Archives for the month of: September, 2009

We met and re-met a lot of great people including Simone Knapp from the University of Saskatchewan (a proud non-twitter), Megg Brown from Vassar (@stomer), David Bates from RFMD (@davidbates), Paul Chenoweth from Belmont University (@bruingeek),  a lot of folks from Hannon Hill (@hannon_hill), and a lot of other folks who’s names and/or twitter handles I didn’t catch.

The conference was really great. Compared to the other conferences I’ve been to it had the fewest people, and had the most focused theme. That really brought people together. Discussing technical obstacles as well as policy and committee generated issues, it was nice to hear how people have solved the problems we’re facing and to help people who are facing problems we’ve moved past.

Every higher ed web conference I go to I’m always very interested in how web teams are positioned with in the hierarchy of their institutions. Many are in IT, and many are in Communications (or Marketing or University Relations), but almost all of them, especially the successful ones have either

  1. An IT team that creates a framework that excels at showcasing the university that works closely with a Communications team that creates good content and engaging imagery. or
  2. A Web Team that consists of programmers, designers and content creators that as a team produces the framework and the content and does not report to either IT or Communications, but works with both entities.

The second option is the right one. Having a team that can focus on creating a great website, and being out of the politics of IT and/or Communications is key, as well as having people who are dedicated to the web. Dedicated to web content, and design, and creating a good solid way to display them. I’m not sure it will ever be a reality on our campus, but it’s something to strive for.

Some of the things I’m left with after the conference:

  • Networking and and non-session events are the most useful
  • A lot of people are doing a lot of things with Cascade
  • We’re doing pretty basic things, but we do them better than most
  • We are early adopters, with versions & features
  • People do some really convoluted things with Cascade

On moving to Cascade Server 6 we started migrating our sites (in the Global area) to Sites. One of the things we ran into was the base folder is no longer indexed by the XML so getting the top of the tree to show up requires some tinkering with the XSL.

@karf0 fixed our XSL and wanted me to mention the default page will need a display name for the link back to the Home since the base folder is no longer indexed in the XML.  Here is the file for download:  Cascade Site Nav XSL, and the code is also displayed below. There are obviously some code in here that is specific to us (specifically the pngfix class). Also note @karf0’s comment at the bottom.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<xsl:stylesheet version="1.0" xmlns:xsl="http://www.w3.org/1999/XSL/Transform">
	<xsl:output method="html"/>
	<xsl:output encoding="UTF-8" indent="yes" method="xml" version="1.0"/>
	<xsl:variable name="folder-root-page-name">default</xsl:variable>
	<xsl:template match="/system-index-block">
		<ul>
			<li class="active">
				<div class="pngfix">
					<a href="/{$folder-root-page-name}"><xsl:value-of select="system-page[name=$folder-root-page-name]/display-name"/></a>
					<ul>
						<xsl:apply-templates select="system-page[name != $folder-root-page-name] | system-symlink | system-folder"/>
					</ul>
				</div>
			</li>
		</ul>
	</xsl:template>
	<xsl:template match="system-folder">
		<xsl:if test="dynamic-metadata[name = 'nav_exclude' and value = 'Yes']">
			<li>
				<xsl:if test="descendant::system-page[@current='true']">
					<xsl:attribute name="class">active</xsl:attribute>
				</xsl:if>
				<div>
            		<xsl:attribute name="class">pngfix</xsl:attribute>
					<a>
						<xsl:attribute name="href">
							<xsl:value-of select="path"/>/<xsl:value-of select="$folder-root-page-name"/>
						</xsl:attribute>
					<xsl:value-of select="display-name"/>
					</a>
					<ul>
						<xsl:apply-templates select="system-page[name != $folder-root-page-name] | system-symlink | system-folder"/>
					</ul>
				</div>
			</li>
		</xsl:if>
	</xsl:template>
	<xsl:template match="system-page">
		<xsl:if test="dynamic-metadata[name = 'nav_exclude' and value = 'Yes']">
			<li>
				<xsl:choose>
					<xsl:when test="@current='true'">
						<xsl:attribute name="class">activepage pngfix</xsl:attribute>
					  </xsl:when>
				</xsl:choose>
				<a>
					<xsl:attribute name="href">
						<xsl:value-of select="path"/>
					</xsl:attribute>
					<xsl:value-of select="display-name"/>
				</a>
			</li>
		</xsl:if>
	</xsl:template>
	<xsl:template match="system-symlink">
		<li class="external">
			<a>
				<xsl:attribute name="href">
					<xsl:value-of select="link"/>
				</xsl:attribute>
				<xsl:value-of select="display-name"/>
			</a>
		</li>
	</xsl:template>
</xsl:stylesheet>

Hello from 35,000 feet. It’s nice up here.

Offensive Delta Charges (Thus Far):

  • $15 per checked bag
  • $8 for a salad on the 3+ hour flight

Three hours into the trip i’ve used up all but $5 of my per diem.  It’s a good thing i’m not relying on that to feed me for the trip…

There are also three or so kids in the seats behind us. it has been a real joy sharing this trip with them. a real joy.

I love homemade pizza with whole grain basil crust

Jessica and i have been making a lot of pizza lately, she got a bread maker for graduation and it’s primary function has been to produce wonderful whole grain crusts. I made a quick video of our pizza making process using Google Picasa, which is great at making quick and easy time lapse and slideshow style videos.

This is an email that my dad sent to me on September 11.

It is about 5:20 PM on Friday, September 11th. it is a time to
reflect. I clearly remember both of you sitting at the kitchen counter with me after you
came home from school watching the television footage of the collapse of the twin
towers in New York City about this time eight years ago. It was, like you both said,
watching an action movie on television. I will never forget sharing those minutes with
you both of you; my Sons. Didn’t it  require some days to realize that it was not a
movie but was real? It did for me. One lesson to learn still is; use great care in your
lives. Be skeptical and know that great forces exist in this world which we cannot
control but must be wary of. A great Roman philosopher and politician said it best:
He who does not value his own life, controls yours. (Seneca was his name). How
true that remains some two thousand years after he said it. Remember Seneca’s
words, my Sons, in all that you do because people exist who mean you ill just
because you are you, not for what you have done or failed to do but know also that
you are deeply loved, valued and treasured in this world. Be safe, be careful. Love
always, Dad.

I remember the moment he is referring to, I remember sitting in class and watching the images on TV. It was like it wasn’t real like it was an effect created for a movie. A lot of things have happened in eight years, and some things have changed (TSA folks get to have an even more over-inflated sense of importance & GOP-encouraged racism against muslims) and some things haven’t (the security of our nation). We have been at war since well before my son was born. We have been at war since my sister in law was in the fifth grade, longer than she has been politically aware, and we have been at war so long that we have come to take it as normalcy. It is normal for american’s that we are fighting two wars, wars which most of them oppose.

One line in particular that stands out to me, and it is: “One lesson to learn still is; use great care in your lives. Be skeptical and know that great forces exist in this world which we cannot control but must be wary of.”

I’ve decided to Include a projects section on the site. It currently has a couple of S5 presentations and a working version of the Fantasy Football Live Draft Application that i talked about recently i’m not intending on putting content up all that often but i’ve started developing things that other folks seem to be interested in seeing. The next installment will likely be the Wiki Farm i’ve created for the University of Montana that uses MediWiki.

Screenshot-Sudo Pirates Draft

Draft Analyzer Frontend (The original is easier to read)

A simple front end i put together for managing the live fantasy football draft. I used codeigniter, jquery and blueprint, and yes i went a little framwork crazy. but it was fun. it auto-finds players as you type them in, pressing “Enter” marked them as having been picked by someone else, and clicking “Add” marked them as picked by you and updated the roster column. AJAX is fun. By the way the roster is sorted by Team not by draft round.