Updates. Kind of. More or less…

I’ve been fairly lax in updating my blog for a wile, so here’s a slew of snippets:

I finally got around to downloading the new version of drivel from CVS; and then I, of course, had to go and turn into an RPM to install… Some days I’m just too much of a geek for my own good.

While I was at it, I also downloaded the newest version of RSSOwl, version 1.2, which does very well on Java 1.5.0 on Fedora. Now they just have to get it going on GCJ and compile it, and I will be well satisfied with it. Hmm… Wishful thinking.

My blog’s look seems to have settled for the time being, even though the Girl has voiced her displeasure at my choice of brown. Mind you, any brown would be considered a no-no, not just this particular shade thereof.

Unfortunately, like most guys I’m capable of identifying the tree primary colours with black and white fairly accurately about 80% of the time. The secondary colours give me slightly more problems; and beyond that I don’t even try. No wonder I stick with simplistic colour schemes…

Now I need to actually do something about my main site, Joomla! might be the answer there, but that means I’ll have to spend some time gluing them together with a wee bit of PHP and some CSS magic. Not difficult, I grant, but time consuming none the less.

And lastly, as a note to myself, I really do need to update the blog more often…

Just a bit of Drivel

One of the RSS feeds I get in Liferea is Gnomefiles. This as background only, of course.

One of the recent articles to have come through on said feed was one announcing an update to something named Drivel, nominally a LiveJournal client with some other back-ends hacked into it.

Curious, I downloaded the application, built a Fedora Core 4 compatible RPM, dumped it in my YUM repository and installed it; this is my first attempt at posting to JADB with it, and herewith my impressions.

The first of the things I like about it is that it supports categories, something I use fairly extensively. Unfortunately, however, it only supports posting the entry under a single category. That’s okay in general for people who only use primary categories, I suppose, and even I can always go in after the fact and add multiple categories, but I would really have liked multiple category support. To be fair, though, I’ll admit that I’m not too certain whether the Movable Type API actually supports that, or not.

Spell checking works as expected, underlining wrongly spelled words with the accustomed red wavy line and allowing correction or adding to the dictionary on a right-click. That is, it works fine if you actually remember to install gtkspell-devel before you compile Drivel…

Drivel unfortunately doesn’t have a Gnome Panel plugin, something I got quite used to having with gnome-blog. Fortunately arbitrarily adding launchers to the panel is an absolute no-brainer which does go quite some way to mitigation.

Another drawback compared to gnome-blog for some people may be the lack of a WYSIWYG option. I must admit to not minding much since I prefer the source-view, but I could easily understand those users’ point.

I have to ask myself the question, however, whether I prefer Drivel’s implementation to gnome-blog’s.

Currently, that is a definite maybe — which could quite easily become an unreserved, if slightly selfish, definitely if the developer/ developers added some of the more advanced features of the “Movable Type” API as used by WordPress, the software driving this blog. Something I consider quite inevitable; the wheels of Open Source seems to turn that way…

In all, currently Drivel gets the thumbs-up; I’ll be keeping an eye on it to see how it improves.

My kingdom for a clue…

The Beeb has the following charming tale of wit and insight:

Apparently two youths of great wisdom decided to film a fan-flick based on Star Wars.

Not all that unusual in this day-and-age, but to add the well-known and quite distinctive light-saber effects, they decided to fill fluorescent tubes with petrol and then light it. Said light-sabers — most obviously — promptly exploded. Something I’m fairly certain a well-designed light-saber should never do.

Must have made a hell of a scene, though. Hope somebody remembered to keep the film going. The show must go on, and all that, old chap.

Damn fools. Apparently never heard of Industrial Light & Magic, the people who create the “Special Effects” (aka. Not petrol in tubes) after the filming of the movies are done.

And then the Yanks say that Darwin’s theories were were bunk?

Hello, people. Wake up: this is Evolution in action

Who shall categorise the categories?

metaWeblog.getCategories

It sure doesn’t sound like much, does it? What it is, however, is the API which allows the discovery of all the categories on compliant ‘blogs.

Which means it should be quite easy to hack into gnome-blog-poster’s MetaWeblog.py protocol library doesn’t it?

Well, yes, it probably does if you’re a real programmer. I, however, am a systems jock; which, traditionally, certainly doesn’t mean I cannot program my way out of a for loop — even we have heard of exits, you know — but it does mean that when I program I do it on my terms.

And my terms never before required me to do pyGTK programming, okay. So stop the whining already… I’ll get to it. That’s the lovely thing about being a *nix systems geek. We get to program stuff on our term to scratch our itches. You want somebody to program off a spec? Go hire a professional.

On a — even more — positive note, I enabled (it was way too easy to be called hacking it in) spell-checking in the applet version of “gnome-blog-poster”. In all, quite elegantly done, Mr Nickell

I am also considering disabling the HTML-ifying of posts by gnome-blog-poster; at least as a posting-time option. No, I haven’t lost what little is left of my senses; I just really like Markdown

Proddin’ till it breaks…

Sometimes I think I should just leave well enough alone. Not that that’s ever going to happen, of course, but that doesn’t stop me from thinking that I should.

While I’m potificating, I think I have found my worst part of Gnome Blog (better known as “My current pet peeve”). Besides the lack of a spell checker, I mean. No categories. Which was initially quite disappointing.

That was until I found that Bryan Clark is busy tinkering on something called Monkey Journal. It looks promising, supporting most of the Blog posting APIs and using the gtkhtml widget. It also supports categories.

I try it out… Time will tell.