Website Plans

Tom Novelli tnovelli at
Sun Jul 29 20:12:47 PDT 2007


Yesterday I sorted out the Wiki stuff... out of 1200 CLiki pages, 150 
were modified after importing to MediaWiki, but only about 20 had 
substantial changes.  I'll merge those with Armin's CLiki snapshot.  All 
old URLs like* and* will be redirected 
to this new archive.


I found an old post by David Jeske with some good website suggestions, 
even 8 years later:

- Write polished, coherent "documents" or "papers" to summarize big 
ideas.  These don't have to be too formal, but they should include a 
thesis statement, example(s), and context (background, vocabulary, etc.)

- Sift through "Review" entries and Mailing List archives, and write 
papers on noteworthy ideas.  And, I would add, search the web for 
post-mortem analysis of dead projects listed in the Review.

- Create a "Showcase" for papers & projects, to encourage people to 
write stuff and show it off.

- "Monthly minutes"... I promised to do this a few months ago, but there 
hasn't been much action.  Maybe quarterly is more realistic at this 
relaxed pace :-)

David's original post:


Fare thinks we should setup Subversion to manage the website and some 
new coding projects (I'm not sure what he's got in mind, but I'm working 
on a parser & "compembler" in Scheme).  We had talked about Monotone and 
DARCS, but SVN is lighter-weight and seems to have more tools available, 
which is nice.

We probably want to run SVN under Apache2 with SSL.  (I did a trial run 
at home, and I'd be happy to share my notes...)  As far as I can 
discern, this combination only works with "basic authentication", i.e. 
user:password pairs in a "htpasswd" text file.  It sounds old-fashioned, 
but I don't see a problem with it.

A major motivation for my CMS project was that CVS made it so hard to 
update the website that nobody ever did it.  SVN seems better than any 
browser-based editing method.  And, I can't vouch for this, but 
apparently it supports the WebDAV/DeltaV protocol well enough that you 
can edit files "transparently" by opening, say in a text editor on any modern OS -- or 
(don't even think about it!) Frontpage or Dreamweaver.

About documents/articles/essays: I don't care if it's written in TeX, 
ReStructured Text, InDesign, some ad-hoc markup, or whatever -- as long 
as it converts to decent HTML.  Maybe they should be numbered 
sequentially like the AI Memos, E.W.Djikstra's letters, etc.  :-)

Other ideas for web-apps:
- Review database... terse, spreadsheet-like.. use AJAX for edits.
- Annotations on static HTML files... I could adapt my CMS stuff to this.
- Comment / Bug Report form
- Nicer mailing list archive browser... They're in 
/serv/archives/public/tunes/ (on bespin) if anyone wants to take a shot 
at it.

Anyway, it's getting late, so I'll leave it there.  Any ideas?  
Criticism?  Volunteers?

 - Tom

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