April 19, 2010

Bulk view

Weekly review: Week ending April 18, 2010

From last week’s plans:


  • [-] Map team challenges to examples of groups doing well
  • [-] Install software needed to create Lotus Notes plugin for processing Idea Lab RSVPs – making a custom view instead
  • [-] Document best practices and processes for idea labs
  • [X] Follow up with team regarding enablement guide
  • [-] Work on Smarter Cities whiteboard story
  • [X] Update my social insurance number records
  • Interviewed Jason Wild
  • Had great career chats with Bernie, Jen, Ted, Mike; Patrick West
  • Built tag analysis tool
  • Learned how to work with long-running processes and reporting progress in web pages
  • Joined Boz’s calendar meeting
  • Added mail subscriptions to my Connections community tools
  • Listened to facilitation panel for Best of TLE; everyone v. happy with Sametime backchannel I set up


  • [-] Order two cubic yards of triple-mix for backyard raised bed – bought bagged soil instead
  • [X] Build raised bed and plant lettuce
  • [X] Plan tea party for end of April or mid-May
  • [X] Clear out more space in freezer
  • Also: Dropped off pizza day money for J-
  • Sent visa information and housing options
  • Redid compost heap
  • Had Korean BBQ
  • Made butter tarts and pecan tarts
  • Andrew and Malena(sp?) dropped by for surprise tea. Fun!
  • Prepared pasta sauce for week


  • [-] Finish tops
  • [>] Post pictures of cooking adventures
  • [>] Follow up on missed Schedule 7
  • Checked out cherry blossoms
  • Cut my hair
  • Also: Lots of exercise, biking, and gardening
  • Played with colour blocking and painting
  • Wrote Perl script to get list of new books from library, place holds
  • Took pictures of cherry blossoms

Plans for next week:


  • [  ] Update Idea Lab organizer guide
  • [  ] Career growth: map role models
  • [  ] Review favourite collaboration examples and map them to challenges
  • [  ] Send invitations for Idea Lab
  • [  ] Work on Smarter Leaders presentation/panel ideas
  • [  ] Talk to people about Web 2.0, Smarter Planet, Smarter Work, etc.


  • [  ] Batch cooking: Prepare treats for tea party and a new recipe for entrees
  • [  ] Wedding: Pull together info for marriage contract and reschedule appointment
  • [  ] Buy saucers so that I don’t have to scramble during tea parties


  • [  ] Sewing: Finish tops (understitch facings, fuse, and hem)
  • [  ] Gardening: Set up small containers for seedlings
  • [  ] Drawing: Play with tones

SimpleXML and Xpath problems solved

I’ve been working on a tool that looks for a list of people with a given tag and displays their names, titles, locations, e-mail addresses, and other tags. It’ll be useful for reviewing our list of experts. I didn’t want to hammer the Lotus Connections server with too many requests, though, so I added some delays between requests. I should also cache the results.

I was using PHP’s SimpleXML library to parse the search results, but my XPath queries didn’t return anything. It turns out that you need to str_replace(‘xmlns=’, ‘ns=’, …) before you parse it with SimpleXML. That solved the problem.

Also, the tagcloud document didn’t get parsed at all. I had to replace the app:categories tag with atom:feed and remove the atom: namespace to get everything to work.

On the bright side, I figured out how to interact with long-running PHP processes! I used Sqlite to store the requests and updates, then I used at to run the PHP process. Next step: Cache results, rig up a temporary file directory, and tidy up the interface. The batch process code is another useful building block that will help me write other programs.