I've decided to stop blogging here and move to a new blog allrite rites at blog.allrite.net. I'll leave the content here, there's a lot of history on this site. I've decided to go with Blogger for now because:
- I don't have to spend much time maintaining and administering the site.
- I'm familiar with it, having used Blogger to write my travel blogs allrite in asia and travelling allrite.
Hopefully moving to the new blog will mean that it is updated more often and uses more photos. See you there!
Yesterday, instead of my usual two train commute to work I ended up catching four. One to Central, then another to North Strathfield, then all stations to Eastwood and finally a single hop to Epping. Why? Because a bus had run driverless off the road and down the embankment just beyond Epping station. See the mobile phone photo on the right.
A messy start to an otherwise good day that saw me gain satisfaction from programming and cooking Japanese food. It's a cuisine that feels healthy to eat and tastes good too.
I see Drupal are holding an Asia Pacific Conference in conjunction with CeBIT. Not certain if I'll go or not. We have a big stand at CeBIT, but I'm seriously thinking of dropping Drupal for my own CMS. Not sure if the latest versions are supported on this webhost, though I haven't bothered looking yet.
Can't wait for the Easter break. Exhausted for no good reason this week.
The latest version of SharePoint has been a support nightmare for me. On paper Microsoft SharePoint looks great. Integration with Microsoft Office, document sharing, discussion forums, task manager, blogs and even wikis. I really like the ability to drag and drop files using the Explorer View for document libraries. The problem is that the interface is unwieldy and the behaviour, especially with permissions, seems often to be inconsistent. For the basic tasks that we are doing in SharePoint I would expect an intuitive interface familiar to Office users.
I have been on the phone constantly with users confused by SharePoint and I am no expert. SharePoint also requires Office 2003 or above and doesn't support Firefox for many administrative and file-related tasks. Unfortunately, I can't use Internet Explorer 7, which at least has tabs, because of organisational software that does not function with it.
Why does Microsoft have to make life so difficult?
Sometimes you may want to allow a user to add extra fields to a form on the fly. For example, an online résume form will have space for previous employment. A jobseeker fresh out of school may only have had one other job whereas a more experienced may have worked for eleven different organisations. Do you provide a form with eleven previous employment fields? Then what happens when the next applicant has had twelve jobs?
The more blank fields you put on your form the more cluttered it becomes. What you want is a way to add blank fields to the form as required.
Through my work in developing a system for entering and displaying staff resumes I have become involved in a project for capturing staff skills and capabilities across the entire organisation. My part is fairly small, basically updating the resume system, but it is giving me an insight into working as part of a larger team and experiencing proper project management.
I flew down to Canberra for a team meeting on Wednesday, then participated in a video conference yesterday. Without a close view of the other members of the team I found it difficult to read when somebody else was about to say something and found myself butting in a few times. I wonder what our telepresence team would have thought of that.
I am rewriting my resume application to run on the latest version of PHP and to replace the PEAR::MDB database abstraction library with the newer PEAR::MDB2. There are quite a few changes, including replacing all my FetchInto's with FetchRow and altering the connection function. The biggest change for me was handling the initial loading of the database scheme. This has now been moved into the PEAR::MDB2_Scheme library.
I find it very useful to make changes to the database structure through a Metabase XML scheme, but MDB2 does offer some interesting possibilities for managing the database using the MDB2 functions. It should be possible to more easily configure the database from the application itself.
I'm amazed how popular my Views from a train blog is in comparison with my other blogs, including this one. All it consists of is photographs taken from my mobile phone, generally of my daily commute by train. Maybe it's the fact that Telstra includes a "recently updated blogs" box on all the Bigblogs. Okay, my site isn't that popular, but it does seem to get more hits than this one.
I've also started a new blog solely devoted to recording my travels called, creatively enough, allrite's travels. I was impressed enough by Blogger's usability during our trip to China that I decided to use it on my custom domain. I've noticed that it's difficult to keep track of older travel blog entries on this Drupal powered site in comparison to Blogger's labelling and date system. Yes, a few changes to my Drupal setup could possibly cure that, but I really don't have the time or urge to fix that now, plus it's a good opportunity to play around further with Blogger and Google's systems. I'll be using the new blog to record our upcoming trip to Japan in September.
The iGoogle gadget that I wrote for the CSIRO has finally been released. Use the Add to Google button at the bottom left and you too can keep up to date with the latest CSIRO media releases, events and podcasts.