February 21, 2006

Mad coding ….

I’ve been working on Blog every spare moment I’ve got :p Most of the coding yesterday was on fixing the categories. The category display in Blog is based on a new Delphi component that I created – it’s a (sort of) data aware check list component which displays values from a database table as choices for you to select. Most data aware components are basically tied to a specific field in a data table. This one is only sort of data aware since it retrieves the information for the list from a table but doesn’t actually store the results in a data column :p Instead, you have to both supply it with the initially checked values and then later retrieve the final check list and store it manually yourself. I don’t know if anybody else has ever needed a component like this but I’ve come across this specific need several times so far. Hence, the creation of the component.

However, since it’s my own component, it had a few bugs left. Plus, I’d done it as a quick-and-dirty component a long time ago and had not gone back to it. So, I spent yesterday tightening up the data-aware-ness of the component a bit more. The category list was supposed to be editable in-place (kind of like WordPress’ Ajax aware categories but I had this in place a long time before that :p). But the editing in-place wasn’t working properly because the component itself wasn’t totally data-aware. So after much searching, debugging and fixing, I was able to get that all working. In the process, I also managed to stumble upon a few optimizations which seems to have made Blog itself load much faster :p All in all, it was good day of coding work though the result was that I went to bed much later than usual and boy am I tired today 🙂 I have to still do all the work related to handling remote categories and posting category selection via XMLRPC to a remote blog but I’m getting there and the goal is ever closer …

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Posted by Fahim at 8:22 am  |  1 Comment

February 20, 2006

Coding again …

Well, some of the internal Blog changes are done 🙂 I finally added a data module to the Blog code, transferred over all the data tables scattered over different forms on to the data module and cleaned up the code to work with the data module. Then of course, there was all the work involved in getting the code to compile again. It is finally done and in the process I fixed another issue – the internal Blog categories were not showing up properly and this is something which has been annoying Laurie :p Turns out that the categories were getting assigned fine but were not displaying due to an issue with the sequence of events that were being carried out.

Now that I’ve got the code working again, I plan to redo the entire Journal Management dialog. Instead of the current single dialog with multiple tabs, I’m going to go for four different dialogs which will allow more flexibility in terms of how each area (servers, blogs, templates and uploads) works. This is mostly to accommodate all the new category management stuff which is going to have to come in for the new release. I’m going to have to add category lists for each remote blog so that each installation of WP (or whatever supported blog) is kept distinct from the internal Blog categories. I will also have to add code to merge in the new remote blog categories with existing Blog categories and keep track of what gets assigned where. Ah, joy :p

On other coding fronts, I still have that add-on plugin I started work on. I still want to finalize the feature where it will automatically create tags for all posts without tags even though I will not use the tag for the main purpose it was created 🙂 So, I don’t know which one I will want to work on today – Blog or the plugin but hopefully, both will get worked on …

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Posted by Fahim at 7:47 am  |  No Comments

February 16, 2006

Back to Blog

Boy, this whole tag cloud thing is conjuring up a cloud of its own :p Yesterday, I got the Ultimate Tag Warrior plugin but it turns out that I have to specify the tags for the plugin in WP for it to work 🙁 Sure, as Lorelle pointed out in the comments yesterday, I can always set the plugin to use categories as tags and that should solve the issue right? Except that I post to my WP installation via Blog and Blog currently has no support for categories 🙁

OK, that’s not entirely true. Blog has some great category support (though Laurie will tell you it is broken in the current betas :p) but those categories don’t transfer over when publishing to WP via XMLRPC. So, I decided to get back to Blog and fix that. Of course, me being me, I can’t work on one particular issue only – I had to go redo a whole lot of other things :p There was one outstanding issue from the early days of Blog – how I handled database tables internally. The way I was doing it was not quite efficient and rather clumsy because that’s how I had started all that time ago in the early days of Blog. Blog was my first Delphi app and it shows. However, I have not fixed this all this time since Blog has gotten increasingly more complicated over the years and fixing the way data tables were linked was a rather cumbersome task.

I began fixing that yesterday :p Yeah, I’m a glutton for punishment. I also added in support via the XMLRPC interface for working with categories. That part at least works now but I realized then that due to the way Blog works, categories were going to be a major pain! Blog can publish to multiple destinations and this means that conceivably, somebody can publish the same blog to two different WP installations. This would mean that each installation would have its own list of categories and Blog would have a third list of categories internally. How do you keep all these different categories distinct. How do you make sure that Blog marks the correct categories on each WP installation? This is going to require a whole new set of tables and logic 🙂 Ah well, the joys of coding …

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Posted by Fahim at 8:14 am  |  1 Comment

September 15, 2004

Done, done at last! Thank God almighty, done at last!

The last entry for this site, which was made somewhere in June, was never published at all due to the fact that Blog wouldn’t cooperate :p I finally got that entry to publish today after getting most of the major problems in Blog. Actually, I’m kind of happy to get Blog working again since now, I use one application, Blog, to post to both my WordPress site and my non-WordPress site :p That is kind of cool.

A lot has happened since I last posted here and I’d probably have to make a humongous entry to catch up with all the stuff that has happened :p I just don’t feel like making the aforementioned humongous entry due to the fact that I’m not feeling totally well today. So I guess I’ll do the Cliff’s Notes version of what has been happening so far instead :p

OK, I left my then employer and joined a new company somewhere in May. This new company had been a project of my then employer’s and I’d been involved in the project for about a year before they decided to go off and form a separate company and they wanted me involved. I did get involved but found that I’d taken on way too much than I’d bargained for. I found myself doing systems administration, HR duties, procurement and a heck of a lot more besides when I had actually been hired on to be their lead developer. Things got a bit too hairy for my tastes and so, I went back to my old employer (who now is my new employer … again :p).

I’ve been here at my new/old employer for a couple of months now and things have been fairly hectic since I’ve had to do a couple of proposals as well as a full promotional video for the Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) of Sri Lanka. I really enjoyed the work on the ICTA video since it was something different from the usual run of the mill stuff I get to do. Unfortunately, till about a week ago, all this stuff meant that I was kept fairly busy since I also had taken up writing for another monthly magazine here in Sri Lanka (in addition to my existing column on a different monthly magazine :p) and what with trying to do all that and keep up with my comics, movies, TV shows and so on, not much time was left over for doing other things … such as coding.

Since I couldn’t post here till I got back to coding and got Blog working, that presented a bit of a problem as far as posting on SM was concerned. Of course, I really didn’t have much time to worry about SM and so, I’d think about getting back to the code, but really wouldn’t do it :p I’ve finally been able to get back to working on Blog – mostly because a friend needed Blog working more so than because I needed it working :p – and so, hopefully, I should get back to posting here too. We’ll see …

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Posted by Fahim at 10:30 am  |  No Comments

June 7, 2004

Breaking the silence …

Yes, things have been quite but not really due to a desire on my part to remain quiet :p Rather, it has been due to the fac that I just simply hate to post using the web interface and my work on Blog to get it working with WP was progressing very slowly. Actually, the Blog coding was doing pretty well generally but it was the little stuff where things were going crazy. For instance, I got Blog to retrieve posts from a WP server with no problems at all and to even post back to a WP server but then, Blog seemed to develop a weird slow down effect in selecting a post for the very first time. I finally traced that to the PlusMemo component though I’m still not sure how/why this happens. I’ve kind of sidetracked that problem for the moment but then I started getting another error where Blog seems to hang for the longest time before it shuts down and sometimes I get an access violation error. So, I’ve been struggling with all these problems and while I have stuff to post about, I can’t post because there are just too many problems and I’m just not that sure of Blog itself. Yeah, I know I can use the web interface to post but there’s no point in taking the easy way out :p

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Posted by Fahim at 10:05 am  |  No Comments

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