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February 12 2019 Journalism, CSS containers, Three funerals and a wedding, Docker containers, REMSCOPE, mysql_secure_installation Meet

Posted on February 16, 2019
( 5 minute read )

The meeting began with a range of chit-chat. John H, commenting on a note about solution focused journalism, remarked that a very good journalist had told him that you always end a piece with something that left the reader thinking, not a neat solution. This led into a discussion of the principles of writing a good article and how, translated into radio, the principle that there should be a new point at least every 90 seconds was well worth following.

David S mentioned the recommendations of the Cairncross Review into the future of high-quality journalism in the UK to allow pay walls for local journalism and tax breaks which got a rather frosty reception. Tony mentioned that a lot of people are now surrendering their TV licences as they no longer watch TV or catch-up.

John then shared how he had upgraded his website by removing the Javascript that enabled it to work with older versions of Internet Explorer and brought in CSS containers.

Doing this involved adding a <main> element to hold the <article>, <nav> and <aside> elements and changing the CSS file to declare that the <main> element was a flex container with the <article>, <nav> and <aside> elements inside it and inserting the order in which each element should appear:

main {display: flex;}
main>article {order: 2; width: 58%; background-color: mintcream; padding: 1em;}
main>nav {order: 1; float: left; width: 18%; background-color: palegreen; border-right: medium solid darkgreen; border-bottom: medium solid darkgreen; border-left: medium solid darkgreen; padding: 1em;}
main>aside {order: 3; float: right; width: 18%; background-color: palegreen; border-right: medium solid darkgreen; border-bottom: medium solid darkgreen; border-left: medium solid darkgreen; padding: 1em;}

David S pointed out that there was a thick border at the bottom of the <nav> and the <aside> elements which John later remedied by removing border-bottom: medium solid darkgreen; from the CSS file.

John was then able to demonstrate using the command line Lynx browser how putting the <article> element first in the <main> element means that screen readers will read the main text of the page before the links and additional material.

He added that, not long after doing this, someone had mentioned that his website had come top of a Google search and Tony commented that Google’s policy now is ‘mobile first.’

John then presented a review of his cousin’s book Three funerals and a wedding about his experiences of working in a variety of IT departments.

Mike mentioned that he had been experimenting with Docker containers but found that, when something had to change, he had to download a fresh image which took ages.

Bernard then demonstrated the webcam at the Remscope for which he has used the OpenCV libraries.

David C mentioned a problem he had had with the mysql_secure_installation script for which he had found an answer at Digital Ocean. [John later discovered that this problem only arises if the PAM plugin (introduced in 5.2) is configured; it appears that Debian/Ubuntu configures it and so needs the additional step described by Digital Ocean whereas other distros do not and so only need to run mysql_secure_installation.]

David went on to describe a problem with the Myriad archives; backing up the system and archive files does not permit you to retrieve archived files using the archived system files; you have to rely on the source system files to retrieve any files archived on a different device.

Finally, he mentioned a problem a colleague was having installing Rivendell. A search suggested that the most up-to-date source for Rivendell might be Radio Tools.