12 Mar 2003 dyork   » (Master)

Blogs - and straying off-topic - jfleck: Interesting about consolidating your various blogs at your own site. Can't say I blame you... I understand your reasons and honestly if my ISP were to allow the operation of servers (or if I had the option of another broadband ISP - I don't), I might set up my own as well. Yet, I'll have to be honest and say I'll miss your postings here. With everything else in my life, I don't get a whole lot of time to surf around the web and keep up with what's going on. The many, many news sites I used to read on a daily and weekly basis have continued to dwindle to close to almost none.

In the insanity of it all, recentlog is one of the very few sites I do actually read on a relatively-close-to-daily basis, and your entries in particular have been some of the ones that I have very much enjoyed reading. In part, I think that is because you write well... it shows that you have both the experience and also the passion. But, quite frankly, it's also because you do stray outside the realm of free software and share with us your thoughts on oddball things, or your observations of the life around you in Arizona as you are riding, or the interesting and often touching anecdotes of life with your daughter and family.

Your sharing enriches our community as a whole, provides a glimpse into a world different in many ways from mine (yet similar in many ways as well), and offers a welcome diversion from the craziness of a normal day. I have learned many things from the out-of-band (i.e. not free software) references in your diary and that of so many others. (I have also learned a great many things from the free software-related info, but my point is I, at least, find both very interesting, informative, entertaining, and educational.)

Personally, I think such off-topic references only make our community stronger. If we only know each other through the very narrow topics of free software, we see one-dimensional beings, and do not get to view the richness of the full person. Some of those references have also led me to connect face-to-face with people working on free software projects that are of little or no interest to me... yet some other other thing they do has helped us to connect... and when we have connected, very often we have found that in fact there are free software-related issues in common - and each of us has left a bit stronger - and our projects are as well.

Anyway, long ramble... the net of it is that while I don't think Advogato needs to turn into a LiveJournal or Blogger.com, I personally don't have an issue with some straying from the free software focus (and I am quite guilty of that myself). Others may disagree, but I think it's good - and healthy.

So, jfleck, I do look forward to your continued postings here as appropriate... and I'll try to check in from time to time over on your own site. (BTW, NukeBeat is quite interesting!)

Wiki - Some time ago, our internal developers set up a Wiki for our own internal use using TWiki. I'll confess to being a bit skeptical at first. Being an ancient hardcoder of HTML (i.e. I started writing HTML pages for NCSA Mosaic in early 1993) I was somewhat put off by learning yet-another-shortcut-for-web-pages. (By gosh, why write '---+ text' when a macro for '<h1>text</h1>' can do the same thing! ;-) I will also admit to being quite comfortable dumping everything into our local copy of Bugzilla. While it has many strengths for bug- and issue-tracking, we had shoehorned BZ into working as a collaboration tool and I had learned to be quite comfortable working around it in that manner. So I saw the announcement of the Wiki come and go and just ignored it.

But I must confess... I have seen the light! (And it wasn't a train running me over...) In the past couple of weeks, I've started to use it... or more precisely... I saw how it could be used. And once awakened to the potential, I've started to find more and more uses for it. It's quite fascinating, really. I mean, on a certain level it's not all that different than having a group of HTML files under CVS access with everyone having their own local working copy and updating the server... which is what a group of us did for one web site. But yet, our group were hard-core techies to whom CVS and raw HTML were nothing.

The Wiki tools (TWiki being one of them) certainly remove many of those techie barriers and make the things that we were doing very easy and very in reach to non-technical users. And even for us techies, it just makes it that much simpler and faster.

So I am impressed so far. I have run into some things I wish it could do, but I also haven't searched the quite long list of plugins available to see if my itches have already been scratched. We'll see.

The beating of the drum - Articles like this are just further evidence that our days of wide open bandwidth are drawing closer to the end. We've certainly seen information from customers about their ISPs starting to put limits on or charge by the Megabyte or Gigabyte. The big ISPs, especially carriers, do keep on beating that drum of measured service... I'm sure that many of the telcos, especially, would love to get back to a time of per minute charges... or at least per-byte or megabyte in the new order of things.

I guess we should all enjoy drinking from the firehose while we still can. (Or at least those of us should who currently have unmetered broadband connections with a flat monthly fee... I know metered rates are in effect in some parts of the world already.)

The Chloe Journals - We can tell that it is only a small matter of time before she starts being able to pull herself up to a standing position (against furniture, for instance). She's lately been kneeling but holding her whole body erect. She's tried to pull herself up, but can't get last part. She has, though, figured out how to open cabinet doors... and the French doors between the living room and dining room are no longer an obstacle if only one is shut (with a gate blocking the other one). :-) Great fun to watch the evolution!

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