Niall’s virtual diary archives – Monday 5th September 2011

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Monday 5th September 2011: 11.15am. Just finished one of my periodic upgrades of's implementation technologies to include the latest state-of-the-art improvements - as you may have noticed, commenting has finally been added to most but not all of the website (in particular, I haven't bothered upgrading pre-2000 bits of the website as much of it is basically tag soup). This accomplishes something that I have meant to get around to since, well, oh about ten years ago. I guess my internet hate group - who are happy to say horrible things about me and my loved ones on anonymous forums, but never to me personally by email - will be happy, because now they can anonymously say horrible things via the new commenting infrastructure. Joy for them I guess.

I won't bore you too much with the gruesome details of the technologies upgraded, but briefly I did a lot of work on the internals, cleaning up almost all the non validating XHTML by having everything run through an XML validator as a pre-flight check before uploading is permitted. I also added HTML5 semantic microdata markup from the vocabulary blessed by all the major search engines at by splicing the HTML5 microdata spec into the XHTML 1.0 one, and if you want to know a whole load more about how to do this yourself I've made my efforts available for public use here. The semantic data markup is pretty cool, for example this page contains eight diary postings and two product reviews. Now search engines know that too.

On other news, I failed the MRes module about which I was distinctly unhappy seeing as I studied and prepared well for it. I've decided to drop the MRes down to a PGCert and get out next summer - the course material is great, the assessment structure average, but the admin and customer service end of things is as awful as you'll experience anywhere in the world. For example, I sent two emails to exams and fees last week - both pretty important to reply to I'd say seeing as I'm worth over seven grand to them - and yet again, no replies whatsoever. I'm out of patience with them, so I'm taking my money elsewhere. Probably to take an undergraduate diploma in Pure Mathematics with the Open University actually, starting with this module in Pure Maths from this February onwards. Specifically I want to complete a course in Topology sometime in the next few years - I think it would do me good.

There have been a few other bits and pieces. An updated 2011 edition of my Freeing Growth Manifesto is nearly published - I got the print sample from the printers about a week ago, and even with the print and registration errors it was wonderful to see an actual, real-life, book written by me in my hands. I also have been doing some more stuff with the World Economics Association. And my sister's graduation from university is tomorrow, so congrats to her on achieving that. As for Oxyderkeia, it's been sitting on hold for about three weeks - Megan needed help with her final thesis for her Masters, and the weeks leading up to September is always busy with life maintenance stuff anyway. And I like to finish what I start where possible, so when I started upgrading nedprod I felt I ought to finish it before moving onto the next thing.

I guess that's that. Back to copy editing a book manuscript on Economics by a well known author I know. Be happy!

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