RSS feed tweaks

I made some tweaks to my RSS feed.

From now on when I post a blog entry with images, the feed now includes thumbnails of those images, that click through to the larger version.

In testing this I also found out that I wasn’t adding a date to each entry, so I fixed that too.

Oh, and I converted the carriage returns to HTML line breaks. So no more posts all on one long line.

I dunno, it’s amazing the thing ever validated in the first place.

Playlist meme

1. Open up the music player on your computer.

2. Set it to play your entire music collection.

3. Hit the “shuffle” command.

4. Tell us the title of the next ten songs that show up (with their musicians), no matter how embarrassing. That’s right, no skipping that Carpenters tune that will totally destroy your hip credibility. It’s time for total musical honesty. Write it up in your blog or journal and link back to at least a couple of the other sites where you saw this.

5. If you get the same artist twice, you may skip the second (or third, or etc.) occurances. You don’t have to, but since randomness could mean you end up with a list of ten song with five artists, you can if you’d like.

This is what I had. Hmmm, not that embarrassing at all, how odd.

Living Loving Maid (She’s Just A Woman) – Led Zeppelin

Tongebirge – Kraftwerk

Particle Man – They Might Be Giants

I’m Old Fashioned – John Coltrane

Lazy – David Byrne

All Good feat. Chaka Khan – De La Soul

First Of The Gang To Die – Morrissey

Doctor Dick – Lee Perry

Sex Object – Kraftwerk

Thinking About Tomorrow – Beth Orton

(via Small Values of Cool).

Bloglines auto updating

I’ve been using Bloglines to manage the blogs I read for a few months now.

But I still have a blogroll on my site which I have been manually maintaining.

Until now, that is.

Now the blogroll is automatically kept in sync with my blogrolls subscription using a combination of XML, Java, XSLT, vinegar and brown paper.

First step is to fetch my subscription in XML format. I use a servlet, but wget is fine also.

I set it to check once every 24 hours, but even then it’s probably too often.

Then I use this stylesheet to transform it into HTML. I do this in the servlet too but any language with XSLT support can do the transformation.

It then writes out the HTML to a file that is included as part of my page.

I put lots of error handling in to try to avoid the siuation where bloglines being down causes my include to be empty.

The stylesheet itself is pretty basic, and as I’m far from an XSLT guru it could probably be improved in some way or other. It doesn’t handle nesting at all. Also, it produces HTML specific to my site, which would need tweaking if anyone else wants to use it.


I decided to give Bloglines another try.

I tried it for a while a few months back, then gave up on it.

Then I looked at it again, and realised the mistake I had made.

The first time around I added lots of news and sport feeds from the BBC, this gave me an almost endless supply of stuff to read which initally I loved.

The problem was that they were news feeds, not blog feeds, and I have since realised I treat reading news and reading blogs completely differently.

I only tend to read blogs when I am not busy, as in, looking for something to do to occupy my time.

But for news and sport I tend to check for new stories 10 or 15 times a day, even when I am busy.

Which means that I’ve usually read the story before bloglines has even updated.

The end result was that I stopped using it as I got tired of flagging all feeds as read whenever I looked at it.

I’ve now removed all the news stuff and I am really finding it useful.

I also use the excellent Bloglines Toolkit plugin for Firefox which notifies me of unread stuff.

Google mystery

Google has finally started indexing my blog archive.

All I had to do was change my permalinks from old style showBlog.go?id=x to 2004_03_16_blog_title.

Obvious really!

I changed the permalink style in an attempt to make Google follow the links, but I don’t know why it didn’t work before.

Now I am getting lots of pointless hits, yay!

Old-style permalinks are honoured of course.

Death to image leechers.

Some lamo linked directly to one of my photos from his blog.

This has happened before and I have since added image protection to prevent it.

However, people still do it, even though it ends up as a broken image on their site.

I know when it happens as the block triggers an email to me.

So, when it started happening again today, I decided to do something about it.

Here’s the blog that linked to my photo.

See if you can spot what I did.

Thanks to Jeremy Zawodny’s blog for the techy lowdown on how to do this.

And to Sasha for doing the image itself.

WAP/WML image upload to blogs?

Does anyone know if it’s possible to upload image files from a phone using WAP/WML?

I am thinking of buying a little camera for my phone but it’s not worth if if I can’t upload images to my blog with my phone.

Currently I update my blog using WAP so using email is not a viable option.

Nothing has turned up on google yet, I am beginning to think it’s not possible, but how do the mainstream blogging tools do it?

Photodb now supports comments

I have migrated my comment and trackback code from to my shared code library (codenamed kaibab).

This means that I can now easily use it on photodb also.

So I have. 🙂

Any photo can now be commented upon or trackbacked, as well as rated.