I recently spent a week in the lake district. This was a nice change of pace after finishing exams.

In contrast to Milton Keynes, or Southampton, there was quite a large amount of wildlife to be found immediately outside the window. I saw a great number of birds, who came to the feeders, and the seed that the birds dropped attracted two ducks, some mice (or similar small mammals) and some rabbits (including some very young rabbits).

Also using the feeders were a couple of squirrels, one grey squirrel and a rarer red squirrel, both who happened to try and get some peanuts at the same time (causing some contention).

While not doing any of the above. I worked on ikiwiki, mostly because it was the easiest thing to work on, without an internet connection.

I would like to put photos up on this website, using git annex. To do this, there were two obstacles to overcome.

Firstly was the album plugin for ikiwiki, the absolute positioning of the controls meant that it did not work to well with the layout of this site. It was also a bit awkward to use as the templates, css and code are not included within ikiwiki.

To address this, I started using the album4 branch from Simon McVittie, rebased this on to the current master branch, and attempted to improve the css. I believe it now works a bit better, as there is no absolute positioning.

You can see these changes in the album branch, and I also created a simple example site to demonstrate the plugin.

The second hurdle was getting ikiwiki working with git annex. The main issue with this is how ikiwiki and git annex handle symlinks. Ikiwiki, for security issues ignores symlinks. While git annex, when operating normally (not in direct mode), uses symlinks as those are what is commited to git.

There have been some attempts to do this previously, some using git annex in direct mode, and some using underlays to get the content across. I opted for a different approch, that is modify ikiwiki to follow symlinks (or rather, make it configurable). While this has some security implications, for the use on this site, this works well.

The album for this week is now up, and is the reason why this post has taken so long to publish, as I kept encountering issues with Ikiwiki in getting the album up.