Don’t hit UNDO in a form in Safari

I’ve had this happen several times, so I guess it’s pretty repeatable. If you are editing some text in a multiline text field in form in Safari, hitting undo (command+z) crashes the browser.

Especially frustrating when editing documents in say, a wiki… I was just beefing up my page for the NMC 2004 summer conference, and accidentally deleted a link on the wiki form. I hit undo, hoping to just drop the link back in there, but was greeted instead by a MacOSX Application Crash dialog box.

Doh. Oh, well… Off to rebuild the text from memory. It might actually make some (more) sense this time… ;-)


Feel free to contribute to this weblog. It’s running on Blosxom, and is using a plugin that allows editing of posts via a web browser. All you need to know is the password, and you can create posts.

Editing existing entries

To edit this post, just click the “edit” link below. An editing form will show up, letting you type some text.

Posts should be entered as HTML in order to be formatted properly. It’s pretty straightforward. Just look at the source of this post in the edit page.

When you’ve entered your text, just enter the correct password in the password field, and hit SAVE. The entry will then be saved to the proper location on the server, and added to the weblog.

Creating a new post

Just enter the path for the new post in the address field of your browser. You can create new categories as well. For instance, I could create a new post in a “testing” category, by putting this URL into my browser:

The only thing to remember is that the filename you provide shouldn’t have any spaces or invalid characters. Just use numbers and letters. Mix case at will. Underscores (_) are fine.

Then, I just enter my text, and hit save. The new category will be created, the post will be saved, and everything will be added to the weblog.

Getting listed in the “Edu_RSS Aggregator”

All you have to do is use the phrase “NMC 2004″ somewhere in the blog entry, and it should be picked up automagically by the feed collector.

It might take some time for the entry to show up on the Edu_RSS aggregator, but it will get there eventually.

The Password

For now, the password is mildly secure. If you want to play around with this weblog, or contribute some content, email me and I’ll hook you up.

About this weblog

This blog is for the purposes of the "Small Technologies Loosely Joined" presentation at the June 2004 NMC Summer Conference.

This is the place to publish the support (or the lack thereof) for the "Decentralists" in terms of maximizing effectiveness through the use of small, organized, and distributed resources.

In this presentation, we have created three groups who will use a collection of "small" discrete, loosely joined technologies, to argue positions of Centralized, Decentralized, and Mixed implementations of instructional technologies. Participants include those present at our session June 15 as well as other edubloggers who can join us in blogs, wiki, and chat space. Follow the coverage via the EDU_RSS feed.

This weblog is itself a marvel of decentralization. There is no database or abstract content management system used to drive this weblog. It is simply a set of text files in folders on a server, with a single small (less than 15K) perl script figuring out what to do with the text files. Blosxom is beautiful in its simplicity.

Compare this with more centralized weblog solutions, which use dozens of perl modules, external databases, and thousands of lines of code. Blosxom does one thing, really well. It serves text files as a weblog. It doesn’t do image thumbnail generation. It doesn’t do photo galleries. It doesn’t do content management. It just serves text. And it does it quite well. There are plugins available to add on the extra functionality, but they aren’t necessary.

NOTE! This blog is for demonstration purposes only of this presentation– it is about the process of using these technologies– It does not necessarily reflect my philosophy.


The nature of a decentralized system can lead to fragmentation – many different types of tools, each with its own pecularities. This can lead to a steep learning curve for users of the decentralized system.

Reliability of Entire System

Decentralized systems are generally more reliable than single, monolithic Centralized systems. If one part of a Decentralized system becomes unavailable for some reason, the rest of the system is able to function without it.

Interesting Reads on Educational Semantic Web and Metadata-as-statements

Stephen Downes just posted 2 links that might be useful.

  1. Latest issue of JIME. Topic is “The Educational Semantic Web”. This is important because it may form a common way of describing resources in a more distributed way. APOLLO will need to tie into these concepts when they become available.

  2. An article called "Improving Metadata Quality: Augmentation and Recombination" that talks about metadata as a collection of statements about a resource, and the possibility of managing metadata at the statement level. Sound familiar? APOLLO basically does this now.

Flames Games Sold Out

A bunch of us here in the Learning Commons were poised above our keyboards at precisely noon today – when the available Saddledome seats were released to

Well, the rabid Flames fans basically brought the Ticketmaster server to its knees – search results were displaying an estimate of 15 minutes to find anything, and all tickets were sold out before search results were displayed.

I’m guessing all seats, for both games #3 and #4, were sold out in under 10 minutes. To those lucky enough to sneak through the Ticketmaster screen.

Maybe Darryl should draft Ticketmaster for defense. Nothing gets through ;-)

Looks like all that’s left are auction seats, which is good for the charity, but the cheapest seats are currently $665, going up to $1000. And there’s still over an hour left on the auction. I guess I could put Evan on eBay, but an hour isn’t much time…

Stanley Cup 2004

UPDATE: I just heard – the tickets for both games sold out in under 6 minutes. There were "computer problem", or they estimate the tickets would have sold out in under 60 seconds. Wow. And apparently tickets to the last game in Tampa Bay were available at the door for $6 US.

And the auction tickets finally sold for $800 – $1255. Per seat. Holy. Crap.

Colophon – What Runs This Weblog?

This weblog started out a couple of years ago (first post retained from that era was July 2002 ) as a personal project, run under a beta of Blosxom, and published to my .Mac account. Most of the “early” posts from this era have been dropped, but I kept the ones relating to the projects I was/am working on.

Since then, it evolved to be hosted as a MovableType weblog, and ran on that software for over a year. It was switched back to Blosxom 2.0 in May 2004, and switched once more in September 2004 – this time to WordPress (which is running the weblog now).

WordPress is a great weblog management system. It’s free, it’s open source, it’s mature (been around for a while in various versions), and has a vibrant community around it. All excellent things which can be invaluable to anyone running a weblog.

I’ve modified my WordPress installation so that it varies from a “stock” deployment in the following ways:

Kubrick theme by Michael Heilemann
Easy on the eyes, with a non-specific default layout, which is highly customizable…
NiceTitle by Stuart Langridge
An amazing little javascript that adds contextual thingies to every link that has a title – no code required.
Breadcrumb Navigation by Mark Shields
Breadcrumb-style navigation. Shows current viewing post, search results, category, and author. Originally created by lennart (
Brian’s Latest Comments by Brian Meidell
This shows an overview of the articles and who commented on them. Based on Michael Heilemanns feverishly scribbled notes. If you have Dunstan’s Time Since installed, this plugin uses it for the title=”” attributes on the comments and posts.
Search Hilite by Ryan Boren
When someone is referred from a search engine like Google, Yahoo, or WordPress’ own, the terms they search for are highlighted with this plugin. Packaged by Matt.
Kitten’s Spam Words by Kitten
This plugin adds a “Delete comments as spam” button to the comments mass editing page. When used to delete unwanted comments, the email address, url, and IP address, and any links in the comment body, will be added to your spam words list. Future comments matching any of those items will automatically be moderated.
Post Referrers by Jonathan Foucher
shows the last referers to a specific post
Related Posts by Alexander Malov
Returns a list of the related posts. Please refer to the included readme for installation instructions.
StatTraq by Randy Peterman
This plugin should allow you to keep track of every hit on your public site (note that it does not track admin activity)
Subscribe To Comments by Jennifer – Scriptygoddess
Allows users(readers) to recieve notifications of new comments that are posted after their own.
ThreeStrikesSPAM by Mark Ghosh (LaughingLizard)
Deter Spammers with the three strike rule. If a comment has more than x (wordpress options) number of URIs, if they have no referrer AND if they have at least one match from your spam words, deny the comment from ever touching your blog. No muss, nothing to delete.
Word Statistics by John Watson
Computes Gunning-Fog, Flesch, and Flesch-Kincaid readability indexes about posts as they are edited for the purpose of improving their readability.