bit smoother and more finished before activating this site, but why bother? I don’t think anyone’s going to mind too much if my news feed is broken for a few days, or some posts that were here are now no longer. I cringe when I read anything I wrote Before, anyway, so it’s probably best that it’s gone from sight for a while (no pun intended).

Do you like the suitcase at the top? It’s much nicer in real life.

Freo on the web

I am trying to get my head around all of the various places that Fremantle features (regularly, topically) on the Web. I want to figure out where the Fremantle Society’s website fits in, and what it might be used for (what might be missing from elsewhere).

So I started from the outside, yesterday, and moved inwards…

  1. Wikipedia, a first port of call for general info about anywhere, gives a reasonable overview to Freo from an outsider’s perspective. The Fremantle category has the subcategories show in the graph at right (which comes from the catgraph tool by User:Dapete). Obviously, this categorisation isn’t complete, and needs to be improved to reflect what’s actually important in Freo. (More on this later…)

  2. Next, there’s the Council’s website, fremantle.wa.gov.au, which has recently undergone a redesign, and is looking… umm… well, there’s lots of great information for residents and whatnot! There is a news feed, and a calendar of upcoming events (which I’d link to, but it’s a JS overlay thing that doesn’t seem to have it’s own URL). There are plans for new web-based methods of communication with constituents: firstly via a CRM for interacting with Council (for the general public? or just precinct committees?); and secondly (and I think this is going to be separate from the CRM) a network of community-group/precinct websites, called FREOSPACE. This is akin, perhaps, to the Cockburn Community Portal.

    I got my information about these plans from the presentation that Jen Valesini (Coordinator of the Fremantle Volunteer Service; is that right? perhaps not; anyway, she was part of the Precinct Review) gave to last week’s Freo Society meeting; and the Precinct Group Report.

  3. Then, there’s a host of topical and personal blogs: Adele Carles, State MP for Fremantle, Brad Pettitt, Fremantle’s Mayor, Cyclefreo, Dismantle, FERN, the Fremantle Environment Resource Centre, Freo Tribe, the blog of the Fremantle Society, Freo’s View, Tom M. Wilson, Love Freo, Melissa Parke, Federal MP for Fremantle, and The Painted Fish. There are more. I’ve started collecting a list of these as a ‘Freo Planet’ (to use that possibly-too-geeky term for an aggregation of news feeds); the planet itself has a news feed, the idea being that one could subscribe to just one source to get all Freo news.

There’s more to be looked at, but in a general sense I think there is room for a ‘reference’ website about Fremantle. An open site for the stories and detail of Freo, rather like Wikipedia but with ‘non-notable’ topics permitted (not notable in a global perspective, that is). Somewhere that will record, preserve, and make available the minutiae of what goes on here. Is the Freo Society the best organisation to provide this? I don’t know. I’m talking about something more than just the straight ‘history’ of the City (for that one might say that the Local History Centre would be the best coordinator). This would be a site that accepts photos of caravans on South Beach in the ’40s as well as contemporary cafe reviews. It would have a comprehensive calendar of events, and essays on life in Fremantle…

Perhaps I’m getting a bit carried away. Certainly it’s time to stop writing, and head down to Kulcha….

Fremantle Society website

I have recently started helping to maintain The Fremantle Society’s website (fremantlesociety.org.au), and it’s reminding me of why I work in IT and of how much I’ve been missing being part of any greater endevour (with people, I mean, and working together for some purpose — as I once did with the Coop, for instance). There are fantastic, passionate, intelligent people involved, and more than that — there is something to believe in! I don’t mean that in any too-deep way: just that it feels like the Society is not only an incorporated-body-that-has-meetings, but rather something of a focal point for people who see and care about a certain historical/communal aspect of Fremantle.

I have many ideas about the website redevelopment. At the moment it’s technical stuff: deciding between Drupal, WordPress, MediaWiki, or something else, and the philosophical differences that software engenders (in the means of interaction and collaboration). I’ll post more, soon, about what we’ve been thinking about that. (I’m liking the idea of the division down the lines of there being The Fremantle Society, Inc. on the one hand, and the society of Fremantle on the other. The distinction between the incorporated body, and the actual built and social environment of the City that is the former’s raison d’être.)

The Food Co-op has a new domain name

The ANU Food Co-operative is now called the Food Co-op Shop, and (thanks to a pint bottle of Little Creatures Pale, and an hour or so of shuffling files around and fiddling with databases when I got home from work this evening) can now be found online at www.foodco-opshop.com.au.

Long live the Coop!!

Hurrah!

hmwilson.archives.org.au

I forgot to mention, a few weeks ago when I set it up, that the family archives now have an online home at hmwilson.archives.org.au. It’s for family only, but if that’s you then I will set up your account; just email me. I’m jolly excited about going back to Perth this summer and working on this!