What is making websites for PEI poltical parties?

Now we know who is making website for PEI political parties, what about the underlying software, the so-called “content management system” that parties use to maintain their websites.

For every site on the web, you can “view source” in your web browser to see the “source code” of the website – the HTML, CSS and JavaScript that together define how the website looks and what its contents are. By examining the source of Island political party websites, it’s easy to tell what content management systems they’re using:

Party Website Content Management System
Green Party Drupal 7.35
Island Party Not obvious
Liberal Party CMS Made Simple
NDP WordPress 4.1.1
PC Party WordPress 4.1.1

The clues I used to help me identify which CMS each party is using are as follows:

Drupal

In the HTML source of the site it’s explicity stated:

<meta name="Generator" content="Drupal 7 (http://drupal.org)" />

In addition, the login page for the CMS is at the standard Drupal location of /user.

It’s worth noting that the Green Party is keeping its Drupal 7 installation up to date: if you visit the CHANGELOG.txt for the site, you’ll see that it’s running version 7.35, which reflect a mid-March security patch.

CMS Made Simple

The site is currently offline, but by searching Google for cache:http://movingforwardpei.ca/ I was able to retrieve an older cached version. There’s no explicit evidence for what the CMS is, but references to “modules” called “MenuManager” and “Showtime,” both of which are party of that CMS, are a good sign.

WordPress

A set of clues, including this explicit statement (which only appears on the NDP WordPress):

<meta name=generator content="WordPress 4.1.1"/>

and frequent references in the HTML source to “wp-content”, a commonly-used WordPress directory.

In addition, the login pages for both the PC and NDP sites are in the standard place at /wp-login.php.

As with the Green Party and Drupal, both the PC and NDP WordPress sites are running the latest version, 4.1.1, released in mid-February.

WHOIS making websites for PEI poltical parties?

Every time you type a web address into your browser, you’re using something called a domain name – the one for this website, for example, is ruk.ca.

Anyone can register a domain name and there’s a directory of who’s registered what that’s called WHOIS: with this tool you can connect a domain name to the person or organization who registered it.

There’s used to be one big WHOIS for the entire Internet, but, with the expansion of the Internet, the directory has now splintered and you need to go different places for different domains. For the .ca domain, used here in Canada, Webnames.ca’s WHOIS is one place to go.

Every domain name has a “Registrar” (the company paid to register the domain name), a “Registrant” (the person or organization who registered the name) and an “administrative contact” (the contact person for the domain).

Using that tool, you can find out something about the websites of the Island’s registered political parties; It’s possible to hide the registrant and the administrative contact when you’re registering the domain; The Island Party is the only party that opted to do this. Here’s where the domains for the Island’s parties are registered, and by whom:

Party Website Registrar Registrant Administrative Contact
Green Party DomainsAtCost Corp. Green Party of Prince Edward Island Stiles
Island Party Go Daddy Domains Canada Hidden Hidden
Liberal Party Webnames.ca Inc. Results Marketing and Advertising Heather Howatt
NDP DomainsAtCost Corp. NDP Party of PEI Mr Michael Bryanton
PC Party Go Daddy Domains Canada Fresh Media Inc. Melody Dover

Install What's My Lot?

Remember What’s My Lot?, my web app that will tell you, if you’re on Prince Edward Island, what lot you’re standing in?

Now, in addition to being a regular everyday website, at whatsmylot.com, you can also install it as an app for Firefox or Chrome:

Get it in the Firefox Marketplace Get it in the Chrome Web Store

The Firefox web app can be installed on any device running Firefox – desktop, phone, or table – while the Chrome app cannot be installed on mobile devices (only because the Chrome Web Store isn’t available for mobile devices, oddly).

In addition to all the functionality of the original version of the app, the updated version now includes a thumbnail sketch of each lot’s original owner.

If you’re on a Mac using Firefox to install the app, you might have to adjust your security settings, temporarily, to allow the app to be installed.

14 km above our heads at 1200 km/h

I’m now 3 weeks into my experiment using a PiAware to track airplanes flying over Prince Edward Island. And I’ve been joined in the effort by my friend Ken, who, fortuitously, lives in Tyne Valley and thus is perfectly positioned to capture overflights that my receiver cannot see. As a result, coverage of all by the most western tip of the Island is very good now, as evidenced by this map that shows three weeks of flights:

Some statistics about what’s flying over Prince Edward Island:

  • The top five origins of planes flying over the Island are:
    • New York, NY
    • Newark, NJ
    • Chicago, IL
    • Toronto, ON
    • Paris, France
  • The top five destinations are:
    • London, England
    • Paris, France
    • New York, NY
    • Frankfurt, Germany
    • Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • The top five aircraft types are:
    • Boeing 763
    • Airbus 333
    • Boeing 752
    • Boeing 744
    • Boeing 772
  • The average altitude of flights is 35,474 feet.
  • The maximum altitude was 47,050 feet. by a Wells Fargo Bank-registered flight that doesn’t allow its origin or destination to be published.
  • The maximum ground speed was 671 knots (1242 km/h) by American Airlines 78, flying from Dallas to London on March 28, 2015.

More than anything else, this project has changed my perception of Prince Edward Island in the world: it’s a lot harder to think of PEI as a remote island disconnected from the global commerce when there are so many airplanes flying directly over our heads every day going to all corners of the earth. Even if they are 14 km above our heads.

Death to Trees

After Hurricane Juan in 2003 I wrote, in my diary of the events surrounding the storm:

Catherine gets up with an awful barometric headache, and decides to sleep in Oliver’s bed just in case a tree falls on him. I try and get to sleep.

Here’s the tree I was afraid might fall in the storm:

Elm Tree at 100 Prince Street

Our house is the blue one with the red roof; Oliver’s room at the time was on the left on the second floor. Of course if the tree fell it would have crushed the entire house, not just Oliver.

This morning at 7:30 a.m. we were greeted with a knock at the door by a worker from Asplundh, the contractor that’s cutting down more than 300 elm trees in Charlottetown as a reaction to Dutch elm disease.

“That your red car?”, he asked me, going on to explain that he needed to set up in front of our house and I either needed to move my car or face having it blocked for the rest of the day.

“Is that a big tree,” I asked, “compared to the others you’re taking down?”

“Just another day at the office,” he replied.

Here’s Oliver, this morning, now 11 years older, watching the tree on the cusp of falling to the chain saw:

Elm Tree about to be cut down...

And here, courtesy of my friend Ray, are the remains of the tree a few hours later:

Chopped Down Elm Tree at 100 Prince

How long was the tree there?  Back in 2005 I posted a photo of Trinity United Church, likely taken in the late 1870s or early 1880s, with a bit of our house in the corner; blowing the photo up, you can clearly see a tree (or trees) in the front yard of our house:

Was our elm one of those? I don’t know. At the very least, though, it was older than any of us. And perhaps the physically biggest natural object that’s every been a part of my daily life.

That tree will be missed.