Adi Alsaid

Aug. 4th, 2015 06:16 am
[syndicated profile] kirkus_ya_feed
Adi Alsaid speaks with me on his American cellphone; he has two, one he uses when visiting family in Las Vegas, where he attended school and one for Mexico, where he was born and raised by Israeli parents and now writes and teaches school in an artsy neighborhood he calls the “Greenwich Village of Mexico City.”
[syndicated profile] w3c_dpub_ig_feed

Posted by Ivan Herman

See minutes online for a more detailed record of the discussions. (The headers below link into the relevant sections of the minutes.)

Pagination and Prioritization

A first draft of the “Priorities for CSS from the Digital Publishing Interest Group” is now available publicly. Some other issues are still to be edited into the document. There is a face-to-face meeting of the CSS Houdini project at the end of the month in Paris, the goal is to have a more stable version of the document available by then. The plan the group accepted is to publish this also as an Interest Group Draft sometimes mid-August.

Portable Package Requirements

Tzviya Siegman has edited an initial document on the wiki. The document makes a distinction between three ‘forms’ of documents:

  1. Online
  2. Offline (cached)
  3. Portable (network independent)

The document focuses on the issues mainly related to the third alternative because that is where packaging may come in. The group agreed that this terminology may be misleading, though, mainly for “off-line” (which, for most of the people, seems to indicate network independence. Instead, the terminology to be used would rather be

  1. Online
  2. Cached
  3. Portable (offline)

The main question arising during the meeting was to understand what the main goal is for this document, and to filter the various issues through those goals. One major goal is to serve as a basis with other groups at W3C on whether work on Web packaging format (currently in Working Draft) should be pursued in the first place, i.e., whether publishing does have specific requirements that should be taken into account.

(Worth noting that, though the IETF started some work on a top level media type for archives, that initiative has been abandoned due to a lack of enough manpower.)


The group also spent time discussing administrative issues (steps to be taken for the charter renewal, preparation for the face-to-face meeting in October).

My Eulogy for Nóirín Plunkett

Aug. 4th, 2015 05:14 am
[syndicated profile] sumana_feed
A few hours ago, I spoke at Nóirín's memorial service. This is what I said (I am sure I varied the words a bit when I read it).

My name is Sumana Harihareswara, and I will always remember Nóirín's compassion, insight, and bravery.

They were brave to publicly name and fight back against wrongs done against them -- by members of the open source community -- wrongs done against them and others; I think it is not exaggerating to say that their bravery galvanized a movement. Our open technology community owes them a debt that can never be repaid.

We also benefited tremendously from their insight. Nóirín had just started a new role at Simply Secure, one that combined their expertise in open stuff with their writing and coordinating skills, and their judgment and perspective. And before that, when they worked as a project manager for the Ada Initiative, I had the privilege of working closely with Nóirín; I am grateful for that, but of course now I know what I'm missing, what we're all missing, because I had the chance to see, every day, their diligence and insight and discretion and judgment and empathy, and compassion. Some of us lead like engineers, by making systems that scale; some of us lead like nurturers, cultivating relationships and trust with emotional labor. Nóirín was brilliant at both of those, and I wish I could have decades more to learn from them, and toss around more ideas and frameworks.

The last time I saw Nóirín was at WisCon, a feminist science fiction convention in May. One morning I came down the hotel stairs and saw them seated against a wall, crying, sobbing, because Ireland had just passed a referendum legalizing same-sex marriage. They were so happy that their friends and loved ones and everyone back home were now freer to marry and have their families recognized that they'd gotten a glass of champagne from the hotel restaurant, at maybe eight in the morning, to celebrate. They felt deeply the joy and suffering of others.

Nóirín, I miss you, and I will try to live up to the example you set. Thank you.

The John Morearty Video Archive

Aug. 3rd, 2015 06:55 pm
[syndicated profile] sumana_feed
A few years ago, as my old mentor John Morearty was dying, he named me one of his two literary executors. We (and John's widow) had some other commitments to finish before we could start making real headway on this work, but this summer we all got together and got started. I spent a few weeks in Stockton and we sorted papers and made plans. Jeanne and I aim to make his essays, poems, syllabi, and research available on a comprehensive website (including both photographic scans of documents and the text of those documents), and to editorially select some of his writings to turn into one or more books.

It looks like the VHS tapes of his cable access TV show are in good enough condition that we don't have to go through a preservation process, and can instead have the Internet Archive digitize and post them directly. Here's the John Morearty video archive at It includes a description that John wrote:

My TV documentaries shine the light on people who are doing precious work in this valley: cleansing the waters, farming renewably and profitably, restoring the cities, rescuing addicts with tough love, teaching the young who are in danger of going astray. My microphone hears public officials, millionaire developers, physician acupuncturists, university professors, chicken farmers, judges, ex-cons, volunteer moms, teachers and their students, old soldiers, young kids. Wisdom is where you find it; as Gandhi says, every person's life experience teaches them something that others need to hear.

"Talking It Through" points to problems and analyzes them, and portrays creative solutions which are happening right now. But the camera also savors the beautiful people and places around us, imperiled though they be. Human beings do not live by good action plans alone. We are moved to action by delight in beauty, and the hope of more of it. I try to evoke delight and hope, so viewers will be moved to act.

So far it contains one video, the test tape that Internet Archive digitized first: a recording of a Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebration in Lodi, California on January 15, 2002. John's in there, around 10:00 to 11:30.

If all goes well, that video collection will grow to a few hundred recordings: independent community media, amplifying voices that often get silenced. I'm grateful that I can help preserve the legacy of an activist who mentored me and who modeled values I still try to live by.

Along the way I am becoming an amateur archivist. I don't know how long this project will take, and I will try to blog interesting bits along the way.

Heading Back to Summer Camp

Aug. 3rd, 2015 06:34 pm
[syndicated profile] kirkus_ya_feed
Two years ago, I rounded up a few books set at summer camp. And now, in celebration of the release of Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp, I’m revisiting that topic—because camp stories are always fun, and there are tons of new ones!

Memorial Service Details

Aug. 3rd, 2015 01:33 pm
[syndicated profile] sumana_feed

A nondenominational memorial service for Nóirín Plunkett will be tonight, August 3, at 6:30pm, in Cambridge, Massachusetts (word had been publicized on Twitter and All who knew Nóirín are invited. I will be there.

Casting a Vote for Equality

Jul. 31st, 2015 08:13 pm
[syndicated profile] kirkus_kidlit_feed
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the historic Voting Rights Act of 1965. Two brand-new picture books for children tell stories of the struggles African Americans faced in decades past with regard to their right to vote, one even closing with a note about today’s ongoing inequalities. The books take different approaches, but each humanizes the struggles by introducing us to characters we care about and root for.
[syndicated profile] nara_feed

Posted by usnationalarchives

Today’s post comes from Onaona Guay, digitization partnerships coordinator at the National Archives.

Digitization partnerships present an opportunity for increased access to historical government information through the increased availability of information technology products and services. NARA has shown that partnerships with private, public, non-profit, educational, and Government institutions to digitize and make available holdings can be a powerful model.

NARA has enjoyed a successful partnership with Ancestry since 2008. NARA has also partnered with Fold3, Ancestry’s sister site, since 2007. In the month of June alone, NARA records received 8.8 million views on, and 2.5 million views on

We are renewing our partnership agreement with and, and welcome public feedback. Here are the major updates to the agreement:

  • NARA effectively shortened the embargo period by 12-24 months by starting the embargo clock after scanning is completed rather than waiting for the partner to publish the collection. This incentivizes the partner to post quickly, rather than waiting for an entire project to be completed. It also allows NARA to monitor when the embargo period should start.
  • In very rare circumstances, a Partner would digitize material and not post it online immediately, but would wait until the collection was completely finished. The updated agreement drives the Partners to post segments of large collections immediately rather than waiting for the entire collection to be completed.
  • NARA will have the latitude to recover almost any cost associated with supporting Partners.
  • The updated agreement provides NARA the right to not recover costs from Partners. NARA will spell out all cost recovery in the project plan.
  • Outlines NARA’s commitment to protecting PII and more specifically spells out the Partners’ responsibilities if PII is identified.

The partnership agreement is available for public review and comment on our Digitization Partnerships page. To submit feedback, please email, or leave a comment below.

The agreement will be available for comment until August 21, 2015.

Please consult NARA’s Principles for Partnerships for more information about our digitization partnerships.

New YA to Check Out in August

Jul. 30th, 2015 06:30 pm
[syndicated profile] kirkus_ya_feed
It’s almost August, and therefore—in Maine, anyway—it’s exactly the right time to hide inside in front of a fan with a book. Here’s what’s on deck for this month:

On Nóirín Trouble Plunkett's Death

Jul. 29th, 2015 06:49 pm
[syndicated profile] sumana_feed
I was devastated today to learn of the death of my friend Nóirín Plunkett.

This is a terrible thing and I am still shocked and saddened to learn of their death. (Per their profile, please follow their pronoun preferences and use "they".)

Some things to know about them:

Their bold honesty about being sexually assaulted at an open source software event moved us to action; it helped spark the creation of the Ada Initiative.

As Geek Feminism's wiki documents, they were facing tremendous legal bills because of a legal conflict with an ex.

They had just started a new role at Simply Secure, one that combined their open tech expertise with their writing and coordinating skills and their judgment and perspective.

When I was volunteering on the search for the Ada Initiative's new Executive Director, I worked closely with Nóirín and could always count on their wisdom, compassion, and diligence. I am so grateful, now, that I had a chance to collaborate with them -- I had hoped to work with them again, someday, in some organization or other.

One of the last times I saw them, they were crying with happiness over the passage of the Irish same-sex marriage referendum.

I don't want to end this entry because there is no ending that can do justice to them.

The Return of Dr. Seuss

Jul. 28th, 2015 05:14 am
[syndicated profile] kirkus_kidlit_feed
Cathy Goldsmith first saw the manuscript that became What Pet Should I Get? in October 2013. Goldsmith is the vice president and associate publishing director of the Random House/Golden Books Young Readers Group, so from that date until the book’s release several days ago, she had plenty of other projects to work on besides What Pet Should I Get? Nonetheless, the discovery of a new Dr. Seuss book occupied her thoughts and time from its discovery to its release date. Theodor Geisel died in 1991, so Goldsmith, who became a senior art director at Random House Children’s Books in 1977 and has been at the house ever since, and her colleagues were left to decipher his intentions for the book from the notes he left on the manuscript. The publisher is producing a first printing of an astounding 1,000,000 copies of What Pet Should I Get? I talked to Goldsmith in July about discovering the book.

Slides & Code from HTTP Can Do That?!

Jul. 27th, 2015 09:00 pm
[syndicated profile] sumana_feed

a bespoke header in an HTTP response My slides are up, as is demonstration code, from "HTTP Can Do That?!", my talk at Open Source Bridge last month. I am pleased to report that something like a hundred people crowded into the room to view that talk and that I've received lots of positive feedback about it. Thanks for help in preparing that talk, or inspiring it, to Leonard Richardson, Greg Hendershott, Zack Weinberg, the Recurse Center, Clay Hallock, Paul Tagliamonte, Julia Evans, Allison Kaptur, Amy Hanlon, and Katie Silverio.

Video is not yet up. Once the video recording is available, I'll probably get it transcribed and posted on the OSBridge session notes wiki page.

I've also taken this opportunity to update my talks and presentations page -- for instance, I've belatedly posted some rough facilitator's notes that I made when leading an Ada Initiative-created impostor syndrome training at AdaCamp Bangalore last year.

[syndicated profile] w3c_dpub_ig_feed

Posted by Tzviya Siegman

See minutes online for a more detailed record of the discussions.

Portable Documents

The IG has been talking about the abstract concept of a package. Tzviya Siegman presented a draft document outlining requirements for a portable document. The group discussed the distinction between the package as an offline state, functioning as an extension of the browser cache, and a truly portable publication that exists without a network and is persistent. The group will clarify the document to distinguish these issues and add comments about maintaining identifiers.

STEM Survey

Peter Krautzberger reports that the STEM task force is cleaning up the data from their survey and slicing it in interesting ways. They have created a spreadsheet that will contribute the TF’s note.

Math and the role attribute

Peter Krautzberger, MathJax manager, discussed concerns about the ARIA role “math” that he encountered in conversations with AT vendors. The role is primarily useful for content that is MathML (uses the <math> tag). However, most browsers do not support MathML. Role=”math” is more valuable for polyfills and converters, but the role conveys very little information. It would be helpful if ARIA exposed some of the underlying of MathML to AT. The IG will pass Peter’s discoveries on to PF.

DPUB IG Charter Renewal

If you have not already voted to renew the DPUB Charter, please do!

[syndicated profile] alaskanlibrarian_feed

Posted by Daniel Cornwall

Only a few hours after I wrote Representative Don Young asking him to accept the Iran Deal, I received his latest Washington Update e-mail, which quoted from his July 14 2015 press release on the Iran Deal. He’s against it. I’m not too surprised. But what does surprise me is that he acknowledges the Iran Deal will make it harder for Iran to get a bomb (bolding mine):

As the Administration prepares to roll out its dog and pony show in support of this deal, the fact remains that this agreement, if properly enforced, will only delay Iran’s longstanding pursuit of a nuclear weapon, while providing billions of dollars in sanctions relief that support radicalism in the region.

So, by Representative Young’s own admission, this deal will delay any Iranian nuclear weapon. But he doesn’t want to do that. His press release is silent on what he wants to do instead after the deal is disproved.

So what are the options? A better deal is out of the question. This deal was months late and represents the maximum Iran is willing to offer. This offer has already been accepted by the European Union and the UN Security Council. They want to give the deal a chance to work. They’re not going to want to try dragging Iran back to the table to make more concessions. Russia and China will veto any effort at new global sanctions on Iran.

So, if a new deal isn’t in the cards, what then?

1) We do nothing at all, which in Don Young’s view brings Iran closer to a nuclear weapon than accepting the Iran Deal.

2) We take military action. Now Representative Young may want us to believe that a few weeks of air strikes are all we need to erase Iran’s nuclear capability. But that’s not realistic. Proponents of air power have promised to bring nations into compliance since the German Air Force promised Hitler that Britain could be eliminated from World War II by air power alone. It didn’t work then. It didn’t work to neutralize the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War. It’s not making much of a dent in ISIS in either Iraq or Syria. I’ve lost count of how often Israel has bombed Gaza without getting Hamas to stop flinging unguided missiles at it. Bombing isn’t going to erase all of Iran’s nuclear sites or eliminate the means to start over.

So we’d need a regime changing ground force. TEN YEARS of occupying Iraq failed to bring us the government we wanted. Why does anyone think we could do better in Iran – a larger country whose citizens are proud of their nuclear power program?

So Don Young doesn’t like the Iran Deal and implies that he’ll vote against it. If he does, he’ll be voting to either do nothing at all or take our country into another pointless “preventive war” that will fracture the region further and send more of our servicemembers home as cripples or in body bags. No thanks. Take the deal.

Filed under: current events, politics Tagged: iran
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Posted by Meredith Stewart

Please participate in the upcoming public meeting to discuss the development of the third US Open Government National Action Plan. We need your suggestions to help strengthen open government.

Open Government Public Meeting

Thursday, July 30, 2015
2:00 – 4:00 PM
National Archives and Records Administration
700 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
William G. McGowan Theater
Washington, DC 20408
Register to attend.

Please use the Special Events entrance at the corner of 7th and Constitution Ave for this event. The event will also be live-streamed on

The Public Meeting will include presenters from the Open Government Partnership, the White House, the National Archives, and other Federal agencies, as well as representatives from civil society stakeholders. Contribute your suggestions in person or online through email at, on Twitter @OpenGov, and on Hackpad with your suggestions.

The United States will publish the third Open Government National Action Plan (NAP) later this year as part of our commitment to the Open Government Partnership. The NAP will include new and expanded open government commitments that will be fulfilled in the next two years. In the first and second US NAPs, previous commitments related to our work at NARA have included:

  • Modernize management of government records
  • Establish a FOIA modernization advisory committee
  • Transform the security classification system
  • Pilot technological tools to analyze classified Presidential records
  • Implement monitoring and tracking of declassification reviews
  • Implement the controlled unclassified information (CUI) program
  • Increased crowdsourcing and citizen science programs

Please keep in mind the following principles as you think of your suggestions for the US open government commitments. NAP commitments should be:

  • Ambitious: pushing government beyond current practice by strengthening transparency, accountability, and public participation
  • Relevant: advancing one of the four open government principles of (1) transparency, (2) accountability, (3) participation, and/or (4) technology and innovation
  • Specific: describing the problem to be solved and expected outcomes
  • Measurable: allowing independent observers to gauge whether the commitment has been complete
[syndicated profile] kirkus_kidlit_feed
I’ve got my sights set on some picture book imports today, all three of them originally published in French. Two are by the celebrated author-illustrator Olivier Tallec, and one is by the just-as-celebrated Marianne Dubuc. And all three books are utterly pleasing in many directions.

Juggling Stories with Abby Hanlon

Jul. 23rd, 2015 07:24 pm
[syndicated profile] kirkus_kidlit_feed
She’s back! Dory, that is. Last year, author-illustrator Abby Hanlon introduced the busy, bustling world of children’s literature to Dory, one of its most memorable new characters. This first book in a series, Dory Fantasmagory (named a Kirkus Best Book of 2014), was met with uniformly good reviews and garnered legions of fans. I personally keep having to replenish my bookshelf with a copy of this first book in the series, since I like to recommend it to children I meet, as well as parents and educators I know who are surrounded by children. While enthusiastically talking it up, I find myself giving my copy away, because it is an exceedingly funny story and captures the imagination of young children in a very honest—and never saccharine—way; thus my constant need to replenish, DoryFriendmuch to the distress of my own children. (“Did you give Dory away AGAIN? WHERE’S DORY?” I hear on a regular basis from the next room.)
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