Tuesday, May 30, 2006

10 years of shame: Queen's visit to Aberystwyth remebered

Outrage as Lee Trundle opens extension at Cardiff leisure centre

Imagine a leisure centre in Cardiff has had a bit of a facelift and for the opening they'd like a high profile personality. For some strange reason the manager happens to be a Jack and his mate has Lee Trundle's mobile number. What the hell, this is his big chance to be bezzy mates with the squeaky one, so he invites him along even though he knows damn well this will probaly piss off a lot of the staff at the leisure centre who are Cardiff City fans, not to mention the Cardiff public.

Of course this wouldn't happen, but ten years ago today, Derec Llwyd Morgan, the modern day Dic Siôn Dafydd decided to invite the Queen of England to open a new extension at the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth. Of all the national institutions in Wales, the Library is probably the Welshest (if there's such a word), and it also happens to be located next to Neuadd Pantycelyn, the university halls of residence. This hall is probably the most radical and nationalist of all Welsh students halls - only one thing could happen!

The above are the back and front of a t-shirt produced by Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg to celebrate the day. The back has a montage of the headlines taken from different newspapers across the UK the following day. The protestors were condemed, but for the first time in decades the true views of the Welsh people were made public and aired around the world.

As there wasn't much happening on the web in those days, I can find very little bout it, apart from this from the BBC programme catalogue.

I missed all the fun as I'd just finished my two year course at Coleg Llandrillo and had just started my summer job working for in a local hotel for a bunch of royalists from south east England, but I was glued to the radio all day awaiting the revolution so to speak as my couisn was a first year student at Aber at the time and had been telling me for weeks what was planned. Another blogger called Rhys remembers being kept home for the day as a choir from his school was to perform for the Queen, but his and two other families kept their children at home.


Dogfael, another Aber resident mentions how he spent the day at an alternative event in the town's famous Coop's pub, where a drag Queen was presented with flowers by a special young lady (see link below 'From posies to protests').

I've come across links to two articles, both from the Torygraph, so they will have a slighly different slant to this blog!
Protest halts Queen's visit
From posies to protests

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Monday, May 29, 2006

Euskal Herria Part 1: Another 5 minutes of fame

My Basque adventure began before I even left Wales. To coincide with Basque side Biarittz reaching the Heiniken Cup final in Cardiff and the Welsh football team visiting the Basque Country for a friendly, Luistxo Fernandez of Code Syntax wrote an article called Teknofilo euskaldunak eta galestarrak ('Basque and Welsh Technofile' - I think) on Sustatu.com, a kind of Basqe language version of Slashdot (it's all about scale as Luistxo keeps reminding me!).

The article compares the development of the Rhithfro (the Welsh speaking internet world - literally means 'Virtual vale/valley') with whats happening in Basque. Among other things such as Cymuned's visit to the Basque Country, the article mentions my Welsh blog and that I helped translate Tagzania into Welsh.

Don't ask me to translate any of it as I don't understand much Basque apart from 'Eskerrik asko', 'Bai' and 'Non daude komunak?' ('Thank you', 'Yes' and 'Where's the toilet?' - thanks BBC), but my ego was nicely massaged and seeing my rather uninspiring Anglicized surname appearing as something exotic like Wynnek cheered me up.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Kaixo, I'm back

I've been back from the Basque country for 2 days now, but I've somehow managed to catch a cold and I'm feeling very sorry for myself, so much so I've not blogged about it yet - I have'nt even downloaded my photo's off the camera yet! Info about the trip and some photo's will be here soon I promise. In the meantime here's a photo of me and a few other Welsh fans taken from the Deia newspaper.

Copied from the Madarch Eithafol (Extreme Mushrooms) blog.

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Friday, May 12, 2006

You can't eat menus

When is a bilingual website not a bilingual website?
Well there are two main types:
  • Static sites that have Welsh/English options (or any other two languages) on pages but in reality most pages are only available in one language.
  • Dynamic sites which can be viewed in either language, but where the search facility can only be used in one language.
This post is inspired by a recent comment left on this blog by Bronkichat who was surprised that when using Traveline Cymru’s website for planning a visit to Wales, it didn’t recognise the Welsh placenames she was inputting. I’d noticed this myself while using that site in the past and also Arriva Train Wales’ site (looking for Caerdydd (Cardiff) to Abertawe (Swansea) on the Welsh interface give's this result). Dafydd, who works in the IT industry and knows more about what's possible and what isn't has highlighted many similar examples on his blog, a recent one being BT’s new Welsh version of it’s on-line directory. If you look for a pub (tafarn) in Cardiff (Caerdydd), you’re presented with a list of agricultural contacts – it’s a good job I already know my way around the capital’s drinking establishments!
Yes, they’ve made an effort, but a half-arsed one which isn’t good enough. I’m not that knowledgeable about technical stuff, but I do know that it’s possible to have database driven sites in more than one language. With regards to placenames in more than one language, there’s an on-line ‘open’ project called Geonames which provides data, and there are numerous companies in Wales and beyond who provide off-the-shelf Content Management Software (CMS).

Static websites are even more common and less excuseable, the main culprits being Welsh local authorities (LA’s). Talking about the ‘legal’ obligation for a moment, the websites I’ve mention earlier belong to the public transport and utilities sector, both of which have been privatised since the last Welsh Language Act of 1993 and there’s a lot of confusion as to whether or not they fall under the Act. The 22 LA’s in Wales on the other hand all came into existence after 1993, and with the changes in IT over that period are now on their 2nd or 3rd re-vamp, yet Welsh language provision is still seen as an annoying afterthought. Many of these offer Welsh or English options on front pages or menu’s but within one or two clicks on the Welsh option you either find yourself looking at English content or at a depressingly familiar message:

WELSH - This site is currently being developed.

still hasn't even managed to add a Cymraeg button yet though, just some kind of appology at the bottom of the home page.

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Thursday, May 11, 2006

Welsh Language Act Rally, Aberystwyth: 10/6/06

Simultaneous translation available during main speeches. If you'd like to place a banner similar to the one at the top of this blog (in English or Welsh) on yours, you can get the code form this thread on maes-e.

To book a place on a bus to the event, contact Angharad for buses from the south and Dewi for buses from the north.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Share photo's and stories from the trip to the Basque Country

There's uncertainty again over whether the basque Country v Wales match will take place on May the 20th as the Spanish leauge has appealed to FIFA to hold all the last fixtures on the same day. But in the meantime I've had an idea!

(Yawn!) Ok Rhys, what is it?
I recently set up a group on Flickr for fans on teh trip to share photos. I'd have liked to go a step further and have a website that concentrated on the trip where people could post their blog posts onto. The idea behind this was a mashup website called SpyBlogak, which was devised by a Basque as it happens to follow a web event at Biblao last month. Sadly I wouldn't know where to start creating such a thing, so I forgot about the idea.

Yesterday, Deiniol blogged about SuprGlu, a DIY mashup site, where you can add feed from your blog, Flick account, del.icio.us bookmarks etc to all appear in one place. It's a bit like BlogCymru in a way as an aggregator, but instead of reading contents from different Welsh blogs, a SuprGlu account displays content from your own sites or selected feeds.

I don't think I'll use this service for use with my blog and Flickr account as I prefer people to visit them individually, but I can see potential for sharing photo's and blog posts about either specific issues or better still about a particular event that a few people would blog about?

Everyone still awake?
I've just set up a Suprglu account for the trip to the Basque Country, which can be seen here:

How does it work exactly?
I'm not the best person to ask, but it uses tags and feed
At the moment, what will appear will be:
Why choose the tag 'galestarrakgara'?
Well it means 'We're Welsh'/'We're from Wales' in Basqu. I admit it's an unfamiliar word, but it's worth choosing an unique word as choosing tags like 'Welsh', 'Cymru' 'Football' or 'I love Robbie Savage' would pick up loads of irrelevant links.

I don't know how to tag/can't be arsed tagging.
Fair enough, but if you can just include the word 'galestarrakgara' somewhere within your blog post when discussing the trip (at the end maybe), then it should still work. Also another Rhys Wynne has devised a handy little programme called the Technorati Tag Generator which makes tagging much easier.

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