Time Heals All Wounds.. And Then Kills the Patient
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Mon Jul 14 23:18:47 2003
Sleeping Dust

I decided to do some cleaning, and when taking out the trash, found that today is garbage day, as all my neighbors had their trash out too. Spiffy. It's clean enough, for now, and now I'm doing a more electronic kind of cleaning. Every once in awhile I just have a huge urge to clean things.

I notice now that I have some pretty cool rocks from Hypatia and the OSCon -- I had grabbed them and forgotten about them. I have so many resources and so much swag, and haven't looked at it yet because it's overwhelming. So much to check out, so much to do. I'm still chewing over how I want the next version of netdiary to work, and keep changing my ideal design. I figure once I reach a certain level of certainty, or don't change it in two or three days, I'll start coding. My most recent thoughts:

Netdiary currently keeps all of its configuration inside its binary (well, script), and each entry is an individual file, with its name being the unix time that the entry theoretically took place at. This is nice -- remember that unix time is the number of seconds past the epoch (1 Jan 1970 0:00). It's thus easy to insert entries into the past (I often do this when I'm jotting an entry on paper, when I'm away from a computer), and not too hard to edit past entries (adding topics, marking things private, etc). It's also pretty easy to look through all the entries (grep) for specific text. The script just iterates through the entries, parsing them into seperate summary files, each of which is a set of a defined size of entries, with links to the next and previous such summary page. It then uploads all those (flat) html files to the server. Easy to manage, easy to backup, easy to move, etc.

It's a really simple design, pretty foolproof really, for what I wanted it to do and what is possible for flat files. There are some parts of the code that arn't pretty, and I could improve it if I wanted, but I don't care *that* much. The tricky thing is how best to preserve the best of those characteristics while making it all live in a database, with comments and stuff. That's kinda tricky. Things that are fairly certain:

  1. On the server, there will be a postgres database, and, maybe just for access control, a very light recieving layer (but if I restrict based on both IP and username/password, maybe I'll be ok without that layer?)
  2. There will be a CGI in perl that'll query the database to generate the pages on demand
  3. There will be a client written in perl that will be able to retrieve, manipulate, and post back individual entries. This means that I'll need the import/export routines to not create drift that's too disruptive.
  4. There will be a web client too, where I'll be able to add new entries through the cgi.
  5. Other people will be able to login, post comments, and customize their views. This means I need to figure out a good way to manage login stuff (with cookies?)

Anyhow, apart from that stuff, let me state that I absolutely love grape juice. If I could only drink one nonwater fluid for the rest of my life, let it be grape juice. And if I could only eat one meal for the rest of my life, let it be Saag Paneer with Samosas too. Of course, the two don't go together -- for Indian food I'd prefer water as the drink. Some tastes just don't mix.

So, I no longer get personal mail using the old forwarding services, but oddly, I get, literally, all of my spam there. Hmm.. I wonder if there's some spamfiltering software installed in the sendmail running on dachte -- literally no spam there, and literally no nonspam letters still going through the evilnet redirect. I wonder when that redirect will go away..

Some music:

Yokan, from Neon Genesis Evangelion
Lag Wagon - Sleep
Beatles - With a Little Help From my Friends
There's an interesting article here on the current state of the Iraqi legal system.