Steady, steady ...
While I am preparing for major additions and starting my homework as a new OASIS Open individual member, I am also performing some simple maintenance to the site template (resulting in version 0.02):
- There were some typos in my modified header that I cleaned up. These included a double-word occurrence of "Jason" and a missing ":" after a source-control label.
- I moved the description to the sidebar in front of my profile.
- I made everything below the profile on the sidebar right-justified, as is my general preference.
- I removed the dummy links that were in the original template, leaving the Google one for now.
- I moved the blogger badge and the information about the RSS feed to the sidebar also.
The new template previews correctly. Making this post will apply it to the main page, this individual post, and the archive page that this post is part of. Older posts have not been republished. They will continue to be formatted under the previous template, unless they are republished by me or as the result of a comment. I also backed up the blog to my development system before making the change on Blogger.
I believe there are extraneous cascading style-sheet (CSS) definitions in the <head> section of the template, and I will distill it down gradually. It is nice that there are no external style sheets, but I want to simplify what is sent to the browser even more.
The development of the fire drill and incident-handling materials is going to go slowly, and I will make more template changes when I need a respite from that and from content-creation activities.
IS 29500 (OOXML) Moving Ahead?
OOXML Struggling Over the Last ISO Hurdle?
[a version of this entry appears on Professor von Clueless in the Blunder Dome]
Thanks to early word from Jerry Fishenden in the UK, we learn of today's press release in Geneva: The appeals to acceptance of DIS 29500 (Office Open XML Formats) are not sustained and preparation for publication of IS 29500 will proceed. There is one caveat, and that is the prospect of an appeal over the appeal resolution.
Meanwhile, DIS 29500 is now listed as deleted on the ISO site and we continue to wait for release of the IS 29500 documents to the public.
It is difficult to be excited about any of this absent availability of a specification to dig into. The maintenance process needs to get going and it would be really great if this situation were completely resolved, with publication of the edited IS 29500 specification, before the late-September ISO/IEC JTC1 SC34 meeting in Korea. The wheels of JTC1 turn slowly, with the best avenue for public input being the ECMA TC45 committee, where the gears also turn slowly and mostly invisibly. There needs to be greater transparency and public engagement, something that the federation system that funnels down into JTC1 SC34 does not support.
ODF as the Rôle Model
The situation for ISO/IEC IS 26300 (Open Document Format 1.0) is not particularly different, simply less encumbered at this point. Maintenance is at the OASIS Office Document TC. It seems unlikely that substantial work on ODF specifications will move elsewhere, given that this is where actual work is being done, unencumbered by multi-national hierarchic process and governance structures.
There are significant differences in transparency of OASIS maintenance in contrast with ECMA's record so far. There is a publicly-usable and visible comment list for submissions and public archives of the committee list and working documents, including a wiki that provides access to all proposals for the under-development ODF 1.2 specification. There is also an open discussion list for the proposal of an ODF Interoperability and Conformance TC. The public notice and review of that TC's chartering is expected soon.
Having joined OASIS as an individual, I expect to gain some very useful practice in anticipation of similar provisions for OOXML. In many ways, the division of my attention is going to be governed by where there is the least friction in the way of open discussion, non-duplication of effort (through knowing what comments there already are and knowing the views of others), and ability to review and make proposals. It will be unfortunate if the only open-to-the-public forum is a shadow created outside of any official OOXML maintenance bodies.
The Harmony Principles and the development of nfoWorks appliances is different from the maintenance of either specification and the creation of any reference implementations and conformance/interoperability tools. But there are clear opportunities for some cross-fertilization. I will gear up for that in my usual pokey way.
Meanwhile, my attention is on the chartering of the ODF Interoperability and Conformance TC, the under-review errata for ODF 1.0, and, um ..., getting this blog in shape for easy, reliable use.
Weaving the Safety Net
The next series of activities for creation of this blog involve creation of a safety net against my own slip-ups and as a defense in case the blog becomes corrupted at some point.
This work takes up where Ramping Up has now left off. Compulsive knot-hole peepers will find a Construction Zone and Construction Notes on "Pursuing Harmony" Blog Operation.
1. First steps 2008-08-13T23:10Z. The first step is to capture the blog template and keep it in a form that is available under version control any time it is necessary to restore an earlier template:
- I have switched from FTP to SFTP one more time, just to see if it is now working along with FTP (which took a while before it succeeded).
- After accessing the Blogger dashboard for this blog, the original template is copied into the UTF-8 file default.htm.template.txt. That file is checked into the development folder for http://nfoWorks/diary and placed under version control there.
- Once we have this much we are ready for the next step.
2. Template Cleanup 2008-08-14T00:11Z. The next step is to clean up the template a slight amount in preparation for further customization:
- The SFTP transfer is definitely not working. I reverted to FTP from Blogger to the http://nfoWorks.com/diary directory on the hosted site.
- The template is backed up. If viewed in a browser, it may render as HTML rather than as text. Using the browser feature for viewing the page's source code will reveal the coded-HTML of the template.
- The template is edited to add the following features:
- A !DOCTYPE directive is added to the top of the template, specifying HTML 4.01 Transitional, the prevailing format on this site.
- An HTML comment with version-control label is embedded in the page.
- A comment with up-to-date revision history is added to the end of the file.
- The text of the cleaned-up template is added to the Blogger account for use in all further posts (including the current version of this one).
3. Safety Net Incorporation 2008-08-13T01:23Z. With a maintainable template backed-up and versioned, there are many improvements called for. Those are cosmetic and not urgent, however desirable. Instead, provisions for locking down the blog, repairing/recovering it, and restoring it to operation will be put in place. The arrangement depends on the site being accessible by the administrator even though the blog is not working properly for some reason.
- default.firedrill.htm is a replacement for the blog default page when a fire-drill is being carried out (such as one we will have shortly, much like a boat drill carried out before leaving port).
- default.quarantine.htm is a replacement for any page that is effectively quarantined until a remedy is available in its place. This is typically done as a new version of a blog archive page rather than as a replacement for the default page, although anything is possible.
- default.standby.htm is a replacement for the blog default page when the blog is made inaccessible for some reason. This is usually put up very quickly, without further details provided until later when there is some assessment of the situation.
- harmony-atom.standby.xml is a substitute for the blog's harmony-atom.xml and rss.xml Atom feed files when there is need to quarantines until a problem can be resolved.
- harmony-atom.testing.xml is a substitute for the two Atom feed files when the feed is blocked for a fire drill or other testing.
These pages are developed as part of the "Pursuing Harmony" Blog Operations material. That's the next step. Then we can have our first fire drill.
[update 2008-08-14T14:24Z added an important omitted word. I'm now back on the out-of-sight work needed in order to perform a successful fire drill. I forgot how tedious this is. The previous setup on Orcmid's Lair is old and stale and needs to be refreshed as part of that site's eventual repaving. Meanwhile, onward ... .]
This is an initial post for ramping up the Blogger creation of Pursuing Harmony. The blog will replace the manually-created diary that was first used with nfoWorks. This initial page is created to cause population of the blog, its archives, and the RSS feed.
The blog starts out using Jason Sutter's "Sand Dollars" format, one of the supplied Blogger templates. I will customize that to achieve my preferred style once operation of the blog is confirmed.
Customization happens after blog editing and posting is confirmed to be functioning.
My first problem was attempting to use SFTP. I reverted back to plain-old FTP to make sure the FTP log-in could succeed. This wasn't working the same as previously, so I tried a different path name. The problem may have been a lag in set-up of the account that I created for Blogger to use in posting to the web site. After one false-start, it all started working.
1. Update 2008-08-12T21:55Z After succeeding with this initial post, I decided not to use the Blogger NavBar. If I want to add a search panel for searching the blog and/or the site, I will do that later.
On getting Windows Live Writer working with the site, I attempted to establish an upload directory for images included in the blog. LiveWriter reported that it could not confirm the URL. I will make sure the new directory is established and give it a construction structure. I should then be able to have LiveWriter use it.
I am also going to move the archive directory out of the top-level blog directory, so that backup and maintenance is easier.
Live Writer reminded me to add tags to this post, and I will do that now too. I see that the categories work differently and are independent of tags. I must not be so careless in choosing categories.
2. Update 2008-08-12T23:34Z The archive is moved and the image directory was pre-populated with an index.htm so that Live Writer's concern for the folder was removed. It is now time to demonstrate that picture uploading works:
3. Update 2008-08-13T00:03Z After I figured out what time it is here (for adjusting to GMT in these little update items), I also managed to correct the URL for where the images are so that, not only are they uploaded, they are also correctly-reachable from the blog post.
My next effort is to make sure that I have a back-up procedure for mirroring the blog content on my development machine along with the other parts of nfoWorks.
After that has concluded, I will need to start working on the template.
4. Update 2008-08-13T00:12Z Well, the Neighborhood Rose images are on the blog site, but Live Writer fails to notice that I corrected the URL in my FTP settings. So I am linking in the above picture manually. I will introduce an additional image so that it can upload with the new settings.
Now I can introduce the backup procedure and then start adjusting the template.
5. Update 2008-08-13T00:53Z One concern I had is the automatic creation of subfolders to hold images from separate posts. I have verified that no subfolder index is available on the server and there is no way to explore the images but via image elements on the blog pages. That is satisfactory.
6. Update 2008-08-13T20:25Z I have carried out one manual backup. Before taking the customization to the next level, I have made a couple of simple touch-ups.
- The title is changed from "Pursuing Harmony" to "nfoWorks: Pursuing Harmony."
- The little e-mail option down near the comments and links line after each blog is removed. The e-mail content is so ugly, devoid of formatting and any images, that I prefer people use other means off of the RSS feed or by using their browser to clip and forward pages.
The next step is to construct the safety net and fire-drill procedure for the blog. It has been some time since a blog has been corrupted, but that is no reason to start operating without a net.