Posts Tagged ‘drupal’

LibraryThing is hiring in Maine!

LibraryThing wants YOU if you’re ass enough to live in Maine where it is freezing cold and stuff! I’m passing this on because I totally want the $1000 of free books if they hire someone who heard it from me.

By the way, BlogHer could also use a good PHP/Drupal developer if you’re in the Bay Area! Talk to me…

Foolish overuse of those leg-like objects

And maybe of the hand-parts too. Oh well. I know! I’ll lie around typing some more!! SMRT.

Today was fabulous, I enjoyed the programming stuff for work and all my co-workers, crept out for lunch with Minnie & persuaded notcalm to come with us to hang in my back yard with my baby nephew. Mr. Pants does indeed love to fix a bicycle with whatever tools come to hand. He picks up a spoon or whatever, and studies the bicycle. Then he carefully touches the bicycle all over with the tool. He’s so awesome! Minnie and I devoured our fried chicken from Betty’s.

face washing while playing with tripod

We gossiped mightily. I think my favorite part of the conversation was an unprintable statement from one of the three of us about people we know who might expect to have sex with other people we know, two weeks after a c-section. I mimed the hand gesture of leg-parting and a quizzical glance to see if all was well in there before diving in. Ahahaahh! We discussed some of the details of the first 6 weeks of life after giving birth. That’s all I’m at liberty to say. I also realized at lunch that Minnie would understand all the bits of things I’m doing at work and would likely have good advice.

I thought I would use my newly affirmed powers of dashing and sprinting to hobble into Savers and get Moomin a jacket. Uhhh maybe that was too much. Got jackets though. Then was passing grocery outlet and thought “Oh, I can walk so well, I’ll get a soda!” and bought some soda and juice but was totally falling over and regretting that I ever got out of bed. Uhhhhh! Whoops! And so to work. I had that moment of trying not to whimper out loud, wanting to lie down and cry, and then was able to just push it aside. Sometimes concentration is really useful. I got to the point in the last few days where I “know” where I am geographically while poking around in directories on three different servers, four if you count my laptop as one of them since i have stuff on it too, and weird bits of code everywhere. So, our thing works! It was wildly exciting to push the button and see all the directories and the bits of code magically appear! I wish I had time to go understand what J. did in the back end of drupal with the hook, or action, or whatever, which looks like a sort of skeleton of it doing something & then some extra php. I did not read it but stuck to my little bits and then to messing with the javascript parts. J. fixed the IE problem by breaking it all up into bits and nesting the html and the js. It was extremely clever.

I then hauled ass to go pick up moomin at camp. i sent him back in to pay for the after care realizing i needed to cut the walking attempts. ohhhhh. warning sign number MILLION that I completely ignored. Then, back to my work (10 min away in traffic) and i thought, Oh, well, maybe i could send him in for my phone (which i forgot and realized must ahve fallen into the couch cushions.) I can get the wireless from the parking lot… and notcalm sent my phone down with hedonia. I thought moomin woudl balk at being sent in, but he liked the idea. (Warning sign number 2 million, i knew i could not walk up to the office again) Then home!

Where I then tottered about the yard a little because it was nice out! And then made snacks and dinner for 3 children and then a giant salad (mostly sitting down b/c i was losing it then) for me and rook and zond-7! and then washed the dishes and realized I was going to FUCKING DIE

Took celebrex, cursed self a bit, laid down, successfully disappeared into Zond-7’s python (django) and twill and sql stuff which was totally fascinating (and i was helpful i think) Now I can’t wait to make some nifty tests with twill! omg! handy! I pushed past the whole “lie there and cry and whimper” moment again and had a nice time. But, I admitted it was bad and started asking for help to get stuff, open the windows, etc. My hands are in a lot of pain too. i wonder if it is from the attempts at digging and gardening? Or from the excessive leaning on crutches, so much harder than wheeling?

I really love my life. I was reading the bit in the Ben Franklin biography where it describes how all his life he loved to live in a household that was lively with swarms of children and bustling domesticity. I don’t know about all my life…. heh… I’d hate that. I’d hate to have to do it all the time. But I really enjoy the moments when the house is full of people and I have just fed them, or given them all scissors and tape or a rake and a mission, and the kids are swirling about underfoot, emitting strange kid-rays. colliding with reality in all different ways, glowing with excitement.

Programming stuff at work

Today I figured out how to do some more things in php, which I totally don’t know, but it is much like Perl in some ways and I vaguely remember some Perl and have at hand to look things up. J. and I debugged things at work all day in a tenative and unnerved way. It is good to have someone to work with. If I had listened to her and put my stuff in svn, it would have been a good thing. Also, I thought through how to store like 10,000 files in a directory structure. (Looking it up and reading first, but it still had the weird feel of re-inventing the wheel when I thought all the way through it and compared it to other ways of doing things and how it would be scalable, and it made me happy that my programmery instincts are correct.) I also felt proud that I caught yet another very horrible architectural problem which would have killed the project.

It is very interesting to me how different me and J’s styles are. I am not used to seeing people do this kind of work not in unix. We have totally different backgrounds of knowledge & methods just to do the work. Hers is very fast and she understands its map. But watching her, I am completely lost. I think watching me on a command line also loses her. I thought about that as I busted out some hoary doorstop of a sys-admin book that I had in like 1993 and the book was about half “how to use either vi or emacs”. Mind boggling! Anyway my point about the book is really that, sometimes those older books are more clear to me (and yet go into more detail) than available documentation is now.

I continue keeping my scripty stuff separate on my own server where I feel like I have control, and can test it and know how to do that, and then when the little bits work I give them to J. and she puts them into the drupal module as php functions. To test it she has to sort of make a whole admin interface and then is using “watchdog” to see output. But, I desperately need a command line to understand anything going on! It’s just simpler!

We were good at keeping each other going throughout the day. There is so much work to do in general that it is easy to just keep interrupting yourself and chipping away at things-to-be-done, and let the hard problems lie fallow. It is very helpful to have someone else saying “have you done X yet” or to approach a debugging problem a completely different way (that might be the wrong way but that suddenly lets you see another possible tactic.) I am haunted by knowing that a really good programmer would just know what they are doing, and could write in a day or two what we are doing in 2 weeks. I am so glad she knows the drupal stuff because I have not had time to really look at it yet. At least now I know where all the files are and have started to read the settings files and understand its guts.

Pastries and sidewalks in Belgium

New blog tagline, “History of Europe through sidewalk curb cuts and things available in cafes” since that is clearly what I’ll be writing about.

I expected the tunnel under the British Channel to be different somehow and momentous rather than just a tunnel you barely notice even if you’re looking. It should have some flashing orange lights and enormous stripey caution signs that go “WARNING! WARNING! YOU ARE UNDER THE MOTHERFUCKING OCEAN”. Instead I thought vague thoughts about roadsides, railway right of way and land ownership, property rights, the San Mateo flock of fire prevention goats, eminent domain, ideas of waste and use and exploitation, geology, glaciers, farming, compost, and forestry. I expected somehow that Britain even by the railway would look more cultivated than the U.S. in the sense that the land has been intensively in use for farming and permanent buildings for so long. In other words that there would be not so many vacant lots and fields that don’t seem to be growing anything or providing pasture or otherwise being used by humans to produce stuff. Once we got through the tunnel, France from the train looked a bit more like that and Belgium even more so.

I liked the train station at King’s Cross/ St. Pancras. Giant Quentin Blake cartoon on building as you pull out of the station… (or really as you pull in as it is a “welcome” message). Odd moment when train station guy came up and accosted me and began to order me around. “No… really… we’re just wandering around this mall for a couple of hours and getting lunch… if I need help I’ll find someone and ask” “NO BUT OMG YOU HAVE TO… AND… ” No actually I don’t THANKS. The hostility that comes through is amazing.

We were in first class in the train because you’re automatically put there if you are traveling in your own wheelchair. The expectation though seemed to be for me to be fairly completely unable to do anything. (Stories later.) The train was lovely and comfortable and the food was fabulous. I did feel strongly that the model of disability and being disabled is utterly broken as there were many frail older people or people traveling with small children who could have benefitted from being in first class and having help with bags, etc. when I just would like a bit more ramps and can walk up the train steps myself and even haul my wheelchair after me if need be. So again as with the broken model of AIDS education that most people got (if you are in a “high risk” category of person etc. etc rather than “if you do X then Y”) it is about identification, instead of behavior, action, immediate situational needs. So the identity politics model works for some things and situations, but for this situation, it doesn’t. The Eurostar staff was clearly trained to see “disabled person: this is what you do” but without any thought of “ask the person what they need” or “be flexible for anyone who needs it”. It is wrong and vile to be treated as a sort of pitiable sub-elite. I notice it everywhere but more here than in the U.S.

Hotel – steps, ugh – amusing punch-card plastic door key that I swear I saw described in some ancient back issue of 2600 magazine – room nice – so happy to nap – no wireless in room, extreme hardship – dinner with Zond-7’s Work People, at The Staff restobar (food fabulous, atmosphere perfect) talked of science fiction with G. who recommended the book “Godfather of the Kremlin”.

Morning, Zond-7 went off to the meeting and I tried to work from the lobby (no wireless in room) but the wireless was far too slow for me to even download my 500 emails much less do web page testing or fixing and to deal with Drupal on any level at all. I set off down Avenue (?) Louise recalling various cafes. Everywhere had a lot of stairs and I can of course do stairs but it seemed daunting to do with all my paraphrenalia and then be trapped in the gravity well and I realized that while I can get into a cafe and its stairs I cannot hang out in it all day long when bathroom is even more inaccessible and just the navigation around the cafes I looked into was multi-level as well. I went a few blocks past Zond-7’s meeting building and then realized everything was uphill; tried the cafe right next to it, which was nice but impossible to deal with; gave up and went to the office and just camped out trying to be oblivious that I was weirdly crashing this meeting that had nothing to do with me. (I did not go into the actual giant meeting but I did sit on the floor in the offices outside, ate their food and used their wireless and bathroom.) Oh well! Embarrassing! But I had to! I worked all day. Went back to hotel around 4 when I was starting to fall asleep sitting up. Oh,,, uphill up the horrible curbs and sidewalks of boring diplomaticky financial districty overpriced fashion-y clothes Brussels, it was really hell! I’m sure it’s a nice city… somewhere that I wasn’t! Napped. Read and got dressed again & Zond-7 came back & we went out to dinner at Brasserie Poelaert which was a lovely spot but not really great food. Worth it for the nice spot on the patio.

Our taxi got lost on the way there & we ended up in streets and streets of endless Antiquities and Tribal Arts and Anthropological Antiquities until I felt kind of sick to my stomach. Not like I come from anywhere that can hold its head up but, man, could you put some of Africa back where it came from maybe? OMG. Everything so reeking of wealth. The buildings I had been admiring with their amazing stone work seemed less beautiful and more signposts to colonial and capitalist horrors.

Dinner, I mostly listened and made occasional polite conversation because it was a very Worky Dinner involving what I think of as Global Foods (which I will explain again or link back to my explanation of but it is from Doris Lessing and I use it as my marker of U.N. cosmopolitan elite) and for me not being part of that world (though in my own technocrat one in parallel, in intersection, and perhaps in competition ultimately) to be there was a perturbation. So if you think of the job of that Global Foods job as being, absorption of tremendous amounts of detailed information and synthesis of it correctly and then telling people how to act, or trying to act collectively or in coalition — it is a hard job and very thinky and talky and yet it is difficult for other people to see what the hell you are actually doing. And moments like this dinner are the moments which I see as people being like conduits for information, they are points or nodes which need to intersect and people have to talk with each other. It would be lovely to quantify and analyze and people of course do. But, I feel in those situations that it is best for me to shut up as much as possible so people can get on with talking with each other. I am also vastly entertained by cosmopolitan informational tidbit exchange ie chatter about one’s favorite restaurants in various cities and tips on jet lag and how wearying Travel is but acceptable if the hotels are of the best. (All true. But nevertheless hilarious from outside of the upper class perspective.) I did explain myself and my presence a few times and had some nice conversational moments with GH and S. and the guy from Italy who explained to me about Article somethingorother which means the govt. has to consider open source software before it buys anything and how he is helping linux groups to band together formally in a way that the government can talk with. Interesting! I told R. from Germany about the way campaign contributions are public and were mashed up so you can see who on your street gave what, with google map info. (Shock and dismay!)

Tried to pack. Must get up and go to Budapest at 4am.

I forgot to say about the pastries. They were astonishingly great. Those little fruit sponge cake things soaked in liqueur, wrapped around custard, with a glazed egg yolk thing on top – was it actually a whole egg yolk? It stunned me. Well, Belgium does not know how to build a ramp, or a sidewalk, or have free wireless anyfreakingwhere, but its inner city roadways are very sensible and its food utterly rocks. (Also apparently it still knows how to loot the hell out of Africa and get rich off it, as i think of not just Antiquities but of Chocolate.)

Codeathon in Austin

A cool thing! I love how Silona’s idea was to make it like a “lock-in” which if you didn’t grow up in the South you ‘ll have no idea what that is. I kind of don’t either but it’s what the Baptist kids did on weekends and although the God brainwashing part would have been hell for me, it always sounded like fun otherwise and with at least a tiny potential to make out with someone in the church basement.

48 Hour Codeathon

A new experiment in programming and politics ala Barcamp fashion The is gathering together a herd of programmers to create, fix and modify pre-existing tools in Drupal to focus on advocacy. We want to create modules that help join together tech experts and NPOs to better influence legislative process in a effective way.

microformats panel

I’m at the microformats panel and here’s a few links as well as what Tantek just said.   I’m here because yesterday a bazillion people came up to me and said that they heard me talk on the women’s visibility butt-kicking panel, and that I should talk with Tantek.   Well I can at least listen to him.   But until people told me that yesterday I didn’t know a microformat from whatever.

I wish Rook were here because this would also be exactly his cup of tea!!!!!

Oh and a fun conversation with Brian from "like it matters" who believe it or not, we both at once started talking to each other about the intersections of literary and computery web 2.0 stuff, and simultaneously started babbling about Guillermo Cabrera-Infante’s book Tres Tigres Tristes and Suzanne Jill Levine’s amazing translation of it. And it turns out he is a former student of Rainer, founder of ALTA.



Tantek – moderator. Microformats. presentation licensed under creative commons.

first a demo.   sxswi speakers. a version of the sxsw speakers page.  entire set of speakers added to the address book. converter hcards to vcards.   vcard compatible address book … seamless import. makes info a lot more useful.   hCard markup.       we’ve taken vcard names and made them into class names in html markup. just by adding that to existing markup you’ve created an hCard.  microformats are more than just really good class  names.   sure, they use semantic class names… principles to guide design. help keep things micro. names to a minimum.   The process. this makes a big difference. if we have everyone creating t heir class names… not a problem. but if you want standards and interoperability then

we ask people to pick a simple problem specific and define it. 2. research and development.  document what existing web pages are doing already. what is actual publishing behavior? 3.  avoid inventing  new names, terminology, document existing microformats or solutions.   for example icalendar standard, or vcard standards.   document these existing formats.    we try to take the names from existing formats if we invent a new microformat.
4.  brainstorm with implied schema…   5)    get feedback, iterate within community.     Get something on first try, and iterate it very quickly.

progress 2004->2006 in microformats.   xfn was out for a few weeks…. lists and outlines – etc.  locations, resumes, tipjars,

list of microformats community.  irc channel, good place to listen and learn   All discussions are in public.   
Keith – upcoming.  events microformats.   
scrape info out… use geocodes to mess around with google maps api.  all events on one page and see where events were taking place. took existing page from upcoming.   mixed in google map api, got this cool page   adactio austin.    (cool thing demonstrated)    then add more microformats, like hCard.  you can then get more stuff from technorati and add it… and download the iCal.   so my friends can all go, "oh, sounds good, I’ll do the same thing" and slam all that info  into their own calendar or phone.  "as long as i have my laptop with me i can always find out where i need to go for the next party."   [am i the only person who snorted with laughter at this?  jouissance as motivation! yeah! that was funny.]

Chris Messina’s Flock demo and explanation was super exciting!   I’m using flock right now. But I don’t think I’ve used it that deeply… at all. It’s well worth exploring.

Chris Messina – flock.   you can add features to a browser to take advantage of microformats.
"director of experience, and ambassador…"

how we see the web
– an event stream
– a social space
– as a datastore

flock uses lucene as a fulltext search engine.  plus microformats, times APIs, web services and feeds.     can figure out persons, events, extensions, calendars, reviews.   build in supports into APIs into browser.

"roundtrip attention"   .   what the hell does that mean?  we’re able to index all these things. blog posts with links to people. lists of people and their blogs.  contact info, favorite places, product or movie reviews, events, .    We can find this info while you are browsing the web,  and put that aside and have it for you to see later.  you might not be reading all your friends’ feeds but we can pull all that together for you and you can use it later.

question about inaccuracy of info.   legit information or not?

we want to be able to star smaller bits of information.   [YEAH~!!!!!!]

validity b/c of favoriting.  over time you can pull out a history of people you’ve visited. and you can correct it and lock it.  (stuff about spammers.  mitigate spam… by tracking pages you actually visit and your favorites….)  you think it’s trustworthy.  takes copy and paste grungework out of it.     guy from audience in front row…. someone else might know your phone number changes before you’ve updated your own web page.    (chris answers with stuff about hcards, user experience.)

I’m sure someone else is liveblogging this a lot better!  I’m too tired… my fingers are sore from yesterday.

Tantek – the hcard means a possibliity of having some kind of subscription thing where we all have hcards and subscribe so that we end up with a worldwide distributed contact system. no more annoying "please update your information" emails.   [wooooo!]

they are talking about Drupal… NOTE… ask Laura Scott if we can add hCard to the BlogHer site!  that would be fucking cool.

udience dude — "roach motel" – term to talk about proprietary information being locked up.   
tantek:  yes!!!   that is part of microformats, frustrated at entering our data over and over.   etc.

Rook are you reading this?  This is part of why I keep thinking you would be super at home in this sort of discussion…

Roach motels are so web 1.0!!  *laughter*

What about Googlebase?   (audience goes, oooOOOOOooooo."   (shout: "roach motel!!!")   general hissing from audience.    tantek: they say they’re going to open it up and we can only hope they won’t be evil.   (scattered applause from audience)