Monthly Archives: May 2008

Download Day!

Be part of breaking a Guinness World Record and help support free software by pledging to download FireFox 3 on the day it is released.

FireFox Download day

Mozilla has found many clever ways of getting press for what is arguably the most successful open source project ever.  This matches well with the innovations of the software which has a growing market share because of its ease of use and addons.  Try the current version by going here, or get a preview of the upcoming 3.0 by downloading the release candidate.



Add user blog submenu in Drupal

I’ve been playing with seriously researching this for a bit and I found a solution to my problem. I am setting up a Drupal site for our library and wanted to have submenus for each individual blog under the blog primary menu. I may just be daft for not being able to find this on, but instead stumbled upon a solution on my own. So, here it is in case anyone needs this info, or as is more likely – I forget how the heck I did it in the first place.

Determine the user node number:

  1. In the administrator account navigate to Administer / User management / Users
  2. Click on user you wish to add to blog submenu.
  3. Note user number in address bar (ex: user/6)

Add the menu:

  1. In an administrator account, navigate to Administer / Site building / Menus / Primary links
  2. Click Add Item
  3. In the Path block, type blog/{the user number} (ie: blog/6)
  4. Add menu link title and description.
  5. Under Parent Item, select Blog and use a weight of 0 for alphabetical listing (the preference of librarians).
  6. Click <Save>



Adobe opening up?

Adobe recently announced the Open Screen Project.

Specifically, this work will include:

  • Removing restrictions on use of the SWF and FLV/F4V specifications
  • Publishing the device porting layer APIs for Adobe Flash Player
  • Publishing the Adobe Flash® Cast™ protocol and the AMF protocol for robust data services
  • Removing licensing fees – making next major releases of Adobe Flash Player and Adobe AIR for devices free

Is Adobe seeing the light that Microsoft isn’t? (The light that I personally think Sun is not only seeing, but adding their own luminance to.) Web developers increasingly “get” OSS and want it. They can use it as students with no money. They can use it inhouse without any licensing problems. (Personally, OSS was a wondrous tool for me when I worked for companies that would not invest a single dollar in software and the licenses to make us legal, and is indispensable in a library with very limited resources.)

There is tremendous benefit to be invested in learning technologies that the user can influence through their community, not being burdened and beholden to corporate control. AJAX is the buzz for this reason. Sun “got it” when they released Java initially as OSS and has more and more fully released control to the community.

I haven’t had a chance to blog about my Competitive Intelligence class, but the focus of my study was on Sun Microsystem, Inc. and I am impressed with their embrace of OSS. They understand that programmers are using OSS. The web by its nature is open and it encourages and demands open technologies. Applications are moving from the desktop  to the Internet with SaaS and the network is the computer as Sun Microsystem’s John Gage famously said over a quarter-century ago.


IRS to libraries: “Thank You”

After posting about taxing resources recently – discussing the added burden of library resources as government and business push off services and access to the web – I was pleased to see this letter sent to the ALA from the IRS. Notable quotes:

We appreciate the important role libraries play in meeting individual needs for tax help and information. A recent example is the excellent assistance librarians provided to taxpayers entitled to Economic Stimulus payments.


The electronic age has changed us all, but libraries remain the heartbeat of their

Amen, to that.