Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Content management

I'm at the point where I need to find a CMS to use, and the related search is of interest here. So, I'll use posts to track the effort and to document the results.

So, what is CMS and how does it relate to truth? Well, you're reading a post that is handled by a blog system that is run by a company that know[s] how to offer material via the web [and so forth]. Ever look at the details [especially, how they have evolved over the decades]?

Well, I'm an old guy who has been computing for decades and who has watched the evolution of the [pre-web], the web and its [their] toys. This year Microsoft knocked me off of their little system [OfficeLive, actually a whole lot of people who had come to depend, albeit wrongly, on it]; I recorded the event but need to update matters as far as significance and what's been what since then. Essentially, I went over to a web service provider who offers [several approaches], something [such as one] for the typical user which I didn't like. Then, it offers some modern day approaches that seemed, at first, to be idiotic [judgmental comment about pushing features further than needed for functionality -- an open pit for discussion].

Why would I say that? Experience. But, then so many people are going that way. Lemmings? But, to back up, it's using the database far beyond its capability [or intent, considering its evolution, that is, of the DBMS]. But, the rich Oracle guy (who bought Sun and Java) probably loves this [except, there is are free SQL offerings].

So, I'll have to capitulate, somewhat [to the crowd, only to the extent necessary]. Before making the decision, I'll have to catch up on what's what (how many times have I done that in my career? Nowadays, though, it's the techies driving the thing as they push out features that are not necessary, nor desirable in some cases) [in the CMS and related worlds].


So, I found a nice little site that seem[ed] useful. The guy is looking at Drupal and Joomla. Perhaps, Wordpress would be interesting, too. [Any others?]


But, let's go back to the Microsoft boot [to the rear] thing. After I recoiled from the modern approach[es that were offered], I went back to about 2000, in timeframe. After a bit of search and testing, I settled on using Sea Monkey and its Composer.  I can edit somewhat [in the] WYSIWYG [style] and then hack HTML as I need to (yes, started this type of thing way back with Mosaic). Now, I need to do a couple of things: allow better interaction (all types) and improve content management.


So, content management has to do with truth? Yes, the underlying systems are important, but then the thing expressed by the system has to have foundation'l support, to boot. There are the pragmatic issues, such as we see with another CMS (change management system), that relate to what was changed, perhaps why, and by whom. There is more, though, which brings in 'truth' which we'll get to[, at some point].

--- Notes ---

This section will collect comments about the search. At some point, it'll split to another post.

07/10/2013 -- Leaning toward Joomla 3.1.1 (will take this class project as far as needed to get acquainted, then will start anew), with a template from Ice Theme.

01/12/13 -- By looking at bulletin board approaches, I ran across other CMS types. Looking forward to more study of these. Having started way back in the world of limited OS (big-iron, not the PC) and watching  the OS capability grow, plus, knowing what it meant to build systems that were maintainable, it's nice to see the virtual world (OS overlay, in part) and dynamic linking (okay, loose fit, yet interpretative schemes still have to invoke something that works on something else; it's not magical - albeit ephemeral would be the word except the Googles of the world keep wanting to trap every errant bit that runs down the pike.).

11/01/12 -- Reviewed what I did earlier with Drupal, Joomla, and Wordpress at the web hosting site that I chose, (why I picked them is another post). Also, looked at some sites that mention their support software (not all do). Also, started to see who has reasonable training material. Then, a Halloween pause.

11/09/12 -- Let me quote an old hippy lawyer here: one climbs a mountain only to find someone else has been there an crapped. As I was venturing into learning, again, something that someone else has done, I received a link to a new site. Well. It's HTML based just like I did. Older folks? I'll have to look. I'm thinking some type of hybrid approach now. I'll look at features that I'm interested in and, then, implement using that. Hey! Nature is very much hybrid. We took it much further with our prowess, though.

12/31/2012 -- Got back to this after doing several releases of a newsletter using html/pdf/images as this is the time of resolutions (I'll dive into the realm of website development, and its tools, a little (not a whole lot, this world of the ephemeral (no being, stateless, indeed) is not our reality, folks (to be discussed, it's not even an analog for what we need to venture into, albeit that there is some type of tool support to be found with the cloud).

Filezilla is wonderful for pushing up files, with the refresh and drag and drop. One has to know the file structure, starting with public_html, which is fine as I've used Unix (all types) since the '70s and then Linux, later. Still using Composer and learning its idiosyncrasies (not too many - these can be handled by rules and process).

So, drupal's template went out of sync. Why? I wasn't watching the update requirements, yet there is a thing called backward compatibility (too much effort?). My local install ought not go bad just because something changed at the master site (with all of the scripts and database demons, who can follow the threads?). However, it seems to be in line with what I want to do. Wordpress is still in the game. However, joomla is a puzzle. I'll reserve judgment on this until I've spent a little time.

Now, recently, there was an article talking about the overabundance of fluidity that we see. Bizarre is one way to talk about it. Versus what? Some structure. Cathedral was used. Seems that those running at high-frequency trading are under some type of misdirected thinking. It's as if everything needs to be gas or liquid. Using our little selves, aren't bones great to have? What does that have to do here? It'll take some time to lay this out, but a little solidification is not a bad thing, in general.



06/20/2016 -- Concrete5 example removed. Broken link in one library (at the ISP) mentioned by

08/02/2014 -- Bit the bullet and updated the site (looks, behavior) using HTML/CSS. Of course, things are still pending, such as membership functions, business, ... We'll get there.

07/11/2013 -- Tom Rogers provides a nice look at the difference between static and not (there are all sorts of things to discuss here; frankly, I thought that the database use was overdone - for instance, why put a PDF (especially, if it's a published thing) in a database?). I ran across Tom's site as I was considering Concrete5 which was motivated to help developers, according to some. So, I've started a little demo that may (or may not) be improved. You see, I ran across another video that said do a Joomla website in one hour or less (on youtube). I did the same example as the guy doing the demo, using my own images and words. This is an example of teaching by example (a great way for an autodidact to learn - let me see you do it, step back, and let me do my own variations -- I know, variations before the basis is set can be troublesome, but they can lead to interesting situations). As soon as I finished the video's example, I started this example which seems to be processing (see What's New, this date). ... Drupal (see comments on the three)? Concrete5 provides more editing support. I'm too old to hack (52+ languages (not counting all of the environments), over several decades and all types of platforms). If the content is code, then CMS has a different interpretation. But, "content" in this sense is not improved using CMS (oh, it'll make you more creative?).

07/10/2013 -- Did not want another few months to go by so that the year's anniversary of this post would find the problem still open. So, renewed the study. Didn't want to continue doing straight HTML (like this site which moved from OfficeLive - the site will be upgraded once the CMS approach is finalized.). Too, did not want to pay exorbitantly for a CMS. So, looking at freeware CMS boiled down to three: Wordpress, Drupal, and Joomla, looked at in that order. Might use Wordpress for the blog. Drupal is too code-oriented, for this old guy. Joomla? Well, with release 3.11 and the template from Ice Theme, this looks to be a good way to go. It's straightforward. And, one can hack in code. I'll get use to having the database in the background; maintenance, then, will be more than just doing backups.

01/12/2013 -- Involved with other stuff but got back to this. The requirement was for a bb/forum type of thing. So, found out the latest approaches. Looked at the ratings and picked a couple. Turned out that I liked one that I had not seen on the first pass, SMF. Here is the result after a little tweaking of the configuration. Doing that allowed me to see CMS approaches using similar development methods. So, reviewing those ought to be an interesting little task.

11/09/2012 -- Perhaps, there's a meme here: of local interest, Engineering memes.

Modified: 06/20/2016

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Truth and the senses

We'll start a new series and dedicate it to the three dudes who will feature in posts from time to time. The theme? Well, don't you just get spitting mad at the intellectuals (and, the best-and-brightest are not they, necessarily) who think of truth as some dis-embodied thing, an abstraction if you would, when, everyone, with any sense, knows that it's something related to being (all sorts of things to discuss there)? Wait, what exactly is truth? People have been hung up on that for eons. Making the issue to be mostly abstract'd flimflam was a modern technique meant to keep the waters muddied.

And, these abstract notions lead to pain and suffering on the part of the many. A modern case in point, which is really the epitome of crap (when looked at properly -- to wit, near-zero), is the 'smart' device which has been handed to the user by the suffering of myriads of hapless folks. So what that they might be on foreign soil or under some flag other than ours. We cannot have a sustainable economy for this tiny planet without systems taking a multitude of factors into their scope that have conveniently been left out. Unfortunately, the john-gault wannabes don't want this type of thing to come to the fore.

So, we'll suppress it for now and take another tact. However, before we do so, we state that the above rant relates directly to computationally driven systems in which the supposed elite run things, with their numbers (ah, mathematical interloping), in a manner that causes unrealistic demands upon those who have to see things to fruition. In particular, we'll have to, eventually, address some growing issue where we'll claim that anyone who is going to make a decision about how something ought to be done by another better be able to do that very thing him (or her) self (the essence of the military way of building leadership, if you look closely).

In other words, expecting cannon fodder'ish modes from others means that you get your butt out there in harm's way, to boot.


Now, let's look at how closely truth is tied to your senses. We'll start with vision, but thinking about the nose is fun. Ever know by smell when someone is being more of an arse than not. Judgmental? Yes. Remember, we're homo heuristicus, in essence (arguable point). Biases keep us healthily involved in maintaining a future for ourselves and our loved ones. We'll look at this, from all sides.

But, if we go back to vision, truth processing is very much tied to what glasses we are wearing. Consider that you have many pairs at your disposal. And, how you see things, react, and more relate directly to what you have on. I know. Some claim that we need to always be rosy viewing. Or, some will argue what glasses you need for any type of situation.

Guess what? It's an individual's choice, within reason. And, here we'll need to stop a minute and give a nod to John Stuart Mill (did Google forget their pledge?). We don't infringe upon others, unless it's self-defense (or ordered by someone with appropriate authority and the right to do such ordering and so forth).

Still, the individual has the ability to process truth as he/her wishes. Now, for those who are literally minded, this is a metaphoric approach (actually, we'll get to allegory, later). Some of us have been four-eye'd since childhood, yet everyone has been so bespectacled even if they are not aware of the fact. Too, if you're seeing things as another wants you to see things, you're using an adopted pair (yes, groups can share visionary biases).


So, what's the point? Several points that have been alluded to in posts here over the past few years. Some might say that truth is in the details somewhat arguing against those who expect that their elevated views are what is what. Joel Orr said that he learned that truth was not at some limit of abstraction, rather it's in reality. We do have to consider map-territory issues. Why? Orientations toward the detail'd view get into a relativistic trap with shifting sands of time always blowing in the wind (tee hee).

Our basic humanness will allow some structuring, via patterns and what not. Look, we made it this far in the long eons of the Darwin'd environment. Too,the common framework advances with technology. Look at the arguments offered by Flynn.


What I think that we ought to discuss, with the superpositioning of the computational on ourselves, is not loss of soul but a subtle entrapment from which we'll not be able to disentangle. That old bifurcating discussion of continuous versus discrete has not been laid to bed, despite the protestations of some. Analog/digital? We can think of several of these type of dichotomies.

You know, folks. A large part of the problem is that the commercial element took over the internet (yes, Google) for its own purposes. They funded the advancements. The side effect is that we're being glued into glasses that are very much limiting. Why? Ah, we'll have to look at that fully.

Of course, there have been many who haven't allowed themselves to be pulled into the pit. You know, the most aggravating thing to me is that mathematical insights have been used to force people into situations where universal categories are being trashed for the sake of bowing to Bayes (gosh, he must be rolling over in his grave - again and again).


Our whole imaginative apparatus has been disheveled, raked over the coals, and just downright raped and pillaged. It's not too late to back up and look at the matter, again and again. One motivation is the importance to the future of the open-minded pursuit of happiness and the other benefits that we know are given us by right (Divinely and self-defined).


10/31/2012 -- There are many other things of interest to TE. For instance, I picked up the Proof of Heaven book and gave it a scan. It's a matter of glasses how one interprets the experience. Makes me think of Sagan's book (remember, a wonderful journey, then find out that the thing never left the area -- so, one then has to wonder about subjective versus not -- experience, except for the limiting view of science, is more subjective than not - unfortunately, it's that way for a purpose). Not scoffing, as we'll eventually get around to the topic of the dream and truth. But, it'll take moving into the t-issues which had to happen sooner or later. For now, I want to see how long it is before Dr. Eban capitulates to the materialistic view.

10/31/2012 -- When I first read about the Koch (see San Luis Obispo Tribune) interview, I responded with a comment that same day and then deleted the thing the next day. The idea was to write Koch-colored glasses as a post. Well, I never got around to doing that, but, perhaps, I will no matter who wins the election.

10/13/2012 -- Having mentioned Mill, now by necessity, a legal view must be considered.

Modified: 10/31/2012

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Zen of computing (in part)

This is a companion post to the Entitlement (Message to Google) post on 7oops7. We'll have more of these pairs.


Zen? Yes, several senses, but we're going back to the original motivation and come forward. 'enlightenment' will an operative concept; those who paid attention in school know that the western world went through a pseudo-phase (with this as the name), about the same time as westerners started to flood over to these parts (as in, across the big pond).

Aside: And, ..., the muck-quamire'd next few weeks are a direct result of wandering down perdition-laden'd paths, but that's another subject.


We have a message for Google, but there'll be some bit about Mr. Jobs. Plenty in China do not honor his name. You see, folks, all sorts of insights from the eastern minds came here and were bastardized. Yoga's downfall? One example. There are plenty. Mind you. The message is not that the eastern way is better, just different. And, we see that conflicts continue due to lack of understanding, especially on the part of the master races (???, kidding, of course) in the western way.

Which way of life, by the way, was saved from the eastern flood by those on the east side of Europe. Kudos to the Poles (yes), Slavs, Croats, and more. Ever thank (or even think of) those who kept the western civilization alive. Looks like we might try to kill it from within, if the newest generation doesn't move the forward-looking vector somewhat (how? why? -- ah, we'll get there).


Essentially, whatever superior state a computer can achieve, it cannot best the human's grasp. What? Note, we're not talking about the computer's ability to derive knotted states (hell, we were doing that long before our artificial friends arrived). We're talking wisdom. Who demonstrates that nowadays? Surely, we cannot look to the politicians. Nor, can we look to the money'd crowd chasing after their dreams of dominance.


The issue, though, is whether a human can have an elevated level, using the artificial, that is beyond that which is naturally attainable. We'll get into that, and more. An example would be joint exploration of some type of hyperspace (for the most part, this would only be a map --- please, see map-territory issues as being important to the discussion). In practice, any computer-assisted discipline (of which there are myriads, CAX, computational mathematics, visualization, and much more) is an example, including robotics (which is how we get to Google, in part).


The minds in power, notwithstanding, we need to up the ante in this regard (this old guy states the challenge, mostly, for the younger, and emerging, crowds). How? To be discussed. Why? It is necessary in order to pull ourselves away from the domination that some seem to desire. The human spirit is too strong to allow this emergence; yet, it's probably implicit in many sci fi views and reinforced in games built upon those views.


So, back to the subject. The 'idiot boxes' that pull peoples' minds into some zoned state in which they, then, ignore their reality into which they are embedded (and its inhabitants) and act in other than desirable manners (zombies are only one way to describe the effect) do so since those encumbered essentially gave up their control. Did they ever have any? Do we know how to teach self-control? Do we know what it is exactly that we're trying to teach (ah, is there a pill that will help?)? ..., So many questions abound.

That notion, that there is an attracting force behind the mindlessness, was the motivation for saying that FB is a metaphor (somewhat facetiously) for something that demands attention. There are many ways to approach the necessary analysis.

But, calling attention to Zen (whatever it is) and its mindfulness pursuit seemed to offer one starting point. We'll see how this goes. Another reason is the huge amount of psychic energy, and human liveliness, that has gone into that thing on which we can hang a three-lettered label.


That all leads to questions, such as this one: do computers contribute to, or detract from, mindfulness?


Of course, other questions are around, such as: why mindfulness?


10/05/2012 -- IJCAI has a newer flavor. It, at one time, had a theoretic thrust, mainly. Need to re-acquaint myself with the conference (attended 1987 Milan, Italy 1991 Sydney, Australia 1993 Chambery, France 1995 Montreal, Canada). This talk from IJCAI-2011 relates to the theme of these posts: Homo heuristicus. Note that the real Zen would include development. In other words, "God grows his own" (Steve would have known what that means)! Again, we need to re-look at heuristics.

10/05/2012 -- Pause, for a moment, to remember Steve and his contributions. In hindsight, Mr. Jobs' foresight looks pretty good (if only we could understand 'reality distortion' a little better -- and its effects).

10/04/2012 -- Learned a new one: gamify. Seems that the market-leaning folks have already adopted this, albeit with games that have real (and largely negative) impact upon the lives of us all.

10/04/2012 -- 1B users, give or take.

Modified: 10/05/2012