Many Pies

Many Pies

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Popular Ubuntu packages

I posted a series of questions on an internal open source mailing list about evaluating open source software. One of the responses mentioned a site with statistics on Ubuntu package popularity. Interesting...

Wikis in plain English

I found this video from Common Craft a while back:

Those who've seen it like the uncluttered use of paper to explain things. I'd like to do the same thing for some of out internal training. Video is time consuming to produce, so I may even do still photographs with audiocommentary. If I get time...

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Wikis vs meetings

A couple of weeks ago I went to Wycliffe International HQ in Dallas. It was for some meetings on our internal personnel system. Since our previous meeting in March we had introduced a wiki. When we were reviewing how the meetings went I made the point that despite working together on the wiki there is really no substitute for meeting face to face when it comes to thrashing out some things. Unless you get a very high-end video conferencing solution, but then you don't get the building of relationships outside of the meeting time.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Perl programmer wanted

I'm working on a project which is a website contain material for those translating the Old Testament. We are looking for a volunteer (i.e. you don't get any money for it) to help us out next year (2008).

We would like someone who has Perl experience. The sort of time commitment we would like is a week a month, say, from January, for up to a year. Alternatively a three month block of time, if someone were between jobs for example, would be great.

You can contact me at Paul underscore Morriss at wycliffe dot org.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Isn't email wonderful

I've just received an email from a company offering an "automated document distribution" product in light of the recently announced postal strike.

Smart spamming I guess, but spamming all the same.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Procedure writing and post-it notes

For a while I've had it on my mind, and low down on my to-do list to move our procedure manual, currently in Lotus Notes, to a different medium. Some of the criteria were:

- easily editable
- hyperlinking between documents
- web accessible
- version history maintained
- looks good when printed
and this is the one that distinguishes options
- users emailed when procedures they are interested in change

My conclusion has been to use a wiki. What I'm trying to get people less dependent on paper - though the "looks good" criteria recognises that it will never be got away from, certainly while not everyone has two monitors.
One thing paper procedures are good for, is when I've changed something, and I want to test that it worked in the real environment. In this case I email them saying "give me a shout when you get to step n". They put a post-it note on the appropriate point, and give me a shout. What I now need to think about is a good way of doing that, which is easy for all concerned.