APOD editing

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jch
Asternaut
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Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2011 6:07 pm

APOD editing

Post by jch » Tue Oct 18, 2022 7:38 pm

Last Wednesday 10/12 I had a great opportunity to participate in a zoom meeting with fellow APOD translators. We were also joined by Robert Nemiroff and we learned that APOD should switch in future to Wordpress. I have to say I don't know what the goal of the IT people in NASA is. I am just a little bit worried that APOD could become another of many blog sites. I will try to explain my position.

Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) is a successful and appreciated project. At the beginning of this November 2022 it will be 10,000 days of APOD since June 16, 1995. The main reason for such success is the good choice of various astronomy related pictures and their description on a daily basis. And persistence of both APOD editors, number 10,000 speaks itself.

APOD has from the very beginning almost the same HTML format and both APOD editors are editing it in plain HTML source code on a daily basis.  It's easy to understand it and then it's easy to create mirrors, translated websites or social media versions. But not only that. There is a value in the HTML source code in 10,000 APODs itself. It would be hard to find another project on the World Wide Web, which lasts 10,000 days in the same manner!  APOD is also stretching HTML technology to the limits. One example can be the page https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/archivepixFull.html
Last but not least, the reason for APOD success is the same URL. APOD was introduced at address http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ and even now can someone use that bookmark and it will be redirected to the current address https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ .
Tim Berners-Lee, a World Wide Web inventor said that the best URL is a URL which does not change. It would be nice to keep the same APOD style on that URL.

On the other hand I understand that organizations would like to present themself on the web with the same look and feel. Many times it can be done by organization-wide supported systems like Wordpress. Even though Wordpress  is nowadays a good choice to publish on the web, I am not sure if switching to Wordpress is the right choice in this case. Unless current APOD look and feel, including HTML source code would be the same.

I can imagine continuing in the current way, editors editing APOD in the plain HTML code. Page templates could be updated with several semantic tags, and HTML should be always valid. It would allow other entities to use APOD pictures and texts in other NASA pages, mirrors or translated mirrors even in a better way than now.
So I am suggesting:
  1. To continue editing APOD in plain HTML, maybe with specialized HTML editing tools.
  2. Update APOD templates with some semantics tags.
  3. Make sure HTML code is valid.
Josef Chlachula
APOD translator into Czech language

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Chris Peterson
Abominable Snowman
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Re: APOD editing

Post by Chris Peterson » Tue Oct 18, 2022 11:06 pm

jch wrote: Tue Oct 18, 2022 7:38 pm Last Wednesday 10/12 I had a great opportunity to participate in a zoom meeting with fellow APOD translators. We were also joined by Robert Nemiroff and we learned that APOD should switch in future to Wordpress. I have to say I don't know what the goal of the IT people in NASA is. I am just a little bit worried that APOD could become another of many blog sites. I will try to explain my position.

Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) is a successful and appreciated project. At the beginning of this November 2022 it will be 10,000 days of APOD since June 16, 1995. The main reason for such success is the good choice of various astronomy related pictures and their description on a daily basis. And persistence of both APOD editors, number 10,000 speaks itself.

APOD has from the very beginning almost the same HTML format and both APOD editors are editing it in plain HTML source code on a daily basis.  It's easy to understand it and then it's easy to create mirrors, translated websites or social media versions. But not only that. There is a value in the HTML source code in 10,000 APODs itself. It would be hard to find another project on the World Wide Web, which lasts 10,000 days in the same manner!  APOD is also stretching HTML technology to the limits. One example can be the page https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/archivepixFull.html
Last but not least, the reason for APOD success is the same URL. APOD was introduced at address http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ and even now can someone use that bookmark and it will be redirected to the current address https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ .
Tim Berners-Lee, a World Wide Web inventor said that the best URL is a URL which does not change. It would be nice to keep the same APOD style on that URL.

On the other hand I understand that organizations would like to present themself on the web with the same look and feel. Many times it can be done by organization-wide supported systems like Wordpress. Even though Wordpress  is nowadays a good choice to publish on the web, I am not sure if switching to Wordpress is the right choice in this case. Unless current APOD look and feel, including HTML source code would be the same.

I can imagine continuing in the current way, editors editing APOD in the plain HTML code. Page templates could be updated with several semantic tags, and HTML should be always valid. It would allow other entities to use APOD pictures and texts in other NASA pages, mirrors or translated mirrors even in a better way than now.
So I am suggesting:
  1. To continue editing APOD in plain HTML, maybe with specialized HTML editing tools.
  2. Update APOD templates with some semantics tags.
  3. Make sure HTML code is valid.
Josef Chlachula
APOD translator into Czech language
Wordpress would be a superior solution to creating the APOD website (compared with the current system). But it should be a commentless system. Just a CMS that would offer a modern interface.

The comment forums can continue to be here, as this is much better than any WP comment tool. And I hear there is a Facebook forum, as well, although I've never seen it myself.
Chris

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Chris L Peterson
Cloudbait Observatory
http://www.cloudbait.com