Category Archives: web admin

Exporting MediaWiki sites to Google sites

In the last post I’ve talked about moving files from SharePoint to Google Site,

what about a Mediawiki site?
how to export it and upload it?
I’ve already covered the uploading files to Google sites via the Google sites API,
you can use java or python to write a script to mass upload all your files and htmls to your new google site,
but first you need to export everything out of the Mediawiki site.

here is a working method to export your site, these are the steps:

  1. install python
  2. download the mw2html script
  3. export the mediawiki site

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

SharePoint to Google sites – how to move your files

Many organisations now move to use the Google office suite for their day-to-day office needs,
this includes the Google sites service which allows you to easily create internal portals for the different
organisation’s departments.

This move allows for a department to share an internal web site that has easy access from home as well with the regular office google account,
it also allows for better collaboration with other branches of the same company located far away – as it saves the need for an office VPN, or the need to connect to a server that is located in a branch in another country,
instead – everybody just connect to Google.

But what do we do if our files are already on the office internal SharePoint?

apparently – the migration processes from SharePoint to Google sites is not as hard ,
here are two working options.

Continue reading SharePoint to Google sites — how to move your files

Technorati Tags: , ,

Adding JMX support to your java app

what is JMX?

JMX is a technology that lets you add management interfaces for Java applications

the jmx interface on your java application will let you monitor and publish graphs for:

  • heap memory
  • threads and their stack trace
  • CPU
  • classes
  • memory pools
and it will also expose the java Mbeans tree which you can browse
with the jconsole app included with any java distribution:
you can either browse and read these attributes,
and in some cases edit them and change the application status.

Technorati Tags: , ,

World Statistics

This is going to be a praise post for gapminder.com :)

I’m going over the data at the site and its amazing stuff,
the main page has lots of statistics which is shown in a new way,
the gapminder app shows the data at what i think is a 4 dimension way,
it shows x and y axis stats, and another axis represented as the size of the balls in the demo,
and how they grow over the 4th dimension – time.

Amazing stuff.

Gapminder

This is the main stats app:

Gapminder stats tool

you can see the advance of the bubbles over the x and y axis,
the z axis is represented with the balls size,
and its all advancing in time.
this default presentation shows Life expectancy over income per person, over population size.

wonderful demo.

Marriage Statistics

This great demo shows you the connection between women age at marriage and the amount of kids they have,
on of the things this tool does best is break myths.
I was under the impression that in Europe – Sweden for example, the marriage age went down,
and with it the number of kids in the family,
but from this graph you can simply see that the number of kids in a family went drastically down over the last 100 years, but the marriage age went drastically up only in the last 30 years,
ans the same behavior can be seen for the US as well.

women age at marriage

Now for the good news.
you cannot upload your own stats to the gapminder app directly,
but Google supplies a very similar tool through its Google documents apps.
Its called motion chart and on the gapminder site you can read the short or the long explanation to how to use the tool, after testing it the outcome can be inserted into any web page and it looks something like this:

I’m still exploring this Google motion chart app,
and my main concern is that it can only be embedded in a live web page,
I still need to find a way to have this presentation as a file on my laptop, to show even if I’m not connected to the net –
If anybody knows how to do that – leave a comment here please :)

Technorati Tags: ,

Improving Your WebSite Performance

Why is my site slow?
Why is my Bounce Rate so high?
How to improve my site’s performance?

These are some of the questions bothering web masters and site owners all the time,
here are some tools and readme’s that will:

  • test your site
  • find bottle necks
  • measure performance from the outside
  • get tips for fixing the problem areas in your site
  • and knows list of issues every site is suffering from

so lets start with online freeware tools and external web site test tools.

Check if your Google Analytics is working well in your site

Who is watching the watchman?

first thing to check – are you getting the accurate statistics from your site?
is your Analytics account configured well?
are you even really using one?

SiteScan™ is a diagnostic tool from EpikOne that verifies if your Google Analytics (GA)
Tracking Code is installed properly on your website.

sitescan google analytics

This scan will go over each page and verify that the Google Analytics code is embedded correctly to each of your page, this can help you diagnose if your bounce rate is high because the Analytics cant see their next click,
or maybe you should really work on your site design.

How does my code looks like from the browser?

firebug

From the firebug download page:

Firebug integrates with Firefox to put a wealth of development tools at your fingertips while you browse. You can edit, debug, and monitor CSS, HTML, and JavaScript live in any web page..

This is the basic tool to verify your code as it seen from the browser side,
you can click a specific element on your page, and get a list on the right pane window of firebug,
of all the css code that is effecting this element, even if the code span multiple css files.

Why is my page so slow?

the yslow tool from yahoo will go through the elements of your page,
and by using a preset list of rules, it will tell you which parts of the website you should fix,
and what to fix.
yslow

The yslow firefox plugin needs the firefox firebug installed first.

If you want to learn more deeply on the reasons behind each of the testing rules yahoo though about you can read the very informative document from yahoo about “Best Practices for Speeding Up Your Web Site

Feed Validator

Get your rss feed validated

AOL webpagetest

from the AOL web page test:

Pagetest allows you to provide the URL of a webpage to be tested. The test will be conducted from the location specified and you will be provided a waterfall of your page load performance as well as a comparison against an optimization checklist.

aol pagetest waterfall

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Free WordPress Theme Builder

This site: http://www.yvoschaap.com/wpthemegen/ has a simple free wordpress theme builder that anyone can use,
just update the settings via a nice form on the left side,
with the different options like background and sidebars settings,
you can choose if you want a right side bar,
how the left side bar should look, and you can choose which widgets to load to the left side bar.

After you have played with the main look you can generate the files and download a zip file which contains these files:

  • style.css
  • reset-fonts-grids-tabs.css
  • index.php
  • header.php
  • footer.php
  • sidebar.php
  • comments.php
  • searchform.php
  • search.php
  • archive.php
  • page.php
  • functions.php
  • screenshot.png
  • images/bg_overlay.png
  • images/bg_gradient.png

Or you can download each file seperatly.

This gives you the basic structure for a working wordpress theme, from here you only have left to customize as you wish.

Technorati Tags: ,

Implementing MediaWiki

My favorite type of wiki is mediawiki,
I love the ease of use, the huge matrix of extensions available,
and the look and feel of the wiki itself.
backup, restore and upgrade support are also very important reasons to choose a specific wiki software,
and having gone through all this steps in mediawiki, I am very pleased with the ease of use.

Starting from the begining:

what is mediawiki?

MediaWiki is free server-based software which is licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL). It’s designed to be run on a large server farm for a website that gets millions of hits per day. MediaWiki is an extremely powerful, scalable software and a feature-rich wiki implementation, that uses PHP to process and display data stored in its MySQL database.
Media wiki site

Media wiki also saves the versions of the updated files – allowing for easy reverts and versioning of edited files.

The largest sites using medaiwiki:

Mediawiki large sites list

Design matters

Wiki website doesn’t have to have the MediaWiki standard look,
you can design the look and feel either manually to suite the corporate guidelines or with existing skins.

Novelle’s wiki site:

Novell wiki site

marvel.wikia.com:

marvel

Extensions

Extensions are compilations of PHP code that add new features or enhance functionality of the main MediaWiki core. Extensions are one of the main advantages of MediaWiki. They give wiki administrators and wiki end-users the ability to adapt MediaWiki to their requirements.

The extensions can add capabilities like:

Integrate into the Organization

Using LDAP we can integrate the wiki with the main active directory.
http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Ldap will show you the step to add ldap support to the wiki install,
with ldap you can have single and multi domain authentication (including local database)
Retrieval of user information from LDAP:
  • Email address
  • Real name
  • Nickname
  • Language
you can configure the wiki to allow to only domain users to access the server, and you can create wikis that will be accessible only by a specific domain group/users.
You can restrict edit access only to users who have created an account AND verified their email address.
more features the mediawiki ofers:
  • A watch list – update by email when a watched page has changed.
  • By default, MediaWiki’s page URLs look like /index.php?title=Your_Page,
  • but an .htaccess file tweak can make them look like Wikipedia’s clean /wiki/Your_Page links.
  • When a user submits an edit to a page, MediaWiki writes it to the database, but without deleting the previous versions of the page, thus allowing easy reverts in case of vandalism or spamming.

First steps with editing wiki pages

http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/MediaWiki_User%27s_Guide:_Editing_overview

This simple editing tutorial will show you the basic step in editing a new wiki page:

  • headings
  • lists
  • links

Technorati Tags: , , ,