eric's blog

blocking the google hive mind

In an online discussion today, Matt pointed out to me that google analytics is less than useful because it is so easy for people to block the google javascript file via the firefox adblock add on.

Yet another reason to tell clients and friends to avoid getting hooked on google analytics.

So, everyone follow along:

Step one: get firefox ( )
Step two: get the ad block plus addon ( )
Step three: open the ad block plus preferences
Step four: click "add filter" and put* in the field; click save

Done, you have no protected yourself (a bit) against the intrusion of google in your life.

that's nice company to be in...

Openflows got a nice shout-out from radical reference member (and International Documents Librarian at Stanford University) James Jacobs who, when interviewed by Red Hat Magazine, listed Openflows Community Technology Lab as one of the inspirational forces in the creation of Stanford University's new Open Source Lab.

The Stanford Open Source Lab is an interesting experiment. "The vision of the Open Source Lab is to be a nexus on campus for the discussion, advocacy, and technical support of community-based technologies and information systems."

Being credited with helping to inspire such a project is high praise but to be listed along with groups like the Free Software Foundation, Oregon State University’s Open Source Lab, Drupal, and MIT’s Open CourseWare, well... that just made me blush.

Slash code to drupal conversion, finally done!

[[updated feb 17 to include info on redirecting old slashcode urls to the new drupal urls]]

Started as part of a workshop I did at the 3rd NYC Drupal Camp on converting to/from drupal, I have finally finished converting the Autonomedia/Interactivist Info Exchange site from slash to drupal. It will relaunch soon at

While it might have been somewhat more "correct" for me to have written a php script that bootstrapped drupal and then just grab the data and pass it through drupal's user and node api's, I was stubbornly determined to convert the site by only writing sql queries between the databases.

Part of my reasoning for doing this sql only was that converting thousands of nodes and users via the drupal api can take forever, where direct database manipulation is fast.

While I will write this up better later and post it to, I wanted to get it up before I got distracted onto other tasks.

so, without further delay: here are the step by step notes I took as I went through the process.
[much thanks to Blake Carver of LIS News for the motivation to finish and the queries that populate the node and node revisions tables]

A small rant about Google Analytics and Privacy Statements

This week I once again had the debate with a site's legal team about how using google analytics violates the privacy of a site's users.

This is not a huge issue for many sites, but if your site has a privacy statement, you are legally bound to adhere to it -- and many privacy statements are explicitly violated by the use of google analytics.

another example of godaddy's less than ethical actions

I got an email this morning from a staff member of GoDaddy. He used the contact form of the website to send me a question.

Why is that a problem? well...

a: the question he asked me did not seem appropriate use of the contact feature of the drupal groups site, it should have been posted on the primary drupal site as a public post. The contact feature of groups.drupal is not intended for spamlike generic email.