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Tagging Status Report

100 posts to go

Tagging Status Report

I'm tagging every post to my site. Got 164 posts to go, mostly comments.

Brian versus Sleep

Last night i was working on GP as usual. For the last few nights this week me and Sleep have been battling each other. After a late dinner i'll get to work programming. Around 9pm Sleep hits me hard. I'll crash on the couch until midnight or 3am, then return to work. Two nights ago i thought i could work out an idea as i laid down...

Nope! Sleep knocked me out.

But last night, i made a strong come back. I laid down to figure something out and i got the solution before Sleep hit me.

Tonight i look forward to implementing it.


Previously, i've written a function to take the substring of an XML string, while preserving well-formedness. E.g. xml_substring( "<p>The brown <span class='light'>cow jumped over the lazy</span> moon</p>", 50 ) produces <p>The brown <span class='light'>cow jump</span></p>. What i need now is the rest of the string, i.e <p><span class='light'>ed over the lazy</span> moon.</p>. And i figured a way to build this into my recursive algorithm. So far i see only one problem with this, viz. an element with an id attribute can't be split into two.

Working Late Night

I have this poor habit of falling asleep after dinner. I'll be working on some code and i need to work some idea out in my head. So i go lay down. Zonk, i'm out. Tonight i happened to wake up at 11pm. So i'm back at work.

Work tonight means finding a way to inject <options/>s into a form after submitting a subform. For example let's say you filling in a book review form. It has a drop down to select the book. But the book isn't there yet. So you click on a link, fill out another form, and return a handle to that book.

We'll see how this idea pans out in practice.

PS This new site i'm working uses TrickleUp as a framework, so i ocassionally modify this site's code. If you notice anything looking bustemajid, just let me know.

Minor Author Changes to TrickleUp

I've made some minor changes to TrickleUp. For those of you blinking, it's the software that runs my site. The change is to the author information of posts and it's really just aligning the author ascpect of posting for a much larger authentication change later.

Previously the comment forms had 3 fields: name, email, and website -- just like most blogs. Now on those blogs, i have a problem with how easy it is to impersonate somone. I doubt it would happen among my friends, but if TrickleUp ever entered widespread usage, some other people may appreciate that feature.

When someone entered their name, email, and website trio, TrickleUp would create an account in the database, and send a cookie to the user. This is great for new users, but most people posting to my site are returning users.

I realized this form is not the new user registration form, even if it was a form within a form. So the registration form is separate. The comment form always allows an anonymous posting. If you're logged in to my site you may also attribute your comment to yourself.

In terms of code, it's cleaner this way.

With all that cleared up, i can focus on the real work, SSL client authentication. Just think, if we each had an SSL certificate, we wouldn't need numerous passwords.

enhancement request

Could you tweak TrickleUp so that when a commenter checks the e-mail notify box, she isn't notified of her own comment? While I like to know when someone comments on my comment, I don't really need to be notified that I just wrote something. :)
parent post: TrickleUp
notify me: yes


I've added a new object to TrickleUp, projects. There are many software projects i've worked on over the years, and i'd like to incorporate them into my web site.

Projects will have a description, development status, programming language, and category to begin with. I plan to add more attributes, like dependencies, license, source link (tarball), distributions, release information, developers, bug information, outside contributions, patches, feature requests, and documentation.

A bug tracking system will not be incorporated into TrickleUp. I'll probably use Mantis for that.

Feel free to comment on projects.


After more complaints from a person -- whom i'll keep confidential -- i've added an "post as anonymous feature" to TrickleUp. S/he was right. It should have been there. I just didn't get to it yet.

S/he mentioned that s/he must clear her/his cache and cookies everyday. This is understandable. And i do know it's a pain to request your cookie everyday, so here's the solution. Request it once, you'll get an email with a URL. Bookmark that URL.

And on authentication, yeah i think it's important for a blog. Animosity exists in the world. I would hate to be the host of nasty impersonation. One could easily hurt the reputation of antoher. It's also possible to incite poor relationships.

Other blogging software such as Blogger, LiveJournal, and WordPress already have these features. (I'm not sure about UserLand and MovableType.) They all require a username and password combo. In TrickleUp, i have have that, but i also have a watered down version, called the User Cookie. Here you give me your email address, and i'll give you a cookie that lasts a year.

Regarding Color of Links and Accessibiltiy

Seele makes a good point about the color of links or color in general on websites.

First of all i'm not sure i really want links to stand out. I'd prefer that people read my articles in entirely before being distracted by foreign sites. I'll have to think about this more.

Currently, links are dark blue, providing little difference compared to normal text. They become underlined when you put the mouse cursor over them. I like Eli's idea of underlining when the mouse enters the "article" space. He says this is broken in Internet Explorer (IE). Personally i don't give a rat's ass about IE. I think submitting to broken browsers won't improve information technology. While no browser is perfect -- i've found 2 deficiencies in Firefox -- IE is terrible.

I do care about accessibiltiy. Seele refers to a great site that displays your site as a color blind person would see it. It's called Vischeck.

I'm not sure why my site gives Seele a headache when it's only slightly different from Eli's in this respect. Despite this TrickleUp is written entirely from scratch (over 100 php classes), needs improvement, and gets it when i have spare time. I think i will assume that people use a mouse or some sort of 2D cursor. Thus i can use CSS's hover pseudo-class. I will pick up Eli's trick to underline when the mouse enters the article. I will also change the background-color when the mouse is over the link, as i do in the left menu for list items. We'll see how that looks.

Bug Hunt

Believe you me... no new features on TrickleUp until i fix its bugs. If you find any bugs, please email me. BTW, chronological ordering of articles is not a bug. :)

Rants of SD Environments

In reflection to Michael's Hey Developers, You Suck - here's my rerant. Same situation, different company. The problem i have here is a lack of respect for data by not using normalized forms and referential integrity.

Since a lot of our work is aggregating massive amounts of data, i'm often stressed by the fact that a small mistake can have large consequences.

Did you hear that CDC overstated its obesity death figures? Did you hear that the FBI may scrap a $170 million software project?

Those are disgraceful and i work hard to prevent such and embarrassment to my company.

The other problem we have is strongly connecting data to code by using VBA and stovepiping our software. The problem with tying data and code is that we manually format our data to work with our code. This presents a problem when in 6 months we want to swap in new data. The problem with stovepiping is it produced non-flexible code. So when we want to add a feature (like multiuser) to an application, it's very difficult.

One last remark. TrickleUp, the software that runs my personal website, allows me to write code to the quality that i want. I suggest each person take up at least one project to relieve stress.


I was skipping the posts who's parents are not in the latest 12 posts.
parent post: Bug
notify me: yes


TrickleUp now has threading. Threading is the organization or articles by their post-comment relationship. In TrickleUp a comment is also a post (geeks: think inheritance), so comments can have comments.

Colors Based on Time

The colors on my website are now a function of time. The header background color is based on the day of the year representing the seasons and and body background color is based on the hour of the day.

I've had this idea for a very long time and finally i've implemented it. How did i do it you ask? My stylesheet is dynamically generated using PHP.

There's still some work to do. First, the color of text much change along with the background color. Second for the season colors, i need something like white for Winter, green/yellow for Spring, orange/red for Summer, and brown/gray for Autumn. The colors need to fade from one to the next. Third, other parts of the web page need to be included.

Another feature i'd like to add is modifying the colors based on the weather at the time. I've seen this done on Dunstan's Blog.

article listing

this descending order of articles is really annoying. infact, sometimes it prevents me from checking if you have any new articles (not all of us use rss readers). have you considered thats why the last few articles havnt been commented on?
parent post: Remote Articles
notify me: yes

Remote Articles

The latest feature for TrickleUp is RemoteArticles. There are a few blogs that i read daily. Occasionally there's a good article. I want to somehow link my blog to it. There's one way to do this. Create a new "article" on my blog that refers to that article. This may or may not leave a track back on their blog.

A new way is to grab the RSS feed of that "article" and put it on my blog. This is known as slurping.

My inspiration for this idea comes through Laura's web site on the LinuxChix Live site.

So far i can slurp RSS 1.0 (RDF) feeds, but it's easy to build handlers for all of them.

TrickleUp Development

Development on TrickleUp resumes with 2 new features. (1) Commenters may now register an acount. An account allows them to take polls. There was a bug here before when TrickleUp tried to create a user when there was one already. (2) The other feature it the ability for admins to delete articles and all children comments at the click of a button.

The next feature i will add is a comment preview. Some people violate rules (too many characters). When they go back to fix, their incompetent browser doesn't have their form prefilled with their post data. (This is one place where Konqueror is better than Firefox.)

But there are other reasons for this improvement. Commenters should be able to see their post to correct typos or formatting.

Oh yeah that's another feature to add: automatic formatting of TXT into XHTML, with something like Textile and Live Comment Previews.

Your Site

When i'm home for Thanksgiving, we should work on your site http://michael.derocher.org. We can give it all the features of this site with it's own style.
I wrote all the software that runs this site. It's called TrickleUp. It has most of the features of common blog software sites, including posting articles, allowing comments, trackbacks. It also has some features that you won't find in others, like recursive comments (I'm commenting on your "comment" not my article), polls, restaurant review, movie reviews, and full customization.
parent post: Overboard with Kurt Russel also
notify me: yes

oh christ, youve GOT to fix your comments. a) you dont allow for enough characters b) I WAS UNDER YOUR 800 CHAR LIMIT AND IT STILL YELLED AT ME you lost my response. too bad because it answered your question about the television
parent post: Comments on A Kitchen Theory
notify me: yes

Trip to NY

I'm going to Selden, NY to visit my family. It's been a while since i've seen my dad and brother. I'm gonna encourage them to build their website.

The funny thing is, my dad and his brother are visiting their father today.

If i have some free time, i would like to continue my work on this site. I wasn't very happy with one solution to the duplicate author problem. Instead of reading author info and giving a cookie, i may refrain from providing the form, until they get their cookie. Although that presents a problem for newcomers. Ok I'll go with Celeste's suggestion.


tags: TrickleUp, Atom, XML

An Atom feed of this site is now available. Here's the URL: http://brian.derocher.org/atomSearch.php Atom is the new RSS.

Atom uses a well defined XML schema, XML namespaces, HTTP (GET, POST, PUT, DELETE), avoids, RPC, and passwords are sent securely (granted i'm not controlling access to my feed.

With Atom, it's possible to embed images using base64 encoding.

Will i provide RSS version x.xx? Probably not.


In the spirit of becoming a bona fide blog, i've added a new feature. Trackbacks are useful to fellow bloggers. Instead of putting their comments on my blog, they can keep their comments on their blog, and leave a reference on my blog to it.

If you have a minute (and a blog), please help me test this feature. It needs to comply to the Movable Type Trackback Technical Specification.

The trackback URL is down below.

Although others can trackback ping me, i am not yet able to ping them. I need to write more code for that.

In terms of TrickleUp taxonomy, the trackback is an extension of the comment.


I just got done with a new feature on this site. Now, when you write a comment to any posting, you may elect to receive notifications of future comments on that post. They're just short emails containing a link to the article, poll, or review you commented on.

You will get one email even if you write more than one comment.

Restaurant Reviews

New webObject: restaurantReviews!! This weekend i spent lots of time working on this. They are similar to articles, but they have additional information like food rating.

Unlike articles and polls, restaurantReviews are compound objects. That is to say the restaurant is a separate object from the review. In addition, the address and cuisine are separate from the restaurant.

This is will provide a common repository for addresses. Also it will allow others to write write their own review of these restaurants.

I posted 5 tonight because they were already written. As you can see from the Restaurant Reviews page, i have many more to review.

On a technical note, i still need to create the restaurantReviewPage which will allow readers to comment on the reviews or restaurants.

TrickleUp is Active

As you can see, the website looks a little different. What you see is the TrickleUp Effect. The top page has or will have a summary of every object on the site.

Every object has a summary and that's all you see on the top page. Lower level pages have more detail. For example the Blog, which you must be looking at now has a longer body. The polls replaces this body with an actual poll. In some time you will see pictures, reviews, etc appear.

Accounts, Polls

You can now create an account on my website. Why do that? It allows you to take polls.

In the future, accounts will also be used to authorize users to perform other actions such as create new polls, post articles on my blog, vote on movies to see, etc. Also when you want to post comments, your don't have to retype your name, email address, and website.

Guest Book

Wow, i got a lot done tonight! Notice the new Guest Book section. Please feel free to sign it.

Old Articles

I linked in my old articles. Go to the Blog section to see the last 42 articles. And i fixed links in the Thoughts section


I continue to make changes to the underlying structure of this web site towards the ideal TrickleUp i envision. The latest change separating the blog into a webObject::blog and a page::blogPage.

Yes i know my News page is similar to my Blog page, but that will change when the News page shows objects of all types.

Right Side

I've got it! Now i know what to do with the right side of this web site. On the intro page it will be a summary of the blog page.

On the blog page it will be a summary of all the "article" in a 1800, 1900; 1980, 1990, 2000; 2002, 2003, 2004; May, June, July; 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22; 4:00, 8:00, 12:00, 13:00, 13:30 fashion. Each of those is a link. Here's the geeky thing, it's a exponential sequence: century, decade, year, month, day, hour, minute. Also, Google can index my entire blog this way.

I'm also gonna add a feature to be notified on updates to your comments. And a feature to make the text of anonymous users harder to read, eg. gray text instead of black. So much to do, so little time.

Beer List

tags: beer, TrickleUp

Just added a diverse list of beers i've enjoyed over the years.

Spartan, Italian Job, TrickleUp

This weekend i saw two movies with Mark. First was Spartan. It had an ok plot, ok actors, but the production of the movie was terrible. Second was The Italian Job. It's plot was a variation of the typical heist. Overall it was ok.

I've continued to make internal modifications to this web site. It may not appear like i've made changes, but that's a good thing.

The TrickleUp Effect is a phenomena on this site where, when i add content to lower pages, summaries trickle up towards the top. It's not active yet; i'm still figuring out how to pull that one off.

Early to Bed, Early to Rise

After that last post, i passed out and slept all night. I'm going to get a head start on work today. Then bring my "dead g-string" guitar back to the store to get their opinion and try another guitar.


Readers may now post comments on articles. You may be wondering why don't i just use some blogging software. "Why reinvent the wheel?"

Well one reason is to exercise my programming abilities. Also, i want a blog that blends seemlessly into the my web site. It can't look like a separate entity in any way. Any blogger i'd use must be fully open source.

WordPress looks interesting, but it uses that pseudo-relational sell-out database MySQL, which doesn't even have support for views, transactions, or foreign-key constraints. PostgreSQL is much better. However when i release my blogging software, it will use ODBC.

Guitar Test, Truncated XML

After a short workout, i went with Marc directly from work to Guitar Center. We went to the back room were we tested a varied selection of Martins and Taylors.

The Taylors have a tinny and bright sound whereas the Martins have a mellow and full bodied sound. After hearing it, i'm now thinking about the D-28; after all this guitar will last me a lifetime.

I didn't work on the comment feature on account of this dilemma. I want to provide truncated versions of articles on the top page, but don't know how to truncate XML without invalidating it. I do have one idea. Basically read and parse the content maintaining a stack of open tags. Count the number of characters printed. When you hit the limit, close all the open tags in reverse order.

PHP and Java have nice libraries to parse XML. I just prefer Xerces.


Blog entries are now in a database. I've got the hooks for comments. I'll need to create a new table for them. I'll work on that tonight. For now they won't be recursive comments.


To at lunch, i will work on moving these postings into a database. This will facilitate a new feature: reader comments.

I tried install-power4-2.6 from here last night. It still hangs on asking which language i prefer. Though Colin said on the mailing list that usb-discover has been fixed.

Thoughts Section

I created a new section called Thoughts. These are emails on various topics i wrote to friends over the years.

I would like to add a mechanism where people can write comments. So you say, "Why not just get a blog?". Well, i'm not convinced the open source bloggers are sufficient. So i'll do what other coders do, reinvent the wheel.

I'm taking the day off tomorrow just to take a break from work.

Almost forgot to mention, i took CPR class at work today. It's been a while since my last class.

Gila Style, Debian, Bacardi

I'm switching back to Gila. After all Sinorca was just temporary. I still need to do lots of touch ups, but i feel like writing code.

Yes my friends, after all your protests, i'm going to put Debian on my G5. Oh yes, it shall be a power plant of productivity. I'm preparing to blow away OS X this weekend.

Did you hear that Bacardi is planning to buy Grey Goose. I know, tell me about it!


I configured LDAP to accept only Kerberos authentication via SASL and GSSAPI. And i'm able to add entries using ldapadd when the user has a valid ticket.

I added a new section showing movies i've gone too.

Hard Drive Crash, Java

For those of you who don't know, my hard drive recently crashed... thus the new site. Believe you me, it's temporary. All in all, it's for the better. (What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger, right?) Sorry about all the broken links. I've got lots of plans for the weekend :)

(listening to some great electronica, Brian nods his head to the music)

I've decided to use Struts and soon you will see it here. I'm going all Java. This site will have portlets for the weather, top stories, forum highlights, and movie reviews. And don't worry the restaurant reviews will be back up.

Luckily i found a copy of the Leeds Corporation of Long Island website.