Monday, August 22, 2011

Warrick's status

Warrick is now available. See the Jan 24, 2012 update below.

I've received numerous inquiries about Warrick the past few months, so I wanted to let everyone know where it currently stands. For those of you that don't know about Warrick, it is a program I wrote that can automatically reconstruct a website that is no longer available on the Web by locating missing web pages from various web repositories like the Internet Archive, Google's cache, etc.

Since creating Warrick about six years ago, a lot has changed:

These changes have required me to make some radical changes to Warrick in the past, but it's still broken in terms of accessing the Internet Archive. That's why there's been a note on the Warrick website for several months warning about Warrick's current state.

Fortunately, a new development called Memento will help shield Warrick from some of these types of difficulties in working with various web repositories. Memento is an addition to the HTTP protocol which enables easier access to old web pages. If you keep up with this blog, you might remember that I implemented an Android browser a year ago that uses Memento to surf the Web. Warrick can use Memento to find archived web pages much easier than the current method which requires custom code for each web repository.

A PhD student at Old Dominion University, Justin Brunelle, is currently modifying Warrick to make it Memento-compliant. Hopefully Warrick will be up and running again soon. Once it's working, the old Warrick website will be replaced with a more up-to-date version, and it will be open to the public once again.

I appreciate everyone's patience while Warrick is being transformed.


Dec 12, 2011: Justin is still making progress on Warrick. I hope it will be available in a few weeks. I will keep updating this blog post when I know more.

Dec 20, 2011: Justin has given me a beta version of Warrick which I am testing. I hope to make this version available as soon as some documentation is available. Unfortunately, this beta version will require some technical knowledge of how to install Perl libraries and run the tool from the command line. We plan to make Warrick run automatically from our website in the future.

Jan 24, 2012: Warrick 2.0 Beta is now available from Google Code! You can read more about the new version here. Right now Warrick only runs from the command line on *nix systems (Linux and Unix-like systems), but a Windows version is in the works. Work is also being done on a new web interface for less tech-savvy users... I don't have an ETA for it yet.

Mar 6, 2012: Warrick's web interface is now available! That means you can just submit a job and get an email to pick up your recovered website when the job completes. For those of you who are tech savy, you can still download and run Warrick locally on your own machine.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

We're back!

Monday morning our family caught a noon flight from Athens back to Little Rock. Unfortunately we didn't actually arrive in Little Rock until 3:30 am due to equipment failure and other issues on our connecting flight. I estimated that the total trip was 27 hours from door to door! On a good note, when we got home and walked in the door, we were greeted with a "Welcome Home!" sign that our friends had made, and our frig was full of food. We have some great friends!

After a very busy summer lugging our kids across three continents, Becky and I were certainly ready to be home. At the same time it was sad saying goodbye to our time in Greece. Living and traveling with 32 college students was an extraordinary way to spend the summer, and we will certainly miss the students and the daily interaction we shared at the Artemis. The boys are sure to miss the swimming pool and all the attention they received from the students. I'm thankful we’ll get to continue seeing many of the college students in a few weeks when the fall semester starts back up.

We wrapped up the summer semester with a ton of class days followed by final exams. Becky’s composition course seemed to go well. To the chagrin of my students, we covered every chapter in Part 1 of McRay’s Paul book in the Bible course I taught. I learned an incredible amount of information about Paul and how the gospel of Christ was spread across Asia and Europe in those decades following Jesus’ death and resurrection.

My Speech Comm course also was a positive learning experience for me, and the final week was mainly students giving persuasive speeches. One student did so well that he made me re-evaluate my stance on teaching kids about Santa Clause!

Teaching these courses outside my discipline was challenging, but I found that I enjoyed teaching them about as much as I enjoy teaching CS courses. The great thing about being a professor is that you always get to keep learning new and interesting stuff.

The final week at the Artemis also included a Toga party to celebrate the end of the summer. All the students, the directors, and even my family received humorous awards. I think the best one went to Ethan: Most Likely to Dress Up Like Spider-Man to Chapel.

About twelve of us also took a day trip to the Corinth Canal where we bungee jumped off one of the bridges. It was the first time any of us had bungee jumped, and it was a great place to do it for the first time. A few of us (me included) actually hit the water below!

On a closing note, Becky and I were very appreciative of Mike and Beth who were very supportive of our family. They are excellent directors, and you can tell the students absolutely love them.