September 22, 2004

Funky Dung suggested a few days ago that I should think about providing a syndication feed for DC so that people can figure out that I’d come back from my hibernation (I expect that he expected this hibernation thing to be a regular occurrence … and he might not be wrong :p) instead of having to check back on DC every so often. I told him that I had to first get the RSS template going and put that on backburner. Yesterday, I had enough time to look into implementing an RSS template and since I also needed to figure out if the new build of Blog works nice with RSS templates, I gave it a go :)

The result, after some messing around, reading about RSS standards and so on, was a fairly workable RSS template. I still have a few validation problems but most of the major ones are gone. The new format attribute for the date and time tags has helped tremendously and I’m hoping that others will find this little feature useful too :) In fact, in testing out the RSS template, I found one bug in the format attribute, so I guess it’s a good thing that I did work on the RSS stuff :p I still get a validation error on non-UTF-8 characters in my entries but that might be due to the fact that the validator thinks my feed is encoded in UTF-8 for some reason … perhaps because that’s the default? :p As you can see, I still have a lot to learn about RSS and so will have to keep on plugging away at my RSS template till I get it working perfectly. Then, I’ll probably include that in the next build of Blog as a default template :)

In Blog related news, the latest builds of Blog seem to be working fairly well with WordPress. Nigel suggested a great feature – that of uploading imges via FTP to a remote blogging server :) I had initially been looking at implementing image uploads via the XMLRPC interface but couldn’t do that for WordPress since their file upload feature wasn’t really complete the last time I looked :p However, when Nigel suggested using FTP, I realized that all I had to do was use what was already available in Blog – I didn’t have to wait on the XMLRPC stuff to be worked on! So I added a new option to remote server settings where you can specify the FTP server to upload images and added a couple of other settings to making things work and voila, it was done :) Nigel has tested it out since then and tells me it all seems to work fine :)

I’ve also heard from Fabian the author of the HTMLEdit component that I use. He explained why all formatting (and image info) would be dropped when I saved a new entry – the HTMLEdit component decides whether the data it is working with is plain text or HTML by examining the data when it is first loaded. So, since there is nothing to examine when you start a new entry – it thinks that the data is plain text! While I do understand his explanation (in fact, I had deduced that it must be something like this and was going to do some experimentation as soon as I got the latest stuff in Blog working), I don’t think the behaviour is very intuitive – if it is a new record, the component should actually check the data it is saving rather than what it loads. I’ve asked Fabian whether it would be possible to make this change and am waiting on his response but in the meantime, I’m sure that I can at least do a kludgy workaround that will allow me to release the next build of Blog fairly soon :-)

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Posted by Fahim at 9:31 am   Comments (0)