18 May 2007 robogato   » (Master)

Advogato Status Report

A new rev of mod_virgule code is live today on Advogato. See the changelog for the details.

The mod_virgule config.xml file now supports having a list of a authorized "editors". Article posting priviledges can be limited to these editors. Don't worry, this feature isn't intended for Advogato, where all certified members will continue to be able to post articles. It will be used on robots.net. In the past robots.net was configured such that only the users who were trust metric seeds could post stories. As robots.net has grown, the need has arisen to make a clear distinction between the list of trust metric seed users and the article editors. I think this feature will be useful on other sites that use mod_virgule as well.

I've tweaked the HTML layout of the diary entries, replacing the older style markup with divs. At the request of trs80, the div wrappers on each diary entry now include the username as a second class. While not needed for CSS, this additional class designator can be used by screen-scrapers to easily identify the author of each entry in the recentlog. Screen-scraping aggregators can use this as part of a dupe-control mechanism. This same username as class convention is used on many Planet sites, so it should make Advogato's recentlog more easily parsable by existing Planet scrapers. The fun part was the slight difference between legal mod_virgule usernames and legal CSS1/2 class names. This prompted the creation of a new utility function, virgule_force_legal_css_name(). Supplied with an arbitrary string of text, this function will return a properly escaped CSS1 class name.

More good Advogato buzz

Andrey Golub of Milan IN recently discovered Advogato and gave a nice mention in his blog. He also added Advogato to Milan-IN's listing of Online Social Networking Platforms. Perhaps this will bring a few other new Advogato members from the Italian free software community our way.

Dan York also gave us a great mention in his blog. He's an Advogatoan from way back who left Advogato for LiveJournal during the extended Advogato server outage back in 2004. He was writing to commemerate his 7th year of blogging and rediscovered Advogato in the process. His entry summarizes the recent changes on Advogato and suggests dyork may be making an appearance in our recentlog again soon.

During a recent discussion on the Extreme Programming mailing list about the possibility of a certification mechanism for XP programmers, Martijn Meijering suggested that a community trust metric system similar to Advogato's might be a desirable alternative to certification based on traditional knowledge-based testing.

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New Advogato Features

New HTML Parser: The long-awaited libxml2 based HTML parser code is live. It needs further work but already handles most markup better than the original parser.

Keep up with the latest Advogato features by reading the Advogato status blog.

If you're a C programmer with some spare time, take a look at the mod_virgule project page and help us with one of the tasks on the ToDo list!