- Web person at the Imperial War Museum, just completed PhD about digital sustainability in museums (the original motivation for this blog was as my research diary). Posting occasionally, and usually museum tech stuff but prone to stray. I welcome comments if you want to take anything further. These are my opinions and should not be attributed to my employer or anyone else (unless they thought of them too). Twitter: @jottevanger
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
What can we offer from museums?
Anyway, here's the link to the RWW story: Amazon Exposes 1 Terrabyte of Public Data - ReadWriteWeb
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
I do hope that out there on't interweb somewhere somebody competent has done a proper job of reviewing the performance. One thing I have found, though, Karl Henning's blog where he previewed the concert and included Luke's notes. Also, if' you like to read scores, you can find lots of Luke's work on Scribd here (although not as yet Elegy and Ascent, I think). Hopefully in due course there will be a recording to listen to, too.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
I like this. There's an active and sophisticated digital preservation community that has developed over many years. It has its roots, as far as I know, largely in the research and higher education communities, libraries, and the IT industry, all with their own priorities and preoccupations (museums are late-comers and minor players at best right now). And of course, lay people must have always played a part in some of this stuff, and some initiatives that could come under the DP banner - like the Internet Archive, I expect - rely heavily on informal communities to stash and curate stuff. Over the years ad hoc groups have sprung up to try to resuscitate corpsed forums, to salvage stuff from dying web-rings, to plan exit strategies for flaky virtual worlds and so on. But I don't think that there's really been a concerted approach to help individuals to keep a-hold of their stuff, spread as it often is across an array of sites from your many Google services, to Flickr and Delicious, to Twitter and your blog, Facebook, Slideshare and as many more as you care to mention. This is a huge variety, and what we might want to preserve in each will vary, as will the context required to make sense of it, so each service may need its own assessment for each individual (convergent evolution of the "significant properties" concept seems inevitable). It's a huge challenge but the Archive Team seem up for it.
I hope that these guys (and Jeremy K) and the "formal" DP community (DPC/DCC etc.) hook up and share knowledge. My guess is the latter have lots to offer in terms of technical expertise, connections, hardware and software, good theorisation, whilst the former group have wicked coding skills, motivation, inside-out knowledge of social software and its users, and a focus on the needs of individuals. They could offer each other a lot.
Monday, February 16, 2009
There's a concert this coming Saturday at the Fraser Noble Hall on London Road, Leicester, conducted by Michael Sackin and featuring Luke's Elegy and Ascent sandwiched between a Beethoven piano concerto and symphony. Luke is, let's say, not the greatest at publicising his work, and it's very rare that we in his family (or anyone else for that matter) get to hear what he has composed, so this is really exciting for us, and we have Michael to thank for asking Luke to write this piece, which I think he developed out of two previous works. Luke will be talking before the concert, hopefully explaining how the direction of his work has changed since its last public outing probably 10 years ago. Should be good, so come and hear the première!
Read more here.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Nowadays it's all about the Ell: crap names ending with "...l" or "...le". OK so some names have been round for ever and make sense in their own way - to whit, Apple, Google - and others are more recent but might make sense still - Clickable, for example (no, "for example" is not a name, yet), even Pipl. I sort of forgive Amazon's Kindle (it's hardware anyway) but despite the fact it sort of relates to it's function I start to lose patience with Huddle, and having passed through Moodle, Oodle and Wonderfl we reach Trackle. Truly execrable. And slightly off the racing line, there's Twhirl.
Finally on the subject of appalling names from startups which will 90% certainly go to the wall, how about TwtQpon. Say it to yourself: TwtQpon.
Hey ho, perhaps I should lighten up and rename this blog Doofkl.
Friday, February 06, 2009
So far I've not put this into the public interface because I think to do so requires some consideration, but this will come. I'm pleased in part because I can start to use this API in my own behind-the-scenes integration. For example I've also just done a load of work on the site summaries that we publish for all the work that MOLA does. The KML for these is cleaned up and the old ASP/XSLT thing I did to search across these (and other reports) by borough has been refreshed. It now lets you search by site code, and now that I can get at publications via site code it's a pretty small step to get it also to return related publications, which should come very soon (perhaps before going-home time). Because they're in very different data sources (XML files and SQL Server) it wasn't so straight forward before, now it is. The publications API is mainly for internal consumption like this (it also runs the user-facing publications page itself, at a lower level). I'd be really pleased, though, if others find a use for this, and any thoughts about the rights and wrongs of how I've done it would be gratefully received.
Thursday, February 05, 2009
Wednesday, February 04, 2009
So if you're that coder of modest capacity like myself, here's where I got my clues:
- This thread told me that the XmlTextWriter which is part of my Transform class would be ignoring "disable-output-escaping", and that I should write to a stream instead.
- Never having actually done much with streams, I found these utility methods perfect for cut-n-paste MemoryStream-to-string conversion
If you happen to be wondering how you can output a CDATA section in your XSLT, I wanted to put that in here too but unsurprisingly Blogger doesn't like that code. I'll see if I can find a way around that. Google "disable-output-escaping CDATA", that should get you somewhere!