Bryan Ruby


Thoughts, Words, and Deeds

Alex King does it better

When I first started developing this website, CMSReport.com, it was my intention to also take "the opportunity to provide a series of how-to articles on building a Website using Drupal".  I wanted to help those getting started in using a content management system for their site by suggesting some tips and ideas that could make their life easier.  As time wore on, when it came to my own site I found that except for a few well written posts I failed miserably at this goal.

I'm pretty good at tasks such as developing, innovating, documenting, and system administration.  However, some people can't walk and chew bubble gum at the same time.  Unfortunately, I'm one of those people.  I have difficulty developing and documenting at the same time.  This isn't unusual as one of the most talented programmers I know struggles with documentation and will ask me for help in writing instructions for his own software.  My point is that when you find people who is blessed with being able to document their own work you need to let others know about that person.

Not sweating the early change to Daylight saving

I suppose it's expected, but the media's focus of a possible Daylight Savings Time (DST) computer meltdown is just too predictable.  Take for instance this CNET News article, Daylight saving change proves thorny for businesses:

With the early move to daylight saving time taking place this weekend, businesses not yet ready for the change are finding themselves in a race against the clock.

I am for one not too concerned about the DST change.  First of all, after going through all the Y2K hype and not having too many difficulties...I refuse to worry much about this event.  Secondly, most of my operational systems are on Universal Time Co-ordinated (UTC, also GMT).  For a third reason, unlike Y2K...most clients are actually time synced with the servers.  Finally...the worse thing that can happen is a machine or two is off an hour for a few minutes before we change the time or reboot.

Meanwhile, I plan on sleeping a little later Sunday to make for for that "lost hour" we all are losing.

Why I am attracted to open source

From CMS Report's very beginning, I had every intention to talk about not only those content management systems (CMS) that are open source, but also those CMS that are considered propriety systems.  I personally don't have a problem seeing companies making profit for the products they develop and promote.  Yet, if you look at the majority of posts I have written in the past year you'll find that about 95% of the articles center around open source CMS and not propriety systems.  Part of the reason I don't talk much about propriety CMS is that I just don't have the same access to them as I do with open source software.  However, a tiny article in one of the IT trade magazines reminded me another reason why I talk so much about open source software.

In ComputerWorld's February 12, 2007 issue there is a small article on page 8 titled, "There’s lots of Web 2.0 talk...but where’s the real action?"  The article discusses how commercial Web sites are looking into AJAX and other Web 2.0 features, but never seem to go beyond the Web 1.0 search tools.  Siderean Software Inc. believes they have the answer with their Seamark Navigator search software.  Siderean claims that want separates Seamark Navigator apart from the rest of the the other search software is that it uses relational navigation as opposed to relying on keyword search or guided navigation.  What caught my attention though was how ComputerWorld described the product.

Opinion: Google News, Bloggers, and the Belgian courts

From time to time we like to see the giants fall.  However, I think in this particular case if the giant falls so does the little guy.  If the Belgian court's recent ruling against Google becomes the "standard" that all sites will be judged, the ruling would likely have a negative effect for most bloggers and the readers who visit those blogs.  As reported by CNET:

A Belgian court on Tuesday ordered the search giant to refrain from showing excerpts of articles from French- and German-language Belgian newspapers on Google News and Google's Web search site for Belgium, reaffirming an earlier ruling by the same court against the company. However, in a nod to Google, the court reduced the daily fine Google faces if it fails to heed the order, from $1.3 million to $32,500.

Please don't take this as legal advice, but I think this ruling is just plain silly.  The fact is most bloggers and many news sites take excerpts from other articles and place it in their own article (with proper references, of course).   In fact, I have to wonder since I put the above citation from CNET into this post am I now breaking Belgian law?  If you're a visitor of sites such as Linux Today, NewsForge, Slashdot, Digg, and the infamous CMS Report...well according to this Belgian court  you may be visiting a site that is breaking Belgian copyright law.

Implementing a Taxonomy

I came across a very good article with regards to taxonomy titled, Search in Focus: Implementing a Taxonomy by Penny Crosman.  The article is a month or two old, but I haven't run across it before so maybe others haven't either.

Search engines don't know the difference between reading glasses and drinking glasses, but a taxonomy puts your query in context. We outline several ways to build taxonomies, ranging from the tough but potentially more accurate approach of building from scratch to the easier but potentially compromised approach of buying a prebuilt taxonomy or using automated clustering software.

Also be sure to check out the author's 10 Reasons To Use A Taxonomy.   Both of these articles were posted on Intelligent Enterprise.

The first time I heard the term taxonomy really wasn't until I started using Drupal.  It can take awhile to learn how best to use (and not to use) taxonomy in Drupal, but I've always found that there was enough help around to figure how best to utilize it for my sites.  Even after a couple years, I find I'm still learning how best to use taxonomy as the way I implement it seems to vary from site to site.  I also have yet to figure the best way to address what I call taxonomy bloat.  That's the tough part of learning, it all takes time and experience.