Presenting Audio and Video on the Web

I have been trying to find out what is the best way to present audio on the web. This led me to look at how to present video too. I do not have any conclusions on the matter. But I have been looking at HTML5 and not using javascript or Flash. Because my platform (CMS) is WordPress, Continue reading

The Social Benefits of a Public Roadmap

ACF To-do list

Roadmap for development for the Advanced Custom Fields plugin for WordPress.

I am working with a team to redo a rather large NGOIt is worth noting that there are different flavors of NGOs. This particular NGO is also a non-profit charity and also a volunteer organization (most of the staff are volunteers). Not all NGOs fit this category, though I do make some assumptions in this post as if all NGOs do fit this characterization. website (both the NGO and the website are large). One of the questions through the process is How do we “dismantle a huge 1995 era website” and replace it with a “modern CMS system”? The new CMS of course is going to have to be phased in as its detailed features are built out. The social challenge is that if something which is not meeting the organizational (NGO’s) needs is replaced with something else which also appears to not meet the organizational needs then the people within the organization (the spectators, not the people directly involved with the website project) have a tendency to think that the newly launched product is a flop. The bottom line is that there is a general loss of confidence in the development and implementation team. In my particular context this often means that when people loose confidence in a development or implementation team that they stop expecting great things and start looking for other “more suitable” solutions. One way to combat this loss of confidence is to address the the people (and their concerns) who are watching the phased role-out. One part of that engagement strategy can be to do use a public Roadmap. Continue reading

Developing an understanding on how multi-lingual content needs to work on sil.org

Over the last few weeks I have been contemplating how multi-lingual content could work on sil.org. (I have had several helpful conversations to direct my thinking.)

As I understand the situation there is basically three ways which multi-lingual content could work.

First let me say that there is a difference between, multi-lingual content, multi-lingual taxonomies, and multi-lingual menu structures. We are talking about content here, not menu and navigation structures or taxonimies. Facebook has probably presented the best framework to date for utilizing on the power crowds to translate navigation structures. In just under two years they added over 70 languages to Facebook. However, Facebook has had some bumps along the way as DropBox points out in their post talking about their experience in translating their products and services.

  • Use a mechanism which shows all the available languages for content and highlights which ones are available to the user. Zotero has an implementation of this on their support forums.
    Zotero language options

    Zotero language options

  • Basically create a subsite for each language and then only show which pages have content in that language. Wikipedia does this. Wikipedia has a menu on the left side with links to articles with this same title in other languages. Only languages which have an article started in them on that title are shown in the menu.
    SIL International in English

    SIL International in English

    Other Pages in other languages may not show the same content.

    Other Pages in other languages may not show the same content.

  • Finally, create a cascading structure for each page or content area. So there is a primary language and a secondary language or a tertiary, or a quaternary language etc. based on the browser language of choice with country IP playing a secondary role. If there is no page for the primary language then the next in preference will show. This last option has been preferred by some because if an organization wants to present content to a user, then obviously, it would be in the users’ primary language. But if the content is not available in the primary language then the organization would want to still let the user know that the content exists in another language.

It would also be good to understand the concepts used in Drupal 7 (and Drupal 8) for multi-lingual content. There are several resources which I have found helpful:

  1. Localized and Multi-Lingual Content in Drupal 7
  2. Drupal 7’s new multilingual systems (part 4) – Node translation
  3. Drupal 7’s new multilingual systems compilation
  4. Drupal 8 Multilingual Initiative

It would appear that from this list of resources that Drupal’s default behavior is more in line with part two of the three examples given above.

World Map Navigation

For one of the web projects I am working in we have been throwing around the idea of having a world map as a navigation element. Each country would then be clickable. This kind of navigation has been done with hyperlinked bitmaps like the LL-Map project.

LL-Map Bitmap

LL-Map Bitmap

Or with flash like the Joshua project.
Joshua Project Front page with Map

Joshua Project Front page with World Map

I have not seen any implementations in HTML5 canvas or in SVG. It occurs to me that these technologies could be used. I am not deeply familiar with either technology. So I did some googling.
I found some interesting articles on the matter.

I am not sure that I have any answers but this is my thought towards the problem space.

There is one map of languages I have found which deserves to be mentioned. I am not sure of the technology used but it seems it would be either of these methods. It is the map of the Languages of California hosted at Berkeley.

California Languages Map

California Languages Map

Switching Themes after 8 years

Since 2005 I have used K2, a really nice minimalistic theme for WordPress. I especially liked the spacing and the fonts used. But alas I had two people tell me that it was hard to read posts on my blog. I set out to find a new theme which was more reader friendly (especially since I am having a few longer posts). I settled with Twenty Eleven.

The Journeyler moving from K2

So in a last adieu. Good bye K2. It has been good knowing you.

Drupal – The conversion….

I have been a WordPress fan since 2005. I have run several sites using WordPress simultaneously since then. Running WordPress is dead easy. I can wrap my head around it. This past January, a colleague was ecstatic about the release of Drupal 7. I was a bit less ecstatic. (More the I'm glad you are excited, kind of guy.) Then I saw the new admin interface and my interest piqued. So I downloaded a few modules and bam! I saw the power. Amazing. Totally a reckless learning curve but still something beautiful.
Drupal Learning Curve Text
My story was much the same as Kevin Dees. This fall I went to Drupal Camp Austin and was able to wrap my head around a few more things. (Mostly things which showed me there was still a lot to learn.) So from time to time you will see that I will post some things I am learning about Drupal.

Drush for WordPress

While I was at Austin I kept hearing about Drush. Then when I got back home I resized that I needed to download a lot of modules to work on a particular web site. I could do this several times or I could learn to use Drush with Drush Make. Drush is a command line shell and scripting interface for Drupal. Once I found the power of it I started looking for something similar in WordPress. I don't think there is anything exactly like Drush but there are two projects worth checking out check out:

  1. WP-CLI or WordPress Command Line
  2. WPshell

However it does not seem that there is a Drush Make for WordPress. Although there has been some thought about how to make Drush Make "cross-platform" and work with other CMSes like WordPress. Wouldn't it be nice if WordPress developers got handed a tool from the Drupal community....

Importing Facebook Status

I have a thing for wanting to know what I have said all in one place… But I would like to be able to see it by location of the comment. So I have thought about bringing my FaceBook comments into my WordPress install. The problem has been that if I bring them in as a post I have to not send them back to FaceBook (Like I do with all my other posts). So I now import them as a custom post type. But my current theme does not support custom post types out of the box. Too bad for K2 (It seems that as a theme K2 is not keeping up with WordPress.). To do this I looked FeedWordPress as recommended here.