Import Blackboard Common Cartridge into WordPress

flickr photo shared by Internet Archive Book Images with no copyright restriction (Flickr Commons) It’s far from pretty and I don’t know how well it’ll play with other courses but . . . here’s the plugin I used to import a few Blackboard course exports into WordPress. It’s nothing magical but I think it should get you most of the WordPress kind of content on courses sort of like these. It won’t pull in quizzes or anything like that and I make no attempt to map user/user roles. I just want the page content, discussion prompts, that sort of stuff. I opted to pull this content in as posts and tag them (as opposed to the Moodle import where I used Pages and parent/child relationships). It just seemed like the right path based on the content. In any case, here’s the code. It’s super ugly as I adapted some stuff I was playing around with during my Moodle attempts. It loads the xml file twice and probably does other things that will make programmers sad but honestly I was bored with it and didn’t feel it was worth re-writing. I just wanted it to work. It may also be a terrible example to set as I’m not sure I want people importing their Blackboard courses into WordPress. I do know […]

Google Script CV Workflow POC

flickr photo shared by The National Archives UK with no copyright restriction (Flickr Commons) Suppose you wanted to automate a chunk of your CV creation. Suppose they’d let you do it digitally via Google Docs (if not aspects of this could still work but it wouldn’t be nearly as interesting) and that you’d like to link to the “proof” files. I am further supposing that you might be willing to think about doing this slightly differently. Usually people build the CV/tenure document and then go back and find/link to their evidence. The path I’m suggesting would allow you to gather the evidence as you came across it and then build the index to it automatically. You’ll still want to construct the overarching narrative but this takes the grunt work of listing/linking and puts it on the computer where it belongs.1 This is the proof of concept scenario. You could make it much better depending on your needs/wants but this ought to get you started with how it could work. This script does create a spreadsheet of all your content with a variety of useful links and creates a Google document with all the files as ordered list items under their respective folder headings.2 Given one folder called CV POC . . . in that folder are your three folders of […]

NGINX – HTTPS & HTTP (When Needed)

After HTTPS was turned on to deal with one issue it, of course, kicked off another unforeseen one. All of the screencast.com content failed to laod. You can see that happening above. It’s never a bad idea to take a look at the console using Chrome’s developer tools when weird stuff happens to a site. Since I couldn’t change anything on the screencast.com side of things, I needed to be able to load this particular site as HTTP rather than HTTPS. I tried a variety of paths based on various Stack Overflow suggestions. I’m not entirely sure I didn’t fix it in various other ways but this one seems to work. I will note that NGINX is a bit like regit and htaccess in that as I get deeper and deeper I begin to suspect it is actually witchcraft. So, to give full directions. I’m SSH’ing into the server via Terminal. I’m navigating to where my NGINX file lives. I’m opening the file in Nano. The 443 server block was already in place. I added the location element within that block. It waits for requests on 443 and should stop the http://rampages.us/psy323 site from being pushed up to https. I also added a second server block listening at the regular port 80 that does nothing with the psy323 address. Next […]

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Weekly Web Harvest for 2016-06-12

Glitch City – BLDGBLOG Sites of urban infrastructure and other industrial facilities integral to municipal management, from fire stations to fuel depots, appear to be the target of deliberate erasure in Baidu’s street maps. Nick Bostrom: ‘We are like small children playing with a bomb’ | Technology | The Guardian The axes of daunting-looking graphs in his papers will be calibrated on closer inspection in terms of “endurable”, “crushing” and “hellish”. In his introduction to Superintelligence, the observation “Many of the points made in this book are probably wrong” typically leads to a footnote that reads: “I don’t know which ones.” Does he sometimes feel he is morphing into Douglas Adams? These May Be the Only People Who Want Yahoo to Thrive – Bloomberg The world’s biggest oil traders take price slumps, trade sanctions and natural disasters in stride. The decline of a vintage Internet company has them quaking. Yahoo! Inc.’s Messenger has for almost 18 years been the default communication tool for the men and women who each day move billions of dollars’ worth of crude oil and petroleum products around the planet. _9MOTHER9HORSE9EYES9: the mysterious tale terrifying Reddit | Technology | The Guardian Reddit makes a fascinating platform for community-oriented fiction, and a perfect one for this slow-building and creepy invention, which fans have started calling “The Interface […]

Using Chart JS in FileMaker Pro 15’s Web Viewer

I’m doing a project in FileMaker. FileMaker 15. I think the last time I used FMP seriously was 2010-ish- version 11 had just come out. It’s still the same program but there have been some interesting changes. It’s also weird now because I have an entirely different set of experiences with technology that I didn’t have back then. FMP’s charting/graphing still leaves much to be desired. I was trying to create a particular chart and thought I’d be slick. I tried many things. Many, many things. I even tried creating stacked bar charts with the initial bar color begin set to transparent (that would have worked) but FMP does not let you set custom color schemes for charts (which is insane). In any case, I started wandering the Internet and found a video on integrating Google Charts with FMP 14 and the web viewer. The easiest path seems to be — get your HTML working without FMP variables – make sure all your css/js etc. are full URL paths Once it’s working, escape all your double quotes by doing a find/replace all with \” Paste this into a web view component (make sure you wrap the whole thing in double quotes) you’ll then have something like this in your editing view switch to browse to make sure it works If […]

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NGINX Redirect Tutorial

We recently assigned a few custom domains to rampages. That ended up causing two complications. The first was that some people were using https associated URLs previously (news to me). The always impressive Tim Owens (reclaim hosting support cannot be complimented enough) took care of that for me. @twoodwar Merry Christmas 🙂 #vcualtlab pic.twitter.com/fpT7AQjt2I — Tim Owens (@timmmmyboy) June 16, 2016 The second was the need to redirect some file level1 URLs to some new subdomains. I plain English, I needed https://uc.vcu.edu/focused-inquiry/ to go to http://focusedinquiry.vcu.edu. In any case, Tim gave me some tips and I sallied forth to do the redirects.2 This was my first time doing anything in NGINX so it was a learning experience. I document the steps here in the hope that it’ll be useful to someone else. Keep in mind I’ve only done this on my server so I’m assuming it’s fairly broadly applicable but I can’t be sure of that. I also attempted to either explain or link to things that might be helpful to beginners (like myself). Enter Terminal Land Launch Terminal. I’m using iTerm thanks to Mark Luetke. I’m using a pem file to authenticate which is nice. Read more about pem authentication here. Do keep in mind you need your pem file permissions to be -rw—— (400 I think) even on […]

Photography – Week 130

The baby turtles are back. There’s a beautiful little chunk of time when baby turtles are there for the finding. They are hard to spot and take some skill to catch but it’s very possible and lots of fun. When we started I caught them and handed them to the kids. Now the older ones are doing it themselves.

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Weekly Web Harvest for 2016-06-05

Poemage Poemage is a visualization system for exploring the sonic topology of a poem. We define sonic topology as the complex structures formed via the interaction of sonic patterns — words connected through some sonic or linguistic resemblance — across the space of the poem. Poemage was developed at the University of Utah as part of an ongoing, highly exploratory collaboration between data visualization experts and poets/poetry scholars. Additional details are provided in the companion paper [to appear in IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics]. anypixel.js AnyPixel.js is an open-source software and hardware library that makes it possible to use the web to create big, unusual, interactive displays out of all kinds of things. Anyone can fork the code and the schematics to create their own display at any scale. h/t Andrew I