tools for document interoperability


This is the web diary for nfoWorks and realization of the Harmony Principles. Pursuing Harmony tracks nfoWorks research, analysis, specification, and implementation of tools for document interoperability. There is commentary on related activities that address conformance, interoperability, and harmonization of document formats.

Click for Blog Feed
Blog Feed

Recent Items
Republishing before Silence
The Real Challenge of Achieving and Sustaining Int...
Let’s Try This for a While
Hooptedoodle: Blog Aversion and Standards Ignoranc...
ODF Implementation-Support Toolkits and Libraries
Adding Pursuing Harmony to Technorati
Office Shots for Confirmed ODF Interchange Fidelit...
ODF Interoperability at The Hague
ODF and IPR/Licensing Concerns
Open Government Data: Simple Principles

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Locations of visitors to nfoWorks

The nfoCentrale Blog Conclave
Millennia Antica: The Kiln Sitter's Diary
nfoWorks: Pursuing Harmony
Numbering Peano
Orcmid's Lair
Orcmid's Live Hideout
Prof. von Clueless in the Blunder Dome
Spanner Wingnut's Muddleware Lab (experimental)

nfoCentrale Associated Sites
DMA: The Document Management Alliance
DMware: Document Management Interoperability Exchange
Millennia Antica Pottery
The Miser Project
nfoCentrale: the Anchor Site
nfoWare: Information Processing Technology
nfoWorks: Tools for Document Interoperability
NuovoDoc: Design for Document System Interoperability
ODMA Interoperability Exchange
Orcmid's Lair
TROST: Open-System Trustworthiness



Republishing before Silence

The nfoCentrale blogs, including Pursuing Harmony, were published through Blogger via FTP transfer to my web sites. That service is ending.

Then there will be silence as Blogger is unhooked, although the pages will remain.

No new posts or comments will work until I updated the web site to use its own blog engine. Once that migration is completed, posting will resume here, with details about what to know about the transition and any breakage that remains to be repaired.

Meanwhile, if you are curious to watch how this works out, check on Spanner Wingnut’s Muddleware Lab. It may be in various stages of disrepair, but that blog will come under new custodianship first.

Labels: ,



Hooptedoodle: Blog Aversion and Standards Ignorance

This is a maintenance post.  I am twiddling with the template for this blog to see if I can like the result enough to start writing some pent up posts that I have been holding back.

The holding back is, apart from my usual procrastination, because I don’t like the design of this blog page.  I just don’t like it.

[Update 2010-02-03T00:44Z  It seems that Blogger is solving this problem for meMy love-hate relationship with Google Blogger is going to end with my long-overdue disintermediation from Blogger and graduation to self-publishing as well as the current self-hosting on my own domains and hosting-service arrangements.]

The New Is the Enemy of the What Already Works?

When I started the blog, I decided to use one of the newer ready-made Blogger templates that is all CSS’s and prettified and presumably standards-compliant in some elevated way.  My original blog and its kin have templates from back in the day when HTML tables ruled.  I understand those templates pretty well.  For this blog, I thought I’d modern up.

As I grew to despise the new layout, I turned to my usual solution: hand tweaking the template, something that can be done by code-and-fix clueless manipulation of the template:

  • I keep a copy of the progressive changes to the original Blogger-furnished template under source control and I can always revert to an earlier version if I mess up really badly.  There’s even a backup on the site, though it usually lags behind what I have locally and what Blogger is using at the moment.
  • Blogger allows preview of a new template without changing the still-in-effect template.

Both of these arrangements allow me to muck about without too much risk of completely cratering the blog.

So far, so good, right?

Maybe not. 

At Sea In More “Standard” Than I Need

I haven’t figured out how to tweak the CSS and get the result I want.  And I don’t know when modifications I make might will derail the bits and pieces that Blogger automatically inserts into these pages, following the guidance of specially-coded division classes and magical HTML elements with names like <$BlogDateHeaderDate$>

I also don’t have the experience to discern whether the original CSS is very good and what the mound of CSS declarations in the <head> element of every page are required for.  I would like to discard everything not actually being used and then simplify what is left.  I’m not sure how to do that safely.  And I don’t want to make a career out of CSS-crafting, either.  I just want my blog pages to work.

So there is the wonderful preferred “standard” for correctness in web-page operation.   But I can’t decode it enough to make my simple page layout work.

Not Backsliding Just Yet

If all else fails, I will bring over one of my old templates and turn it into one from this blog, rather than attempt to achieve my goal by hacking and hewing on the current CSS-purified design.

Unfortunately, that makes things work with, shudder, the dreaded and feared <table> elements. 

I’m not ready to do that, because one difference in the current format is that it appears to be mobile-ready.  Now, I don’t care all that much whether you can read this post on your telephone.  Still, why lose it if I’ve got it.

A greater concern is the still missing support for accessibility.  While someone may claim that giving up tables for CSS is good for accessibility, it doesn’t actually do anything for accessibility of this site.

I will keep mucking about and we will see where things end up.  It is not promising.  I’m not likely to dig out the CSS1/2 specifications to see how this all really works.  If a little trial-and-error doesn’t cut it, I’ll just struggle along anyhow.

The Old Dog’s Old Trick

I didn’t mind learning HTML.  I didn’t mind learning enough of HTML 4.01 transitional to get along.  Why am I avoiding the latest and greatest or even the recent and still breathing approaches?

I think the difference is that there is no novelty any longer, after acquiring what I needed that was good enough at the time.  What’s next is simply different, but for what I do not noticeably better or interesting.  The old dog doesn’t want the new shiny thing because the old shiny thing was working just fine.  It’s not a new trick, it’s a different trick, and novel only for those whom it their first trick.

And I haven’t given up just yet.  Not in a rush about it either.

Meanwhile, this is a test post to exercise the blog template de jur.




Adding Pursuing Harmony to Technorati



Just a little housekeeping.  This is a little secret message between me and technorati. 

Labels: ,




[cross-posted 2008-12-29T16:49Z from Orcmid’s Lair.  Some of the oldest links that still use the domain are related to ODMA.  This post is here to catch those who might end up searching for previously-found ODMA material and wonder where it has gotten too and happen to have an interest in the integration of content-management as well as document interoperability.]

I am retiring the domain after 10 years.  The domain will be cast loose at the beginning of February, 2009.  Those places where there are still references to need to be updated:

If you have an bookmark and you are not sure of its replacement, simply use it and notice the URL of the destination that appears in the address bar of your browser.  That is the URL that should be bookmarked. was the first domain name that I ever rented.  It was originally hosted on VServers and absorbed through acquisitions a couple of times.  On March 22, 1999, I posted my first construction note on the use of as an anchor site, a web site that houses other web sites as part of a single hosting.  This was also the first step toward evolution of what I now call the construction structure of any nfoCentrale web site.   InfoNuovo was the company name I had chosen for my independent consulting practice initiated on retirement from Xerox Corporation in December, 1998.

When I moved from Silicon Valley to the Seattle Area in August, 1999, I found that InfoNuovo was too easily confused with a name already registered in Washington State.  The business became NuovoDoc, but I continued to hold the domain name for the support of the subwebs housed there.  I eventually moved most content to the new anchor,, on Microsoft bCentral. 

There was one problem.  Although I could redirect unique domain names, such as, to the current anchor, the web pages still served up with the URLs of the actual location on the anchor site.  I experimented with URL cloaking, but that created as many problems as it solved.

In October 2006, following the lead of Ed Bott, I switched to A2 Hosting as a way to reduce the hosting fees and also take advantage of the A2 shared hosting Apache-server provisions for addon domains.  Addon domains serve up with URLs of their domain even though the domain is anchored on a single hosted site (in this case,  I consolidated all and content on  I also parked domains and where they are today, atop  Now, however, accessing any of the individual subwebs triggers redirection to the appropriate addon-domain URL.

This took care of my wanting to have the subwebs always respond as the domains that I have as their addons.  It also raised an unexpected problem around case-sensitivity of Apache filenames, a situation I am still digging my way out of.  That shows how important having the addon-domain capability is to me.  I’m not sure I’d have moved if I knew how difficult the case-sensitivity extrication would be though.

I know that there are still URLs out there, even though the addon domains have been in place for over two years.  In another month, those URLs will fail.  I just don’t want to lease any longer.  I do feel a little sentimental about it.  That’s not going to stop me.


Construction Structure (Hard Hat Area)
Creative Commons License You are navigating nfoWorks.
This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 License.

template created 2008-08-13-18:06 -0700 (pdt)
$$Author: Orcmid $
$$Date: 13-11-11 19:13 $
$$Revision: 2 $