Older blog entries for boog (starting at number 17)

I've become the latest addition to the Weblogs Inc., recently purchased by AOL, stable of bloggers. I'll be working on the OpenSource.weblogsinc.com weblog covering the open source beat, so if you have any leads, drop me a line. I start this week :-)

It's been a few months since I posted and.. wow, what a few months! One of my crazy ideas has turned into a proper business and gotten some funding. Am I the next dot com millionaire? Nah.. but it's great working with technology and not worrying too much about how I'm going to buy the next sack of groceries anyway. We're moving for further rounds soon..

In other news, my buddies at Globat have launched MillionDollarHelpPage.com, in order to raise $1 million for Katrina victims. It's based off of the MillionDollarHomePage.com idea that's been going around the net lately where a 21-year-old British kid has made $150,000 so far to pay for his university education. Now let's hope Globat can do it to make money for those in serious need :)

My latest Rails project launches.

After months of development (it'd have been longer if not for Rails!) GoDefy (Internet marketing products) launches! It's all in Ruby on Rails and while its product niche is small, it has a lot more features than something like Froogle, and better searching that sites like Shopping.com, etc. The code for it will never be open sourced, sadly, although it's definitely a testiment to what open source can do, and why I continue to donate a lot to the community.

Snippets marches on.

TextDrive, a Web hosting provider, is now using my open sourced Snippets system on TextSnippets.com.. a form of specialized knowledge base for users of their services. Brad Phelan has also launched a Snippets site for Matlab code.

26 May 2005 (updated 26 May 2005 at 23:17 UTC) »
Snippets, as mentioned in my last entry, is now open sourced under a BSD licence. It's not 'open source' in the modern term of encouraging people to improve it and to work on it with me, but 'open source' in that you can play with it and do with it as you will, as long as my copyright notice is included in your documentation, etc. Attribution is a polite bonus. I guess I should mention it's developed in the "Web framework flavor-of-the-decade", Ruby on Rails.

The actual code snippets site, which is the flagship Snippets site, is now getting about 10,000 pageviews a day and has about 300 snippets of code in at least ten different languages. I think it might explode like del.icio.us did, but be for coding snippets. I know I use it to store mine, and I keep finding useful stuff in it all the time! Subscribe to the RSS feed and keep up to date with the latest source code people are posting... or just keep up with the language which interests you most. Ruby, Python, Perl, PHP, JavaScript, Java, and so on..

Snippets! I've released a new site called Snippets. Snippets is a del.icio.us-style site for snippets and samples of source code / shell commands, and so on. I will be open sourcing it in due course.

A few months ago I became a Ruby On Rails developer, and although the documentation isn't bad, I often have need for lots of snippets of code, and developed Snippets to hold them. However, anyone can use it.. that's the whole point :) It uses the tagging/folksonomy that's typical to many sites these days. You can narrow down code snippets by tag, so you can first look at all the ruby code, then ruby + rails, then ruby + rails + authentication.. and so on. Makes it easy to find exactly what you want. You can also steer clear of everyone else, and simply look at your own code snippets only, and narrow down with tags on those too. Powerful stuff. Best part? Thanks to Ruby On Rails, 28 hours after coming up with the idea.. here we are. Yes. It took less than 2 days of coding. I love Ruby on Rails (and that's hard to say, being a die-hard Perl monger..)

You database wizards might also appreciate this article about how I did the tag intersections in a single SQL command without endless joins. It took some work, but we got there in the end.

I'm Ajaxing and Ruby on Railsing. It's been a while, but since I last posted I have become a Ruby on Rails addict. Rails is an MVC web app framework for Ruby. You can throw together apps in crazy amounts of time, even with testing.. It's fast, reliable, and I'm already making a living off of developing Rails apps!

In community spirit, I decided to use my last release to help me keep up to date with Rails, and I produced the Ruby on Rails news dashboard. Today I then added the AJAX news dashboard. These let you keep up to date with the latest buzz and links surrounding these technologies. And, well, it gives me more ideas.. yes, news dashboards.. this idea could go somewhere :)

RSS Digest. I launched RSS Digest today. It lets you add an RSS or del.icio.us feed to your site with no coding. It does all the caching for you, you can use JavaScript or PHP to include it on your site, and the formatting is very customizable. The nearest competitors don't have the same features, which is why I wrote it. And, well, I wanted to get my finger into the RSS pie! Oh, and it's free, with no garish advertising notices.

(P.S. It's not open source yet, but it will be. I know it's not usually the done thing, but I like to have complete control up to a certain point and then let the code free ;-))

Chatbots will rule.. soon

I wasn't expecting one, but the reaction to my Perl 'weblog entry generator' was quite amusing. Text generation and parsing (from a language point of view) has interested me a great deal since I stumbled across the Loebner Prize and the Turing Test in the late '90s. I really feel that it's crackable, and not with too much difficulty. Don't ask me to prove it, but it's just one of those deep down feelings I have.. we will have a computer that you can hold a realistic textual conversation with within ten years. Researching chatbots is beginning to turn into a hobby for me now..

For lovers of the English language..

From one language topic to another, I've just launched another Web site. It's called Rich Language and basically I post on there most days briefly covering or defining an element of the English language (the greatest language there is - I'm biased). So if you want to learn something interesting about the English language on a roughly day to day basis, either drop by, or add http://www.richlanguage.com/index.rdf to your favorite RSS newsreader (mine is NewsFire, a great free RSS/Atom reader for OS X) and get reading :-) If you have a site or weblog about English or lingustics, hook up with us, and we can trade links.

I wrote a ridiculous Perl program to generate text. Thing is, it developed some bugs, and has managed to create phrases and combinations of words (which actually make sense) that I didn't even program in. I hooked it up to the Blogger API, and now it updates its own weblog with no editing on my part (I just give it a bunch of topics to talk about). Check it out, I've called it 'Learn'. I can't stop laughing when I read it.. it's so realistic for a weblog. It sounds like a typical teenage girl.

And what's up with all that GNU-Darwin nonsense? I don't really agree with an organization crossing its boundaries and it seems pretty churlish. Not a thread I want to dive into anyway ;-)

30 Aug 2004 (updated 30 Aug 2004 at 00:47 UTC) »

Yes, my last entry said I'd be 'updating my diary more in future'.. and when was that? Yes.. over 8 months ago! I have also fallen back into the slump of using pico, so shame on me for that as well.

I am also (still) planning to get back into FreeFilter development soon as I've had people calling for it. I need to organise it better though.. it's open source, but no-one else works on it due to my poor organization. Perhaps I'll have to learn SourceForge after all!

Latest work is out of the box, it was XHTML work for DomainsAreFree.com, an uber-cheap domain registration company. It's XHTML 1.0 Strict compliant nearly all round, except where I had to hook in with their old ordering system which I haven't recoded yet. So unlike GoDaddy, and the rest, you can use it perfectly using Lynx!! Result!

Okay, here's to updating my Advogato diary more often..

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