Archive of October 2004

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Sushi USB Drive

I've had the lust, but not the cash for a USB Drive for quite a while.  But these sushi drives are truly lust-worthy at any price, although apparently they are only available in 32MB or 128MB sizes (at this time I would assume).  A 256MB or larger drive would be better, but gift purchases are gladly accepted!
October 19, 2004 @ 12:38 pm | Category:
Saturday, October 16, 2004

PolarBlog V1.2 Roadmap

PolarBlog V1.2 will contain the following new features:
  • Ping-O-Matic! Support
  • Improved Entry Index/Archive List
  • Preview Popup
  • Double Entry Prevention
The Ping-O-Matic support has been integrated and is currently running successfully on this site.  If you are interested in the technical details, please see the Implementing Pingers entry.

The Entry Index looked nice when I originally implemented it.  At this point I think it just looks shitty and inefficient.  Sure they match the entry style, but they just waste a lot of space and have too much fluff.  Thus this will be changing to a more basic listing of entries separated into months, still in reverse chronological order.

One of the features from PWL that I had no use for was the entry preview display.  My answer to this was the display/no display option.  That fulfilled my preview needs while also adding the ability to save partial entries that could be finished later without being displayed in the meantime.  Some of you disagree and seem to miss the preview option.  Because of the way saving and displaying of entries works in PolarBlog, the best way for me to add an entry preview option is with a popup preview window.  This will have configuration options so you can set the size roughly the same as the main entry panel display area.  This is necessary because when using the left navigation option, the display area in significantly smaller.

There have been reports of duplicates when creating new entries.  The only way I know this could happen is if you use your browser's back button after creating a new entry.  Currently when you create a new entry if you use your browser's back button to backup and edit the entry, when you resubmit it, a duplicate entry is created.  This is because PolarBlog doesn't know that you've used the back button to (effectively) edit a (now) existing entry.  Thus it see this as a new entry and treats it as such.  But it really isn't, it's an edit of an existing entry.

I will be looking into adding a token value to the submission form.  This value will also be stored in your login session until the entry is created.  At that time it will be removed from the session so subsequent submission will not be excepted.  In the meantime (and always actually), once you create an entry you should only use the "Edit Entry" link to edit your entries.

Looking towards the future, here's some other features that are on the "desirable" list that may see the light of day in PolarBlog at some point:
  • I18N (Internationalization) - This will be the major focus of V1.3
  • Trackback Support
  • Pingback Support
  • Entry Posting via email
If you have other features you would like to see added, please forward them to me for consideration.

I've updated the entry index to display entries by month and year in reverse chronological order.  You can see it in action on my entry index.  The devfault value for the DEFAULT_ARCHIVE_CNT configuration directive has been changed from 20 to 100 to better support the new index page.
October 16, 2004 @ 07:26 am | Category:
Friday, October 15, 2004

Brewing Revolution

Now here's a worthy brewing improvement.  Anything that helps or improves brewing quality beer, get high marks in my book.  Plus it gives me the change to use this beauty:

October 15, 2004 @ 12:46 pm | Category:

Implementing Pingers

If you are interested in pinging one of the many blog pinger/update sites, you might want to consider Ping-O-Matic.  If you ping them them, they will in turn ping several services by default for you:
  • Technorati
  • MyYahoo! (currently disabled)
  • BlogRolling
  • BlogChatter
  • PubSub
If you use blogging software that allows you to enter a ping URL, it's real easy.  Just add to your configuration.  If you use a lesser known blogging package (*cough* PolarBlog *cough*) you may need to add it yourself or run a separate script to do the pinging for you.  I'm implementing this in PolarBlog with an option to turn it off and on using code similar to the following test code:

//--- Includes

define("XMLRPC_DEBUG", 1); //debugging only!!!

$method = '';
$blog_name = 'PolarLava';
$blog_url = '';
$site = '';
$location = '/RPC2';

$params = array(XMLRPC_prepare($blog_name),XMLRPC_prepare($blog_url));
list($stat, $result) = XMLRPC_request( $site, $location, $method, $params );
echo "STAT: $stat<br/>";
foreach ($result as $key => $value) {
  echo(" $key => $value " . '<br/>');

When run, this will (hopefully) return the following:
  STAT: 1
  flerror =>
  message => Pings being forwarded to 7 services!
Which indicates that this was successful.

Now before you can use this you need to grab Keith Devens' XML-RPC Library and save that in a separate include file.  That's what is really doing the heavy lifting here.

Hopefully this might be of use to you if you've been trying to figure out how to implement a pinger.  Confession time…this entry is basically a reworking of a Simple way to Ping using PHP and XML-RPC.  That's basically where all of the information you are reading here came from.  Thanks, Kris.
October 15, 2004 @ 07:36 am | Category:
Thursday, October 14, 2004


October 14, 2004 @ 12:52 pm | Category:

Darwinian Pakistani

It is very reassuring to see Darwin in action not only in the U.S., but around the world.  This time it's in Pakistan!  Truly a "What the hell were you thinking" moment.

12/2/04 - Moved to new "Darwin's Work" topic.
October 14, 2004 @ 12:05 pm | Category:
Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Brain-dead Bureaucrat

A few weeks back I wrote about wearing a LiveStrong wristband.  For me it's logical; I'm a cyclist, Lance Armstrong fan, it supports cancer victims who need assistance and my mother is a cancer survivor.  It just makes sense to me.  Unfortunately, an administrator run amok at the Virginia Beach City Public Schools just disqualified 26 cross-country runners for wearing them.  Why?  They're jewelery of course, and only religious or medical "jewelery" are allowed.

It's good to see a positive message for kids of all ages being squashed by an overzealous school bureaucrat.  Fortunately for me I would have been allowed to wear mine because cycling is my religion!

Well it seems that the bureaucrats who made this blunder have reversed this decision after getting inundated with complaints from rational, sane people.
October 12, 2004 @ 12:46 pm | Category:

PolarBlog V1.1

It's here!  I've released PolarBlog V1.1 this morning, enjoy.  If you have problem please post your questions to the mailing list.

This has been a long time in the making, but I'm glad to have finally gotten over the hump with this release.  This release basically represents the culmination of nearly a year of work.  It all started with a desire to add a commenting system to PWL and resulted in the creation of PolarBlog.
October 12, 2004 @ 07:37 am | Category:
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