Tag Archives: blog

ivany.org redesign

In case you didn’t notice, ivany.org has been redesigned. I’ve decided to move away from the multitude of subdomains and put everything back on the main domain. I’m still using WordPress but I’ve started with a different theme this time and hacked in some of the features I want.

I’m in the process of working out some bugs associated with redirecting all of my blog traffic from the old subdomain to ivany.org. It’s sort of tricky as I’ve made some changes to URL mappings and moved some stuff around.

Eventually I’ll also get the photo gallery moved over. I started moving everthing to the Gallery2 software a while ago but never really transitioned everything from the old Coppermine code. Now I’m going to try and make use of the WPG2 plugin. So far it’s working out OK. It is missing one major feature at the moment however – I need to be able to insert full-sized images! Oh well, it seems there are some patches to achieve this, I just need to take some time to check them out.

Gallery2 Online Photo Gallery

I’ve switched over to the Gallery2 online photo gallery software now. I’ve been annoyed by the old Coppermine based gallery I’ve had and that’s one of the reasons I haven’t really been putting a lot of pictures online anymore. I’ve had the Gallery2 online photo gallery installed for quite a while now and over the last months I’ve migrated most of the pictures from the old Coppermine gallery into it. I had planned to use the WPG2 integration plugin but I just haven’t had the time to get it setup. I’ll do that sometime later and then I can add stuff like random images on the blog.

Yeah, loads of fun.

So after all that, you can now go to the new ivany.org photo gallery and check out some pictures.

Blogging for Over 5 Years

As I was looking at my pitiful blog this evening I realize I’ve been blogging for over 5 years! Heck, I’ve been blogging since before it was cool to have a blog and before a lot of people blogging now probably even knew what the internet was. Does that make me cool? Hell no! I’ve been blogging for over 5 years and I’ve got nothing to show for it! There’s lots of people out there making gazillions off of their blogging. Hell, there are so called professional bloggers now. I guess I missed the boat on all this because by the time a lot of the monetization of the blogging world started to happen, I was out of university and fully employed.

Looking back at my first blog through blogger.com I can see that I was procrastinating big time. I would have started my blogging adventures at the same time I was finishing my last semester of university. Oh how I was such a young punk back then.

So what was my first blog post? Welcome to My Blog posted on April 16, 2001.

If it weren’t for this full time job work crap I might be able to devote enough time to be a professional blogger, drawing upon my 5 years of blogging experience but then I’d be out of work and probably desperate to make some quick cash before getting another job. Oh well.

Oh, and if you happen to end up reading any of the drivel I wrote back then, physics still sucks.

Display Comments in Context

How can you display comments in context on a wiki or a blog?

One way on a wiki is to simply allow users to insert their comment in the middle of the page text. That is a typical wiki style comment (from my point of view) but it can lead to a very difficult to read wiki page. The flow of the actual document text is broken up by comments. To get around this, you have the option of a comments section at the bottomw of the page or a second page for comments but neither of those options allow you to display comments in context.

On a blog, I have yet to see a way to display comments in context. You could probably allow some form of wiki style editing of a blog post to let people comment in the middle of your text but then you run the risks associated with wikis where some malicious user could vandalize your posts. Of course, you’re also stuck with using a wiki to blog (which is fine if that’s what you want.).

So how can you display comments in context on a blog and a wiki?

My personal favorite right now are the Microsoft Word track changes and comment features. Maybe that’s because I’ve been reading and modifying a number of documents at work recently. ;) Basically the user is able to insert a comment at any point and it shows up as a bubble in the margin. The text flow is un-interrupted so you can read the document text without reading the comments if you want. You can also turn off the display of the comments if you don’t want to see them at all.

Implementing such a way to display comments in context has eluded me thus far. I’ve got some of the parts figured out but the biggest one is the actual positioning of the comment anchor. The point in the text or the selection of text that the comment is being made about. Without that, you don’t display comments in context.

There is also another side to consider when dealing with a wiki page. If someone wants to print off the page, how do you still display comments in context on the printed page? Should they be made as footnotes, put inline or stuffed into the margins like Word does?

Maybe I’ll get around to figuring this out some day. Even better, maybe someone else will figure it out for me and I won’t have to! ;)

Wiki and Blog Integration

Wiki and Blog integration is apparently a difficult thing. It seems that no one can really agree on how they should be integrated. There is also some question on if they should be integrated.

I stumbled across Blogs and Wiki: WhenBlogMeetsWiki (link now broken – see update below) while trying to find an app that had wiki and blog integration. This site (which is for a course at Bemidji State Univeristy) has a fairly good discussion on the differences and other attempts to combine blogs and wikis.

Now, I’ve been thinking about this for a while. I would really like an app that does wiki and blog integration because there are many times when I would like to be able to reference a wiki (reference) page from a blog entry. It should be seamless integration without having to hack either code base to “force” it to work. I know there are a number of plugins available for most of the major wikis and blogs, but then you’re stuck with two seperate apps to manage. Both of which are probably more complex that what I’m looking for.

I like the model that Mediawiki uses where each individual wiki page has it’s own “talk” page. I like that idea but I don’t like how it’s implemented. I think it would make more sense for a wiki page to be able to have a blog of it’s own. That could be expanded on to give individual users their own blog within a wiki (the blog would be attached to their user page). In addition to a blog being able to be attached to a wiki page, there should also be a blog style comment ability. The thing I find most confusing about the wiki talk pages is that each user has to make sure they denote their words well. Sometimes you can get very confusing pages unless you’ve been following the “conversation” since day one. Maybe some form of “discussion” page would make more sense. With the ability to thread comments.

Anyhoo, I’m probably never going to find an app that does all of this so maybe it’s time for me to start working on one of my own. With the amount of free time I have these days, I should have a working prototype by 2010. ;)

Updated: Unfortunately the original link in this article has disappeared/moved. You may be able to find relevant info via http://ferret.bemidjistate.edu/~morgan/