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Site Enhancements: Archives and Search

Posted in Site News at 4:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Screenshot of search

Summary: Techrights made a little more accessible

Not many new posts were published yesterday, due to site maintenance. We added and improved ‘static’ pages (they are actually dynamic, but they stick as top-level pages). The most important improvement is site archives. Basically, the site grew to the point where generating archives that can be navigated easily became hard. About 4 plug-ins that we tried yesterday simply time out and we have had this problem since 2007 when the site approached 2,000 posts. Even cache would not help. We now have over 13,000 posts, so even attempts to generate a cache lead to timeouts. Eventually, using jQuery, we managed to create 2 archival pages, one for posts and one for pages. Both were added and both are JavaScript-dependent in order to load content dynamically, in smaller chunks.

several enhancements to search were added too; for example, search phrases are highlighted in yellow when arriving from search engines and highlight also accompanies standard results pages. See advanced search, which got added to the search page as well. Linkage in the side bar and in empty results pages appears where suitable. Like many of the additions to this site, both improvements were proposed by a reader/contributor. Please keep suggestions coming.

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  1. twitter said,

    April 14, 2011 at 9:44 pm


    archive.org is follwing boycott novell and techrights. I see snapshots going all the way back to 2006.

    They seem to have done a great job and it is fun to compare the things they said at the time with legal documents that have come to light since. For instance, I got to this 2007 Boycott Novell page about Novell and Microsoft’s phoney ooxml interoperability effort but real advocacy through a front page snapshot and an index. As PJ observes when looking at what Microsoft paid Novell to do on their behalf,

    Everything you thought Novell was up to with OpenOffice.org, they were. … [Microsoft] partners to show up and help, so it pays people to participate in standards activities. Remember Miguel’s “OOXML is a superb standard”? That comes into focus now, does it not? He claimed, back then in 2007, that Novell didn’t advocate for OOXML but was “neutral”, I note.

    one of the big objections to OOXML becoming a standard in the first place was that it allowed for proprietary extensions, which it was pointed out would make it difficult and indeed impossible for anyone but Microsoft and any chosen pals to interoperate with the “standard”. And here you see it in real life. Under criticism, Microsoft hires Novell to be a Microsoft pal and to try to figure out a way to make Microsoft Office look like it interoperates with OpenOffice.org up to a point, not any version of it, but just Novell’s version of OpenOffice.

    The Microsoft Novell contract is filled with “unsupported features are lost on open” which, together with the known extensions, proves the whole thing was a sham from day one. What fun it is to compare this to a BN article at the time which showed Microsoft using a Windows only “translator” with poor Word translation ability that required C#, .NET and perhaps mono to work at all. This made it obvious to technical people that Novell’s fork of Open Office was basically an advertisment for Microsoft. Now everyone can see that was the goal.

    I wonder if this junk is still sitting around like so much poison in Libre Office? Is this the ooxml translator people were fighting over recently? I remember people objecting in priciple to the essentially impossible ooxml “support” Microsoft would like people to waste time on. If it’s based on mono and C# they have another reason to object if the fact that no one is using ooxml is not good enough. People should dump Microsoft Windows while they are at it and they are with increasing speed. I’m a happier when developers focus their attention on making ODF editors first rate and all of them work best with other free software.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    I was not aware of the archival record, so thanks.

  2. twitter said,

    April 15, 2011 at 11:36 am


    I’m a big fan of what the Internet Archive is doing. Libraries are wonderful things and the Internet Archive is an example of the same concept applied to modern media. They have books, music and films as well as their excellent web archive. Every community library should do what the Internet Archive is doing.

    Big publishers hate the Internet Archive, Google and others that threaten their existence and are fighting against all of us. The war on sharing is all about preserving big publishers and it threatens the very concept of public libraries. Knowledge and entertainment without restrictions will ruin existing publishers. They prefer books that spy on their readers, vanish or change on command and other things extends their power beyond what the physical limitations of previous media gave the rich and powerful. If they get their way, we won’t have a historical record that can be independently verified and will have to beg for every crumb of knowledge and entertainment. Publishers would convince us that their way of packaging the work of others is the only way that work can be encouraged. They pretend that sharing will destroy them and that will be the end of all culture. The Internet Archive, Wikipedia and free software are proofs that there is an overwhelming abundance of people willing to share their thoughts and work.

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