Donncha's Friday Links

Anyone who knows me knows I’m an avid photographer.

  • Thomas Hawk was in a train station in San Francisco when a body was discovered on the tracks. He snaps literally *everything* and took a photo of the poor guy who died, but then he questioned if he should publish the photo? I admire how he stands up for his rights on the street. Jeremy Brooks who is featured in the previous link did the same, much to the ire of a shop keeper.
  • In Synthetic technical style in digital photography Doug has quoted a Mike Johnston piece on photographer’s style saying that digital photography lacks a distinctive style, and that it lacks integrity because it can be manipulated so easily. As Mike says in his longer piece, every image can be taken as a separate case, but I disagree that that is a bad thing. I’m not limiting myself to one technical style.
  • Paul Indigo has had some interesting encounters while photographing people on the street, but he’s got great advice if you want to do it yourself.
    This gentleman agreed to pose for me. He wanted to know whether my camera was digital or film. He said he would pose if it was digital but not if it was film. I am not sure exactly what his reasons were.

  • Avant Window Manager for Linux is like the Mac OS X Dock for our little free OS. I haven’t tried it but it looks pretty. This is a nice screenshot with screenlets too.
  • Amber Jack describes itself as, “a lightweight Open Source library, enabling webmasters to create cool site tours.” Take the tour. It’s nice!
  • Barry reveals all, about how WordPress.com serves files and pages that is.
  • This video of Vista Vs Ubuntu Makes me wish I had gone for the higher end video card for my laptop. There’s not a hope in hell the onboard Intel video will handle all the eye candy in Beryl!
  • Go Maith are experiencing technical difficulties but still manage a very entertaining dancer and fiddler!
  • Matt announced the new WordPress.com Theme Marketplace. Some sites unfairly jumped the gun before Matt posted details of the Marketplace on his blog. I love the idea that .org users get the themes for free because they have to be GPLed. That’s great!
  • If you were adding hooks and a plugin system to WP-Cache, where would you put them? wp_cache_get_cookies_values() definitely, maybe at cache generation too? What about the admin page?

What has Web 2.0 done for you then? (via)

PS. I installed Xcache and the Xcache WordPress plugin I mentioned on Wednesday. I don’t think it’s any faster than the Memcached backend I was using but I have one less service running now, and the admin stats page is nice.

xcache stats

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8 thoughts on “Donncha's Friday Links


  1. A couple of clarifications on the “integrity” of digital photography. First, it was Mike’s comment; I merely quoted him.

    My interpretation of what he was saying was not that digital photography is necessarily lacking in integrity, but rather that digital photography doesn’t have any natural technical style. My reading is that Mike is suggesting that one could shoot film and automatically get a technical style based on the type of camera, type of film, type of processing, type of paper, etc., but with digital photography one has to specifically set out to create a technical style.

    And (again, my interpretation) Mike suggested that simply mimicking “film style” with digital is probably doomed to failure. We can still recognize wood-grain plastics despite the best efforts of industry, and I think that he is saying (by implication) that we will always be able to recognize film-style digital photos.

    My own feeling – and my motivation for quoting Mike – is that instead of trying to make convincing film-style results from digital photos, perhaps we should instead accept digital photography as its own medium. Given a choice between imitation film and genuine digital, my personal preference is for the genuine.


  2. Thanks Doug for commenting! I have to wonder, what is genuine these days? Is it straight out of the camera with no post-processing and resizing? Even film was processed more than that in the dark room.

    I completely disagree with what Mike was saying in that post though, digital manipulation is so flexible I don’t see the point in limiting oneself when one is capable of producing a beautiful print.


  3. I’m also glad that Thomas Hawk chose not to post those images. Dave Olson (uncleweed) chose to post the photos of a violent death that he came across in Vancouver (“Abbott Street Incident” if you must), and it was hard for me to wonder into them in his in his photo stream.


  4. What’s genuine in digital photography? I couldn’t say. I just feel that chasing after “film look” is probably futile because it will probably never look genuine.

    I’m not much on telling other people what to do with their photography, though. Everybody’s different. My own take on Mike’s article is that people who are serious about their (digital) photography should at least *consider* the issue of technical style. Whether they decide to try to develop a technical style of their own or not, at least they’re aware of it. But in my opinion it’s still the photographer’s choice. I don’t have to like their photos. :-)


  5. About the XCache plugin/backend: have you benchmarked/stress-tested it, or just subjective testing? Under (little to) no load, you probably won’t see a difference between most of the opcode caching engines.


  6. CG – I’ve looked at the generation times WP Cache prints at the end of each page. That’s what I base my observations on. Those times are generally the same for both engines, but I have something else up my sleeve for high-traffic sites.

    If I get around to it next week I’m going to look at how well it works with WordPress MU. I think the object-cache just needs a “site_id” in the key prefix to work and even that might be optional.


  7. I haven’t tried it on WPMU myself, but I’ve heard my XCache plugin works there – I won’t swear to it though :)

    I wouldn’t expect there to be much of a difference in the actual page load times under no load between Memcached and XCache – they both work the exact same way, after all. However, the Memcached backend (as a result of its intended usages and language-agnostic facilities) will slow down once the load starts – but that’s just my experience.

    Please do let me know how it goes with WPMU, I just don’t have the time to test it out! (sad, I know ;))

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