User talk:CharlesMerriam


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April 2nd

I enjoyed reading April_Fool_2008_Build_Process, but for better or worse it is now April 2nd. Just a reminder, were you going to revert yourself here?

I'm not sure it really got the audience it deserved (~25-30 views), maybe you should consider turning April_Fool_2008_Build_Process into a vision statement, :-) (smiling, but not necessarily kidding).

Cjl 10:40, 2 April 2008 (EDT)

A vision is a ground breaking strategy. This is more like a work order ticket. I made the joke explicit.

It looks like your portrayal of the "Shakespearean fool" was quite successful, congratulations. Here's hoping your ticket gets closed with all deliberate dispatch. Regards Cjl 13:13, 4 April 2008 (EDT)

Thank you. I wrote up the debate from yesterday's talk 2008_Debate_of_Build_and_Release. CharlesMerriam 13:12, 5 April 2008 (EDT)

More foolishness

You have quite the "fool" thread going these days, the full Emerson quote is "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines." It might have been kinder to yourself to refer to page naming consistency as your bugbear.  :-)

Thank you. I remember the quote, I guess I'm just "A bugbear of very little brain." and overly fond of honey.  :)

I think there is a certain INconsistency in the several OLPC xxx constructions. In many circumstances, it is OLPC country, perhaps best read as "OLPC volunteers in country", whereas your construction of OLPC language/script for keyboard page naming is read as "OLPC (Cambridge) keyboard design for language/script".

I agree that the whole tag of OLPC as a prefix/suffix on an OLPC based wiki is a bit strange. I was moving some information gleaned from the devel list into the wiki and noticed that half the layouts had no naming scheme. Now all the keyboard layouts are consistently wrong. Progress!

My own personal bugbear/bogey/hobgoblin is consistency in meta-data, particularly categorization. To that end, I've done some wiki-work on the "OLPC country" tags to improve their utility in finding relevant pages (and quiet the clamoring voices in my head) which has included (in only one or two instances) adding the "OLPC country" category to the cognate OLPC language/script keyboard pages, but I haven't done this extensively as I've noticed some oddities and I've been hesitant to be TOO bold in offering my own solutions.

Hmmm... Countries vs. languages vs. deployments: most of the keyboard layouts are of random academic interest for people who like to design keyboards and some are on real laptops. There seems to be no table of hoped/planned/committed/actual deployments with number of units and versions. I can make the wiki page and would need the numbers from OLPC Foundation. OLPC Foundation may have legitimate reasons for balking. Or maybe there already exists a page I haven't found.
Maybe addition of a "units manufactured" column on Manufacturing_Data#Keyboards table would be a useful start. Cjl 12:41, 7 April 2008 (EDT)
I would think keyboard mappings might be of interest to developers (or at least Pootle translators) that may not have access to the real hardware. (e.g. how would you transcode "Press Y/N" for yes/no, etc.)

Do you think these particular page names deserve some attention?

Spanish (Latin America) is at OLPC_Argentina_Keyboard.

Arabic is at OLPC_Libya_Keyboard

French is at OLPC_Rwanda_Keyboard

KreyĆ²l is at OLPC_French_Canadian_Keyboard

I think a combination of adopting your "OLPC language/script keyboard" naming convention and more widely applying "OLPC country" categories might be the best of all possible worlds. Any thoughts?

I may have uncovered a problem, and my solution was an unconsidered hack towards conforming to the majority emergent standard. Either a round of organizational head-work about organizing deployments is in order or the problem could be deferred with some reference and redirect pages. For example, a main deployment page mapping the rough equivalents in a table, e.g., spoken language "Spanish" goes with written language "Spanish" used in country "Argentina" for deployment "Planned Ciebel 5,000 laptop trial" and "Deployed RandomVillage 200 laptop Pilot". Also, redirects for "OLPC_Argentina_Keyboard" to "OLPC_Spanish_Keyboard" so that both are valid.
I'm not convinced that deployment is a critical concept in this context as one-to-many and many-to-one country:language mappings are fine. "OLPC Afghanistan" tags on Dari, Pashto, etc. keyboards; or "OLPC Peru" and "OLPC Argentina", etc. tags on "OLPC Spanish keyboard" page. Not that deployment numbers wouldn't be interesting, but they're going to go stale quickly, whereas Uzbek keyboards will probably never be deployed in Ecuador.
If you want, I can make the blank pages for others to fill in. Note that tables in Wiki's are a pain to edit without WYSIWYMG (JavaScript) editors. If you can find out if OLPC Foundation is against centralizing and releasing the deployment data, it would save me hassle.
As for tables, you can get away with HTML tags instead of proper wiki-text, see here for example, not that HTML tables are any great fun to build freehand either, but MSWord > Save as HTML will get you there. Or you can go really old-school ASCII-hack and use MSExcel as a text-formatter (alternating columns to add wiki-text "||" between cells) and then a final =concatenate(A1,B1,C1,...) column to produce a single text line per row of table. I've hacked up bulk SQL batch updates that way many times.

Cjl 15:20, 5 April 2008 (EDT)

CharlesMerriam 00:24, 6 April 2008 (EDT)

Yet more foolishness

I thought about it a bit more, and decided templates would be a better idea. This summary could be kept up to date by country, and replaces the obsolete color map.

There would still need to be a separate deployment box for each deployment project. That box would include sponsoring organization, local websites, OLPC Foundation contact point, etc.

Here's the rough cut. I taught myself templates and the odd programming language constructs last night.

Changed example from Brazil to Peru as Portuguese, not Spanish is primary in Brazil. Cjl 12:20, 7 April 2008 (EDT)
Thank you. Any other changes to the box? Next steps:
  • Any other changes? Does OLPC have a list of "territories" or should I just use standard guesses? Any new naming convention while I'm touching pages?
I'd been using (alas not when I first created the keyboard pages) --Walter 14:58, 7 April 2008 (EDT)
ISO Country Codes
ISO Language Codes
IANA Language Tag Registry
Good catch on the codes! I'll add the country codes to the box. It looks like there are several competing language code schemes,and I'll see about a box for the competing code after I finish updating Wikipedia on it. CharlesMerriam 15:50, 7 April 2008 (EDT)
  • Finish the box: make more linky, better docs, automatic category entries based on box values.
  • Put into the dozen SpanAm country pages with mostly unknown values. Hope other users fill in values.
  • Replace obsolete "colors" page.

Moving forward:

  • One country page, with this box, per country.
    • Category for country, and membership in categories for box contents.
  • One deployment box (tbd) per deployment within a country.
    • Name, location, size, status, OLPC contact group, Client contact group, tag for bugs database or top items list, category based on deployment name.
  • One language page per language or just link to Wikipedia
Some day--perhaps sooner than later--we'll have to deal with more than one language per country--Quechua and Aymara for instance in Peru; we'll also have to deal with more than one keyboard in some countries, India being perhaps the most extreme example. --Walter 17:30, 7 April 2008 (EDT)
  • One keyboard page per layout

Finish today, tomorrow, or the Wednesday.


CharlesMerriam 02:14, 7 April 2008 (EDT)


 Country Information
 ISO Country Code Set Code Param
 Wikipedia Article Wikipedia Link
 Government Support Sponsored Trials
 Deployment Demonstration (under 50 machines)
 Keyboard Layout OLPC_Argentina_Keyboard
 Written Spanish
 Spoken Spanish
 Secondary Written None
 Secondary Spoken English

Next steps

I'm supportive, although I'll continue the theme by citing this quote from Shakespeare. "The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.". In that spirit, I wonder if taking these proposals out of the relative shadows of the User_talk pages and into the Main space might not be advisable prior to a wider deployment. This will potentially touch many pages and there are surely things that have not been dreamt of in our philosophies. . . I started some verrrry rough drafting some wiki text of just such a proposal page and I dropped it over here for now. Maybe pick a good page name over in Main, drop a proposal page over there and see what sort of reaction the proposal draws. Cjl 15:34, 7 April 2008 (EDT)

I am certainly in favor of shining a light on these discussions/ideas. --Walter 17:21, 7 April 2008 (EDT)
OK, I finished enough of for others to have some language codes. I'll take a stab at a Naming Conventions document when the kids are down. It seems that Naming Conventions is a wiki wide are people don't want to touch for fear of too much work. CharlesMerriam 20:45, 7 April 2008 (EDT)

OK, the Conventions page is up. Add any comments about that page there. I'll mention the page on the front page tomorrow afternoon if there are no changes. CharlesMerriam 09:20, 8 April 2008 (EDT)

I've made a few minor wording changes and I'd like to make some major changes to the keyboard layout proposal under Active Proposals before it is posted under my name. Would you mind if I blanked that section for now? I realize the Conventions page will have more impact if it is advertised with some actual proposals on it, but I'm still researching and developing the idea and I mostly get to spend time on this late at night and on the weekends. Is your template proposal in shape to be the first "Active Proposal" example? Cjl 12:15, 8 April 2008 (EDT)
OK, it gets to stay as the example if that's OK. Or, I can post it under my name. The proposal posted is a simple subset of yours; it's in the realm that I would just do but for having this convenient Conventions page. :) I'll post the country box one shortly.
FYI if it post under my name, that's me committing to do the work. ;) CharlesMerriam 14:47, 8 April 2008 (EDT)
I blanked it under Active Proposals (for now), but I will be following through with getting something back up there on keyboard naming and tagging. I'm learning more than I necessarily want to know about languages versus alphabets, etc. to try to come up with a logical and sustainable naming scheme. Cjl 15:16, 8 April 2008 (EDT)
I've put up what I hope is a very clear and specific proposal on keyboard page naming here Cjl 01:49, 11 April 2008 (EDT)

No fool like an old fool

Nice to see you active again. I was getting afraid I'd have to take up the Country Box banner :-) Cjl 18:08, 28 April 2008 (EDT)

I took a few days off. It was unclear if it was going to be a Microsoft project. Banners are going to take a while: the first one I picked involved rewriting the page. :) CharlesMerriam 18:10, 28 April 2008 (EDT)

Wikibreaks are a good thing. Thought about one myself, but I couldn't stay away :-). I decided that content was content and that what I was interested in doing. Can't say I think that NN has done the effort any favors among developer-types, but one wonders if there is really anything to it other than shooting from the hip (into the foot). Cjl 18:16, 28 April 2008 (EDT)

Template-Fu tricks

FYI, I've been doing some template scripting that includes nested templates, templates that auto-include categories based on enumerated selections, etc. These are the magic references that I found:

Have a great day! CharlesMerriam 15:32, 7 May 2008 (EDT)

Ah, added it to the Category:Template page. CharlesMerriam 15:49, 7 May 2008 (EDT)

Sugar Labs

Sugar Labs could certainly use your help in the interim (waiting for the MS stuff to get straightened out). --User:Walter 22:30, 17 May 2008 (EDT)

Removing Deployment status from Template:Country box

Now that Deployments have actual facts like Property:Number of manufactured laptops and Property:Deployment status that appear in summaries, I don't anyone is maintaining the overlapping deployment code in Template:Country box

  1. Invalid
  2. Unknown
  3. None
  4. Demonstration (under 50 machines)
  5. Trial (50 to 500 machines)
  6. Intermediate Trial (500 to 5000 machines)
  7. Wide adoption (over 5000 machines)}} 

So I propose removing it from the template. Less info to update means it's more likely remaining info will be updated. I might get to this this week but wanted to give you a heads up.

Like the OBX templates in activities, {{Country box}} is way more attractive and flexible in appearance than the semantic templates. It seems User:femslade added on the Semantic Forms templates instead of trying to reuse existing templates (a much harder task); I'm still figuring out if/how to make "badge" templates reuse the facts from the forms. -- skierpage 04:08, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

Skierpage, I think CharlesMerriam has wandered off to dedicate his efforts elsewhere. Having collaborated with him on attempting to introduce some conventions to the organization of wiki information (see my comments above from earlier in 2008), I would surmise that he would approve of the efforts you are making now with Semantic MediaWiki and be in favor of the improvements you are making as they capture the spirit of what was being attempted, but using improved technology now available. It is very respectful and appropriate for you to acknowledge his earlier efforts and explain your current ones on his talk page. Thanks (speaking for myself). cjl 16:55, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
My own peeve on the CountryBox is that it assumes all deployments are Boston/1CC-directed and government-based, and that is true for just a very few, many more nowadays being community-based, often with thin links to OLPC Foundation merely for the hardware, a trend that is growing. I'd like to have more options, and have been digging to hack the CountryBox to allow for other alternatives. <sub>Yamaplos</sub> 03:07, 2 February 2009 (UTC)
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