November 2001

New format!

I’ve been envying my friends with all their Livejournal sites (such as cleanskies and tinyjo) and other web logs (such as Dave Winer’s). Given that I already have to struggle to keep my work log up to date, I don’t think I’m up to keeping a journal of my own, but I did want to ape the layout for my own pages.

In particular, I have gone from a vaguely chronological list of stuff to a strictly chronological order of short paragraphs, with pointers to longer articles or photo albums. This style allows for me to add short notes on whatever takes my fancy without special effort as well. I also have permanent links for each entry (the # links next to the date). Given the snail-like pace of progress in my area of my site, my archives are annual rather than monthly...

This is all cobbled together in a semi-automated fashion (using TclHTML)—not quite as mechanized as a proper weblog, but simpler to implement. Entries are kept in spearate disc files on my home PC, and assembled in to the HTML pages automatically. Now the display of entries is sorted out I plan to partially automate the creation of new entries.

Emacs macro for making Entries

I now have a command I can invoke in GNU Emacs to create a new entry in this work log. All it does is visit the entry file (each entry in this weblog has its own source file) and create a skeletal entry for me to type in to. Since I don’t mind typing in HTML myself—and always have an instance of Emacs running—this is enough for me to make entries easily. I have a similar set-up at work for my on-line work-log—nowadays it is the only application I still use Emacs for at work...

Webclasses considered harmful

After a hiatus of a couple of years, here is a new essay about web development. I’m afraid this time the experience I am drawing on is negative rather than positive: Just say No to webclasses. OK, I admit this is something of an obscure topic for a rant—you probably will never have heard of this particular web-application framework before today. But it is sadly occuplying all to much of my working life these days... :-(

Parts unknown

We were going to go see the Moscow State Circus, but then several of us collectively decided it was far too cold to sit in a tent so we went round to Jo’s to play Cheapass Games instead. Jeremy and I haven’t played Parts Unknown since we binged on it with Adrian and Alex at Aviemore (it is possible we have too many Cheapass games, since we don’t play them often enough to work through them all faster that that). Jeremy also read out Martin Hand’s account of Caption 2001. It seems Caption 2001 succeeded surprisingly well at fostering romance amongst the attendees. We’ll have to ask him if it is OK to add it to the site...

Caption 2001 photos

It is a tradition of Caption that the photos of the event take months if not years to appear. This year is no exception—I am still working on indexing the pictures nicely... but the first cut of my Caption 2001 photo album is now on-line, and not before time. I’m even trying to munge several of the photos together in to animations.