Hodges' Model: Welcome to the QUAD: February 2008

- learn about the conceptual framework Hodges' model. A tool that can help integrate HEALTH and SOCIAL CARE, INFORMATICS and EDUCATION. The model is situated, facilitates person-centredness, integrated - holistic care and reflective practice. A new site using Drupal is an ongoing aim - the creation of a reflective workbench. Email: h2cmng @ yahoo.co.uk Welcome

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Holistic Bandwidth [II] 16, 180, breadth, depth and thoughts initial

If we were able to put the care record into an appropriate text analysis program is there a measure of the conceptual span - the holistic bandwidth of care - somewhere in there? Could there be a disciplinary or task-based mesh, a tag cloud that could be superimposed on Hodges' model to represent care as holistic bandwidth?

Very early on in the web site's history a page was added on the multicontextual nature of health (and social care). This contexts page like the others has not been properly researched, which I recognise is a risk for readers in terms of 'evidence based sources' and a risk for me since of course the Web is a rather public arena to air initial thoughts.

Since the site and this blog are a call for research in this area, I'm sure a search would reveal a literature, but without recourse to said literature I'm not sure how explicitly - my incomplete - notion of holistic bandwidth has been studied in care contexts. On the context page I included several basic diagrams to indicate how Hodges' model might be used as a 'measure'. This page plus the others need revising with a bin (icon) close to hand, in the meantime how can we measure holistic bandwidth?

We could add the problems identified in each care domains, e.g.:

= 16

Continuing in a fit of numerics we could throw in some multiplication - 3*2*5*6 = 180 ?
'180' is much more impressive than a paltry '16'.

What next...? Could the domain scores be weighted in some way? Is it valid to assign a primary domain? And while we are at it where does self-care fall (intra-interpersonal surely)? Wither the literary heavyweights of severity, chronicity, strengths, recovery and well-being. ...? Oops - how could I forget - dependency measures are nothing new; but the literature bearers are not the issue.

If we still frequently fail to deliver holistic care, then what is holistic bandwidth (actually measuring)? Is it -

  • The scope of care [in one or all of - assessment, planning, intervention, evaluation, outcome]?
  • Simplicity [breadth]?
  • Complexity [breadth and depth]?
  • (Rapid) care integration [time, connectedness]?
  • Concordance: clinical problems + patient (carer) problems + outcome set?
  • ....?

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Guide to Monitoring and Evaluating Health Information Products and Services

Guide cover HIPNETHow can publishers, knowledge managers, program managers, M&E specialists, and health information communicators measure the reach, usefulness, and use of their products and services? One way is to use the 29 indicators in the just published Guide to Monitoring and Evaluating Health Information Products and Services from the Health Information and Publications Network (HIPNET).

Download a free copy [745kb]:


Source: CLICK4HP

Monday, February 25, 2008

Book: Visualizing Information for Advocacy

https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/publications/visualizing-information-advocacy-introduction-information-designHere c/o of an Information Systems Forum post is a book on -


Lupina Award in Health System Dynamics

The Health Policy Special Interest Group (HPSIG) of the System Dynamics Society is proud to announce the -

Lupina Young Researchers Award in Health System Dynamics

- which will be presented for the first time at this summer's 2008 International System Dynamics Conference in Athens, Greece. The award is sponsored by the Lupina Foundation of Toronto, Canada, and will be accompanied by a check in the amount of CAN$5000. The award will be presented to the recipient (or recipients) during the HPSIG meeting on the Sunday afternoon meeting just preceding the conference (July 20th this year), and a brief announcement will also be made to all conference attendees at a plenary session.

This award will be given to people at early stages of their careers to encourage them to do further work in health system dynamics. In the event that the winning paper represents the equal work of two young researchers, or if there is a tie among papers, the cash prize may be subdivided. The work considered for this award must be accepted as a paper for presentation at the International System Dynamics Conference. Papers are self-nominated, and to be eligible, the author(s) must either be in graduate school or have completed their educational training no more than five years prior to paper submission.

Authors need not be members of the System Dynamics Society and may, in fact, specialize in other methodologies and use them in their submitted papers. But their work must:

  • Focus on dynamic phenomena in health systems and problems,
  • Demonstrate technical quality and clear presentation, and
  • Provide original insights derived from a dynamic analysis.
The winner(s) must be present at the Sunday HPSIG meeting to receive their prize, and be willing to discuss their winning work at that meeting.
For (latest ...) Conference details please see -


[Ever since watching an Open University programme on Catastrophe Theory in Prisons (+New Scientist article?), running early microcomputer fractal graphic programs for hours and reading Gleick's book on Chaos and others; I've been fascinated by dynamic systems. This is a marvellous field for young researchers to explore:
asking new questions of old answers ...]

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Serres-Hodges model chapter proof & Oamos

I've received the proof for the book chapter to appear in:

Social Information Technology: Connecting Society and Cultural Issues
edited by Dr. Kidd and Dr. Chen

Exploring Serres’ Atlas, Hodges’ Knowledge Domains
and the Fusion of Informatics and Cultural Horizons


This chapter explores the extent to which selected writings of French philosopher Michel Serres and a health care model created by Brian Hodges in the UK can augment and inform the development of social informatics. The volume of Serres’ output contrasts markedly with work devoted to Hodges’ Health Career - Care Domains - Model. Since the concept of health is universal culturally, and informatics disciplines are emerging fields of practice characterised by indistinct boundaries in terms of theory, policy, and practice, various ethnographic and cultural associations will be made. Placing Hodges’ model and Serres' work together is not intended to suggest direct equivalence, other than the common themes this author intends to bring to the attention of the social informatics community. Central to this is the notion of holistic bandwidth, utilising Hodges’ model as a tool to develop and disseminate sociotechnical perspectives.


This has been a long road, but it is smashing to see your text nearly there as 'chapter 7'.

Jones, P. (2008) Exploring Serres’ Atlas, Hodges’ Knowledge Domains and the Fusion of Informatics and Cultural Horizons, IN Kidd, T., Chen, I. (Eds.) Social Information Technology Connecting Society and Cultural Issues, Idea Group Publishing, Inc. Chap. 7, pp. 96-109.

To close here is a new media search engine:


Holistic Bandwidth [I] - Where's the brush?

Apart from those intervals and instances (times!) when emergency intervention is needed, holistic care is seen as a primary goal in health and social care theory, practice and policy.

IF care is not holistic THEN it could be argued that there is care dissonance.

The high quality non-critical, general efforts in the PHYSICAL [SCIENCES] care domain -

fluids, diet, warmth, pressure sore care, comfort, security, infection control ....

can be compromised by lack of attention to the EMOTIONAL [Intra-INTERPERSONAL] care domain -

respect, empathy, unconditional +ve regard, non-judgemental attitude, time, space, attention ....

- what the patient (carers and others*) expect to follow does not occur.

Artist's paletteRather like cognitive dissonance acute discomfort results when care of the required high quality (holistic, timely, person-centred...) is not applied across the board (h2cm).

(In being human) everyone recognises the BASICs of CARE (discuss?):

It is the remembering that is the problem.

Remembering demands an assured space in the organisational memory - such that staff in those other spaces - wards, clinics, patient's homes, residential homes are able to fulfil the holistic spectrum of care needs.

Dissonance encourages game playing with beliefs [1-n players].

It is very easy and a fairly well understood human trait for us to become pre-occupied with what we do. (As you will have noticed I have a problem with brackets and italics...) When at work (i.e. not day-dreaming) "It is what we do that counts."; but care variances bound to professional disciplines and particular clinical settings should not be wielded as a foil.

So, perhaps this dissonance can be represented as distance:
  • patients and carers may not articulate their discomfort - at the time
(and hence is perceived of less consequence to the service - at the time);
  • as the distance between concepts and their meanings.
Could this distance provide a measure of holistic bandwidth? No doubt, it already has somewhere in the literature? The first holistic bandwidth metric suggested above is acknowledged in policies around the response to complaints, which stress the need to deal with the complaint there and then if possible. Is this enough and what about the distances between concepts and meanings?

more to follow....

I Googled 'organisational dementia' and found the following reference:
‘Sustaining New Industrial Relations in the Public Sector: The politics of trust and co-operation in the context of organisational dementia and disarticulation’ (with M. Martinez Lucio), in P. Dibben, P. James, I. Roper, and G. Wood (eds.) Modernising Work in Public Services London: Macmillan. 2007.

*There is probably a major cost on staff morale here also.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Domain Specific Languages [II] + a Ruby mixin

Last year in one of those pick-it-up:put-it-down cycles, I surfed into this article on DSLs and Ruby c/o:

Artima logo

Ruby Code & Style Creating DSLs with Ruby
by Jim Freeze, March 16, 2006

Although as mentioned the other week, I'd read - and keep reading! - Chris Pine's intro Ruby book and the Thomas's Pickaxe, much of the code is hard to follow for a beginner - here's a snippet (from page 3 of 4):

[n.b. Some lines below are incomplete due to Blogger's interpretation of the characters]
Again, we update the require statement in dsl-loader.rb to load the mydsl4.rb file and run the loader:
% ruby dsl-loader.rb params.dsl
["@parameter", "@name"]
This is all well and good, but what if we don’t know the parameter names in advance? Depending on the use cases for the DSL, parameter names may be generated by the user. Never fear. With Ruby, we have the power of method_missing. A two-line method added to MyDSL will define a DSL attribute with dsl_accessor on demand. That is, if a value is to be assigned to a (thus far) non-existent parameter, method_missing will define the getters and setters and assign the value to the parameter.

% cat mydsl5.rb
require 'dslhelper'

class MyDSL
def method_missing(sym, *args)
self.class.dsl_accessor sym
send(sym, *args)

def self.load(filename)
# ... Same as before

% head -1 dsl-loader.rb
require 'mydsl5'

% ruby dsl-loader.rb params.dsl
["@parameter", "@name"]
Once again Olsen's - Design Patterns in Ruby has helped me (to begin to) understand  method-missing (p.184). I swear I heard some clanks as the pieces re-arranged themselves and one or two fell (almost) in place. Having copied Freeze's code into Ruby, it would not run. At least now the code is not as complex looking at it was and reading it through now it makes a lot more sense. I'm really looking forward to trying this again in Eclipse. On that first exposure I had a vague notion of the principle of method-missing, but reading Olsen's book I've a better grasp and may be able to keep hold of this and other Ruby concepts. Believe me that helps in my pick-it-up:put-it-down world.

more to follow ....

Friday, February 22, 2008

Domain Specific Languages [I]

Even after a brief acquaintance with the h2cm web site and W2tQ, you'll appreciate the word domain is both hard and soft-wired into my consciousness. On first discovering Hodges' model, the four quadrants were clearly recognisable as knowledge domains.

As the website evolved and after consulting with Brian Hodges, 'Care Domains' was added to the model's title (which has also paid some dividends in search engine terms).

In the early days of hobbyist programming a major project would be to write a compiler. I'm sure I can recall several magazine articles on this (Practical Computing?); step-by-step of course.

Searching on 'domains' as I frequently do, it was inevitable I would come across DSLs or Domain Specific Languages, which instantly caught my attention. Here are some intros -



Google launches online personal health records project

Here is an item from Computer World by Heather Havenstein:

Google launches online personal health records project

Pilot to test exchange of patient data between its health offering and the Cleveland Clinic ....

My source: Records Management List.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Big Book of Concepts

One of the other second-hand books purchased on Monday is:

The Big Book of Concepts
by Gregory L. Murphy
The MIT Press, 2002; ISBN: 0262134098

I have found one review (or is that two?) that should explain my interest in the book.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Problem Solving, Creativity and h2cm - or P.S. Sedbergh is a book-town ;-)

Yesterday in Sedbergh I visited a couple of bookshops. I came away with four (second-hand) titles, one was Corwin Bennett's Spaces for People: Human Factors In Design, 1977, Prentice-Hall. It's a small paperback that shows how long 'human factors' research has been around - the text mentions 'computers' but not 'PCs'.

In chapter 10 on Creativity and Problem Solving (p. 163) there is a very simplistic figure which I have copied at left. I think the next paper (if there is another in me) must really tackle what Hodges' model is beyond the 'conceptual framework'?

Problems have always figured in my nursing and informatics career. As a human being thank goodness for the ongoing marriage between creativity and our problem solving proclivity (we are going to need it) .

Scanning the book shelves (the architecture section in this case) at £4 this book was a bargain.

Bennett's translation from creativity to problem solving invites discussion of:

  1. the overall complexity within (and without!) health and social care disciplines;
  2. the complexity of care pathways in theory, practice and policy;
  3. the need to re-appraise our information gathering and recording (pre & post ICT implementation);
  4. and how Hodges' model (see below) might concurrently represent and possibly disseminate care states:
    • statically as snapshots;
    • or dynamically (anyone for a challenge?).
I will try to expand on the above as things (hopefully) fall into place and mention those other books...

It is the NW England Drupal meeting tomorrow night.

Monday, February 18, 2008

A dog, glorious weather and misc link

18th February was a great day to be in Sedbergh, the weather was glorious. So quiet, bright and promising.

I found a path from the village up onto the surrounding fells and after a walk up-then-down: a bench for a break.

While I was sat in the sun a lady walked past with her dog -

"Come on Ruby!", she shouted. (Honest!)

"Excuse me, did you say Ruby?"

"Yes, that's right." ...

So I showed her the book I was reading:

Olsen's Design Patterns in Ruby.

This must be a sign! So - give that dog a bone!
In between other reading (Drupal!), I keep referring to Chris Pine's Learn to Program and Dave Thomas's Programming Ruby. These two books are excellent, but although I'm only up to the second design pattern Olsen's book has clarified so much already. DPiR's quick intro chapter on Ruby is itself a jewel.

So far the two initial patterns (template and strategy) have also seen Olsen describe other key aspects of Ruby. I'll try and elaborate on this is the near future - Gang of Four - indeed. You see it isn't just scintillating Ruby that has caught my eye, but domain specific languages.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Drupal 6 themes and tools

Of the themes I have downloaded that work with Drupal 6 Four Seasons and Bluebreeze look worth pursuing. Transferring over the style sheet used in Drupal 5 with Denver caused quite a few problems as expected. Commenting out some of the global styles one-by-one and noting the effects can't avoid the sense of work to be done. Here is D-6 Bluebreeze:

BlueBreeze theme
In the above image, the panel on the left is one of the modules downloaded and enabled. There are no more than two users at present, so I'll disable this for future use. The fixed-width version of Bluebreeze may be needed as off to the right there's yet another tab - 'Book'. I'm going to bring over the draft glossary page, it might prompt me to add some terms.

One of the tools that should prove itself has placed a tick box 'Themer info' in the lower left corner of the screen as illustrated below.

Themer InfoWhen activated you:

Click on any element to see information about the Drupal theme function or template that created it.

There's a problem though when I try to access 'modules' -

Fatal error: Allowed memory size of 16777216 bytes exhausted (tried to allocate 347727 bytes) in C:\....module on line 1291.


Saturday, February 16, 2008

new Essential IT Skills Programme - EITS

It's a refreshing change to learn of something IT on a mental health nursing list, but that is the case with a new IT skills initiative:

NHS Connecting for Health (NHS CFH) has announced that it will be introducing the Essential IT Skills (EITS) Programme on 3 March 2008, to replace its European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL) Service which is due to close on 21 March 2008.
Source: http://www.connectingforhealth.nhs.uk/newsroom/news-stories/eits

The PSYCHIATRIC NURSING list is 10 years old and currently deliberating upon its future, wider membership and the state of IT skills.

Ack: Thanks to Clive Simpson for his post.

Care Architects in an Era of Care Ecology

Not everyone is an Architect. And yet we are all architects at certain times when a proposal with its accompanying design, construction and commissioning challenges comes along. The difference is formality (the law) and scale: ultimately we the 'architect' may defer to the professional.

Similarly, we are not all Doctors, Nurses, Social Worker, or Occupational Therapists... although we may have played these roles in imagination and in taking on day-to-day diagnosis and problem solving: Do I(we) need to consult? Like a bandage there is a twist here -

You see, we are all Care Architects.

The duty of care is quite an extensive concept. The call to reach for the T-square and drawing desk will hopefully be infrequent, rare even, when we do the starting point is the problem at hand, whether that hand is injured, tonsils are swollen, belly aches or our mood is low.

There are set points in our lives where personal administration is a necessity. The tax return, dental checks, the renewal of insurance policies, eye-sight check-up. It is nice when these things look after themselves, these days we even have e-prompts to jog us into action.

Looking at Care Architecture as a whole - as a Care Ecology - this ecology has another starting point; one to which the individual / patient does not usually have ready access. The medical record. If this is not our starting point, it is for the health and social care workers (although there are many constraints that operate for these Care Architects). More and more is being expected of us as individuals and members of groups - be that as 'patients' or 'citizens'. A primary example is Health Space:
HealthSpace is a secure online personal health organiser. Anyone over the age of 16 and living in England can open a HealthSpace account.
HealthSpace is an initiative that is designed to acknowledge how we are all Care Architects at heart and part of a much wider care ecology.

As of Feb 2008 - once subscribed and depending on geography HealthSpace may provide the account holder with access to their Summary Care Record.

It would be very interesting to see the (h2cm) profiles of HealthSpace subscribers thus far. There's a marvellous MSc. - Ph.d dissertation there for someone. People with long term medical conditions or extended acute episodes may recognise the benefits of being actively engaged in contributing - writing to and viewing - their (own) medical record.

This engagement must be
a vital perspective
not a vanishing

What about the rest of us? How can we get over the personal admin-hump?

How can people be engaged in their health record? Health is the operative word here.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

CVS aware Drupal 6 - gotcha: YES IT DID - TAKE 2!

I only got as far as entering the database details on the CVS aware copy of Drupal 6 downloaded yesterday. The install.php stalled with a repeated SQL error. There was an additional directory level that I'm sure was not the issue; anyway, I deleted and started again. This time - using CVS again - it worked OK. The Drupal 6 install was very smooth. I'm sure this isn't the end of Drupal-CVS issues though, judging from comments on the Drupal site.

So far I've downloaded some contributed themes and am running through the modules. Quite a few of these are not compatible with Drupal 6, so I can appreciate how developers rely on the stable and more fully supported Drupal releases.

If you stand solely on the bleeding edge then you will bleed. Reaching for the psychological elastoplasts I'll try and carry over the drafted pages which are still in the Drupal 5 test site. I don't look f/w to redoing the menus..., but the repetition is essential learning. Must dig into the modules in Drupal 6 and revisit those already enabled in Drupal 5.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

CVS aware Drupal 6 - gotcha!

Using TortoiseCVS (I believe) I have just (literally) installed a CVS aware version of Drupal 6 which fittingly has been released today.

Along the way I used a few different resources including a video.

It helps having read in Pro Drupal Development about CVS and how extra CVS folders are created, then to see them on my PC. All the Drupal 6 folders and file icons also have green ticks, except for the CVS folders (I hope that's a good sign!). There are several 'tests' to follow:

  • Need to configure Drupal 6 - get it working!
  • I will need to update using CVS at some point, which should now be more straightforward;
  • The Denver theme will have to go as it is not yet D6 compatible;
  • then - carry over the new files and CSS from Drupal 5 -> 6.
I still have in mind to use Drupal with CVS through Eclipse.

As expected there are some videos on the new features of Drupal 6 - internationalization and localization. I'd better start checking things out closer to home...

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

0's & 1's old and new: where's the data?

Apart from the old website graphics I do feel like I've a handle on the pages themselves. The styling will be basic, but I now have some ideas from initial experiments and Drupal clearly doesn't disappoint regards printing and accessibility. I still need to check the HTML tags allowed on pages. Speech bubble 'what no data!'

As to other ideas further down the avenue - the whine of activity here is prompting another: "Where's the DATA?".

This glaring omission and its ongoing transformation from apparent to acute is recognised from past experience and current attempts to conjoin programming, web and related tools. Using BBC BASIC in 80's it was easy to use arrays and basic file handling and then concoct 20-30 cases with about a dozen or so attributes. Most of them were personal details and basic demographics.

Now entering the real world: surprise-surprise MySQL is really powerful. What this means is if you have data to throw at MySQL then it will play ball with you (assuming you play by the rules). Reading about Ajax and PHP my book explores SOAP and web services. The examples of Google, Amazon, PayPal and others are a world apart in terms of the data they serve and the services that use and complement those flows. So here, surely 20-30 concocted cases are still the order of the day?

It depends of course on what I want to try to achieve. Who is the audience? Who is the main 'user'? Reading Moggridge's Designing Interactions and the contributors frequent recourse to user participation in design and development gives me two thoughts:

At the Barn there is a group of retired regulars (teachers?) who re-organise the furniture and settle down to attend to their well-being needs. As I read and they update each other on news, the wise-cracks flow and characters shine I'm wondering.... It would be fascinating to sit down with them one-by-one and check out their experiences in consulting with the health and social care team (whoever, wherever and how many that may be?). What would have helped them AND the professional(s)? What would help subsequently (TI:ME is always a key factor)?

The summary care record is a case in point - but is there another perspective on this? There is a literature that's for sure.
Thought bubble with Hodges model
I've even wondered about approaching neighbours and scratching a non-personal surface or two. I'd need to properly formulate my questions, although a loose initial approach might pay dividends? After all - what is the problem that Hodges' model might help solve?

In the same way the internet increasingly provides for rich application experiences, expectations are rising. Can you hear it again...? There's a constant whine on this blog and it's the 'audience': that's the elephant in my PC and head. As per the introductory pages, Hodges' model can readily address four main audiences:

  1. PATIENTS and CARERS (Ill-health) CITIZENS (Well-being, health prevention/promotion)
  3. STUDENTS (Specific educational context)
  4. MANAGERS, POLICY MAKERS (Governance, Reporting)
If I ever do need it, test data isn't just my problem. There must be solutions out there....? Before I get carried away though - time for a KISS.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Eclipse Europa, PHP & Ruby et al.

Photo by Kyle Carmona
As planned last night I installed Eclipse Europa and the Ruby Development Tools [RDT]. RDT was missing at first and as I tried to use the same workspace there were complaints. Once RDT was installed using the 'update manager' my test 'hello world' program ran aok. The Eclipse help system includes a 'hello world' example.

I'm completely bowled over by Eclipse(s)...
As the scope, usability, feature set and potential of Eclipse rolls my way -
I'm cold. Frozen solid just thinking about learning this environment,
but the promise, well that really warms you up.

I'm off work on holiday for the next week, so amongst some jobs and trips I plan to check out the PHP options, how Eclipse can support Drupal.

Tortoise CVS is also in place, so now a right-click in folders and on the desktop reveals two CVS options. CVS is provided within Eclipse too, so I'm sure this is the way to go. It's the NW England Drupal meet next week and I plan on having a CVS aware Drupal 6 up and running before then - if that's possible. It's a must-do of course, if I'm to review Mercer's new Drupal 6 book at the end of the month.

Unfortunately Brian and I are not able to meet this week. It is great to know he is busy and we plan to catch up soon.

Just to mention that the Northern England Human Ecology Group look set to meet again in April on a Saturday, theme Well-being, likely venue Rivington, nr Horwich, Bolton - details tbc....

And finally - fantastic job Atlantis!

Photo source adapted from original: by Kyle Carmona - http://www.eclipsetours.com/lresults.html

Box & Grid fonts plus Wicker People - blog banner.

As regular readers will be aware I've been after a decent banner for W2tQ.

I came across this site specialising in free fonts:

- and putting this resource together with a photo taken locally this is the result:

I do hope the Celtic influence does not scare anyone, but Hodges' model is a conceptual framework...

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Early spring PC clean: Eclipse, Drupal, PHP & Ruby

My PC is over 5 years old, that's no problem as I like to squeeze every bit out of them.

I've recognised for a quite a while that there are obvious connections between Drupal, PHP, MySQL, HTML, CSS and Javascript. There are additional connections though when Ruby and Protege are thrown into the mix. The common thread seems to be the Eclipse IDE integrated development environment. This presents the biggest challenge at present and it is clear what I have to do: So long Dreamweaver - I really DO need to adopt Eclipse.

The Smalltalk* V DIGITALK package is sat on my shelf laughing at me and that's a really scary, dusty grin. The Smalltalk IDE was so tantalising and yet I couldn't get past base. Borland's Prolog (later PDC Prolog) plus Delphi also failed to take off for me (although PDC Prolog did help with my studies at the time).

Clearing the PC cobwebs today (have you checked your PC's air vents recently?) I found an old Eclipse 2 folder and have deleted version 3.1 and finally downloaded 3.3. Aptana and the Ruby development tools were installed, so there are now plug-ins to chase. Apparently, there's a plug-in for PHP too, which is why I wonder whether Eclipse can do it all? That is of course if I can learn enough to hear the harmony.

I've found a good series of tutorials, but my reflex book search suggests there are not many general intro books on Eclipse 3.x:


I won't delete Dreamweaver MX just yet...

*Currently, reading about early interface and interaction development in Bill Moggridge's Designing Interactions, which includes Smalltalk - p.69 a great book in weight and content. More to follow...

Friday, February 08, 2008

ERCIM News No. 72 Special theme: The Future Web

Continuing the research thread ERCIM News has arrived.

Next issue- April 2008 special theme: Maths for Everyday Life
This promises to be very interesting despite the challenge here to understand maths.

ERCIM: European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics

New Dynamics of Ageing - cross-council research programme

A new website has been launched devoted to New Dynamics of Ageing [NDA] a cross-council research programme.

The first newsletter is available on the site and introduces specific research projects that include:

  • KISS – Keeping Individuals Safe and Secure: Safety and Security for Older People
  • Smart Clothing for Older People
  • Experiences and Uses of Technology in Older Age
  • Self Management of Chronic Disease in Older People Using Wireless Technologies
  • The Development of an Interdisciplinary Rural Ageing Research Agenda Using the OPeRA (Older People in Rural Areas) Network
  • Detecting and Preventing Financial Abuse of Older Adults: An Examination of Decision-making by Managers and Professionals in Health, Social Care, Banking and Asset Management
  • Quality of Life (QoL) in Older Age: Psychometric Testing of the Multidimensional Older People’s Quality of Life (OPQOL) Questionnaire and the Causal Model of QoL Under-pinning It

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

jQuery test page - Pippa's H-M axis question

Pippa's query about the HUMANISTIC & MECHANISTIC axis within Hodges' model, got me thinking not only in terms of her Occupational Health Nursing context, but how can I display the questions and answers in a new way - at least for me?

For web designers this is noddy stuff, but I worked on an effort using some jQuery, plus a style sheet. The idea is to work through the questions THEN click the question to reveal / hide a response.

Time as ever has not allowed me to consult with OH professionals and their course curricula. Despite this, the pointers appear to have helped Pippa and may inform general readers.

As to the page itself, there is much more to do. Refine the code, test it across browsers and consider some additional touches - possibly rounded corners. How might this sit in Drupal? There is one CSS (javascript?) technique that I really must tackle - a gift for Hodges' model: opacity and layers.
I will be checking what Drupal can do from an educational perspective and contrast this with tools like Moodle.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Magical thinking and topographic tapestries

I had a job interview yesterday.
The news came through today - I didn't make the grade.

It was close, with some really useful feedback, which I have acted upon.

With 10 applicants I'd already done well: I was 1 of 4 candidates on the day.

Yes, yes, I can see the irony.

For many people(s) four is not a lucky number and there was I thinking - 2/4/8 (so USA).

Driving around the various communities as a community mental health nurse, I wish I could see the totality of the journeys taken over the years? I've looked occasionally down the lanes and roads still untravelled - and wondered:

Is there a referral in the near future,
that will begin a journey that will complete the maze
I'm otherwise bound to follow?

Maybe I'm just very lucky (privileged) to be doing what I do....

Take care on your travels, wherever they take you .... magical thinking

Monday, February 04, 2008

BH PJ meet Manchester next week and Drupal CVS - version control

Just to finalise the details for a meeting with Brian (Hodges) in Manchester next week - it's half-term. It is not often we get to meet, so I'm really looking forward to catching up again. This blog was just an idea last time we met.

Reading through the Pro Drupal Book VanDyk & Westgate on page 115 there's a pointer to chapter 22 for more details on CSS and the way styling is processed in Drupal, but I can't find anything of note there. I'll check the publisher's - Apress - site and with fellow Drupaler's in Manchester on 20th Feb.

Chapter 21 is on Development Best Practices. Reading this I think when the upgrade is made, then Drupal 6 will be Concurrent Versions System (CVS) aware. May as well: in for a penny in for a pound(ing)....

I'm still itching to get to Eclipse - Ruby and CVS will be useful there too. I was in Border's over the weekend and checking the IT publications (Mac....!) . I lamented the absence of programming titles (.EXE was a favourite). There used to be so many in the heady days of mid-80s through 90s, and not just imports - JOOP, Dr Dobbs.

PC Pro Feb 2008 features an opinion piece 'It's time our kids really got back to Basic and the principles of programming' Tim Danton, p. 7. A couple of years ago there was the chance of a trip to India to help with software from a nursing 'user' perspective. Unfortunately, this adventure didn't happen. In terms of economies around the world it surely helps to have programmers at home too: in-house in-deed.

Occupational Health nursing and Hodges' model

In response to Pippa Crouch's enquiry posted here on New Year's Day I eventually sent some Q&A's to her (which I'll post here or through the site soon). Although Hodges' model seemed to fall in place for Pippa, there were some remaining questions about the HUMANISTIC - MECHANISTIC dimensions of the model in the OH context.

Since then (and post-submission/marking) Pippa has forwarded her completed assignment:

- at 7,000+ words I've some reading to do.

Pippa has obviously explored the website; as her study includes a basic grid for Hodges' model to illustrate a CARE PROBLEMS OUTLINE. This MS Word template is available through the website homepage - resources (which reminds me I must check/update these too!).

Sunday, February 03, 2008

free reading copy new book: "What is Community Informatics? (and Why Does It Matter)"

I have long been interested in the theory that underpins informatics, especially the overlap between the different informatics schools. Here are details of a new publication that debates the status and role of community informatics.

Allow me to bring to the attention of list members the recent publication of the book:

"What is Community Informatics? (and Why Does It Matter)",

by Prof. Michael Gurstein and published by Polimetrica.

Thanks to author and publisher, the book has been licensed through the terms of an Attribution-NonCommercial Creative Commons license that allows the reader to freely distribute the work for non-commercial purposes.

You can download a copy of the book.
(Link text updated PJ)

If you want to support this experimental project that aims to promote a free and open access to scientific knowledge, please buy a printed copy of the book.

Many thanks!

All the best,
Viviana Sica

Eng. Viviana Sica
Editorial Office (Head)
Polimetrica Publisher
Corso Milano 26
20052 Monza Mi Italy

Friday, February 01, 2008

Styling for the LINKS pages (and future....)

I've been reading up on CSS and tables, testing ideas on the links pages.

The revised POLITICAL and SCIENCES links pages have been uploaded.

At present the style statements are within the links pages themselves. I need to separate the styles from the content and combine them into an external CSS file. Much more to check and improve - the colour schemes and cell border colours which will make the table headers stand out a bit more (but subtly so). I've started to add 'scope' which I gather is used by non-visual browsers - to indicate 'column'.... There are other attributes to consider. I tried to move the links to the left a little, but the bullets are all over in different browsers.

I managed to get the updated style sheet to work in Drupal, but only with the full HTML filter on. This needs to be addressed as security is a key concern.

The jQuery book should be on its way. Which makes me wonder if in future I could present the subject headings in collapsed form? Then when one is clicked that row would open up.

CSS really is fun. Challenging, but fun.