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: My uncle Robert (news - photos) showed up last night without warning. Well, I had warning, but I thought he'd be showing up on Friday. Robert is taking a vacation and came over here to catch a World Series game. He's here for a week; we'll probably be playing some Diablo over the home network, and doing other fun things.

The past few weeks have seen a parade of Whitneys in this house. There's my mother, my aunt Ann, and now Robert. The only holdout is my uncle Jon.

: Keri, if it will positively affect your decision to use or not use NewsBruiser, I will be working on image upload for NewsBruiser this weekend (assuming I don't spend the whole weekend playing Diablo with Robert). Also, I don't think Andy's statement about NewsBruiser's orientation towards small entries is true anymore, since newer versions use entry templates and you can change the template to, say, put the entry in its own <div> and whatnot. We'll see what I need to add to get Segfault looking nice.

I'm eventually going to add a way to package a CSS file and some template files as a "theme" in a directory. This will have four beneficial effects:

  1. It will be easy to demonstrate NewsBruiser's increasingly wackass (that is to say, more wack per unit ass) layout possibilities without manually changing the template strings forward and back.
  2. I'll be able to package a bunch of prebuilt themes with NewsBruiser.
  3. People who love to tweak HTML and CSS but who don't love Python coding will have a mechanism for contributing stuff to NewsBruiser.
  4. I will get to check the "multiple templates" and "remote templates" boxes on the blog tool comparison chart.

Sumana said I should write a song called "The NewsBruiser Blues".

: Yesterday at lunch the Dan/Kevin/Josh/Leonard entity came up with the new killer app: a site that, when you sign up, uses an RSS aggregator to send you an email newsletter every day containing the new items in those feeds you've told it you want. Such things already (probably) exist, but if they do they rely on screen-scraping and as such have a limited range. If you know of such a thing that exists, tell me so that Dan and Manoj will stop bugging me about adding a newsletter feature to NewsBruiser.

You can tell this was partially my idea because it's an aggregator aggregator.

: I forgot to mention another time I was 100% wrong: I used to think that software power-off for computers was a really stupid idea. But it's actually a great idea. You can shut down the computer just before you leave the house, and not have to hang around for the shutdown process; you can put the shutdown command on a timer and listen to audio from the computer until you fall asleep; etc. So long as there's still a physical power switch you can flip if you need to, I've got no complaints about this innovation.

Daddy, Make The Man Stop Talking About NewsBruiser: Sorry, kid, but my insane ramblings will ring in your ears throughout this bus ride, yea, even all the way to Tampa. I just added import functionality to NewsBruiser: not import in any specific format, but the generic ability to retroactively post an entry. This will come in handy when I figure out what I need to do to "import from Manilla" to get that checkbox checked and bring in the old editthispage entries. And also, of course, import is essential for Segfault.

As so often happens to me, I thought it was going to be difficult to implement this but it was very easy. I added just one new method (given a time, figure out what entry ID an entry would have if it had been published at that time) and the rest snapped into place. I would like to attribute this outcome to some special ability on my part, but my genius mainly consists of intuiting the optimal ordering of my feature implementations: retroactive posting was easy because it uses most of the same code as entry deletion (it's just that instead of moving the ordinals of a day's entries back to eliminate one specific entry, you're moving those ordinals forward to accomodate a new one).

Of course, the elegance of Python helps with the snapping into place: Python frequently gives me the I-joined-lots-of-subsystems-and-they-worked-together epiphanies I call 'Lisp moments', without the I-misplaced-a-parenthesis-and-my-dog-exploded headaches I call 'Lisp moments'.


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