We're Baack!!!

You may have wondered why there has been so little content lately. Your intrepid editor (me) has been completely out of commission from the flu for the past week.  Before that I was out of town or completely buried in trying to earn a living (because so far this site hasn't been a lot of help in that regard).  So, anyway, the content dam is broken and the floods are beginning again.

Coming Up!

I came back from the LION Publishers conference full of enthusiasm for this project and moving forward. Let's hope that the reality of life and paying for this does not knock all the enthusiasm out of me.

You'll note yet another revision of the front page.  Expect that to keep on changing, despite the fact that most of us in "the industry" have real reservations about how useful front pages are at this point.

Ah - found a problem

For some time now I have been a little bewildered by why the performance of the Wis.Community web site has been so doggy at times. I finally this morning realized that the server that the site lives on in a VPS has a mis-configured disk cache, so writes to the disk were not being cached in the controller. This is now fixed, and it appears at least from some preliminary testing that this has helped considerably.  It's still not optimal for people when they are logged in (the Open Atrium software on which the site is built is REALLY big and hard on the server) but this should help.


We've been experimenting with a web service called Pearltrees. This is an interesting service that allows people to work as teams and build web content together.  I think we will be building a few collaboration pages on the site that will let folks get a free Pearltrees account. and contribute content from across the web that they think is interesting, then building those "bookmarks" if you will into an edited web page.

I have to admit I am still getting the hang of the full power of this, but so far I am really impressed, and unlike the Storify project we had been using previously for this sort of thing, this is truly collaborative and performs well.  More on this next week.

State Bar Reporter's Workshop

I am happy that I will be attending a State Bar Reporters Workshop in Madison on Sept. 8.  This will be a great opportunity to learn more about legal responsibilities, filing FOIA requests, and more.  Any of my pals in Madison might want to know that I'll be there the evening of the 7th, so maybe we can meet up?

Warning - possible site instability ahead

This is a little experimental, but at the moment the site is running under PHP 7.0.  This has worked fairly well, though I have found a few code errors that don't work under PHP 7  and have had to go in and fix them. In general though, the current Open Atrium code base is MUCH happer under 7 than it was a few months ago, so I am going to leave things as they are until shown that it is a bad idea. The 7.0 PHP seems to be helping to make the site a little less painfully slow, as it should.  

We'll have to see how things go. 

So --- What's Up?

So many things going on, so little time to write about it.

First off, I want to thank the Save The Hills Association for giving us a grant to help develop the Environment section of the site. A little of that work has already happened - go look at and see some improved look and behavior.  Next up we will be working with various environmental organizations to train them and to help get them more involved in the site. Watch this space!

Net Neutrality: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

Some minor improvements to the site

I am at the moment working on some performance issues to the site.  I have hand patched some of the software that was not PHP 7 compatible, and the site is now running under PHP 7, which seems to have made some noticeable performance improvement. The next step is likely going to be using php-fpm to run the software rather than php-fcgid.  That may help more as well, but still requires fixing some other issues in the server environment.