6 Feb 2005 pasky   » (Journeyer)

DTR (Dull Technical Rambling)

Do you hate it too that Advogato keeps escaping my (I mean, your ;-) cute markup like the <code><kbd></code> and <code><code></code> elements? It's annoying, but I'm too lazy to dig into mod_virgule to fix that (what a funny name, anyway). Advogato seems to be at its <span title="What's a better non-ambiguous word which would fit well here?" class="xe">vesper</span> anyway; the frequency of weblog postings at least dropped drastically compared to the last time I checked about half a year ago.

cdfrey recently talked about how painful web programming is. I agree that in general, web programming can be a PITA at least for the start. However, after you gain some experiences, you usually stabilize on some framework which suits you and actually makes your web programming not too painful at all. I for one eventually stabilized on a rather quite trivial framework consisting of few custom Perl modules I just carry around. They wrap the boring parts of page generation and the most boring SQL (if you just want a single row, something like <code>sql_load_record(dbh => $db, table => 'foo', bar => 'baz')</code> can make doing stuff really much more pleasant. mod_perl makes the Perl-generated stuff lightning fast, too. I also tend to separate functionality rigorously and have a special script for almost every page and action; I heavily modularize all the common parts, and I found this to be much more maintainable than a single big script with some smart multiplexing etc.

I will hopefully soon finally get back to my Graph-Layderer project - an attempt to create a general infrastructure for layouting and drawing graphics. It uses the famous spring algorithm, which also e.g. Graphviz's <code>neato</code> uses. However, my set of Perl modules aims to actually create something which is also at least a little visually pleasing, which you can't really say about Graphviz's output in general (read as: it tends to look like crap and frequently it all collapses and gets funnily mangled together; unless they made a dramatic improvement over the last year or so). It should be workable, I only need to make an actual interface for it and probably some script wrapper so that non-Perl programs can use it too. I'll need to check about the Perl Artistic License's compatibility with GPL, too.

But today I had another nicely unproductive day - I did almost nothing, and did that very slowly so it took all the day. The worst thing about me and those days is that instead of getting my ass from the chair and going for a walk if anything, I keep sitting at the computer and devastating my eyes. I'll need to have a serious long talk with myself.

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