Recently in Orcmid's Live Hideout Category

Blocked on Blogging

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Recently, I completed a number of arrangements to have more attention on a few projects that I consider the most important work for my continued vocation. 

That includes attention to my web sites, where I’ll be investing renewed attention, and my blogs, which need revitalization.

Although I have begun, I notice I’m not blogging about it.

That’s especially true at nfoCentrale Status

I know what the problem is in that case.  Although that blog tracks my activities and captures techniques to be reapplied elsewhere, the blog is not great as a reference.  The categories are out of hand and the archives are difficult to browse.  Then I let the setup fall into neglect, so now it is even more work to revitalize.

I have a solution for that.  It takes effort.  I will capture the important how-to techniques in web subfolders (what I call folios) so that there is an easy way to catalog and maintain the procedures and important clippings in an useful-to-me organization that I can always have access to.  That access is on the site and on my mirror of the site and in my source-code control system and system backups.  These provide mutual backups.  (My commitment to have the site and the blog serve static pages is part of that assurance.)

Besides nfoCentrale Status and Spanner Wingnut, the only functioning blog for non-development purposes is Orcmid’s Live Hideout on WordPress.  That blog is a stop-gap, created when Windows Live blogs were discontinued, strictly as an interim location until I manage to revive the intended permanent locations for those posts.  That has been delayed for a very long time.

There’s more coming.  It will be interleaved with other activities.  The ant is moving the mountain, one grain of sand at a time.  The ant is very determined.

I authored Orcmid’s Live Hideout pages using Windows Live Writer.  Windows Live Writer will retrieve previous posts from blogs it is configured for.  Because any retrieved post can be saved as a Windows Live Writer local draft, this is a way to preserve the content of posts in local files.  At any future time, those drafts can be opened and repurposed.  It is a way to migrate to another blog that is also authored via Windows Live Writer.  It works amazingly well.

Although one can recover blog posts by scraping pages from a browser window into Live Writer, retrieving posts as drafts is more reliable and more complete with regard to formatting and other features.

Retrieving the Live Hideout Posts

The Open Dialog in Windows Live Writer allows retrieval of previous posts from any blog for which Live Writer is configured

Using the Windows Live Writer that I had configured for authoring Live Hideout (among other blogs), I could obtain a directory of all existing posts via the Open from: Orcmid’s Live Hideout dialog.  I opened each one, individually, bringing it back into Windows Live Writer for editing.

[Note: This is the Open dialog for Windows LiveWriter 14.0, the last version usable with Windows XP.  The preservation was accomplished using Scampo, my Media Center PC, before it was retired.]

 

Retaining Local Drafts

The retrieved post has all of the original formatting and inserts, including images and tags (but no comments).  It is saved as a draft with a single click.

I transferred all of the posts in the list one by one.  Once opened in Windows Live Writer, the posts can be saved into the folder of local drafts with a single click of the “Save draft” button.  As long as that folder (under [My] Documents\My Weblog Posts) is preserved, there is a source of the Live Hideout (or any other) posts for repurposing, including migration onto a different blog.

An easy way to have a chronological list of only those drafts from Orcmid’s Live Hideout is by using the index page that is provided when the blog is downloaded.  Alternatively, one can use screen captures of the monthly archives on the blog:

For Orcmid's Live Hideout, screen shots of the monthly-archive listings provided an alternative catalog.

Opening the Drafts Later

There are two ways to open one of the local drafts for repurposing or simply reposting to a different blog.  The first method is to use the Open dialog of Windows Live Writer:

The Windows Live Writer Open dialog can be used to select a locally-saved draft.

This dialog will offer an abbreviated selection.  There are many drafts as a result of the preservation of all of the Orcmid’s Live Hideout posts as well as drafts from other activities.

The other way to re-open a draft is to go to the full collection of them in the My Weblog Posts folder:

All accumulated local drafts are under the My Weblogs Post folder of [My] Documents.  Double-click will open one in Windows Live Writer.

Double-clicking on one of these drafts will open it in a new Windows Live Writer window.

[Note: The collection of drafts was performed using a now-retired Windows XP PC.  The folder was backed-up and transferred to a new Windows 7 PC and drafts opened with the newer Windows Live Writer 15.4 version.  The unavailability of new versions on Windows XP was one of the “inducements” to upgrade to a Windows 7 PC.  Fortunately, the draft format has not changed in any important way.]

 

Reposting a Preserved Draft

The draft opens up in Windows Live Writer, ready for any repurposing/reposting. By selecting a destination blog account, the styling will be adjusted automatically.  Here I provided a category related to the new location on nfoCentrale Status.   I also specified the original 2007-11-12T21:30 date and time so that the location in time would also be preserved in relationship to other posts on the same destination blog. 

I could have made further changes, as I did for the 2007-08-25 post that was preserved by browser scraping,  In this case I limited myself to addition of a simple entry in the note on updates at the end of the post.

The reposted version is here on nfoCentrale Status.


Related Posts:

Another way to convert a blog is by scraping posts and reposting them elsewhere.  I was curious about that as yet-another approach for preserving Orcmid’s Live Hideout before Windows Live Spaces disappear.  It is not appealing, but something I wanted to confirm just in case I needed it.  It worked far better than expected.

Scraping Live Spaces Blog Posts

I chose to scrape my first Orcmid’s Live Hideout post because I wasn’t certain that I could use my Live Writer republishing technique to preserve one that old.   Since this was a post that made sense to preserve here on nfoCentrale Status, I could demonstrate the preservation before I have restored any of my other blogs. 

I used the Live Hideout archive to go to August 2007, open the first post there, and copy the body text to the clipboard:

Scraping the browser view of the post by selecting the page body and copying it to the Windows clip-board

This was done using Windows XP SP3 with Internet Explorer 8.  Fortunately, the formatting of the blog was such that I could select the body of the post without dragging along other material from the page.

I had no idea whether there’d be anything on the clipboard at all and whether it preserved formatting of the post.

Creating the Derivative Post

To recreate the post elsewhere, I pasted the clipboard into the body for a new post opened-up in Windows Live Writer.  I was delighted to see that all of the formatting of the original text was preserved. 

I used Windows Live Writer to set the new post to the same date as the original Live Hideout post.  I also added the new title and additional explanation to the reposting:

Pasting the clipboard into Windows Live Writer preserved the text to which I added updates, a title, and set the date to the original 2007-08-25 date.

The version of Windows Live Writer used for this was version 14.0, that latest one usable on Windows XP SP3.  All of the formatting, including numbered lists, came across just fine.  I added supplemental information about where this post came from and how it managed to end up on nfoCentrale Status under the Orcmid’s Live Hideout category.

Successful Posting

Although I had no idea why it would not work, I published the scraped post with a certain amount of anticipation. 

The post did not appear on my blog’s front page because it was too old.  But it appeared in the archive in a freshly-created August 2007 folder and it appeared under the Orcmid’s Live Hideout category archive as the first historical entry.  The post is fully available here.

Delayed Reposting

I scraped this particular post because I was somewhat concerned that I might have to use that technique.  I also had a place to repost the article here as historical status of Orcmid’s Live Hideout.  If I simply wanted to preserve the material and figure out what to do with it later, I could simply have saved the pasted-up Windows Live Writer post as a local draft. 

Which leads to my preferred way of cross-posting from one blog to another. …


Previous Posts

When I reported on 2010-05-03 that my Blogger blogs were all dormant, I remarked that the only blogs left standing were this first new one under Movable Type and the neglected but still-standing Orcmid’s Live Hideout.  Although my 2010-06-14 intention was to retire Orcmid’s Live Hideout at my leisure, I subsequently learned that Microsoft is abandoning Windows Live Spaces and I am forced to retire, convert, or otherwise preserve Orcmid’s Live Hideout elsewhere.  In preparing to migrate the blog, I learned that the option to download the blog is inadequate for Orcmid’s Live Hideout.

In case your Windows Live Spaces blog has not yet been closed or moved, here is some information about what you get by downloading the blog before you do anything else.

Downloading the Blog

The zipped-up download of the blog provides a single-page complete index that is valuable as a reference and a checklist.The downloaded blog arrives as a Zip file that can be expanded into a directory structure and navigated with a browser on your computer, much like the original blog on the web.

Although the downloaded blog does not preserve the Windows Live appearance, it is a workable static web of the blog content and can be the basis for producing a replica or simply keeping in backup.  If this is interesting you, consult the Download Details section, below, for how it is done.

I recommend downloading the blog because it preserves the textual content in case there is any subsequent misadventure.  It may also reveal some situations that, if they apply in your blog, will need to be addressed in a successful migration.

Finally, if you are going to attempt a selective migration as I will, there is a valuable result in the download: A single index.html file that provides a chronological index of the entire blog (left).

Limitations of the Download

Examining the download of Orcmid’s Live Hideout, I concluded that the download is inadequate on two counts: spam glut and missing images.

  1. There is an incredible amount of spam in the comments preserved in the download.  I hadn’t noticed these, but in the download they are seriously in your face:
       
    The downloaded blog articles contain all of the comment spam that was not so noticeable on the site itself.   
      
  2. Not all images are preserved.  Although there is a directory of images, not all of them are preserved.  I’m not sure why this is.  It may be because I uploaded the images to my Live Spaces separately and then included them in the blog post by reference.  Whatever the reason, images are missing for some of the posts:
       
    LiveHideout-2011-02-14-1530  

As part of any retention or migration, the spam will need to be cleaned away and the missing images will have to be found and preserved.

What Was Lost

Here’s the post as it appears on Orcmid’s Live Hideout where it is still online until March 2011 unless I delete it or convert it to WordPress before then:

LiveHideout-2011-02-14-1538

Download Details

The offer for a download is straightforward:

The upgrade offer appears on the blogs until closed or migrated to WordPress.  You can download now and take the other options any time before the blogs are automatically closed in March 2011.

Before the download is started, information about what is downloaded and what remains in Windows Live, along with later options to migrate, are explained.

The blog is packaged into a single Zip file and offered as a download to your computer:

F10xy62-2010-10-05-1539-LiveHideOutDownload

You will need to choose a place to store the file.  It’s useful to choose a more-descriptive name for the file while it is being saved locally.  For a recent Windows system, the Zip file will appear as a special sort of folder, LiveHideOut-space.zip in my case (showing after already having been saved once):

The downloaded space.zip package is recognized as a special folder on Windows.

The names of files for the blog pages and for the images (in their own folder) are inscrutable.   That is no problem if we extract the entire Zip into a regular folder using the right-click option menu:

F10xy64-2010-10-05-1723-LiveHideOutExtract

The Extraction request brings up a wizard for specifying what you want:

The Compressed Folder Extraction Wizard will provide the options necessary to make the blog work in a folder where you saved the Zip.

Specify a folder where you want the material to be extracted.  There will be many oddly-named files and an image folder, so it is best to name an empty or not-yet-created folder in a convenient location.  I chose a folder named LiveHideout in the same location (that is, next to) the downloaded Zip file:

Choose a fresh folder in a special location where you can review the individual files and also explore the blog on your computer using a browser.

At the end of the extraction, you can ask to view the folder with the extracted content:

Although you can examine the folder of extracted material using Windows Explorer, using the Extraction option to show the extracted files provides an interesting view.

Notice that there is an img subfolder, an index.html, and a style.css that is used for formatting.  If you double-click on the index.html file your browser will launch and present the folder as a little web site.

F10xy69-2010-10-05-1731-LiveHideOutExtract

It is necessary to have an extracted folder for the browser to be able to access and navigate the downloaded blog.  When you don’t need to view the blog, you can delete the folder that you used for the extracted files.  It can always be extracted again from the more-compact downloaded Zip file.

Tip: Using the browser and the index.html will help you match up the blog page as you know it to the cryptically-named file that carries its content.

[Aside: You might notice that I have used both Windows XP and Windows 7 to prepare these screen shots.  The newer ones are from Astraendo, now operating in stealth mode until I complete my backlog on the retirement of Scampo.]

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I must declare bankruptcy for the timeline and work items of “Got SMRs?” and my 2011 nfoProjects Launch Sprint.  I have completely fallen off the cliff into the rapids and that timeline and its work items are DOA.  I will update the current spreadsheet timeline documents to reflect that sorry state.

All of the activities are relevant, but I have been completely distracted from them.  Furthermore, it is clear that I don’t have the capacity to forward them in parallel.  This may have to do with having too much work in progress as well as lacking a sustainable pace (a major discrepancy between my vision and my perfornance).

I shall tear down my planned structure and create a fresh one with an honest and workable critical path.  That means finding what there is that is essential and indeed critical.   One problem is that there is only one resource (me), so moving something off the critical path means putting it beyond the essential immediate.  The dependencies must work for that.  I suspect that means creating technical debt and I will have to risk-manage that too.

In particular, I am still shifting gears in 2011, and the support for that includes straightening out the blogs, web sites, and the development procedure for them.  Now to identify and work on the critical path for that, with the critical end point being whatever that much takes.

Onward …

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Got SMRs?

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Whenever I write “SMRs” I think of smores, the Graham cracker, Hershey bar, and toasted-marshmallow confection that my family learned on my sister Carol’s return from a Girl Scout Brownie outing.  I think our mother already knew of them, but my recollection is that’s when they entered my experience.

That is, perhaps, my playing with the notion of Specific Measurable Results, the outcomes in reality of defined, actionable tasks.  SMRs as tasty morsels.  I did not realize how much the term has been taken over by business-coaching lingo.  I confess to first hearing the expression in 1993, from Landmark Forum Leader Linda Zraik, and it was already a catch-phrase in that setting.

The combination came up for me today when I realized that my nfoProjects Launch Sprint is too airy and lacks SMRs for me to chew on.  Consequently, it is easy to let days go buy without measurable results.  That was happening here:

Noticing that everything slips with no SMRs to produce each step of the way.

I noticed this because there were no simple actionable work items that led to SMRs, even basic, produce-this-today ones. 

Looking more closely, the labels on the stages that the boxes represent are conceptual.  It made sense for envisioning and looking at opportunities in the available time, but that isn’t concrete enough.

Today, I have been stepping back to create SMRs for the stages themselves, and then for those individual results that I will produce on the path to the SMR of the stage.  

Although it would be wise to start at the end point of the Sprint and work backwards, I will fudge and start by looking closely at the stages that I am managing over the current fortnight.  I won’t go long without filling the gap from the objective back to what’s next right now, but I am forcing in some small immediate activities to ground my effort in the meantime.

The tracking spreadsheet is not going to include all of that detail.  I will use my Personal Kanban board to manage them in a fluid way and also ensure that I provide supplemental envisioning, planning, and reflection on a weekly basis.

I’ve been looking at all of the projects that I have and the number of burners there are for my efforts.

In the past week, I realized that I needed a consolidated plan with defensible, risk-managed timelines for getting to where I want to be on New Years Day, 2011: Launching a family of interoperability-centered tutorial, test-fixture, and reference-implementation projects around document formats and their processing.  (Hmm, short enough for an elavator speech but not something I would be able to recite at gunpoint.  Needs work.)

I have gathered my envisioning into a spreadsheet that keeps my commitment and my management of it in a structure that holds my vision in existence.  Here is the finish line and, at the bottom, where I am standing right now:

2011 nfoProjects Launch Crunch tracking-document extract

This is a high-level perspective.  I blocked out the calendar weeks and arranged more-or-less week-sized chunks in which to make headway along four tracks.  Since I am a solo developer, this is enough for me to follow and use as an instrument for keeping my eye on critical setbacks and interdependencies that I must keep my attention on.  There’s an opportunity for some Personal Kanban  and Personal Software Process.

The OpenDocument Format continuation work is related to my current involvement on the OASIS ODF and OIC Technical Committees, as well as the ISO/IEC JTC1 SC34 WG6 working-group for ODF maintenance.   As ODF 1.2 moves toward ratification as an OASIS Standard in early 2011, there is a hiatus that allows me to devote more attention to Interoperability and Conformance and the alignment of the ISO/IEC and OASIS efforts. 

The blog, web, and development system (Centrale) efforts have been identified here in a piece-meal fashion.  This three-track view provides my first projection of a coherent feasible structure on those activities.  There will be many opportunities for adjustment and course-correction as progress is made and details of further steps are reviewed.

In simply arranging these activities, I found how to avoid a situation in which I was retiring Compagno and in a sudden-death gap on being able to move everything I needed to the Windows Home Server.  This was definitely sky-diving without a parachute.  What I had not seen until I placed the activities in this form, is that Quadro, my Tablet PC, can mirror Compagno perfectly and also assist in verifying how migration from FrontPage to Expression Web can be accomplished while preserving practices that serve me too well for them to be abandoned without a fight.

I have also noticed, already, how having my eye on New Years Day gets me out of bed in the morning, excited to make further headway on these activities.

I will be reporting results and updates here on the week-by-week progress.  And, for those playing along from home, here’s the tracking document  on-line:

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When I catalogued the next steps for restoring my now-dormant blogs, I failed to include the importance of migrating Orcmid’s Live Hideout off of Windows Live Spaces.

My intention is to exercise all of the migration choices that are being offered:

Current migration reminder text that appears on my way into Orcmid's Live Hideout

The page with these options is only present when I visit the blog and am signed-in as its owner. 

My approach is to work through this in stages:

  1. Download my Blog
    I want to preserve the blog.  I downloaded all of my Blogger blogs and I wonder how much the download from Windows Live Space preserves the material of the blog.  Although essentially a safety-measure, it may provide useful material to use in preserving the posts I want to retain somewhere under my own web hosting arrangement.
      
  2. Transfer Posts via Windows Live Writer
    I know I can retrieve previous posts into Windows Live Writer and then repost them to a different blog from there.  Before I can do that, I need have a place to park them, although they could remain on my local machine as Windows Live Writer drafts, I suppose.
       I considered moving the blog to WordPress.com and then using Windows Live Writer to fish posts from there.   But it dawned on me that if the upgrade to WordPress has breakage of any kind, that will be an irreversible act.
       
  3. Upgrade the Blog to WordPress.com
    I will do this simply because I want to see it work and to know that I could continue the blog there if I was so inclined.  This has to be the last possible step, because of the prospect of incomplete or unsuccessful upgrade.
       
  4. Retire Orcmid’s Live Hideout
    I don’t expect to continue the blog in any form, so it will be abandoned or shut down once I have preserved what I want from it in some useful form.  I do want it in static pages on a server under my control and backup procedures.  That’s a serious consideration for me.

I’ll be making progress on this in little steps along with the other activities around a systematic restoration of my now-dormant blogs.

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Windows Live Spaces, I Hardly Knew YeI am maintaining my record as a steadfast adopter of disappearing technologies.  It seems that Windows Live Spaces is being migrated to WordPress.com

That means I don’t have much longer to migrate Orcmid’s Live Hideout.  Uh, If I can still find it.  Ah yes, there it is.  It is off my Windows Live pages, but the URL still works.

The easy-migration target off of Live Spaces bloggingThe notice says I have until March 2011 to migrate.  There are also ways to download the Blog to my PC and save it.  I will probably do that regardless.  Oh, and the blog will be locked starting January 2011. 

It is tempting to do the migration.  However, I was going to migrate content I cared about and abandon that blog anyhow.  I might do all three, plus have a full backup.

What fun!

This is more incentive to lower the intensity of my battle to achieve interoperability via genuine open standards for documents.  I want to have more satisfaction building something, and maintaining and writing blogs is part of that.  But I’m not quite ready yet.  But soon.

[update 2010-09-27T20:13Z: Ah, now I see how it is that I learned about this in a Twitter update from the Windows Live Writer folks.  According to this account, WordPress.com will be the default blogging service.]

As part of moving operation of the main nfoCentrale blogs to operation with Movable Type, the original blogs have been placed in various flavors of dormant state. 

Proof-of-concept confirmation of Movable Type workability has been completed.   Customization for the desired style and templates of the main nfoCentrale blogs is now under way.

Meanwhile, here is the the alphabetical run-down of the current status for all of the blogs.

Kiln Sitter’s Digest [Dormant: to be revived under Movable Type]

This blog is dormant pending introduction of a Movable Type version with comparable style.

nfoCentrale Status [Active]

This is a new blog created for confirming Movable Type installation and configuration.   It is now used to provide status information for nfoCentrale blogs and for the ongoing development of nfoCentrale sites.  It’s customization is only loosely-connected with that for the other blogs of this family.

Numbering Peano [Dormant: to be revived under Movable Type]

This blog is dormant pending introduction of a Movable Type version with comparable style.

Orcmid’s Lair [Dormant: to be revived under Movable Type]

This, my original blog, is dormant pending introduction of a Movable Type version with comparable style.

Orcmid’s Live Hideout [Unwanted: to be scavenged and then abandoned]

This blog was an experiment using Windows Live Spaces.  This blog is dormant pending its eventual retirement.

Professor von Clueless in the Blunder Dome [Dormant: to be revived under Movable Type]

This blog is dormant pending introduction of a Movable Type version with comparable style.

Pursuing Harmony [Dormant: to be revived under Movable Type]

This blog is dormant pending introduction of a Movable Type version with comparable style.

Spanner Wingnut’s Muddleware Lab [Active]

This is the first dormant Blogger-generated blog to be revived as a Movable Type blog.  Its revival confirmed the creation of multiple blogs under different domain names under the same web server account.  This blog is used to confirm blog configuration and template customizations before the arrangement is used to clone the revival of remaining dormant blogs.

Blog customizations continue to be explored using Spanner Wingnut.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of recent entries in the Orcmid's Live Hideout category.

Orcmid's Lair is the previous category.

Professor von Clueless is the next category.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

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