Site Maintenance Stuff

Behinds the scenes, the redesign is in full progress. We have seen a number of different mockups (I AM VERY EXCITED!!), I am authoring a new privacy and commenting policy, and there is just a ton of changes and fixes in the works. One of the things we have done is completely get rid of tags (sorry Adam), and we are currently streamlining the 500 or so categories, 450 appear to have been used under 50 times. I just wanted to let you all know that we are still working on this, and at some point in the future we will have a call for volunteers to try to break the new site as testers.

That is all. I’m sure I have forgotten 40 things I was supposed to say and Watergirl is going to send me a dozen emails but you know what it is beautiful outside and I will just lie to her and tell her I left my phone inside and did not see them.






96 replies
  1. 1
    Ohio Mom says:

    Godspeed.

  2. 2

    Watergirl is going to send me a dozen emails

    Gawd, I hope she remembers to put them in ALL CAPS.

  3. 3
    WaterGirl says:

    I guess I will just have to start sending my emails to John in ALL CAPS. Maybe he will read them then. :-)

    edit: Bill, you posted your comment as I was typing mine. Great minds and all that.

  4. 4
    SFAW says:

    new privacy and commenting policy

    Does that mean we will no longer be allowed to abuse trolls verbally? Will serial-nym/nom-changers get their figurative peepees whacked? (Smedley D and Bella Q excluded, of course) Will “also, too” be forbidden?

    Will people only be allowed to post intelligent, well-thought-out comments? [OK, that’s a bridge too far.]

    Will we FINALLY be allowed to sing loudly the praises of the junior Senator from Vermont, without being subjected to abuse?

    And … what about … Naomi?

  5. 5

    Bragging about lying, very T like. Next stop, lolitics!

  6. 6
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    and at some point in the future we will have a call for volunteers to try to break the new site as testers.

    If you want somebody to irreparably break it, I’m the man.

  7. 7
    SFAW says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    Bragging about lying, very T like. Next stop, lolitics!

    Was that a general comment, or about something in particular? Not complaining, just seeking a pointer.

  8. 8
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Is “authoring” like “writing” but fancier?

  9. 9
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @SFAW:

    Will “also, too” be forbidden?

    Lord, I hope so.

  10. 10

    @SFAW:

    Does that mean we will no longer be allowed to abuse trolls verbally? Will serial-nym/nom-changers get their figurative peepees whacked? (Smedley D and Bella Q excluded, of course) Will “also, too” be forbidden?

    Of course not.

    Will people only be allowed to post intelligent, well-thought-out comments? [OK, that’s a bridge too far.]

    Are you nuts? I see you walked that back a bit.

    Will we FINALLY be allowed to sing loudly the praises of the junior Senator from Vermont, without being subjected to abuse?

    Hell no.

    //

  11. 11
  12. 12
    SFAW says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    If you want somebody to irreparably break it, I’m the man.

    I don’t think smashing your monitor with a 24-ounce framer, or even a nine-pound hammer, is what Cole is talking about. But if he is, I’m sure you’ll be the first person contacted

  13. 13
    SFAW says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:

    OK, good. I was worried for a moment there.

  14. 14
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @SFAW:

    Does that mean we will no longer be allowed to abuse trolls verbally?

    What you scream at your monitor is between you and your computer and none of our business.

  15. 15
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: One of the finest prose stylists of American English, Red Smith, once wrote “you author it and I’ll reader it.”

  16. 16

    @SFAW: I think our hillbilly friend is much more resourceful than you give him credit for.

  17. 17
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @SFAW: I can fuck up a wet dream if it is on the web, no 24 oz framing hammer necessary. Just ask my wife.

  18. 18
    chris says:

    This is great news! Tired of looking at my phone to see the posted pictures.

  19. 19
    SFAW says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    I’ll attempt to be more accurate in my writing in the future. “Verbally” was the worng word to use, of course.

    But at least I didn’t split my infinitives. I would hate to really do that.

  20. 20

    @SFAW:

    I’m sure I have forgotten 40 things I was supposed to say and Watergirl is going to send me a dozen emails but you know what it is beautiful outside and I will just lie to her and tell her I left my phone inside and did not see them.

    I was just pulling Birdman’s leg.
    @Gin & Tonic: It is to writing what curating is to collecting.

  21. 21
    SFAW says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Just ask my wife.

    She’s already told me. Countless times. She’s a saint, I tells ya, putting up with the likes of you.

    Sorta like Mrs. SFAW (putting up with me, not you, wise guy).

  22. 22

    @SFAW: I thought you were a cranky old lady, not a guy.

  23. 23
    SFAW says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    I was just pulling Birdman’s leg.

    OK. I’m guessing “Birdman” is Cole? (Due to his recent string of Wild Kingdom posts?)

    It the curating (instead of collecting) of writing.

    Gad, I hate that word, now that it’s being applied to everything from t-shirts to belly-button lint to jug wines.

  24. 24
    SFAW says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    I thought you were a cranky old lady, not a guy.

    I can’t tell if you’re kidding or not. Not about the “cranky” and “old” parts, of course.

  25. 25
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @SFAW: Splitting things is what I inevitably do, logs, marriages, infinitives…

  26. 26
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @SFAW:

    (putting up with me, not you, wise guy).

    You sure about that?

  27. 27
    Baud says:

    If Cole’s excited, I’m scared. But I trust WaterGirl.

  28. 28
    SFAW says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    You sure about that?

    Umm … well …

  29. 29
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    My new fingers-on-blackboard word, which I had to hear from the mouth of the person presiding over a faculty meeting about 1000 times, is “mentee.”

  30. 30
    SFAW says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Splitting things is what I inevitably do, logs, marriages, infinitives…

    So you’re not just a pretty face.

  31. 31
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Baud: I just looked at my Harriet Tubman $20, it says “In Watergirl We Trust”.

  32. 32
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @SFAW: Actually, my face is split too, but I didn’t do that, some butcher with a scalpel did.

    (actually, he did a pretty good job of it, the only sign of the surgery is that the frown lines on that side of my face are about 75 degrees off from the ones on the other side of my face)

  33. 33

    @zhena gogolia: Is mentee a smaller mento?

  34. 34

    @SFAW: You and me both. I have had it with fashion bloggers curating their wardrobe. For fuck’s sake you are not some royalty you have a closet with J Crew clothes which are not irreplaceable treasures,

  35. 35
    Pat Mc says:

    Have you considered an ad-free ‘subscription’ option for say $50 per year? I’d bite…

  36. 36
    SFAW says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    I hear ya. Some of the “ads” on WBUR (NPR station in Boston, but I expect you already knew that) talk about various foods or something-or-other being “curated.” I am not as quick to turn it off as I am when I hear the Traitor-in-Chief’s voice, but it’s close.

    ETA: To me, “curating” is something applied to museums, fine art, etc. Not this pedestrian crap being passed of as haute culture.

  37. 37
    joel hanes says:

    tags

    I, for one, shall miss them.
    But carry on.

  38. 38
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    So, new commenting policy. Is this going to be like Wonkette’s “no commenting commenting” policy?

  39. 39
    zhena gogolia says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    Good one!

  40. 40
    SFAW says:

    @Pat Mc:

    Have you considered an ad-free ‘subscription’ option for say $50 per year? I’d bite…

    What? Are you nuts? Are you telling me you DON’T look forward to clicking on links for [scans right column]:

    “The Average Science Fan Only Gets 7 Right! Can You Beat That?”
    “33 Hilarious Airport Signs”
    “3 Ways Your Cat Asks for Help”
    and “Tighten Your Skin From The Comfort Of Your Home”?

    Commie.

  41. 41
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @SFAW: “3 Ways Your Cat Asks for Help”

    1. Meowing incessantly in your ear at 3 in the morning
    2. Running around like a cheetah on hardwood floors
    3. Scratching your leg to shreds

  42. 42
    SFAW says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    Is mentee a smaller mento?

    Only way to find out is by dropping one into an appropriately-sized container of Coke.

  43. 43
    SFAW says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    1. Meowing incessantly in your ear at 3 in the morning

    I read that, and I think of a “Little Feat” (I think it was) song which starts out with the guy yelling at the croaking frog to “Shut UP!!!”

    ETA: Google tells me it’s “Down on the Farm.”

  44. 44

    we will have a call for volunteers to try to break the new site as testers.

    I’m down.

  45. 45
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Pat Mc: Someone mentioned this kind of thing before. I think having a two levels of commentariat is a bad idea.

  46. 46
    bemused senior says:

    Donation in lieu of ads seems great to me. Not the same as two levels of commentariot.

  47. 47
    rikyrah says:

    Thanks for keeping us updated, Cole :)

  48. 48

    @SFAW:

    To me, “curating” is something applied to museums, fine art, etc. Not this pedestrian crap being passed of as haute culture.

    *puts on librarian hat*
    Curation is an umbrella term for the creation and maintenance of anything that fits the following definition: “a collection organized for use.”

  49. 49
    SFAW says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Well, actually, “curate” is more like “select, organize, and look after the items in (a collection or exhibition)” with the implied usage being for a special, one-time, or limited-run event or events. “Curated,” as currently overused, is not that different from “300 of my closest Facebook friends.” Its current overuse is a bullshit attempt to impart a certain level of “class” to things that are as “classy” as Mad Dog 20/20 and Bazooka bubblegum. The next step is the use of “bespoke” for clothing available at TJ Maxx, etc.

  50. 50

    @SFAW: Exactly, museums have curators, just having any run-of-mill collection doesn’t make you a curator. In that case I am a curator of jewelry, clothes, books and pens. STN

  51. 51
    zhena gogolia says:

    Trying to decide if I’m ready to slap a Kamala sticker on my bumper (next to Hillary, Obama-Biden, and Kerry Edwards).

  52. 52
    SFAW says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    In that case I am a curator of jewelry, clothes, books and pens.

    And a fine one you are!

  53. 53
    p.a. says:

    I don’t care what it looks like, don’t care about tags, don’t care about searchability, just fix the dogdamned interminable loading time (video ads Video Ads VIDEO ADS 🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬)

  54. 54

    @SFAW:

    Well, actually, “curate” is more like “select, organize, and look after the items in (a collection or exhibition)” with the implied usage being for a special, one-time, or limited-run event or events.

    This is incorrect. The definition I gave above was, as of 2012, the definition they were teaching in LIS school, which is a pretty good place to look for a definition of such a thing.

    So if your t-shirts were carefully selected (for whatever context), and then organized in such a way as to make the collection easily usable (for whatever the target audience is, even if it’s yourself), congratulations, you have a curated collection of shirts. Bonus points if you do lifecycle maintenance and icebox/toss them when they’re no longer appropriate.

    As long as we’re getting into terms of art, everything in a collection is a ‘document’ for LIS purposes, including, famously, gazelles.

    ETA: We should be happy that anybody who acts deliberately and understands the fundamental principles of selection and purposeful organization can be a curator! Who are we to say whether the items or purpose of a collection is blue-blooded enough to use the word?

  55. 55
    WaterGirl says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Not to worry. The guy who isn’t even keeping his blue-colored comments in the site rebuild because he wants everyone to be on equal footing in the comments is never gonna let that happen.

    The thinking going forward is to have fewer and smarter ads, and no autoplay ads — enough to pay for the blog and web hosting, which is not cheap — but not so many ads that the site is essentially unusable, as it has been for many of us. The proof will be in the pudding, but that’s the plan.

  56. 56
    WaterGirl says:

    If all goes as intended, I am planning to put up a post this weekend with a more detailed update and some mockups — so you can get an idea of where we’re going with the rebuild and ask any questions you might have.

    We are in the design and mockup phase for just another few days; after that the actual programming starts. And once the programming begins, there’s not a lot of room for adding functionality or changing the look, the fonts, the overall design, or anything, really.

    So your chance to share your thoughts in a productive way will be in the next few days, not once the site goes live.

  57. 57
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @WaterGirl: I hate it already.

  58. 58
    Amir Khalid says:

    @zhena gogolia:
    The word “mentee” makes me think of a marine mammal.

  59. 59
    TenguPhule says:

    I just wanted to let you all know that we are still working on this, and at some point in the future we will have a call for volunteers to try to break the new site as testers.

    Oh John, you should know better then to ask this of us.

  60. 60
    NotMax says:

    @SFAW

    So “crazy cat lady” is out and “cat curator” is in?

  61. 61
    Ruckus says:

    @SFAW:
    If one didn’t pass off pedestrian crap as haute culture how would they have any culture at all?
    Jeeezze man give them a break. Their lives are small, their worlds are not much bigger and someone paid for all that education which they don’t remember any of.

  62. 62

    @NotMax: only if the cats are organized for use.

  63. 63
    NotMax says:

    we will have a call for volunteers to try to break the new site as testers

    (*twirls mustache, rubs palms together in glee*)

    :)

  64. 64
    Ruckus says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    That’s a pretty big out you’ve got there.
    Like bigger than the whole outdoors big.

  65. 65
    NotMax says:

    @Major Major Major Major

    BTW, a happy birthday. IIRC it is sometime this week.

  66. 66
    Ruckus says:

    @NotMax:
    Don’t you use a TS80 running Dos 1.2?

    With 90% of the functionality removed?

  67. 67
    SFAW says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Although I love (in a figurative sense) and respect my local librarians, I do not necessarily consider a “term of art” used in one (relatively) small area to be broadly applicable to the world in general. There are a fair amount of “terms of art” which mean one thing within a particular discipline, and something different in general usage.

    ETA: At some level, it’s not too dissimilar from the argument that PhDs shouldn’t be called “Doctor,” only MDs, even though PhDs came many years before MDs (in terms of being “doctors.”

  68. 68
    NotMax says:

    @Ruckus

    On the wish list for the next hardware upgrade.

    :)

  69. 69
    SFAW says:

    @Ruckus:

    If one didn’t pass off pedestrian crap as haute culture how would they have any culture at all?

    If it weren’t for low class, I wouldn’t have any class at all.

  70. 70

    @Ruckus: I’m not the one who sets the standards for what is and is not considered curation!

    To quibble, I actually think a collection of cats that is organized for use would be difficult to manage, it would be like… herding cats.

  71. 71
    Ruckus says:

    @NotMax:
    That’s a better answer than the one I was expecting.

  72. 72
    SFAW says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    To quibble, I actually think a collection of cats that is organized for use would be difficult to manage

    The definition you provided listed no requirement that the collection be managed, merely collected.

  73. 73
    SFAW says:

    @NotMax:

    On the wish list for the next hardware upgrade.

    What are you using now, a Heathkit?

  74. 74

    @SFAW: it is considered applicable to any non-LIS collection, and we would prefer it to be used that way in common parlance, because the democratization of information management is considered a cornerstone of the entire library/museum/gallery/wildlife preserve/etc. philosophy. It’s a good thing if people take a mindful approach to managing their collections, whatever they may be made of! And, given that it’s now common parlance (the yardstick by which definition is measured), we have succeeded.

    @NotMax: thanks! ‘Twas yesterday.

  75. 75
    Ruckus says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    herding cats

    I’ve been told this can be done. I’m a wee bit skeptical.

  76. 76
    Ruckus says:

    @SFAW:
    Are you my dad?

  77. 77
    NotMax says:

    Will we be able to say things such as penis roulette without having to jump through hoops?

    :)

  78. 78

    @SFAW: organization of a collection is an ongoing process. One must make sure one’s records are up to date. And if the collection is ever used one must make sure things are re-filed correctly. If nobody ever uses something one must reconsider its place in the collection.

    ETA if the collection is made of something ambulatory then it should be self-evident that it will require periodic re-organization in order to stay organized.

    Without this ongoing process, it is no longer curated and becomes, to use another term of art, “a pile of books.”

  79. 79
    Ruckus says:

    @NotMax:
    I seem to recall that we were told the other day that men with mustaches were not to be trusted. Now I can see why.

    I’m still not shaving mine off.
    Saw a man with a huge waxed handlebar stash the other day. He laughed when I took off my hat and told him that the stash and beard are just gravity acting over time.

  80. 80
    NotMax says:

    @Ruckus

    God made very few perfect heads. The rest she put hair on.

    ;)

  81. 81
    WaterGirl says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Good that you are getting your opinion on the record right away!

  82. 82
    SFAW says:

    @Ruckus:

    Are you my dad?

    Not that I wouldn’t be proud to be your father and all that shit, but I think — if my memory is correct — you’re older than I am. If that’s the case, then I’d have to pull an “I’m My Own Grandpa” thing.

  83. 83
    SFAW says:

    @NotMax:

    You might be able to do so, but under what circumstances would that phrase be appropriate?

    Or is that a Hawaiii thing?

  84. 84

    @WaterGirl: FWIW, I’m professional UX designer with 20+ years of experience. Plus, my company is going through a major accessibility redesign effort. Happy to offer my thoughts and advice in the design.

  85. 85
    SFAW says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    it is considered applicable to any non-LIS collection

    By the LIS, no doubt.
    I’m guessing there are other terms of art, used by the practitioners of said art, which those practitioners consider applicable to the world in general — but the world in general might beg to differ.

  86. 86
  87. 87
    NotMax says:

    @SFAW

    Every fad has to start somewhere.

    :)

  88. 88

    @SFAW:

    I’m guessing there are other terms of art, used by the practitioners of said art, which those practitioners consider applicable to the world in general — but the world in general might beg to differ.

    This conversation literally started with you complaining about how the world in general is using a term. I chimed in to say that it was also technically correct (the best kind of correct). Now you are saying that terms of art don’t count and it’s common usage that counts. Common usage which in this case almost perfectly matches the term of art. I iz confused.

    ETA if you just want to complain about kids these days and their t-shirts, go ahead, I was just annoyed by the literal “well ACTUALLY” I got

  89. 89
    SFAW says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    This conversation literally started with you complaining about how the world in general is using a term. I chimed in to say that it was also technically correct (the best kind of correct).

    Are we really going to get into a pissing contest over this?

    I complained about its overuse, and likely misuse, by the general public. At which point you told me that the LIS term of art makes it all A-OK for the general public, because (I guess) the LIS determines how that particular word is used, or should be used, by the general public.

    I think it’s lovely that LIS has its own set of terms of art. When I was doing engineering work, we also had our own terms of art; some of those terms were used by the general public, but not in the way engineers use them. Maybe I should start telling the general public that their use of those terms must be identical to how engineers use them.

    I’m wondering if the LIS also has its own “term of art” re: the words “run” and “set.” Yes, I’m being an asshole. Which may also be a term of art, but not sure in which discipline.

  90. 90

    @SFAW: M4 once told me how the original Sanskrit meaning of karma is irrelevant because of the prevalent wrong usage in the western English speaking world.
    Its the librarian’s burden he can’t help it.

  91. 91
    Ruckus says:

    @NotMax:
    That was you?

  92. 92

    @SFAW:

    I complained about its overuse, and likely misuse, by the general public. At which point you told me that the LIS term of art makes it all A-OK for the general public, because (I guess) the LIS determines how that particular word is used, or should be used, by the general public.

    Since you seem to think popular usage of a word can also be incorrect (putting you at odds with most lexicographers), I thought you might want to know what the umbrella discipline that trains many kinds of curators thinks. They ought to know about the correct usage of the term.

    Speaking of lexicographers,

    verb (used with object), cu·rat·ed, cu·rat·ing.

    to take charge of (a museum) or organize (an art exhibit):
    to curate a photography show.

    to pull together, sift through, and select for presentation, as music or website content:
    “We curate our merchandise with a sharp eye for trending fashion,” the store manager explained.

  93. 93
    Gravenstone says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Walking across your face Meowing incessantly in your ear at 3 in the morning

    Let’s get real here.

  94. 94
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Gotta tell you, at least one reader loves this argument and hopes it goes on for a couple more days.

    That might be the same reader who was party to a 3- or 4-day argument on Slashdot back in the day about the usage and history of *one Cyrillic letter.*

  95. 95
    debbie says:

    @SFAW:

    How about curated listicles?

  96. 96
    lee says:

    Sweet! I can’t wait for the threaded comments that allow upvoting!!

    /s

Comments are closed.