Plan for Revised Web Presence
Hi! For the first time in approximately 10 years, I'm actually making
some changes to this web site. My plan is for this front page to
include an automatically generated HTML index of articles by date,
with the most recent first, links to indices by topic, and maybe some
search functionality. There should also be an RSS or Atom feed, linked
to from this page. Don't worry, though - the late 90s aesthetic, free
This was prompted in part by dissatisfaction with LiveJournal,
which I had previously been using as an external blogging service.
Between the introduction of "flag for adult content" and the latest
sale, it has become clear that LiveJournal cannot be trusted and will
not continue to provide a viable service into the future. My
replacement plan goes as follows:
Create OpenID done: http://www.consistent.org/terran/,
being served by MyID.php
Confirm that it is possible to read restricted content
via openid Confirmed; works in a web browser.
Ask LJ users to friend said OpenID They have been asked.
Find an RSS aggregator which can combine multiple feeds and sort
by date I went with
- Modify said aggregator to handle authentication to get restricted
LJ feeds (this is easy with basic or digest auth, but OpenID is
harder, and OpenID support is what we need to realize the goal of
moving to a completely heterogeneous and decentralized
Fetch old LJ content Done. See ljdump
Delete old LJ content Done with an awful hack to ljdump
Write a script which parses a directory tree of HTML files,
pulling out information from some sort of tags in the <head>
section, writing HTML indices by topic and date based on these tags
and also an RSS or Atom feedScript
writes HTML indices and an Atom XML feed.
Decide on internal tagging content and
formatDone. I used meta tags in head.
Decide on scripting language (leading candidates: perl and
python)Python was chosen
Select a feed formatAfter some reading about the
relative merits, I decided to go with Atom
Replace the ancient static content at
http://www.consistent.org/terran/ with one or more of these
indices Observe the swanky new main page! I had to change
it from HTML 3.2 to 4.0, because the feed link I had to create could
not be done in valid HTML 3.2.
Investigate the possibility of bringing this feed into LiveJournal
for the benefit of people still reading there I am syndicated
on livejournal as "terranblag"
- Come up with some mechanism for people to comment on posts.
- Optional: Introduce a mechanism for writing restricted content.
This would involve bringing in an OpenID library to authenticate
people when they ask for the main page or the feed, and giving them
different, dynamically-generated content based on what they're allowed
to see. This is going to be a lot of work, and I don't write a lot of
restricted content, so this is not a priority for me. On the bright
side, though, once it's done, it would be trivial to use it for
authenticated comments as well.
Optional: retrofit old content into new format for incorporation
into indicesMany hours of painstaking hand editing were
performed to insert the new tags. Old LJ content has not been