Copyright © is not enough

2011/01/25 23:25:03
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Tonight’s Digital Libraries class covered Copyrights, Patents, Copylefts, and other intellectual property concepts. This is especially important in the digital libraries world because the laws surrounding intellectual property make preservation challenging.

An important take-away from tonight’s lecture was that merely placing “© 2010 Shawn M. Jones” at the bottom of my pages is not merely enough to protect it legally.  A notice must appear somewhere on the site for its content.  Several years ago, Lawrence Lessig created the Creative Commons license to allow those on the Internet to share their work while retaining their copyright to said work.

To provide a license for this blog, I’ve filled out the form on the site and followed the directions on the web site for linking to the chosen license, like so:

Creative Commons License
the Little Projects of Shawn M. Jones by Shawn M. Jones is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

We’re quite lucky to live in an era where folks are willing to do the legal legwork necessary to make this happen. I’m happy that it’s even held up in court.

This site is a blog

2011/01/10 04:33:20
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I’ve resolved that what I’m really looking for in a web site is a blog.

I wanted the site to do the following things:

  • allow me to publish blog posts, which I was already doing with WordPress
  • allow me to publish the occasional article, which I seem to have little time or inclination to do, so I ditched Drupal
  • allow me to publish photos, for which I’m currently using Picasa Web Albums

I’m maintaining my own site on my own server for the following reasons:

  • Blogger was too slow to load on many of the networks I experimented with
  • WordPress has more features than Blogger.
  • WordPress is open source, and I can learn about this nifty piece of software by running it myself.
  • I had already moved my mail services off of Gmail and onto my rented server, and wanted to consolidate my web services there as well.
  • I love messing with a Linux server in my spare time.

We’ll see how far this Intel Celeron 2.53 GHz machine with 1GB of RAM will get me.

Yet another site change

2010/02/18 00:21:16
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I’ve been spending the last few days updating this site to something more useful, or so I hope.

I have a desire to share what little I learn from day to day, yet I don’t have an interest in maintaining a lively conversation about it.  I like writing articles, but not blog posts so much.  I also needed a place to point folks to when they asked for a resume or anything about me.

For years, I maintained multiple web sites, and  The org site was for my personal endeavors and the com site was to be more professional.

Now Facebook takes care of my personal needs and I can focus on just keeping this site up to date with articles and the occasional blog post.  My hope is to have a place I can point to for my writing should prospective employers, colleagues, and others want to see what I can do.

Thoughts on Blogger

2009/04/02 08:39:00
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Well, it looks like the slow connections I’ve been experiencing with Blogger may be enough to push me back onto my own server. B2Evolution was good to me when I ran it, so I’ll use that software for blog entries. The photos I’ll probably keep on Picasa, but I haven’t given them much thought.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I want to run my own server for web hosting. It is in the small challenge of doing so that I find some joy. Funny to think that the systems administration that I do could be considered a “hobby”?

There are other things I want to do with the server as well, like limited file sharing, that I have a hard time doing with Google Docs.

So, thanks to a tip from a friend, I’m looking at ServerADay for a discount server that will meet my hosting needs. I’m waiting for one in the $20 range if I can get it. This is a far cry from the almost $100 prices at Serverbeach or the $79 servers at Layered Tech.

Once I get a server, the next issue will be moving the blog over to whatever software I end up using. I’m planning on keeping my Calendar and Email on Google Apps for now, as, with slight annoyances, they’ve been serving me well.

I’m thinking that moving to Blogger was a good experiment, but it did not garner the benefits I had hoped for.

Web site technology brainstorming

2008/10/11 17:55:00
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A year ago, after much consideration of differing tools, I looked at all of the open source Content Management Solutions and came to the conclusion that nothing solved every one of my needs well.

I needed the following:

  1. A blog
  2. A photo gallery
  3. A web mail program

I tried quite a few solutions and came down to the following solutions that seemed to do their respective jobs best:

Then I ran into the following problems:

  • No common authentication scheme for these three tools. In essence I had to log into each of them separately. This is a common problem to using multiple tools.
  • A strange Out Of Memory error that occurs on my Apache web server when it runs too long. I don’t know if it’s B2 Evolution or Gallery 2 doing that. Currently the web server restarts its process every hour to avoid this (not really an optimal solution, don’t visit at the top of the hour)
  • Squirrelmail has many of the features I want, but the interface is lacking.
  • No way of tying the information together. I can not use the same categories for blog entries, photos, and email messages together. This was not an original requirement but became more apparent over time as I began using other tools, like Agendus on my PDA.
  • PHP seems to have quite a few security holes, requiring a lot of patching/restarts of the web server.

So, with the hubris that most developers have, I decided it would be better to just write my own tools to do this.

I have looked at the following programming environments:

Each has its own pros and cons. Both Zope and Ruby on Rails appear to be very much tied to database design and relationships. J2EE is looking like a good choice for complete abstraction, but with that power comes a lot of work.

Then, there is the research needed to make certain aspects of blogs and photo galleries work.

In order to understand the implementation of Trackbacks and other Blog-related concepts, I’ll end up diving into B2Evolution’s code. In order to find out how caching is handled for photos, I’ll end up diving into Gallery 2’s code.

At that point, I might as well force those tools to do what I want.