<$BlogItemTitle$> Welcome to Orcmid's Lair, the playground for family connections, pastimes, and scholarly vocation -- the collected professional and recreational work of Dennis E. Hamilton

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RFP: Content Management System for Office of Citizen Serices and Communications (OCSC) FirstGov
OCSC is now the name for the former Office of FirstGov and the Federal Consumer Information Center (FCIC). There are a number of Federal eGovernment initiatives, and this is part of it. The desire is to implement a Web Content Management System (CMS). The time for qualification statements from offerors is past.

This OCSC/FirstGov solicitation is part of the administration's EGov initiatives, "designed to increase the focus on citizen-centric provision of government services." This involves, in some way, over 25 million pages of Web content that is already supported by US Federal Government Web sites. The GSA is looking for a set of solutions to support the cross-coordination of the different sites and to provide for a more effective citizen-centric experience for access to any and all of the material. This procurment is, I presume, the first stage of such an initiative. There are examples of how FirstGov serves as the portal, and typical aggregation via FirstGov. There are other sites to be convered by this procurement, which has four cases of sites to be integrated.

Written technical proposals are due on November 26 and, it is interesting to note, these are in the form of an original, twelve copies, and one electronic copy in Microsoft Word on disk. The four RFP documents are in Microsoft Word format. The four Microsoft Word documents of the RFP package are downloadable individually or in a Zip file.

The "Delivery Environment" is to consist of dual-processor Sun Solaris systems running J2EE and using a BEA WebLogic application server.

I started reading the RFP proper because it is a 2.5MB file. But it is only 9 pages, about 19,000 characters, and compresses to 68k or so.

The Statement of Work has more beef (and it is just under 1 MB with many diagrams and more pages!), including a statement of priorites that includes

- personalization

- Spanish language localization

- Migration from HTML to XML

- Inegrated document and Web content management

- Distribution of the Web publishing environment to non-technical users

The shopping list for these systems involves a set of checklists in which the respondent indicates whether a particular capability is provided out of the box, available with customization, available with integration, or is not provided.

With regard to managed documents, my area of interest, there are 10 items on metadata management, including support for Dublin Core [see notes on GILS earlier this week], and more features around arbitrary metadata, pulling metadata from databases, posting metadata in databases, and so on. There's also interest in native support for XML, XML syndication services, workflow and search integration. Interoperability methodology must also be described.

There are interesting scalability and security considerations, including AAA.

Standards compliance consists of GILS, DoD 5015.2 (records management) and GPEA, as well as what is called 508 support (accessibility under section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act as ammended in 1998).


Trolling for Blogger Tips

It may not seem that these links are about that, but I was tracing the front page archive of Blogger.com itself. These are some of the snapshots.

I so want one of those nice calendars for the right edge of my blog.

Weblog central MSNBC Column on Blogspotting, updated regularly.

Ed Yourdon's Home Page With a blog as one of the sections.

Dan Bricklin Log A nicely personal blog from a famous person.


Scripting News Dave Winer's site with useful links to scripting technology.

blogdex - add a weblog I am not sure what this is, but it seems to provide stats about blogging. I added my site. We'll see what that has to do with anything.

anil dash - mobile Hmm, some blogs have two forms, a text edition and one that uses all the style sheets, tables, and other structures. Hmm, Hmm.

anil dash - about anil Still collecting info on the movers and shakers of blogland.

magazine: Microsoft's Weblog Software Short note on the history and a parody introduction of Microsoft's entry into Weblog Software.

The suggestion is that Microsoft has all the parts it needs to do that, using Sharepoint Server and the like.

EVHEAD: very, very lucky The -ev on Blogger.

Amazon.com Listmania - Publishing the Bones with Weblogs A list of available books on the topic

Amazon.com: Books: We Blog: Publishing Online with Weblogs
Well, I didn't like it very much that the link from Meg's page put this in my shopping cart rather than take me to this page, where I can find out about the book.

It is nice that the book is also available in a bundle with Rebecca Blood's book too.

And there are five other books beside these two that people seem to be interested in. I will search on.

megnut.com - a weblog by meg hourihan
Finding some of the early creators of blog.

the weblog handbook, rebecca blood :: excerpt :: weblog ethics
This is a valuable topic. I had been admiring the time-travel aspects of blog editing, but there are difficulties with this. Rebecca Blood comments on the need for indelibility, linking to sources, checking sources, and more. Something ot think about.

what's in rebecca's pocket?
Hmm, a site used by Steven Levy in his illustration of blogging. Interesting. I am becoming jealous of all the wonderful formats and appearance innovations people have been making.

jjg.net: the elements of user experience
A book I want a look into. My associate Bill Anderson and I talk a lot about designing customer experiences and, in fact, designing all sorts of experiences. I like that the book is promoted not for providing answers but for seeing the right questions to ask.

Jonathan Davis' Usenet Commentary Style Sheets for Citing Internet & Electronic Resources:

Humanities (MLA & Chicago), Scientific (APA & CBE), and History (Turabian)
UC Berkeley - Teaching Library Internet Workshops

posted by Jonathan Davis at 6:43:20 PM | Permanent link | comment

Just to give credit where credit is due.

I did a terrible thing. I found a tip on adding a link to my browser toolbar that would take me to a random Blog. So, naturally, I am trying out all of these interesting places. A guy with a made-up (I think it is made-up) interview with Peter Drucker, one in Arabic (how would I know for sure) that used a nice font, and one in some Baltic or other Eastern European language (maybe) and like that. Basically all very nicely formatted and interesting. [I took another look and the European language I noticed was Scandinavian. Didn't check which one.]

Well, this is not what I need to be doing. So I am going to do that. But hey, I'm checking out the technology. I stop now, but it would be interesting to go through the archive of Blogger front pages and see what other goodies they have left just lying around for us unwary blogaholics in the making.

Style Sheets for Citing Internet & Electronic Sources: Humanities (MLA & Chicago styles), Scientific (APA & CBE), and History (Turabian) The following basic guidelines for formatting citations from a variety of electronic resources was created by Janice R. Walker and is adapted from the Columbia Guide to Online Style, one of the most thorough guides to citing electronic resources available. The complete book is available in the Library Information Center and several other campus libraries at the call number PN171.F56 W35 1998.

Hmm, well I was somewhere else and the right-mouse-button Blog This didn't work there. So I followed some other advice and put the Blog This shortcut up in my links section of the toolbar and it works just fine there. And it also will include any highlighted text (why wasn't this on the quiz?) that is selected before I do the "Blog This" clicky thingy. Hmphh, maybe I have to find out how all this neato stuff works. The Blogger folk seem to be really on top of it.

And I think I will just have to take the right-mouse-button menu option out of my registry, once I figure out how to safely do that. I would like to be lazy about it.

BLOGGER - News Archive November 1999 If you use Internet Explorer 4 or 5 for Windows, here's an even quicker way to update your blog: Right-click on any page on the web, select "Blog this!" from the context menu, and instantly bring up a Blogger form, populated with a link to the current page and any text you have selected. You can add a menu entry for each of your blogs by clicking on the Add to Browser Menu link on the right of your blog edit view.
� Ev. [11/18/1999 11:30:22 AM]

Well, thanks Ev. Why did I do this. Oh, I was tidying up my desktop and putting the Blog This favorite and the Bloger site links where they would be more useful. Then I was drawn into this news archive link which seems to provide a by-the-month history of Blogger page posts (? - I guess it is all just one big happy Blogger, huh).

But this is here because I found instructions for using the Blog This right button menu item, which hadn't worked for me before. And now, here it is because I selected something off of that page to include. So, I was mistaken when I said the right mouse button selection was there but not working. Hmm, then I don't have to worry so much about where the Favorite for Bog This is on my desktop. I have my mouse button to help out. Hmm, Hmm.


Open Hypertext and the Unfinished Revolution

Boy, I would love to spend the afternoon putting material together about this, and other duties call.

I have also been getting a picture of how I would like a Bloggified Wiki or Wikified Blogger to work, and how it looks like using a browser as a shell is perfect either way. Tempting, tempting, tempting ...

Way too many interesting items erupting in my in-basket today.

Later ...

An Ideagraph Specification
[I've got to find a better place to put my "Blog This" shortcut. In a fit of organization, I buried it in a folder among my favorites and, although it is early in the alphabet, it is now too much work. I want the shortcut on my task bar (didn't work there) or in my Microsoft Office Bar. I may have to come up with a button on my browser menu (now wouldn't that be nice!).]

So a lot of OHS discussants are into IBIS and coding of duscussions and working problem solutions based on ratings and such. I've not gotten into that, but this is more context on the OHS subject and what a lot of the discussants are particularly interested in.

Ideagraph Development
Here's more about the kind of technologies that people promote in the context of an OHS and other technologies (mind mapping, concept graphs, knowledge management, etc., etc.).


On-Line M.Sc in Information Technology from the University of Liverpool

Brookshear - Computer Science: An Overview - amazon.com
Oh boy. I just found out that this is the textbook for my first course in the University of Liverpool on-line M.Sc in Information Technology program. I am very keen about the program. [I am not quite old enough to be a poster child for life-long learning, but I am working on it.]

Naturally I read the reviews. It is interesting how many people cite this book as good for examination preparation and those who don't like the book think it is too elementary. There is also something in here about how the editions have been changing and perhaps simplifying in some way.

As a practitioner, I find the table of contents of this book to be interesting. I have ordered it in any case, because it is a requirement for my course, which is the first course that everyone takes in this program. Since this is also the "gatekeeper course" in which people from all over the planet calibrate themselves and choose to continue in the program or not, I suspect that the way English is used in this book is also important for accessibility to non-native-speakers.

My "test" of this book is going to be by examination of the Appendix on the equivalence of iterative and recursive programs. My experience is that the interative solutions that are constructed from recursive programs are pretty awful and inpenetrable in the general case, and recursive solutions are pretty transparent but often costly. There are weird time-space trade-offs, since the state of the computation is carried quite differently in the two techniques (albeit equivalent). [Afterthought. Constructing a recursive form can often show how ill-conceived an iterative solution may be, and can provide ideas for a refined recursive formulation that is easily translated back to an interative form or hybrid form. I remember using examples by Bill Burge that way at one time.] Enough of that. I expect that when the book arrives there will be more interesting things to ponder.

One reason for participating in an M.Sc program, after 44 years in the field, is to upgrade my working knowledge and look at being able to teach and write for computer science. I am not concerned with coverage being too elementary. It looks like this book provides enough room for expanding ones interests in what is surveyed and also, going further in more-technical treatments. This author has what appears to be some more-technical and focused materials of his own.


Open Hypertext Systems - something is brewing

ba-unrev-talk Mailing List Archives
OK, this is the Unrev Discussion list where I have learned the most about OHS and the community around and impinging on it.

This, and its predecessor list is something for me to review and do some blogging over as part of gathering together what I see as a convergence opportunity.

This marker is to help me find what I need. There are a couple of other archived mailing lists that I need to do that with in support of my Miser Theory work, but this is what I am hot about just this moment.

Something is brewing here. I sense the convergence of something that would be very useful to have and to be able to use. Something maybe as easy as blogging. I need to come back and capture more.

OK, now other chores beckon ..

Claimaker, Knowledge Modeling, and Visualizing Argumentation
Oh boy, I have been missing something. The work on creation of an Open Hypertext System (OHS) is following ideas of Douglas Englebart and his Bootstrap Alliance. There are lots of ideas percolating around this concept, including allied, independent, and loosely-coupled developments of one kind and another at hot spots around the globe.

The Bootstrap Alliance (which I will bog in here at some point real soon now) has some lively discussion lists and lots of pointers and discussions surface in these e-mail discussions. Sometimes what we talk about is global context and things about humanity and also about being human, about how we deal with each other (on the list and in the world), and so on.

Meanwhile, there is another of level of effort around visualization, mind-mapping, various ideas about knowledge and knowledge management, and still more on having this work in an open, sustainable way over long terms without getting snarled up in property issues.

I am giving my spin on this.

OK, so I follow this, and I notice that there are some key neutral ideas that work without forcing something like a particular ontology (also a matter of discusssion) and doing simple things like "purple numbres," marking up e-mails so they can be found, topicalized, referenced, etc., Wiki-ing with visualizations, and more.

I don't do much other than build an e-mail folder of about 1700 items and also save pages and links that are suggested on the Bootstrap Alliance lists.

Now, Blogger Posts have purple numbers, and they work just great though people aren't particularly aware of the numbers. On the Orcmid's Lair blog, each post gets a unique number, and if you follow the link in the dateline at the bottom of any post, you will be taken to the top of that post in the blog's archive file and the URL that you see in your browser window is the correct thing to use if you want to blog that post or otherwise link to it in something you are doing.

There are lots of things to look at with regard to OHS, which requires quite a bit more than this.

Why this note?

Well, today, Simon Buckingham Shum commented on some related work that was identified on the Bootstrap Alliance discussions, and he said something that stopped me in my tracks.

A prototype deployment of a prototypical umm, collaborative discussion and knowledge building system that Simon and compatriots have put out there uses Instant Messenger technology to coordinate among bases. In the case that Simon illustrates, the IM technique is used to coordinate with people who are not at a meeting but who are contributing to the conceptualization and analysis work that is going on in the discussion.

But, of course, it doesn't have to be a person there. I don't mean as in the Turing Test sort of thing. I mean that Instant Messenger technology can be used as an interesting device for coordinating communications between, umm, knowledge frameworks or conceptual whatnots. (I want to stay out of the lingo of knowledge management, so I am fumbling here.)

This is a step up from the use of an e-mail processor to do certain kinds of work. I think an e-mail processor is also a good idea (though having to put up with having it be spammed could be pretty funny).

So this note is inspired by that observation in material that just popped up in the Bootstrap Alliance discussions. I want to capture the link somewhere and start building more.

I am also strongly aware that if Blogger Posts were Wikki-fied, the work of editing in the links to all my other stuff already on some of these themes, and the more-to-be-gathered would not take so much work. It would be a matter of cleaning up and not medium-heavy-lifting finding links and inserting them.

OK, there is a lot coming up for me right now, including a problem case I have that I call the Feuding Lexicographers problem, about coordinated discussion and cross-annotation as part of a collaborative effort. And I see that it may be coming together and be more relevant to the OHS work in the way it is unfolding in these instances.

And I have just been called to breakfast. Back later with some sort of minimal structure on next steps.



Touch-Up of ODMA 2.0 Specification HTML Editions

ODMA 2.0 Specification 2.0
I made the repairs that I saw needed when this document showed up unexpectedly in some blogging of web sites that cover metadata practices.

Then I couldn't figure out why the changes didn't show up. It is because I repaired the version-specific copy, ODMA 2.0-2 edition and forgot to roll up the separate "current" copy.

They are both repaired now.

Pending Actions: 1. Log incident report on the damaged link. 2. Log incident report on the shortcuts and links in the HTML versions that were out of date. The second incident doubtless applies to the ODMA errata and the draft for edition ODMA 2.0-3 too.

Open Forum 2003 on Metadata Registries
Ahah! Dan also provided this link. I have been waiting for registration and other information to be posted about this activity. It turns out I have been watching the wrong link!

I can tell my contacts that their site really isn't broken, I have been going to the wrong one!

EPA SoR: System of Registries
Dan Schneider points to this for those of us interested in metadata, its description, registration, and interchange. Very interesting.


Just one more little change

I've made all of the changes that I said I wanted to make.  That's done and everything is working great.

My last little change is to put a construction history block at the bottom of the blog page, just like the one that I use on other pages that are major entries into Orcmid's Lair and environs. You know how it goes, just one tiny little change and then I can stop. I confess. I tweaked it three times (all right, four times) before I was happy with the result, but at least I didn't make a new post about it each time.

Dennis, you silly boy.

All right, I realized that I really do need to change the name of the archive set to be based on the file name lair-chive.asp, rather than lair-chive.htm. So I went into my settings just now and I made the change. Then I published my blog again, because I guess Blogger is designed to assume publication is needed after that kind of change (makes sense to me).

Then, naturally, the way I tested that the links are preserved was by clicking on links I inserted in the posting just below, my #83845060.

What, it's not working? Oh no! Oh, wait!? The link I tested was one of the ones I created, the one to "Anderson - Infrastructure: The Things We Take for Granted - ACM Ubiquity." But it took me to 2002_10_27_lair-chive.htm, not 2002_10_27_lair-chive.asp. Of course it did, silly. When you copied and pasted the links into that post (my #83845060), that is the file that was named in those links, and Blogger has no idea what those are -- they are not built using $Blogger$ code -- and leaves them alone.

And it was to avoid that future problem that I made the sudden change from .htm to .asp in the first place, blissfully not expecting to catch myself in my own trap!

So, I am not going to make any repairs below. I am going to leave the "bug" in. That commits me to preserving enough of the original .htm archive page, the only one built so far, so that the posting below (my #83845060), will continue to demonstrate what this posting (my #83845800) is talking about. It provides a demonstration of my experience.

This short article is designed to test the permanence of bookmarks on the pages here. I have been talking about enterprise architecture at a number of places.

The most recent place is here, my comment on Anderson - Infrastructure: The Things We Take for Granted - ACM Ubiquity.

That is my posting #83813614 (allowing me feel way more prolific than I already am.)

This was just after I posted #83813429:
Enterprise Models, Strategic Transformations and Possible Solutions.

In a way, my next snippet with any bearing on enterprise architecture is #83812845: Andersen - The Answer is Out There - ACM Ubiquity because it raises the issue of where the enterprise is situated (if that is even an appropriate term for enterprise) in the customer's world, although Andersen does not refer to the enterprise architecture. I would take this little fable as looking at bigger fish, such as the purpose of the enterprise, not for itself, but as a contribution in the world.

Before that, as I was making my first gleanings from the ACM Ubiquity archive, I posted #83811708: Delic - Architecting Durable Things - ACM Ubiquity.

Then there are some other wanderings following my marker #83785811: AIIM 2003 - The Enterprise Content Management Event, where the word "Enterprise" is actually invisible to me and I just carry it around as a kind of lip service. Not very powerful that. I think I will take this extension of AIIM's reach to heart and see what I can provide from that context.

Before that, I coughed up #83731379">: SAWG - Solution Architects as part of a fly-by blogging on Federal Enterprise Architecture (#83730573).

There's more, but this is just a test and that's already a lot of work to see whether or not posting numbers are durable enough to use in cross-referencing and mutual inter- extra- self- thread- linking.

Wonderful. Now I don't have to put that target option in all of my links by hand.

Better yet, the links (in the dates) will take a shortcut to the article that the timestamp applies to. And, marvels of marvels, the link is to the archived copy, not the current page that is impermanently at the lair.

This is perfect. It takes people (including me) who blog a particular post to the archive version of that post, even if they are looking at the current page.

The only odd characteristic is that the archive tends to be one post or more behind the current published page, so those date stamps just go to the top of the archive page and not to the specific article.

Now, the one last thing to check is whether or not the bookmarks on post remain unchanged even as new posts are added. That is, these links are basically permanent unless I manually delete a posting.

[Oh oh, I just realized I should have made the archive pages be .asp pages too, not just .htm pages. That's because I want to be able to do redirection and other things in the future. Well, that isn't all thought out, so I will leave it for now. That is a change that can always be made later.]

Let's change the body options for how links will take us outside of any framing that holds the blogger page, whether for cloaking or any other purpose.

In the <head> section of the template, right below the <title> entry, I added

    <!-- $$Header: /OrcmidCompagno/blog/archives/2002_10_27_lair-chive.asp 3 10-04-05 21:50 Orcmid $-->
    <base target="_top">

The first line is a "while I am here" change. It provides an HTML comment that my configuration management software will update whenever I mirror a blog page back on my development machine (Compagno) and check it in for backup.

The second line does all the work. It means that all hrefs on the page will automatically break out of any frame and make the destination the top frame. This will be the default case that applies in the absence of a target attribute in the link element.

This is not a complete solution to the impact of cloaking, but it works specifically for the blogger. My angst over cloaking versus not cloaking versus having a separate site for each domain name I own is discussed elsewhere.

OK, the link works just fine. Also, the Blogger Post window worked even though I erased the automatically filled-in hyperlink and just used it to make notes separate from hree while I was editing the template. It just all worked, although I did need to refresh everything here, in order to see the new posting in the posts window, below the edit window.

All right, the blogger page is much fancier than the Orcmid's Lair home page. I will have to do something about that without making the home page too browser specific.

I have taken care of everything that I need to do for the title strip of the page, for now. It would be nice to add an image. Not now.

[I am actually using the "Blogger Post" window to make this note while I use the Blogger editor window to edit the template. We will see how well that goes, or not.]

To make the title into a hyperlink, I edited the template element

<div class="blogtitle"><b><$BlogTitle$></b></div>

to be

<div class="blogtitle"><b><a href="http://orcmid.com/" target="_top"><$BlogTitle$></a></b></div>

OK, the change to the intermediate grey for the title strip on the page was successful. I just went into the Blogger editor, clicked the template button, changed the color to "#aaaaaa", and the new format showed up on the next publish operation. That's a lot of grey, so I will now do the next part, which is make the title into a hyperlink. It will always go to the (cloaked) absolute orcmid's lair at http://orcmid.com/.

The current color for the top bar is set by the template-provided

<td colspan="2" bgcolor="#336699" height="65" valign="bottom"><div class="blogtitle"><b>Orcmid's Lair</b></div></td>

in the first row of the table that is built for the entire page. I want to make this the same color as the grey background down the left column of this table. That's bgcolor="#cccccc". If I wanted, I could use something intermediate between that and the dark grey used for the background of the entire page, body bgcolor="#666666". I might try "#aaaaaa", which is very close to mid-way between the two, and see how I like it. That's the first template change I want to make.

Orcmid's Lair - anchor page
Orcmid's Lair is actually a virtual domain name that is mapped to a piece of a larger site, called the anchor. These Blogger pages are published on the anchor site.

Here I am taking a look at some things before changing the template for my blog. So I have called up the anchored page, uncloaked, and I'm looking at the HTML. I want to do three things:

1. change some body options. I want all hrefs to be treated with target="_top" by default, so that cloaking is dropped on following of any hyperlink, including one of the posting-date ones. This way using one of the posting-date ones to be able to blog or link to a specific posting will be for a valid URL. (Actually, it should be the URL of the archive page of the posting, not the current blog page, and I will have to look into that more carefully.)

2. change the top strip. I want to change the color to the same grey as the side strip, so that there is visibility of the title, "Orcmid's Lair," even when it is a hyperlink. I did this when I made the tombstone at the original blog page location after moving it into what initial practice showed to be a better place.

3. Use Internal References to Blogger bookmarks. I want to see how references to bookmarks within the page can be made in a consistent way. First, I need to see how to make links to the bookmarks that Blogger generates. Then I need to confirm that the bookmark for a posting doesn't change once it is ever created. So I am going to find out how to do all three of those things, taking tiny steps.

To the Liberal Arts, He Adds Computer Science
A very nice profile of what Brian Kernighan is doing these days. To access this page you will need to register, but there is no fee.


Midnight Again

I have been compiling lots of links and exploring the use of "Blog This" as a way of accumulating material. Now I have all of these links and notes to organize in some way and make sense out of. I also have other things I want to accomplish here. At least more is getting written down somewhere that can be edited and refined and reused easily.

We'll see how that goes.


Anderson - Infrastructure: The Things We Take for Granted - ACM Ubiquity
What it is, what it does, what it doesn't

This article illustrates my point that enterprise is a situated activity and that enterprise architecture should reflect ones mindfulness of that. Well, I didn't tell you the point down there, but here, unwittingly, Andersen comes to my aid.

The characterization of infrastructure is a valuable one, and beside it is by Espen Andersen, so you can't lose. And you will also begin to see the problems of trust and also misapplication that confidence in an infrastructure may hide. And then there's the difficulty of noticing even what the infrastructure is ...

Enterprise Models, Strategic Transformations and Possible Solutions
A simple three-layer model may foster better understanding of enterprise architecture.

Delic is not talking about the 3-tiered replacement for raw client-server model. He is talking about layers, not tiers: business, technology+tools, data and information sets. He also points out the value of having an enterprise architecture and what it is like when the one you have is not one that was done on purpose.

I don't think this gets to the heart of it, but it is a great place to start asking more questions and looking outside the box that enterprise architecture is already contained in by some of the descriptions here. There needs to be more about enterprise as a situated activity that the business does not operate alone in.

But that's for later. For now, this is a good place to start wondering about enterprise architecture.

Aphek - View from Israel: The Intergeneration Project - ACM Ubiquity
Preserving culture in a technological environment.

Another of those subtle summaries. Here Edna Aphek describes the Intergeneration Program and how it provides a cultural rapport between older generations (like mine) and the young technolgy-immersed generations. The contrast between the world of 50 years ago and today is vivid and easily recognized. The richness of spanning the generational gap is vividly told.

Prasad - Are You Tough Enough? ACM Ubiquity
Personality traits of successful IT professionals.

I don't know whether to keep adding those little blurbs or leave them out because they seem so misdirecting at times. Prasad provides 20 behaviors that the successful IT professional should master. I can't quarrel with the list at all, though I just had a flash about the old chestnut in behavior #12.

I say it is not what you know, it is who knows you.

Think on that one.

Andersen - The Answer is Out There - ACM Ubiquity
Distributed problem solving on the cheap.

Who writes these little blurbs below the titles of Ubiquity articles? This one is particularly subtle, but I don't know that it would have encouraged me to read the article the first time. It is all about finding resources and what is happening with the Internet as an avenue. And more than that, it is about how we develop trust, solve problems, and the like. In a much more human vein than my puny effort to capture more of the articles appeal. I think I'll just shut up now.

Winograd (interview) - Talking with Terry Winograd - ACM Ubiquity

I dunno, I just always like what Terry has to say. Here are some things about his career and what has surprised him that will be interesting to people.

Andersen - Nowhere to hide - ACM Ubiquity
Companies will need to make themselves components of their customers' lives rather than trying to make customers a component of their organizations. To do this, they need to stop kidding themselves when it comes to electronic integration.

I think I will have to look up all of Espen Andersen's columns. The anecdotal delights and clear point are much more forceful than in the short abstract given at the beginning of the article. Espen notices things, and is willing to point out how absurd we are about them.

Denning - The Somatic Engineer - ACM Ubiquity
Engineers trained in value skills will be superior professionals and designers.

I find this very touching and moving. It also makes a clear point that education in the sense of schooling is not what works beyond the basic level of professional development.

Peter Denning is kind enough to reveal much of his own journey as a coach and mentor and how it has played out in his courses. I think this captures the aspiration of every educator and every player-coach on engineering teams.

Andersen - Stamp out technology virginity - ACM Ubiquity
Technology vifginity and technology virgins are everywhere -- and more influential than you might like. Time to go on the offensive.

An useful look at our and others relationship to technology and how we are weird about it too.

Tripathi - Digital Promises - ACM Ubiquity
The prospect of living our lives online may not be so attractive after all

Delic - Architecting Durable Things - ACM Ubiquity
Enterprise design should be more like the B-52.

Viewed as a durable system, the Boeing B-52 is extremely durable while also very complex. This article explores the nature of that as a pointer to what could be valuable in enterprise architectures.

Machine intelligence and the Turing Test: IBM Systems Journal 41, 3 (2002) Technical forum
Identifies a set of AI technologies that are considered essential to succeeding with the Turing Test. There is further discussion on what it will take to make strides in AI techniques for commonsense reasoning.

ACM: Ubiquity - The Future of Internet Security - Shoniregun
This article is relevant to matters of trust and trustworthiness and the problems that securing the Internet presents.

I want to find many other sources, and ACM ubiquity has been fruitful. The one problem I have with it is that their is no full index to the archive and there is no search either. So, in my experience, I find previous articles, even ones I've read before, by lots of random probing down through their tree.

I can solve that right here, right now with Blogger, at least for the ones I know I want to refer to in the future.


GILS and WAGILS at Work

Federation of Government Information Using Standard Metadata

Exploring WAGILS and referenced standards activities

WSL: Adding to Find-It! Washington
And here's a nice page that shows how simple it is to add search attributes that Find-It looks for and that will index on. This is useful material to clone for other projects, such as setting up a standard indexing model for your own web site, etc.

Page d'accueil
Hey, you go to an ISO-related site and the title might be in French. This is the ISO BSR Consortium Website for the Unified Multilingual Semantics Reference. Apparently UBSR for short.

The BSR Tool is not to be found, though it is running on a test server.

ODMA 2.0 Specification
This link goes to the table of attributes specified for ODMA 2.0, but you can scroll up to the top of the specification to see what it is.

The link is to an anchor-site address. The ideal link is via
for a neutral place that should find the ODMA archives regardless of the anchor site or mirror that is currently set as the site for ODMA.info.

While I was visiting this document, I also noticed that one of the shortcuts in the table of contents is broken and doesn't go anywhere. I need to log that and repair it.

Basic Semantics Register (BSR)
GILS hasn't got a semantics scheme, apparently, but there are links and suggestion about how a semantics register could be built.

There is a reference to the ODMA 2.0 Specification here, which amazes me. And my past is comiing to haunt me, I suppose. Wow, and the link is working too. I see from the document that there is a broken link in the contents (Document Format Name) so I should go in and update the master, I suppose. It would be a good thing. Well, what do you know.

XER (XML Encoding Rules)
And another topic close to my heart, the encoding of ASN.1 in XML (hence XER in contrast to BER, the Basic Encoding Rules).

This is already a worked out scheme for generic data description and representation for transport.

It works with Z39.50 in some way, so it shows up in the GILS context.

I care about it because it is an interesting case for property description in the context of managed documents, generally.

Microsoft Add-In's for GILS Support
Some script examples and some server plug-ins to provide interoperability with Z39.50 across Microsoft Client and Server technologies. Interesting examples of client-side scripts.

And here's the focus point and gateway to all things GILS

Ah, there's more to all of this GILS work. First, there is a GILS profile and it involves a lot more than just the Bib-1 set of attributes. It is explained here in this 1997 [?!] document.

Bib-1 Attribute Set
Here's an example of a "defined" attribute set for bibliographic information. It is the one from Z39.50 and it demonstrates just how difficult this stuff is.

I notice that the Dublin Core has basically been gutted by it not being standardized in terms of what the content of the attribute is and what it means to anyone. It is all left to each server to implement something. I wonder if it is really that far off the wall.

WSL: About the WAGILS Program
Yup, there is work at interoperation and cross-state searching between different GILS programs in Minnesota, Washington, and Utah. There is talk of Z Tokens and Bib-1 and ANSI/NIS Z39.50. ALl good stuff.

In Washington State, local governments also participate. There is a total of about 600,000 resource descriptions (wonder if they use RDF) that are pulled from servers (back in June 2001).

WSL: About Find-It! Washington and the GILS Program
OK, well, the Federal Register Thesaurus is a source of index terms for the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) and items posted to the Federal Register. The idea is to find relevant regulations.

The GILS (Government Information Location Service) is relevant to e-government and, as I recall, goes beyond the Washington State level where WAGILS is deployed.

This program is recommended as a demonstration of the use of consistent nomenclature and a guide to indexing of websites that all state-agency webmasters are required to follow.

So this is an example of metadata applied to assure the locatability of things that people may want to find.

Federal Register Thesaurus: Broad Subject Categories
The Nineteen Broad Subject Categories are












12 LAW








I suppose before I got too far into this I should check to see just exactly what this taxonomy is used for in the context of the Federal Register!

NARA | Federal Register | Thesaurus of Indexing Terms
[I just learned that if I use the "Blog This" shortcut when the browser is not open, I don't get a Blogger Post window. I get something quite different. I suppose I could blog that! What I wanted to do was simply get a quick Blogger Post up on my desktp to capture a note, without going to the full-up editor page. But, have a shortcut for that too.

Meanwhile, this post is about managed documents and metadata employed therewith. The National Archive provide a great deal on record management both in and out of the government. The thesaurus for the Federal Register has been recommended to me as a potential resource, and I thought I'd better grab a link where I am likely to do something about it.

AIIM 2003 - The Enterprise Content Management Event
I will be participating in this event, 7-10 April 2003 in New York City. I need to start tracking what is said here and see how I want to fit my involvement in as we get closer.

I found out how to not have "Blog this" work. I opened a second one and lost the first one that I had open but unposted. So much for trying to do too many notes at once. Still, this is a very slick way to store comments and annotations, and I can use it simply to make a note if I like, by getting rid of the href markup.

OnDemand 2003
This event, about printing and publishing, is co-located with AIIM 2003. I want to follow up on what is being offered here and see what I can do to get double value. AIIM is April 7-10 on my calendar. So I shall see how to get through at least the exhibits of this one too.

SimpleCMS Beta Test Server HowTo
Here is an interesting site I found while following some threads on Concept Graphs. What interests me is that this CMS system is a WebDAV server and can be operated that way.
This site appears to be inactive. It is not clear that development continued.

Open Forum on Metadata Registries - ISO/IEC JTC 1/Subcommittee 32/WG 2
This activity should be accounted for in the requirements draft for the WebDAV Property Registration procedure. This is my reminder to do that.

Open Forum on Metadata Registries - ISO/IEC JTC 1/Subcommittee 32/WG 2
This Effort is relevant to the metadata registration and metadata interchange requirements of document management, record management, and also the convergence of those on Web technologies.

I need to recommend to them who the experts are that should be advised of this. That includes Betsy Fanning, the AIIM Standards Coordinator, The Chairman of the AIIM Standards Committee, Terry Winograd (who has an interest in digital libraries and has said a lot about the practical aspects of the semantic web), Jim Whitehead on WebDAV (and other key players there), and also the eGovernment folk, including Owen Ambur. I need to collect information on those I would refer and put together something coherent.

I think the Open Hypertext System community is also likely to be interested, but I am not sure how they would play into this.

With regard to the management of development processes, and the existence structures for projects, I think there is crossover with project management, ISO 9000, CMM practices, and so on.

I want to start some conversation on this today, and certainly have it advanced by tomorrow.


O'Reilly Network: Slash's Wiki Plugin
Speaking of chameleon and of Wikis, here's a very nice technical explanation of all that a Wiki is (but boy, would it be neat to have the Blogger editor interface when making pages, even though there would be WikiRules to handle). I must confest to being an anti-Perl bigot, but the code included in here is something that could be adopted to lots of other languages. I'm still trying to do this without a database, but I suppose that is just a pipe dream.

Everything FAQ@Everything2.com
I like the ideas of Wikis for the same reasons, I think, that chameleon does. I am not sure I like E2 that much, but it has a lot of content and some interesting groundrules.

O'Reilly Network author chromatic
Here's a kind of home page that O'Reilly uses for authors. This one does provide links into the "Weblog Entries" of this writer, as well as to articles.

O'Reilly Network: Weblog Journalism is Hard, and it Smells Funny [October 29, 2002]
Here's an example of a posting on the O'Reilly Weblogs. It is about blogging, so I figure it is a good choice. This is seen as a form of journalism, I think. Not quite the same as a diary. OK, I can get that.

One thing this blog of linked articles does is provide for comments on the articles. This might be useful. I suppose inverting links (like this one) might be another interesting maneuver.

O'Reilly Network Weblogs by chromatic
Here's another one of those blogs that is an indext to articles and writings by another O'Reilly Network author. I guess it really is a blog. The articles can be the kind one expects to find, but usually without so much moving back and forth. I like the ones that have an expandable more ... button but don't make me move away. Lessig's site is like that.

O'Reilly Network Weblogs by Shawn Wildermuth
Well, this is yet another kind of Weblog I guess. The Weblog is basically a list of links with short comments, sort of like this post. But in this case the links are generally to articles by the weblogger. So the blog is like the string and the beads are outside of the blog. Hm, another way to do it, but not what I find as common. I suppose when I edit my archives and organize material into articles and notes that are then referenced from the blog archive page, something similar will show up.

This is a new O'Reilly domain for .NET information. There's also a weblog that may be worth looking at. I scared myself looking at random blogs today. Maybe this more serious stuff will provide some balance.

The Argument Against SOAP Encoding
Well, I don't know what to make of this. It seems that SOAP is incomplete in that there is no good scheme for learning the parameter requirements of SOAP methods in a platform-neutral way. Basically, the current technique (SOAP encoding) doesn''t work in the context of WSDL and there needs to be something else in its place.

Interesting problem.


Daily Clippings

I am experimenting with how well the "Blog This" favorite/bookmark works.

The material that I capture so far today is all in raw form. I wanted to get it onto the page to see what is working and what isn't, plus have it where I can see it.

These are basically all raw notes that I created while surfing and capturing material that I was refered to in today's E-mails.

That's it, now for some light housework, some compiti per la lezione in la lingua italiana, and on into the evening. I will be back later in some form.

I want to change the template here, and also to understand how the timestamps are sort of like purple numbers, if I fix the template. I would rather they all refer to the same shortcut in the archive, because the blog page will reset at some point (apparently on November 3).

* Italiani Bla bla �
Hmm, I can almost read all of the Italian on this page. I thought about making a "bloggatoro italiano" so maybe this is a good idea for a different blog. Vicki and I could practice here. I should let our instructor know about this.

[Over The Sky] A Tenkuu No Escaflowne Weblog
Well, some people use blogs as places for role-playing games, rather than just role-playing. Interesting. Now I must get into my day.

subarulicious ver. 7.0 -- [ getting back to the basics ] --
My my, well some things are less frightening than others, though I hope I don't have the personality of a 17-year-old. I was thinking more mid-20s myself, except here is a fellow procrastinator, from which I was able to creat this about myself:

Take the Purrsonality Quiz!

and this is apparently the kind of kitty I am. And while I am at it, there is

What Spooky Being are You?

and that is quite enough for now, thank you.

It was startling to recognize myself in the musings of a 17-year-old. Quite distressing, actually. I told Vicki and she said, is this the first time you noticed that? Then I was really crushed. I just said well, I kinda new it, but I didn't really see it and experience what that must be like for people around me. It was embarassing to cop to all of it.

The Weather Pixie: Seattle, Seattle Boeing Field
Well, I have too much time on my hands. I started looking at the other logs on PITAS, and I came up with someone who has this on their page. So I configured one and this is what I have to show for it:

The WeatherPixie

It is getting a little chilly here in Seattle, but the days have been beautiful just the same.

Diaryland!! online diary - fun, free online diaries you can update through your browser!
You can tell from the description of the page that DiaryLand has something to do with PITAS. Images from PITAS actually come from the diaryland URL.

This is probably something to explore under the topic of blogging itself and something I should not spend too much time on.

Orcmid's PITAS Experience
Here is the blog that I started on PITAS. It is not clear how this relates easily, and it may be that DiaryLand has the answer!

pitas.com - administration page.
This page should be login-protected but I want to remember it somewhere. Maybe there is a better page to remember. I will find that out as I roam around some more.

pitas.com - the fresh, healthy and delicious home of free, easy to update weblogs, newslogs, all that junk.
I am told that this is the original blog software and approach, appearing slightly ahead of Blogger. Don't know about that. What I can say is that the attitude and spirit is certainly quite different. While I was despairing that I wasn't going to get FTP working on Blogger, I went over here and signed up. I just now tried out the password that they e-mailed me and I am looking to see what there is to know and use here. I have my cookie set up so I should be able to get to the members area now without having to log in all of the time.

SAWG - Solution Architects
This is a funny page. Sort of "your tax dollars at work." I haven't downloaded any of the position descriptions on this page, but it is probably a good idea. No, I will do that now. I do want to see what these jobs are as Federal positions.

The "'vertically structured' technology spectrum" sounds like something I would write in a fit of intellectual spouting. I cringe when I see the verbing of "leverage" too. I wonder how far this usage extends beyond the beltway.

The organization chart has me thing that solution architects are oddly specialized, or have portfolios of oddly-specialized skills. And a managerial structure (if that is what the organization implies) from Chief Technology Officer (whose? SAWG's or an agency's or an initiative's?)

Time to do my homework and find out what these activities are. I am coming back to the question of whether or not enterprise architecture is just software architecture done large or is it something else. I think it is something else. I wonder where that shows up here?

SAWG - Best Practices
At the moment, there is no compendium of best practices. Rather there is an agreement to coordinate among a variety of Federal communities to ensure that "best practices and lessons learned are leveraged beyond the working group level." The different groups have links on the "About SAWG" page.

I have been reading Ivan Illich lately, and I notice how the language here can be taken to be that the SAWG is going to school (pour into their open funnels) these other communities. It is interesting how this model can be read into a lot of what gets said by organizations about their roles and activities. I will take the quoted passage to mean that there is a collaboration on identifying and promulgating best practices and lessons learned, rather than that the SAWG is the font of all knowledge.

FEAPMO - Solution Architects Working Group (SAWG)
So, there is a Federal Enterprise Architecture and within the Program Management Office structure to support that, there is the Solutions Architects Working Group (SAWG). The interesting thing about that is that Solution Architects are people, and the SAWG operates a bench of Solution Architects that can be deployed to support a Federal Agency development of a solution architecture.

I like the expression "intellectual capital" that is applied here.

More than that, there is a "Best Practices" link and I want to know even more about that.

FEA - Downloads, Reports, and Resources
Well, Enterprise Architecture, especially Federal Enterprise Architecture, is not exactly the same as software application architecture, or is it? And whatever you think that answer might be, I wonder what these folks think the answer to that question is.

So there is a Federal Enterprise Architecture and there is a Program Management Office for it (hence, FEA-PMO, but the hyphen is usually omitted in links and domain names).

This is intriguing. Something I promised I would have read up on before yesterday, so I will do it today.

Wilde Technologies
Here is the root of the Wilde Technologies site. There is a little more context on what the business is about, including "architectural level reuse of successful solutions and simplified software development."

I wonder if these guys will be around OOPSLA next week.

Evolution by Design is a great theme. I always thought that is what software systems architecture is about, at least in part. (I told Joe Quigley that when he interviewed me for an architect position many years ago.)

Well, I found out about price for Wilde 1.0. The Evaluation Edition (!!) costs $2,999 per developer. So, this is serious IT-department stuff. Makes Rational look like pikers, almost. At least I can find out the price and even order on-line, though they provide a direct-sales number too.

I guess a fair test of this would be to find out how much its own technology is used in the creation of Wilde 1.0 itself. And what are the measurable benefits. There are links to some evaluations.

VIva la evolution - overview
There is a classy Flash presentation. I like the theme - Wilde Technologies: Evolution by Design.
There is a drag and drop connection of applications and you can "play it." There is always a UML specification of a component, so introduction of new components start with that. The idea is to foster reuse. The assembly tool has a very simple interface and they like the gear motif. So, we have evolutionary design. This presentation focuses completely on the design view and it is not clear what others there are. So there are still questions to be answered at a deeper level. Price comes to mind!

Wilde 1.0 - The Product and How it Works
There are nice animations here. I see different levels of detail but not different levels of abstraction here. I also see that execution is at the component glue level. I suppose Miser isn't any different than that, so I should not be too cynical.

It appears to depend on the component existing (where is it kept) and for new components, starting with a UML characterization and also providing an implementation that Wilde 1.0 can then integrate.

I have been capturing all of this as a view of integration technology. It will take digging deeper to see if there is a better way to situate this in the scheme of things.

Wilde 1.0 Benefits
I downloaded the free product overview and will look at that later. There are some questions that I find in the Benefits claims. First, what it lets you do is very appealing and easy to test. The idea that a design is an asset is an important one, and it fits the MDA idea perfectly.

One question that I have is how transparent and open the process is. And I betcha this is one pricey package.

With regard to the customer benefit, I want to get exactly how business complexity is reflected at this level. My associate Bill and I are running into what seems to be a real gap between requirements and the enactment of applications, and part of it is that the world in which the real requirements live is not a software-engineered world, and so it doesn't work to turn it into a software (-engineering) requirements problem.

Viewing applications at different levels of abstraction is another way of saying what the requirements gap involves. It is claimed that this package supports this, and so I want to see it very much. It does mean I will have to upgrade my machines to XP (I passed on 2000 and now it is time to get off of 98 so I can run some of this wonderful stuff).

The notion of a design view that deals with what applications are actually doing is an interesting one. I can take that as a positive achievement, and will look further. That it gives a place to address evolution of software assets is also interesting. So I am intrigued. I will now start looking for the beef.

Wilde 1.0 Product Introduction
Well, the idea is to have a visual design in UML (so I should find out how this relates to MDA, model-driven architecture). I see a framework for component-oriented design, which is certainly a good way to manage design, and they notice that the components can also evolve and the design can be rearranged around the components as applications requirements/definition change.

It is appealing that this proposes to take development all the way through deployment. This apparently accounts for upgrading as well. I will keep looking.


Vicki After the Studio

Last night, Vicki came home about 9:30pm, following the first monday of a new adult beginning pottery class that she is teaching. She wipped up some frozen pizzette and we talked at the dining room table.

I love to hear Vicki talk about her students. She has been letting the adult beginners know what is going to happen as they beging to work with clay on the wheel. She tells them it can take different ones as many as 3 or more lessons before they suddenly are able to center the clay and have the pot hold together as they shape it. It is not something that kids have to be taught -- they are happy with everything that happens. We adults have all sort of expectations of ourselves, and Vicki reassures them that they will go through some uncomfortable experiences and that there is absolutely nothing wrong. She so loves seeing her students trust in her and persist until they get it and it begins to work for them. It is quite an experience in being, and Vicki loves her students for their willingness and what they allow themselves to experience as they develop this new capacity.

I was reminded how much it was like learning to ride a bicycle. When I got my first bike, I just wouldn't give up until I was able to peddle the monstrous thing and balance as I moved along. It seems that I have lost that ease, and now I have to coach myself into taking on the unfamiliar, like getting Blogger to work for me. I noticed all that listening to Vicki recount how great her students were in their first class as adult potters.


Starting a New Day

What happened? It is after midnight already.

Cleaning up the Blog

Reformatting the first posts

I have begun to reformat the first posts so they are more understandable when read in reverse order or scrolled down through and read in the order of recording. I get to foretell myself, that way, but it does work out.

I have confrmed that I can do different heading levels, <h1>, <h2>, and <h3> so far. I can also do bold-face and italic and I can make type smaller and larger.

I have also practiced planting links, and setting the target of those links to compensate for the cloaking that occurs on the site where I keep my Blogger publication of Orcmid's Lair.

Cleanups left to do

I haven't cleaned up the posts below here, down to the section where I talk about moving the Lair Blog. I also have some links that will work better if I compensate for the cloaking of the site. This is to be done in the morning.



Well, Not So Fast, Sparky

Now I don't know exactly how the archive process chooses to update the current archive file. It didn't do it the way I thought it would when I published the previous note. It did not catch up to "Well, Yes It Is!"

So I don't know the system. But I am out of my bathrobe and leaving the house! Places to be, people to see.

Ciao, Ciao, ecc.


OK, One More Thing About Archiving

It would appear that every time I publish a new version of this page, the current archive is updated with the previous version. That should continue until the date changes enough for it to be time to start a new archive page. We will have to just pay attention and see how that works out.

Ciao, ciao, arrivederLe


Well, Yes It Is!

The basic clue is that there is now an archive link in the left column of my (this) page. That link goes to a page that is the same as this one starting with the article "Arriving at a New Location." I can see that might change over time, that is, as the week goes on.

An interesting feature of the link to the (currently only) archive page is that it is a relative link. Apparently the blogger software figures out how to make a relative link based on the ftp destinations of the archive and of the blog page. That is rather fascinating.

It is also fascinating that there can be more than one blog here, and as long as their archive pages have a different "index" name, everything should work just ducky.

Finally, the so-called index page isn't exactly an index page. It is a page that gets included in the blogger page itself to build the current index shown on the blog page. All very cleverly done. It means the archive pages will work with that index too, without having to be updated every week!

There's some nice thinking in the coherence of blogger.

All right, that's it. Into the shower. It is getting dark out for Pete's sake.


Archiving Is On?

Well, who knows. I have turned on archiving, requesting once-per-week archives.

I also bit the bullet and allowed this page to be made public. Why not. We have no secrets here.

There is also not a lot to interest people.

Now I have this desire to say something deep and meaningful. Oh well, it really is time to get out of my bathrobe and look at my calendar and figure out what results I will produce in the rest of the day that I have available. That is quite enough.



Arriving at a New Location

I have now altered Blogger to place my blog page in its new location.

It will have succeeded if I now find it there.

Yup, I'm there now. There are some things to clean up here, and then I need to clean up back at the other place (formerly known as here).

But first, I want to turn on archiving.


Moving the Lair Blog to a More Convivial Place

I am about to make a major change. I have created the http://orcmid.com/blog/ section on Orcmid's Lair, and I am going to move this particular blog to that section, at location http://orcmid.com/blog/lair.asp with the idea that I can make an ASP page of it later on, or replace it with an ASP page in the future, etc. So I am using that name now. More than that, I am about to move this page and activate archiving to be into that section.

Button button, who's got the button? So, with luck, this is the last time you will find this page here, and future work will be there.

Now, eventually, the here page will be set to redirect to the there page and I will have to modify what it says there to make sense, since I am writing it here. Got that?

[Well it happened. Here we are there.]


Using the "Blog this" options to quickly capture links to other sites and pages

Setting Up "Blog this"

Trying the Registry Change. I installed the registry changes to have "blog this" work from the right-mouse-click when I am visiting a web page, but it doesn't work. I get a script error. I think it has to do with permissions to run scripts.

Using the Shortcut Method. However, I can use the shortcut option to post links to my blog. I just did three that way. They are in the preceding three articles. I will do something more with those later. Right now, I am doing something else.

The instructions for adding a shortcut that will make a blog link and even take notes along with it is provided on the Settings button on the blogger editor page. If you go to the bottom, you will find the intructions and a link for that. (Don't follow the link, right click on it and take the option to add it to your Favorites (or Preferiti or whatever else they might be named on your browser's menu bar).

Then when you are visiting a page, like http://cyberlaw.stanford.edu/lessig/, you can go to the established "Blog this" favorite. What you get is a window that is starting a new posting on your blog. I just take the Post option and then, the next time I come to the blog to edit and manage it, the new postings are here waiting for me to clean up, annotate, or whatever.

So that is how it is easy to splice sites together, to link to articles in other blogs, and so on. This is made easy.

Some Blog-this captures that I made this way

The postings below were inserted automatically while I was using the Blog-this shortcut when browsing to a variety of sites. The posts were inserted without my having the Blogger editor open. Then I came back and added this material above them. Normally I might do more than that, but I wanted to leave these just the way they arrived.

One thing I do have to do. The orcmid.com site is "cloaked" and if I go from there to another page, it will appear to visitors that they are still in Orcmid's Lair unless I do some repair to the links. So I have come back and done that in the Blogger Editor.


My First Morning with Blogger

Exploring Formatting Capabilities

Tearing myself away?

Putting up an HTML Heading. I just want to get some kind of title here. It works or it doesn't. And now I am away to do other things. There is a clock here in my office that I haven't switched back to standard time yet. It is bugging me. OK, I am still in my bathrobe and have other commitments, but the clock makes it worse. And it is one that I know how to change without looking up how I set it last April. [I am now coming back through and editing this material so that there is some semblance of organization, even if only one sensible to me. The timestamps don't change when a blog post is edited. Something that should probably be changed.]



Reflection on progress so far

So leave already. OK, this is my first session with blogger after signing up this morning. Most of the notes are technical ones based on my initial experience. I am going to stop now and collect my thoughts, see how to make better use of this.

Trying out the markup features. Hmm, I just opened the note below and edited it. Interesting, it looks like I can use pretty much any HTML tags that I want. I had broken the italics and was able to fix them just now. I really like how easy this is. I can see why blogging is so popular. [The post below is the first one that I tried markup with, now that it is safe to be adventurous. Now I do regular markup, sometimes in a cleanup pass after getting a bunch of ideas and reflections written down.]


Love pats and imagined improvements

I really like Blogger. No, I really like blogger. (Just did my first editing control. Wish it was WYSIWYG, but no matter ...) Hmm, another area to explore -- how much I can put HTML/XML tags directly in the edit window postings. Maybe I can type λ-expressions too.

As I was saying, I really like Blogger. I love the interface in my browser. It has a great professional feel, and it is inviting to me.

It is also a great demonstration of incoherence in its own way (all nicely captured in the blog itself).

It is nice that publishing goes directly to my web site. I like that. I don't like that it doesn't fit into my configuration management, and hence content management regime. But I like that I can use my own site, and that I can have all the blogs I want. Maybe I should consider that it should work through FrontPage extensions or WebDAV too. That would be another way to get directly there. And I think it is the FrontPage extensions that coordinate with the configuration-management system. I'm just thinking it over. What I don't want to do is interrupt or disrupt the fluidity that I now experience in my initial trial with blogger.

Here's what I want. I want to make a Wiki this way. I am willing to work the backup process backwards (that is, download the edited site back to a mirror on my computer that I check in and out of a source-control system). This means I am editing live on the site and then snapshotting.

I would also like a way to have a working mobile site, say on my laptop, and a way of synchronizing it with the live site. This lets me compose and work when I don't have a broadband connection handy, and I can still plug away.

Finally, I would like to integrate this, or a comparable tool, into FrontPage so that I could have that capability.

I realize that I can't do all of this with blogger, but if I do get something else it has to be as good as blogger. I can't mix with blogger because it won't know about changes made via other avenues, and I presume it would therefore over-write them.

Other areas to explore even more: The XML-based (RDF?) conventions by which bloggers communicate with each other. I will need to find out more about that.


My Blog Is Being Published!

More variations show that it all works

My host site does allow renaming. Oh, OK renaming is working.

There is visual feedback when pages are prepared and uploaded. Also, I see that when things are operating properly, the black bar (I will just keep calling that - it is a black background with text in halloween colors - white (well, looks grey) and orange. Uh, anyhow, the black bar says something about preparing my page.

Formatting seems to cure itself. I was complaining about formatting, but that isn't it (all of the time). Although I had started new lines with the paste-in of the FTP log (a couple of notes down), and then put a couple of spaces at the front of each line to make something like indenting, the posting showed up as a single paragraph with everything mushed together. That is down in the posting window (below the black bar). Now it is all better, in the web-page view and in the posts window. I am typing in the edit window, I think.

Feeling a bit muddled. OK, let's focus a little here. There is a consistency of formatting and presentation problem in blogger. All right, I got that. But it is sort of working right now.

Also, there was some sort of account startup or possibly even a blogger service problem, and that is now cured, evidently. The key thing about it was that everything was inscrutible. I got a message for which help didn't help, and when I went to discuss I got reports of XML errors but no place to discuss things.

Right now, I seem to have a healthy, operating blogger. I am pleased about that. Improved my whole attitude and I have a sense of accomplishment for launching into the rest of my day that was simply not there.

Now if I can figure out why ZoneAlarm (on my other machine, compagno) is no longer presenting the activity log, I would be happier about also bringing it up on centro, the desktop I am working from right now. ... (sigh)


Flushed with Victory, Let's Try New Things

Formatting the FTP Log. Well, the last paragraph did not format very well, did it! I need to figure out how to force line breaks in my formatting. I will solve that later and edit the material into another place. Meanwhile, this is part of the confirmable experience. [There was nothing wrong with my line breaks. They show just fine in "view web page." But sometimes the posts view, down below the edit frame, suddenly has all of the lines run together, even when I do things to control alignment and line breaks. This is unpredictable and recurs from time to time.]

A distraction with the progress bar. One thing I had not noticed before is that after publishing, there is a timing bar going at the bottom of my IE window, although the status area says "Operazione completata" (since I have my language default be in Italian).

Waiting for the time to end. There has been no change in status for my last request, so I am going to look at [status] now and see what that is about. [I thought maybe if I waited long enough, the status would show up. There's a progress bar for some reason, I thought.]

Aha, as soon as I click [status] things change. The "Transfer successful ..." message comes up and then the progress bar disappears at the bottom line of my IE window.

Let's restore some options that maybe weren't the problem. OK, I am now going to try with renaming enabled.


Uh, Publish Is Suddenly Working. So, uh, What Happened?

Haphazardly trying again. OK, I went to do some other things, then I returned here from another page. Since the Publish button was there, I used it.
What I got was a message down there that said My request was submitted and then offered me a status.
I clicked the [status] item in the black bar that shows posts, but it may have changed spontaneously. The message is now
"Transfer successful. View page to verify [give it a few seconds) [FTP log].

The Page Views in My Browser. I just clicked the View page link in that line and the page is there, right where it belongs.

There is an FTP log. I just opened the FTP Log and I got a display much like this:

  FTP Log
  created: Mon, 28 Oct 2002 21:22:46 GMT
  220 bruiser FTP server (CH/1.9) ready.
  USER orcmid@nfocentrale.net
  331 Password required for orcmid@nfocentrale.net.
  PASS xxxxxx
  230 User orcmid logged in.
  215 UNIX Type: L8
  257 "/" is current directory.
  REST 1
  350 Restarting at 1. Send STORE or RETRIEVE to initiate transfer.
  REST 0
  350 Restarting at 0. Send STORE or RETRIEVE to initiate transfer.
  Restartable feature is enabled.
  200 Type set to A.
  200 Type set to I.
  PORT 64,41,146,210,173,239
  200 PORT command successful.
  STOR web/orcmid/writings/blog.htm
  150 Opening BINARY mode data connection for web/orcmid/writings/blog.htm.
  226 Transfer complete.
  221 Goodbye.

The wonders of incoherent inscrutibility. This is all very inscrutible. Now I don't know exactly what I did and what was a problem with the blogger.com site.
Finally, I am now wondering about the renaming game and whether I should turn it on.

Looking for defenses. I am going to protect my site another way, by having the blogging be done on PWS (or IIS), where I can use Visual Source Safe to back up the pages just like I do for other pages on my site. Can't do that right away, so I will keep this going for now.

Well, let's see what else really works. What I will do, now that this seems to be working, is set up a blog subdirectory, have it be used for archives too, and make this the top page.


I can edit and blog, but not publish to Orcmid's Lair

Giving up, sort of. Same message. There is something needed and I don't know what it is!

Or maybe my host is rejecting the renaming operations? This time I turned off renaming in the settings to see what that would do. [This is an option in Settings to allow a page to be backed up before it is replaced, in case the transfer of the update fails. Apparently not all host sites are set up for that.]

Maybe pages named .asp really don't work? OK, I am trying some other things in my settings. Based on the error message "Oops your blog was not quite ready to be published. Please try again [more info] I cannot tell what is happening. I changed the name of my page to blog.htm, from blog.asp. And that did not work.

Fidlling about some more. I forgot to take the leading "/" out of my FTP path. I did that now. Let us see if that can possibly make any difference at all.

Random fiddling with FTP; leaving and returning to the editor. Every time i come in here fresh, I get the publish button as part of the black bar, just below (the edit window).

I went to find my FTP log at the blogger site, and there isn't one. So I might not even be trying to do FTP access. Can't tell yet. Wow, what a confirmable-experience story.

No joy. No error message either. Just the Oops, your blog is not quite ready to be published. The button vanished. Try again doesn't do anything, and the more info doesn't either. The only clue I get is the "not quite ready."

When I hit the "discuss" link in the more-info troubleshooting page, I get an XML error and can't get to the discuss section!

Let's see if I can get help any where else.

Fiddling with FTP transfer and parameters. All right, I went to the FTP site and could see nothing. BUt I was logged on from another machine, and that might have been a problem. I changed the path on the FTP site to begin with "/" because it does in my WS_FTP window. I don't know if that makes a difference or not.

I also went into my blogger settings and changed some things, including putting in a specific FTP user ID and password. AHH, now there is a publish button down there where there wasn't before. Isn't that interesting.

OK, I will post, and then publish.

My posts are not lost, just scrolled out. Whew. Ah, because i am such a wordy guy, and I hit the post button a lot, the "Show last 5 posts" button was chopping off the older ones. I expanded it to 25 and now I can see all of the damage I think I have done. I don't have any indication that any of this material has ever been published though, so the FTP transfer is definitely not working, I would say.

Rather than accumulate more words in a mystery place, I will now stop until I can figure out what this is all about.

I try to troubleshoot the situation. Well, trying again doesn't seem to do anything. And the more info doesn't tell me what the problem is. I assume it is with regard to FTP access because the web page comes up as not there.

Also, I notice that my page has scrolled off the bottom below and my material that I first tried publishing is not showing any more. I wonder where those immortal words vanished off to?

Oh, nothing's being published. Well .... a couple of things. WHen I ask to view the web page, IE can't find it. [I get a no-such page when I select view web page using the black bar above the posts window. Also, I looked for an FTP log in the help-specified place, and I got a no-such file message about that, but this time from the Blogger Apache server.] So I wonder if I gave the correct name. I think so. I didn't get any error reports about FTP transfer or anything like that. I will need to go -- oh, oh, there is a note in the black bar below that says "Oops, your blog was not quite ready to be published. Please try again." [I hadn't noticed that in faint gray on black type.]


I practice Post&Publish on small postings

I continue blissfully along. Yup, blogger is now remembering everything it needs, or else I still have an open FTP connection that is being used. Amazing.

This reminds me. I need to install ZoneAlarm on this machine. My laptop has it and that was an eye-opener (why does MSN Messenger want to send things to the Internet when I am specifically not logged in?)

OK, this is too much fun and I am now going to stop doing this. I can see how this is appealing. There is a basic simplicity that makes it easy to express oneself, without getting all hung up in peripheral matters, formatting, and so on. That each blog posting remains editable is also valuable.

There is a lot more here just in the getting-started process, and I will definitely look at this in the context of confirmable experiences. Also concerning trust points, since there are quite a few in using blogger. Well, a couple.

And I post&publish another segment. This time it didn't ask me for my password again. Hmm, hmm, hmm. [I am blissfully thinking that Blogger is being helpful. Meanwhile, nothing is actually happening on my web site, though Blogger is carefully building more blog for me on its system. It's just that nothing is published.]

I guess I need to find a script-based or webdav-based or something that lets me operate in complete security or at least where the only other trusted party here is my hosting service. [These comments are each based on the experience of doing a Post&Publish of the comment just below. Eventually I will catch my breath and figure out what is going on here.]

Posting another piece. Blogger remembers my FTP User ID but asks for my password again. That is a good thing. I wonder a little bit about how all of this material passes through an intermediary -- the words I type (which I don't mind having be public anyhow) and my FTP password (which I do have a concern for). [Meanwhile, whatever is happening with the FTP site, nothing is actually being published. I haven't noticed that yet.]

Trying Post & Publish Next. Hmm, it asked me to log in to my FTP server twice, which made me nervous, but apparently the second time did it. I don't have any error messages. I will see what happens when I add this and then I will stop for a while and get into my day. [Actually, there is an error message but I don't notice it. Everything appears to be working, but it isn't.]


I Get Help Back

The Help button works. I click on the Help button in the new Blogger toolbar added to Internet Explorer [I must find out how it does that, it is so cool]. The button launches Help in a new Internet Explorer Window, so I have a chance of finding my way. It turns out that Post & Publish is the thing to do, so I will try that now, and see how I get through the security process for updating my host site via FTP! The help page on getting started is at
http://publicmind.blogger.com/enduser/group.jsp?node=150 and that is very handy to know!


I post the entry

After entering my first entry, I click on Post. The material moves to the pane below, but I now don't have the Quick-Start instructions. There is a help button. The Post & Publish button may be the one I need to try. I will see if that works after I click Post again.

[The Quick-Start instructions refer to a button that is not actually visible. I figured at the time that the documentation was not current with the software. Later, the publish button did show up on the lower pane. But meanwhile, I am puzzling over the Post and Post & Publish buttons of the edit window.]


My first blog registration and effort at posting

This is my first effort at posting a blog page. I am curious what the fuss is about. There is something here about blogging that makes it easy and appealing to update and post. Since I always have a lot to say, but don't put it anywhere, I am looking to see if this will break the log jam and also give more visibility to ideas, links, thoughts, threads, and connections I am exploring.

Setting up the account. One thing I notice, as my first experience, is the information that I needed to provide to have a blogger account was very simple. This even though I am asking ot have blog pages posted to my hosting service at a particular place on Orcmid's Lair. I have a desire to capture this as a "confirmable experience" so I suppose I should grab a screen shot while the grabbing is good! [I did that. It will show up somewhere when I get around to it.]

Admiration for the browser integration. The next thing, now that I am here entering my first page, is that I am actually doing all of this inside of Internet Explorer 6.0, with a new toolbar at the top of the window and two windows in the IE client area - This page, with a menu bar at the top, and another window, below, that has Quick-Start instructions.

This is a lot easier than I expected "browser-based" editing and entry to be. This makes me think that this, however it is designed, is a perfect demonstration of a browser as a shell. Also, it looks like it would be a great way to produce Wiki pages, and I want to know how that could work.

Meanwhile, I am going to now see what it takes to publish this page.

Hard Hat Area

an nfoCentrale.net site

created 2002-10-28-07:25 -0800 (pst) by orcmid
$$Author: Orcmid $
$$Date: 10-04-05 21:50 $
$$Revision: 3 $