The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Comments broken; bug logged

Just now, going into hour 32 of the (technically) longest day of my life, I noticed that the blog's comment view feature isn't working. This is Case #2869 in FogBugz, and will be fixed as soon as possible.

Not tonight, though. Just like Saturday, my goal is only to make it to 9pm. If I can do that, I will defeat jet lag in one stroke. I must not fail. Sleep deprivation leads to pointless blog entries, and we can't have that, can we?

Local time zone displays

The new feature I mentioned this morning is done. Now, in addition to the "where was this posted" button on the footer, you will notice the entry's time zone. Each entry can have its own time zone—in addition to the site-wide default.

I still have to fix a couple of things related to this change, like the fact that the date headers ("Thursday 24 November 2011," just above this entry) are on UTC rather than local time. But going forward (and going backward if I ever get supremely bored), you can now see the local time wherever I was when I posted.

Incidentally, if you want to bring the tzinfo database to your .NET application, I have licensing terms.

New dasBlog feature

A week ago Sunday I mentioned that I'd forked this blog engine so I could add features. I've added the first one, and everything seems to be working just fine.

The Daily Parker has used GeoRSS for a long time. All of the entries since March 2010 are geo-coded, which you would only know by looking at the RSS feed. Well, now you can see the geographic information on the blog entries themselves.

See the little globe icon next to the time and date at the bottom of the entry? Go ahead, click on it.

For more fun, check out some other entries, too.

Resurrecting dasBlog

The blog engine running The Daily Parker, dasBlog, last got updated in March 2009. It appears moribund; no one's updating it anymore. This happens in software development all the time. As a user of the software, however, I'd like some new features and some defect corrections. For example, I complained last month that I couldn't switch from GUID permalinks to more user-friendly ones. I also found a bug in the module that lists the months, off to the side. And I want to show the posting time in the local time zone where I made the post.

All of these things require changes to the code. It's an open-source project, so getting the code is easy, and I've had it for years. Only, the dasBlog project appears moribund.

So I've decided to start my own private code branch. Not only will this allow me to make the changes I want, but also it will allow me to integrate with Inner Drive libraries, which I'll need for the time-zone update.

I don't know when I'll have time to work on it, but at least now I feel like I've got some control over the blog engine. There are lots of blog engines out there, including some open-source .NET-based engines. But this is post #2758; I really don't want to convert all those entries to a new format.

Facebook to stop importing The Daily Parker

Many people reading this blog actually see the posts a day or so later when they show up on my Facebook page. For years, Facebook has imported The Daily Parker through the blog's RSS feed.

Today, Facebook announced it will discontinue the practice before Thanksgiving:

You currently automatically import content from your website or blog into your Facebook notes. Starting November 22nd, this feature will no longer be available, although you'll still be able to write individual notes. The best way to share content from your website is to post links on your Wall. Learn more about notes.

Any ideas why?

Unethical offer of the month

"Leading e-commerce development and acquisition group" KASA Capital sent me this email over the weekend:

I'd like to contribute an article to your site, thedailyparker.com - I can select a topic that matches the tone and theme of your site, or if you prefer, I can write about something of your choosing. The article will be unique and interesting to read. In return, I ask that I be able to subtly include a link to my site ____ within the article.

If you are able to put a permanent link to the article in a prominent place on your website, I may be able to make a one time Paypal donation as well.

Sure. Just a couple of things. First, the article you submit will have your byline. Second, the article will clearly state the financial relationship you have to the website you're "subtly" promoting. Third, the post containing the article will note that the article is "paid advertising." Finally, the article will end with a link to this post, to ensure that readers don't confuse your paid advertising content with anything I've ever written. If these conditions are acceptable, the fee for publishing your article will be $2,500.

Thanks for the offer, guys.

Chirp

I'm at a client site today and tomorrow, jamming on database optimization. Expect regular posts to resume Friday.

Irrevocable configuration choices

The Daily Parker uses the mostly-open-source dasBlog engine. The software has always offered two choices for how it creates permanent links (permalinks): titles and GUIDs. As you can see, we use GUIDs, so permalinks look like this: http://www.thedailyparker.com/PermaLink,guid,05976d99-b3cb-4391-9052-509832cbf5cf.aspx instead of like this: http://www.thedailyparker.com/About-This-Blog.

I've been thinking that GUIDs, while always unique, are kind of ugly. This morning I tried changing the blog's configuration settings to use titles instead. Sadly, dasBlog generates permalinks on the fly, but doesn't change permalinks within entries.

Therefore, in order to switch to title-based permalinks, I'd need to root around in all of the individual entries and change them. I could write a script to do this, I suppose, but with 2,715 entries spanning almost six years, it's still an undertaking.

So GUIDs will stay, as they have for the life of the blog. If I ever start another blog, or if I ever want to spend a day making the switch for this one, I'll use titles.

Holy traffic, Batman!

Apparently a lot of people are interested in time zones. Here's The Daily Parker's traffic this week:

Sat 2011-10-014,239
Sun 2011-10-02 3,727
Mon 2011-10-03 4,206
Tue 2011-10-04 5,497
Wed 2011-10-05 4,049
Thu 2011-10-0677,558
Fri 2011-10-07127,023

Fortunately my server seems to be keeping up. I expect that my ISP is unhappy with me, though.