Search This Blog

Monday, July 17, 2023

Question of the Day: Alt tags and EXIF data (images)

Q: Do alt tags for images really matter? Does EXIF data really matter? What is EXIF data?

A: A group of us on facebook had an interesting discussion about EXIF data.

yes, alt tags are important, especially for reading machines for visually impaired and other technology that translates websites (esp. for 508 compliance), but I agree that spending alot of time fixing them is probably not worth it for what you do.
I think the jury is still out on blogger being a bad thing. When google first bought blogger, ... See Moreindividual posts were skewing higher than the actual websites... google looks after its own, so using blogger is probably a good thing in the long run.
Plus, it is becoming more and more about a collective approach, being everywhere, but not concentrating results anywhere. I'd say if all of your content was on your own domain that would be much worse in the long run. Wes, there is no need to worry with SEO (don't throw things at me, my SEO friends) because google changes its algorithms regularly.... and google is not the only browser is se land. Having good content that is relevant, have established presences on the web both in a namesake and social media (one of google's ranking algorithms at one point WAS length of domain presence), and making a reasonable use of metadata (exif, description, admin/rights, etc.) is probably the most important. We are moving towards RDF/semantic and tailored results, so one day ranking will be completely personalized and this notion of ranking as we know it will no longer exist. Of course, then the metadata will become even more important... but the tools have to get better first. Just my thoughts... ;-P

Secrets of library databases

Ah, ha, did I get you with the secrets part? I'll be honest, I'm not giving away any SECRET secrets, but for those who don't know how library catalog (databases) work, maybe this post will be of some interest.

Anyhow, this post came out of a twitter post (tweet) yesterday. I posted about how much I hate Microsoft Access and somehow asked why. The truth is I don't really HATE Microsoft Access; it works the way it is supposed to (ok, sort of) but when working with large database tables, things get complicated. So, it's not the product so much, as what I have to work with, with the product. Does that make sense?

Ok, so back to the library catalog database.
In order to understand a little about how complicated data in a library catalog database gets, you probably need to understand a little about what you see when you are searching a library catalog.

So, when you look at a record in the library catalog for a book (or movie or e book or whatever), you are actually seeing 3 pieces of 3 different records, which are related and hierarchical (generally, not all library catalogs are hierarchical and not all split their records into 3 parts, but a good majority do). These records of course, are populated by fields in the database itself. For those of you who understand databases, these are relational databases (you probably figured that out by now, right?)

Have I lost you yet?

A day's work

So, I thought I would just keep a running tab for today:
  • Picked up cupcakes and a graduation card for our student worker who is graduating
  • Logged into to gmail/email/twitter (later fb) which will stay on all day regardless if I am really there or not ;-)
  • Sent out several emails soliciting nominations for a peer staff recognition program (I'm on the committee)
  • Working my way through email, discarding, responding and filing as I go
  • Sent out a revised workflow document w/ workflow diagrams to a project group (public interface to a new database)
  • Sent out icons for use (public interface proj)
  • Finished writing up project group notes and sent those out (public interface proj)
  • 11AM meeting to discuss and review social media training program and discuss evaluation of program; also discussed extending programming to campus-at-large
  • Answered several cataloging related questions.
  • Put my todo list together for the rest of the afternoon.
  • Resolved a couple of problems with special collections materials
  • 12:46 smoothie shake break
  • 3PM -- Head to Enviro Design Lib to finish out the day cataloging regional historic & architectural design guidelines

Drupal migrating to openpublish

So, I downloaded my existing drupal db thinking I would do a clean install with openpublish, since I couldn't find much in the way of migration help. Alas, it was not to be. I met the system requirements, everything seemed well, and then ... lots of error messages. I tried changing the timeout in php.ini, I tried all of the tricks at the drupal forums. Finally, gave up, doing what I planned to begin with -- migration.

Here are my thoughts based upon a current Drupal installation with core modules.

  • Usual advice, backup, archive, etc. all content, custom themes, mods, well -- everything.
  • Turn off all modules that you can -- you want to start with a close to as an out-of-box / vanilla drupal site as you can.
  • Your mileage may vary (i.e., what worked for me, may not work for you).
What works for migration:
  • Download a copy of openpublish to your desktop; unzip it so that you can pull out the modules. You will not be overwriting your entire drupal site -- the openpublish install package has to install into an empty database, so you don't want to do that!
  • rubik theme
  • the modules
What won't work for migration:
  • the openpublish theme
  • create content types for openpublish

sabotauers, micromanagers, and other management types

A few months ago, I got together with several long term friends who are all professionals. We've known each other for a very long time. Some of us worked together at one point; others never. At some point in the conversation, our discussion turned to work. Someone asked, "what is the worst boss you've ever had [no names] and why?" "Who is the best and why?"

For the sake of the group (who know who they are), I agreed to write up our thoughts. I haven't worked for all of these types but I thought it was a fascinating discussion to hear real stories about some of the dreaded supervisor types.
  •  sabotaeur
  • micromanager
  • storm
  • spy
  • wet blanket
  • the passive aggressive