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Mopeds and web stuffs


Whoops, it's been a while since I've done one of these things. So my car was unable to pass smog and I'm currently trying to get the guy who sold it to me to give me my money back and he's dodging my calls. Thankfully my boss knows someone in Marin (where I got it) who used to do lemon law stuff and now does legal aid, so hopefully she can put the fear of God in him.

Comment from John Dorman on October 27, 2009 - 10:55am

Colleen, I have a friend who is good at Ruby on Rails..she sometimes takes projects as a freelancer. email me if you want more info:


Field Report for Marion Duignan - August 2009


Time is flying so fast, I can't believe it!

New Mexico is absolutely beautiful and I love where I live and all the people I'm meeting and working with.

Field Report #9: 3 Essential Drupal Modules


Comment from Kevin Palmer on January 7, 2008 - 1:35pm

Nice rework of the site. The new layout feels a lot more intuitive. Views is probably the most useful module I've found. It's incredible but can be daunting to try to use off the bat. I've got to learn how to use Panels. Any good tips for someone unfamiliar with it?

Hope everything's going great over in San Fran.

Comment from Morgan Sully on January 9, 2008 - 4:13pm

Hey Thanks Kevin,
Hmm. With Panels, it's really helpful for layout of a site. It's nice for working with blocks (which as you know, are pretty limited on where they can be placed on the Drupal page). What's superpowerful though is when you combine the Views modules ability to render content in a block and feed that is as a 'block' on a panel.

For instance, these two pages: (the front page, which is actually a panel)

Use a custom View - the same one in fact - the View (rendered as a block) brings up 10 random posts of the 'Article' content type as a list. This is the 'Articles From Our Members section' you see on each page, though on the front page I limited I to 5.

I included the screenshots from the admin interface so you can compare. Note that each is a 'two column stacked' style of panel, meaning one section at the top and one section at the bottom of two columns side by side.

Idea Exchange Panel:

Home Page Panel:

Hope these make sense. Hit me up if you wanna play with them anymore.

Does Ben use Views or Panels on this site? I'd love to see the module list.

art, technology and social justice in the south


Moving to rural Kentucky sure was an experience. But as the days pass I'm settling in more and getting more accustomed to living in such a small town. I'm really enjoying my work at Appalshop.

Comment from Jules Goins on August 11, 2008 - 1:39pm

Great post, Julia! I am glad you are getting settled in your new community.

The thousand kites site and the social networking sites it is connected to reminded me of a blog post i was reading about establishing an organization's brand across social media. I don't know how much of this has already been mapped out, but it still might be a good read: 50 steps to establishing a consistent social media practice.

Keep up the good work.

A Little Markup Language


Up until yesterday, the design for CCTS's CMS called for using the Textile markup language for the contents of a "block" element (i. e., a paragraph, heading, list item, or table cell). And in fact that's implemented in our code. However, thinking about how to import documents exposed problems with using Textile.

Field Report #10: Reconciling 'Capacity Building' with 'Fighting Poverty'



Still Working on CMS


I am still working on the CMS.

I am investigating how we can accept uploads of Microsoft Word documents and extract the content from them to convert to our format.

Most recently I contributed some test cases to the tests that get run repeatedly to defend against breaking the code.

Comment from Kevin Palmer on January 24, 2008 - 3:02pm

Hey Jack,

As always I'm impressed by your Ruby know-how. One quick question: for an amateur like myself where would be a good place to start learning Ruby-on-Rails basics/how did you learn it? Thanks!

Comment from Jack Waugh on January 24, 2008 - 4:27pm

Hey, Kevin.

I started learning (I still have a lot to learn when it comes to the Rails framework) from Hansson, Thomas Heinemeier: _Agile Web Development with Rails_. However, I have heard at least one other Rails developer cite some other book, that I don't remember, that he said he liked better than Hansson's. You might want to scan some of the fora for conversations where others have asked for book recommendations and the more experienced people have responded. Maybe you'll see two or three reviews putting some other book above that one. Not that it's a bad book; I think its approach teaches quite well. He begins with the simplest working examples and builds on those.

One problem with writing about Rails is that Rails evolves pretty fast by comparison to the time scale on which books get published.

By the way, I came across a development that's maybe to the alpha-test stage, for which the author claims programming efficiency to put Rails to shame. See Flower.

Comment from Jack Waugh on January 25, 2008 - 10:30am

My mentor just wrote to me, "As an aid in learning Rails, and if you haven't already, I strongly suggest
spending some time with the screencasts at ". Those are free. Our other co-worker routinely watches one of those while he has his lunch, and he says they have informed him greatly.

Site Planning: Tips and Resources for Planning Your Site


I cannot emphasize enough, the importance of PLANNING OUT YOUR WEBSITE. Before you can even start thinking about what the colors will be, you need to have a few things in place. 3 i can readily think of are:

What is A Content Management System?


An OS content management system (CMS) allows you to manage website text and images through a database. This typically means:
Quicker website setup
Completely flexible graphic design
Tools to easily update pages and navigation
Support for rule-based content (like events or news)
Community support and plug-ins

Comparing Open Source Content Management Systems:
- Joomla