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I forgot to mention it at the time, but I’ve added “normal” comments back to the site, as you’ll see below and on most other pages. In place of the Disqus comments I had before I’m now using Cactus Comments, which is open source and self-hostable (though I’m currently not doing that). If you’ve read my previous post about Matrix self-hosting, you might be interested to know that Cactus uses Matrix rooms for data storage and synchronisation and I can moderate and reply to comments directly from my Matrix client. Read more...
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Wow, it turns out to be 10 years since I wrote this beginners guide to Twitter. Things have moved on a loooooong way since then. Far from being the interesting, disruptive technology it was back then, Twitter has become part of the mainstream, the establishment. Almost everyone and everything is on Twitter now, which has both pros and cons. So what’s the problem? It’s now possible to follow all sorts of useful information feeds, from live updates on transport delays to your favourite sports team’s play-by-play performance to an almost infinite number of cat pictures. Read more...
My last post covered the more “traditional” lectures-and-panel-sessions approach of the first half of the SSI Collaborations Workshop. The rest of the workshop was much more interactive, consisting of a discussion session, a Collaborative Ideas session, and a whole-day hackathon! The discussion session on day one had us choose a topic (from a list of topics proposed leading up to the workshop) and join a breakout room for that topic with the aim of producing a “speed blog” by then end of 90 minutes. Read more...
I’ve just finished attending (online) the three days of this year’s SSI Collaborations Workshop (CW for short), and once again it’s been a brilliant experience, as well as mentally exhausting, so I thought I’d better get a summary down while it’s still fresh it my mind. Collaborations Workshop is, as the name suggests, much more focused on facilitating collaborations than a typical conference, and has settled into a structure that starts off with with longer keynotes and lectures, and progressively gets more interactive culminating with a hack day on the third day. Read more...
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I’ve decided to try switching this website back to using Hugo to manage the content and generate the static HTML pages. I’ve been on the Python-based Nikola for a few years now, but recently I’ve been finding it quite slow, and very confusing to understand how to do certain things. I used Hugo recently for the GLAM Data Science Network website and found it had come on a lot since the last time I was using it, so I thought I’d give it another go, and redesign this site to be a bit more minimal at the same time.

The theme is still a work in progress so it’ll probably look a bit rough around the edges for a while, but I think I’m happy enough to publish it now. When I get round to it I might publish some more detailed thoughts on the design.

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The Disability Support Network at work recently ran a survey on “accessible communications”, to develop guidance on how to make communications (especially internal staff comms) more accessible to everyone. I grabbed a copy of my submission because I thought it would be useful to share more widely, so here it is. Please note that these are based on my own experiences only. I am in no way suggesting that these are the only things you would need to do to ensure your communications are fully accessible. Read more...
I started running my own Matrix server a little while ago. Matrix is something rather cool, a chat system similar to IRC or Slack, but open and federated. Open in that the standard is available for anyone to view, but also the reference implementations of server and client are open source, along with many other clients and a couple of nascent alternative servers. Federated in that, like email, it doesn’t matter what server you sign up with, you can talk to users on your own or any other server. Read more...
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@JanetHughes on Twitter: What do you miss the least from pre-lockdown life? I absolutely do not miss wandering around the office looking for a meeting room for a confidential call or if I hadn’t managed to book a room in advance. Let’s never return to that joyless frustration, hey? 10:27 AM · Feb 3, 2021 After seeing Terence Eden taking Janet Hughes' tweet from earlier this month as a writing prompt, I thought I might do the same. Read more...
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And the handwritten blog saga continues, as I’ve just received my new reMarkable 2 tablet, which is designed for reading, writing and nothing else. It uses a super-responsive e-ink display and writing on it with a stylus is a dream. It has a slightly rough texture with just a bit of friction that makes my writing come out a lot more legibly than on a slippery glass touchscreen. If that was all there was to it, I might not have wasted my money, but it turns out that it runs on Linux and the makers have wisely decided not to lock it down but to give you full root mess. Read more...
Updates 2021-02-04 Thanks to Gene @dzshuniper@ausglam.space for suggesting ADHO and a better attribution for the opening quote (see comments below for details) See comments & webmentions for details. “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” — African proverb, probably popularised in English by Kenyan church leader Rev. Samuel Kobia (original) This quote is a popular one in the Carpentries community, and I interpret it in this context to mean that a group of people working together is more sustainable than individuals pursuing the same goal independently. Read more...