Blogathon 2007

It has been some time since Smiffy’s Place last saw any new material – some 3 months in fact.  Maybe an explanation for this lapse would be appropriate.

Since this past June, I have been busy.  With my impaired health, I am only able to work about 5 hours every other day – combine this with 3 client projects, one rather large, and that accounts for nearly all the time that I have spent in front of a computer in the last 6 months.  Whilst still working on one of the client projects, I am allowing myself some “me” time to work on some of my own stuff.

Due to the combination of ill-health and general busy-ness, a few projects have fallen behind.  One of these, I am sad to say, is my Dublin Core for Drupal project.  As my paying clients have to come first and because I am moving away from Drupal for my own projects, it is with some regret that I must put this project on indefinite hold; I simply cannot commit the time required at present to learning the Drupal API to the degree required to produced an effective module that integrates correctly with the Drupal core.  Should anyone interested in the project wish to see the database mechanisms that I was going to use, please get in touch.

Another sad miss was this years OzeWAI conference.  Although too sick to attend last year, I was at least able to make a presentation via Skype and some remote-controlled HTML.  This year, pressures of work prevented even that.  Hopefully next year…

One personal project that is about to “go” is a simplified re-write of my “Aggie the Aggregator” RSS aggregation software which will be driving the Gluten Free Feeds site.  This site is an aggregation of feeds from sites and bloggers with the topic of gluten-free living.  The site is currently generated using the RSS aggregator module of Drupal.  Unfortunately, the Drupal aggregator is highly intolerant of errors in feeds so content frequently does not make it to the front page.  Whilst I would like to live in a world where all site feeds are well-formed, valid XML and contain no weird (like Windows character set) characters, I believe that this world – which has also cured cancer, eliminated poverty, war and Western-style fast food – is one that does not, and never will exist.  So, the plan is to build a light-weight aggregator that uses the Perl HTML::Parser module – a most lenient and forgiving piece of code that should ensure that all but the worst of feeds may be parsed, sanitised and displayed.

In other news, I will be reporting on the iPod Nano, weight training with Chronic Fatigue, an anti-disablist cartoonist, and how to make perfect gluten-free fish and chips.

Blogathon 2007 posts will be filed under the Blogathon07 category in addition to any others.