A bit of evening hacking

Posted on May 3, 2005

Having stayed home this evening (one of the few evenings when I actually have nothing planned outside), I decided to see if I could do something about a particular hitch I’ve been having for a while – getting all the relevant feeds I generate consolidated into one big feed.

I have the weblog (Nowhereland) and it’s feed, I have the links feed (powered by del.icio.us), I have the (sorry excuse at an attempt at a) photolog - ispy [Update: This site is no longer alive] (which is being changed in order to be powered by flickr) and a few more which I’m not sure I’ll want to get into the main feed right now.

These days I haven’t been really inspired to write in the weblog, but I have been active in both the photolog and the links gathering arena (not to mention the wiki, but this will have to wait until a second round), so it really bugs me that it appears as if I am just slacking off and fall bellow the radar when I’m actually getting stuff out there.

Also I now my readers want to know everything which is happening to me, not just each part individually. All three of them. Me included. And my mom. And my wife. Or maybe not…

So while I will almost certainly retain the individual feeds for each source, I will start to push the aggregate feed as the master feed for my site.

This will help with the outsourcing of parts of my site, as it allows me to change providers of services if and when I see fit without affecting (much) the way people get my content.

So anyway, I just did a quick round up of interesting Perl modules and clobbered a prototype script together to get the ball rolling. It most certainly will fail in spectacular and exciting ways before I can trust it enough to urge people to make the switch, but in the mean time it is already up at http://nunonunes.org/atom.xml. It is alpha code (I’ve written it, copied it to the development server and now I’m going to go to bed without even trying it out because otherwise this would last until very, very late) and it will be up and down as I toy with it and kick it into some sort of shape, but if you want to play with it too the source code is up in the wiki.

It is actually kind of fun to see how this sort of stuff still gets me in a zone (briefly, of course, as it didn’t take that long to write this). I was hacking away in front of the TV (something I rarely do) and I was watching Eurosport. The finals for the world snooker tournament where on and I love to watch those.
But then I got my head up and the tournament was over (didn’t even get to know who won!) and there was a football match on (that is soccer if you are of the American persuasion).
What’s so funny about that you ask? Well, I absolutely hate football. The only good thing I find about the game is that on match days the streets tend to be a bit more clear of traffic, and yet I was coding with a match going on on the TV and didn’t even notice it for a good few minutes.
Amazing! Now if it where a few years ago this kind of concentration could have gone on for hours but for now this is good enough anyway. :-)

Update: Turns out my old(ish) RedHat 9 installation didn’t have all the modules I needed to get it working. And installing all the modules required me to upgrade the version of libxml. At this hour I just wasn’t up to it, so the prototype lives instead at http://nowhereland.nunonunes.org/full-atom.xml. And let me tell you, installing Perl modules on a machine with this kind of CPU power is a serious turn-on!