David Fletcher's Government and Technology Weblog : news & perspectives from a long-time egov advocate
Updated: 4/11/2003; 3:53:24 PM.



Monday, March 03, 2003

The 210-page Appropriations Act just passed the Utah Senate on a vote of 25 to 4.  It will go back to the House now since it was amended.  It will need to pass both houses by Wednesday at midnight.

Technology has saved me a tremendous amount of time during the legislative session by being able to monitor both House and Senate calendars while also listening to what is going on in either body with RealAudio at the same time that I am doing other work.

5:30:59 PM    comment []

It didn't take Dave Winer long to make his blogging presence felt at Harvard.  He started at with Weblogs at Harvard and has now introduced what Kevin Heller is calling the "great blog aggregator."

Maybe we should put together a great blog aggregator for all of our Utah government and UEN blogs...

John Gotze uses web services to pull information together from all kinds of sources to create the GOL-IN Web Services and Enterprise Architecture Resource Portal.  Check it out.

Erik has put together an online survey of responses to Jeremy Zawodney's "10 Habits of Highly Annoying Bloggers."

4:54:59 PM    comment []

It is clear that the U.S.-led coalition war with Iraq has never really ended since Desert Storm. Just yesterday, coalition aircraft used precision-guided weapons yesterday to target four Iraqi military communications facilities and an air defense facility.  The communications facilities were only 95 miles south of Bagdad.  On March 1, aircraft used precision-guided weapons to target military communications sites and a mobile early warning radar in Iraq.  These communications sites were only 70 miles from Bagdad.  On February 28th, similar weapons struck early-warning radar sites at Al-Basrah.  The US Central Command provides regular updates on its website of this activity.  The coalition also regularly drops leaflets over civilian areas with messages like "To ensure your safety, avoid areas occupied by military personnel.”,  “do not risk your life and the life of your comrades,” and to “leave now, go home, and learn, grow, prosper.”  I didn't see an RSS feed of CentCom or DoD press releases.

4:47:32 PM    comment []

US Delegation visits Factory in RomaniaThe government of Romania is doing some interesting things with their eGov initiatives.  For example, the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCTI) developed their portal using a product called Krysalis.  Krysalis is a development platform that improves the Apache/PHP framework by separating the application logic from the presentation layer, using open standards including XML/XSL/SOAP.  It was developed by a young group of enterprising Romanian software engineers that have formed a company called InterAKT.

MCTI pays attention to important details in the management of their portal.  They are using a tool called Trafic to provide metrics for portal usage.

8:16:33 AM    comment []

As I mentioned earlier, Ray Matthews has been investigating the use of Plone.  It appears that, in addition to Texas, Hawaii is also using it as a tool.  Brian Sweeting, who is supporting Spanish Fork City's website, posted the following:

I have been searching high and low for a free content managment system/framework. I have played with all of the nuke type CMSes and some built on the Cocoon framework, but none that have I looked at so far have been as good as Plone. I discovered Plone, which is built on top of the Zope application server and Content Management Framework (CMF). I have been thoroughly impressed with its out-of-the-box capability, usability, and most of all extendability.

Installation was a snap, I just downloaded an .EXE file and was using the system within 3 minutes. It installed Zope, Python, and Plone and runs as a service in Windows. There is also an installer for OS X and it is also available for linux and FreeBSD.

I won't go into great detail, but here are some features of plone:

  • Robust framework that allows you to "plug-in" CMF applications that have already been built.
  • A customizable workflow system. Content editors can create directories and web pages, as well as other content, where they have permissions to do so, and then this content can be submitted for a reviewer's approval.
  • Built-in role and user based security system that allows you to lock the system down and display personalized content through a single website.
  • Extremely fast and scalable. There are a number of ways to optimize the system for performance.
  • Custom slots (or gadgets in the Novell Portal Services terminology). For instance, I could create a slot that shows users in the IT department, if there are any network outages. Basically the only limits to this are your imagination and your level of programming skills with Python.
  • Built in RSS. The system allows you to turn on syndication for any directory and you immediately have and RSS feed generated for all the objects in that directory.

I could go on and on about this, but if you are interested in finding out more about Plone, head over to their website. I also recommend taking a look at this presentation of Plone made by the Hawaii State Government.

Low bandwidth streaming (Windows Media)

High bandwidth streaming (Windows Media)

Wouldn't it be great if every municipal and county website manager maintained a weblog!

6:59:34 AM    comment []

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