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Sunday, July 22


The Wonders Of Modern Technology

So it turns out I can make arbitrary transparency effects on the fly.  That'll come in handy; it's a whole bunch less static images I need, and a whole lot more flexibility.

Only works for rectangles so far.  Let's see what I can do with shapes...

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Feeling Good 'Bout My Irregularity

I happened to stumble across the source code for an ASP-based open-source blogging app while I was looking for something else entirely* and I was struck by how regular and elegant the code was.

The code for Minx doesn't look like that.  Partly because I developed it relatively quickly and it's still on version 1.  But mostly, I realised a bit later, for another reason; for the same reason that the uncompressed source code for the entire system will still fit on a 360K floppy: I've squeezed all the regularity out.

A lot of the regularity in the code I was looking at was sequences of assignment statements - in Minx these are rolled up into loops, driven by tables.  I wrote my own SQL abstraction module for this reason.  It doesn't abstract the queries for me, but it completely abstracts the data.

I still want to prettify my code, but I feel happier now.

Also, while I was asleep I thought of a straightforward way to handle per-user/per-site customisation.  That will address a lot of limitations of working with a hosted system rather than your own custom app; it will allow per-user themes for blogs, for example.  I'll try to fit that in this coming week, along with the theme builder, site wizards, and AJAXulation.

* An open source web-based code display thingy**; turns out that SyntaxHighlighter is now LGPL and will do just fine.
** For an enhanced version of the [code] tag.

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Saturday, July 14


Will It Blend?

Sure it will!

You can now import Blogspot and Movable Type blogs* in Thai, Vietnamese, Turkish, Greek and Hebrew** into Minx.  Or at least, I can; you'll get the opportunity tomorrow.

Does it work?  If have no freaking idea.  I've put a wrapper around a standard set of character set codecs to convert your file into Unicode, which gets stored and served as UTF-8.  But I don't have any sample blogs in Ukrainian or Korean to try it out with, and I wouldn't necessarily pick up the errors if I did.

It looks interesting if you tell it your file is in Arabic when it's really Windows-1252, though.

I also discovered that Minx wasn't necessarily serving up UTF-8 when it said it was.  I'm going to fix that tomorrow as well; it shouldn't affect anything because the back-end really is entirely Unicode, but Steven, if your Japanese examples suddenly turn into randomly accented Latin text, that's why.

* And blogs from anything else that can produce a Blogger/MT-style export file.
** And normal-type languages, too.
*** Also automatically handles gzip and bzip2!

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 07:51 PM | Comments (20) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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