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.
The nfoCentrale Blog Conclave
nfoCentrale Associated Sites
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.
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 me. My 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:
Both of these arrangements allow me to muck about without too much risk of completely cratering the blog.
So far, so good, right?
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.
Labels: web site construction
Just a little housekeeping. This is a little secret message between me and technorati.
[cross-posted 2008-12-29T16:49Z from Orcmid’s Lair. Some of the oldest links that still use the infonuovo.com 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 InfoNuovo.com domain after 10 years. The domain will be cast loose at the beginning of February, 2009. Those places where there are still references to infonuovo.com need to be updated:
If you have an infonuovo.com 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.
InfoNuovo.com 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 InfoNuovo.com 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 infonuovo.com domain name for the support of the subwebs housed there. I eventually moved most content to the new anchor, nfoCentrale.net, on Microsoft bCentral.
There was one problem. Although I could redirect unique domain names, such as ODMA.info, 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, nfoCentrale.com). I consolidated all nfoCentrale.net and infonuovo.com content on nfoCentrale.com. I also parked domains nfoCentrale.net and infonuovo.com where they are today, atop nfoCentrale.com. 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 infonuovo.com 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 infonuovo.com any longer. I do feel a little sentimental about it. That’s not going to stop me.
Labels: web site construction
created 2008-08-13-18:06 -0700 (pdt)