Images in the Free Culture Movement

I have been really encouraged by the availability of images which have been released under Creative Commons licenses.

While there are a lot of icon sets out there, here are some of my "go to" places.

  • The first place I usually go for free icons isthenounproject.com. There is a growing community behind the endeavor and their management operations are being taken seriously.
  • A second place which I have found helpful is: mapicons.nicolasmollet.com.
  • I have also found these images which are SVG for maps: http://map-icons.com/

As an archivist, I wonder where will these icons go if they are just privately hosted? - Is there an archive for these things?

Permanently accessible? to whom?

Photo of the Bush House


Bush house: the BBC World Service is leaving its home after 71 years
Photo: Paul Grover via The Telegraph


There has recently been some discussion on the about the BBC selling its production facilities and moving from the Bush House to somewhere else. The BBC world service has been a major player in radio and oral culture in Great Britain and around the world for 71 years. A lot of history has been reported by the service. And the BBC's records (including its archive) have oral histories of a variety of world events for the last 71 years in a variety of languages (Wikipedia has a brief description of the collections at the BBC.). Continue reading

Widget Area in WordPress Admin

I run a website, wycliffe.me, for redirecting traffic (URL redirector). But I need it to have a CRM sort of component to it. So I added some custom fields to the Posts using Just Custom Fields. (I am using Posts, but I could just as well use a custom post type Custom Post Type UI.) But now I want a summary of some of those fields in a special panel on the back-end. So I have collected some links to read and start hacking.
First I need to create an options page in the admin area: http://buildinternet.com/2010/01/create-custom-option-panels-with-wordpress-2-9/.
Next I need a way to collect the data. So I look for a plugin which can search my database and return fields…. sorta like views for Drupal. And wala there is such a plugin: Query Wrangler. (Query Posts might be another option, but I did not try it.) However, this plugin is not powerful enough. I can not search all the fields created by my other plugins, only my custom fields and content types. More power would be ideal.

Next I need to be able to see the widget in my admin area… so I need to widgetize my options panel. Here is where the Reading is a little fuzzy, ’cause I am not sure if many people do this. (Possibly indicating that there is a better way.)
http://wordpress.org/support/topic/how-to-create-new-widget-area?replies=5
http://www.webfroze.com/wordpress/creating-multiple-dynamic-widget-areas-in-wordpress/
http://www.themelab.com/2008/04/18/see-how-easy-it-is-to-widgetize-wordpress-themes/
http://wpengineer.com/307/add-wordpress-dashboard-widgets/
http://wpmu.org/how-to-widgetize-a-page-post-header-or-any-other-template-in-wordpress/

Comment on Open Source development at NASA

A comment on: http://open.nasa.gov/blog/2011/09/08/open-source-development-at-nasa/

I am all for OpenData and Open.NASA. But how does NASA being a government entity relate to how it “licenses” it’s data and software? What I mean is that, shouldn’t the things being “open sourced” be public domain, rather than licensed content? I agree that creating a license which is not widely recognized is not useful, that is the whole point behind Creative Commons. But are there cases where NASA is “over licensing” content that it shouldn’t because it is the content should be released into the public domain? Reference CC Salon in Jan 2011, Time segment 1:05:00 where Joi Ito talks about the issue. http://blip.tv/creative-commons/creative-commons-salon-mountain-view-what-does-it-mean-to-be-open-in-a-data-driven-world-4725230

What prevents, or what reasons are there for not putting NASA’s data and software, which it releases, in the public domain? Is that not more open?

Cross-posting post from one WordPress Site to another

I set up another WordPress site and I wanted to transfer what I had written there to this site, so that all my writings would be together. This would include comments, links and attached media, and metadata about the post.

What I want a transfer plugin to do.

What I want a transfer plugin to do.


So I looked for a WordPress Plugin to do that. I found two (and as it is when I find more than one I have to test it out and write-up the results.):

  1. Xpost: Cross-post was the first plugin I found and it seemed to have a lot of really nice features.
  2. Transfer: the main difference between the two based on author description is that this one said that it also transferred images attached with the post.

So I tried Transfer first.

Transfer

However, when I installed Transfer, it said that it could not find the Zend Framework… Warning: require_once(Zend/XmlRpc/Client.php) [function.require-once]: failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home1/public_html/username/wordpress/wp-content/plugins/transfer/library/Aperto/XmlRpc.php on line 31
The plugin requires that one download Zend Framework Minimal (http://framework.zend.com/download/latest) and put the Zend folder under /wp-content/plugins/transfer/library/

I did this and I would get the WordPress white screen of death. I was told that this white screen of death was because my provider terminated a process (I had maxed out my user’s memory allocation) This white screen happens on one of my installs but not on another under a different user… so, not sure what is going on – Neither WP install would transfer the post. To get around the white screen of death I had to de-activate the plugin by editing the database.

I had initially failed to read the install requirement for Zend, so I found another solution for adding Zend to wordpress.2
So in the sad case I that I was not able to get Transfer to work I moved on and decided to try Xpost.

Xpost

Xpost [on WP-Extend] was a breeze to set up and I actually got it working for a simple post. However, I was not able to select the target category in the master WP install, from the writer’s WP install (The test post I used just when to the default category).

Xpost not getting categories

Xpost not getting categories available on the master WP install.


The box just says categories loading. This seems to be a problem reported by Nigel and by gulliver.

The test image was not transferred to the media library of the master WP install from the writer’s WP install. Additionally, if the category of the post is changed in the Master WP install, then the writer’s WP install loses track of the post. This is only temporary… If the writer tries to cross-post the post again, then the This results in the writer not being able to update the post. (Red error message is shown.) But if the writer tries a second time then the original post in the Master WP install is found, and updated. Including the “removed” category. However, this “removed” category was intentionally moved by the editor on the Master WP install. So this creates a bit of a conflict. BTW: It would be nice to be able to select a special custom post type for imports.

It seems that Xpost was designed to broadcast out rather that to ingest.

What xpost seems to do

What Xpost seems to do

Notes

  1. ↑1 Path values changed to protect the innocent.
  2. ↑2
    So I knew I needed to install the Zend Framework, I am sorta surprised that Dreamhost, my hosting provider did not have Zend set up on my server in a way that WordPress was automatically going to detect it. Oh, well is there a plugin for that? – Uh, yes there are like a gilzillion! So I went with the first one: Zend Framework [or also in WP-Extend]. I loaded it and then added the helpful code found in the online WordPress forums.

    Go to your wp-config and paste this right after * @package WordPress part and before // ** MySQL settings – You can get this info from your web host ** //

    /** Zend Framework **/

    function add_include_path ($path)
    {
    foreach (func_get_args() AS $path)
    {
    if (!file_exists($path) OR (file_exists($path) && filetype($path) !== 'dir'))
    {
    trigger_error("Include path '{$path}' not exists", E_USER_WARNING);
    continue;
    }

    $paths = explode(PATH_SEPARATOR, get_include_path());

    if (array_search($path, $paths) === false)
    array_push($paths, $path);

    set_include_path(implode(PATH_SEPARATOR, $paths));
    }
    }

    add_include_path(dirname(__FILE__).'/wp-content/plugins/zend-framework');

    After I did both of these things all of my errors went away.

    I did try a second plugin, WP-ZFF Zend Framework Full for installing the Zend Framework, this one said that the plugin would modify the include path so I thought that could use this without modifying wp-config.php but the plugin failed on import so I deleted it.

MAMP Helps

I use MAMP for my local test environment. But I have recently moved beyond just PHP apps. I am also looking at using Tomcat. I would like to mess around with DSpace locally and use Solr also. But I have found a couple of helps for adding things to MAMP.

One of the problems I am facing is that I really like apps like MacPorts. But I do not want to tinker with the CORE and default setting of my OS X machine. So I find that MAMP is a good alternative, but I can not type a command in the command line and have all the dependencies download automatically. I recently found that I could do something like this with Homebrew…. Never used it before but it looks to be the tool for the job. So I have collected a few tutorials like: installing php5.3, Using an gmail as a smtp server, and setting up solr.