I took the 2009 ALA Survey

Picture of ALA logo

A List Apart is conducting it’s third annual survey for people who make websites.

I took the survey last year, and have just completed the 2009 version.

I urge all those involved in building sites take part, “whether you call yourself a user experience consultant, web developer, or content strategist; whether you design customer flows, buttons, or brands; no matter what title you hold as a full- or part-time web professional”.

The findings from the 2008 survey, with 30,055 participants, shows the value of this unique international exercise.

Towards one WordPress?

There have been a number of interesting developments recently in the WordPress world:

The implication, if these ideas are implemented, could be that one WordPress installation would be starting point for subsequently setting up WordPress MU, BuddyPress and bbPress on a common base.

The canonical plugins could then provide a number of popular functional extensions to all systems using best practice.

Having a common starting point for all of the WordPress family could make everyone’s life a lot simpler in the future.

Problems ahead for MySQL?

Michael “Monty” Widenius, creator of MySQL, is concerned about the future of the open source database under the stewardship of Oracle.

This follows the Oracle’s planned takeover of Sun Microsystems, which itself acquired MySQL AB in February 2008.

The Oracle-Sun deal has been approved by US regulators, but has not yet been approved by the EC due to concerns about MySQL.

Monty is asking readers of his blog “urgently to help save MySQL from Oracle’s clutches“. He details the current situation, and urges everyone to act quickly to support MySQL.

MySQL is the database used by WordPress, and if the scenario outlined by Monty comes to pass, I can see problems on the horizon.

WordCamp UK 2010: it’s going to be in Manchester

WordCamp UK logo

The next WordCamp UK will be held on the weekend of 17-18 July 2010 in Manchester.

The decision was taken by the WordCamp UK mailing list following the venue bidding process.

The winning bid, proposed by Chi-chi Ekweozor, is for the event to be held at Manchester Metropolitan University Business School.

The runner up bid was by Rich Boakes for the University of Portsmouth.

I’m happy to be once again coordinating the organisation of WordCamp UK, the informal annual gathering of WordPress publishers, designers and developers based in the United Kingdom, held at a different location around the country each year.

It’s expected general ticket sales for the event will start in early April 2010.

WordCamp UK 2010: Manchester or Portsmouth?

WordCamp UK logo

Over the next nine days the decision will be made on the venue for WordCamp UK 2010.

This follows a bidding process, during which submissions have been made which aim to meet or exceed the 2010 venue requirements.

The bidding process has closed, and now the WordCamp UK mailing list (registration required) will be considering the bids and selecting a winner by 5 December 2009.

The two bids are:

WordCamp UK is an informal annual gathering of WordPress publishers, designers and developers based in the United Kingdom.

Why not more 3D?

When making a programme about 3D film and television would it not be good to transmit as much as possible in 3D?

Whilst watching Channel 4’s The Greatest Ever 3D Moments I found it incredibly annoying having to constantly put on and take off my anaglyph glasses.

Of course, there was some archive material that was shot in 2D, but why weren’t the interviews that appeared throughout the programme recorded in 3D?

This spoiled an otherwise mildly entertaining programme.

Hung UK Parliament in 2010?

Will there be a hung Parliament following the UK General Election in 2010?

A poll published today seems to point to such a scenario, although an individual poll does not necessarily reflect a trend.

However, a hung Parliament next year seems to be a likely outcome to me, given the swing that would be involved in the Tories gaining a workable majority.

Andrew Rawnsley outlines a number of possible implications arising from a hung Parliament, and the dilemmas that would face all the major parties.

It may well be that some of these situations could move the country to reform the UK voting system – something that is well overdue.

I went to Open Tech 2009

Open Tech logo

Open Tech 2009 was an enjoyable and enriching Saturday on a July summer’s day in Bloomsbury.

Held at the University of London Union, the one hour sessions were mainly broken down into three individual talks.

Some of the sessions I attended:

  • Beyond Bad Science – The always entertaining Ben Goldacre on applying scientific methods to debunk dubious claims and proposing how the contribution of scientific bloggers could be aggregated.
  • Digital archaeology of the microcomputer 1974-1994 – Steve Goodwin took a fascinating look at the problems of preserving both the of our home computer legacy – the propriety nature of the hardware and software of the time, and the difficulties it’s caused subsequently, is surely a lesson for the future in accessing data currently being generated.
  • One Click Orgs: lightweight legal structure for community groups – An introduction and demonstration of an early beta of One Click Orgs by Charles Armstrong which is being developed to provide a legal support structure for volunteer and community projects.
  • Why our internet liability laws are broken – Francis Davey outlined the state of the UK law (not good) and possible ways to fix it.

The union bar ensured there was plenty of socialising both during and after the event!

Open Tech: highly recommended – I plan to be there next time.