Updates, ToDo and a Request for Feedback

Posted on Thu 06 December 2007 in Dispatches • 3 min read

Hopefully not too many people tried to stop by the site today, because I had a pretty severe outage due to my own foolishness. I’ve been trying to implement a few new features to the site, and in one particularly bad move I managed to wipe an important file that isn’t stored in my SCM because it is server dependent. I keep it separate to help simplify testing between different servers and in the general hope that one day I’ll be able to abstract away the code for this site so that it can be packaged up and deployed easily to other people’s servers. Anyway, I had wiped the file and replaced it with a shoddily written copy, and when that failed to work I panicked and wiped everything to redeploy my entire installation.

Not my finest moment, not by a long shot.

Anyway, there are a few new features now, only one of which is actually visible to the user, because when you are coding for yourself, you should always put yourself first in line for awesomeness. I made some improvements to the composing process, and did some caching and database backend work. For the user, I’ve made the link roll omnipresent on the site, because links = love and expanded the purpose of the front page a bit. Previously, I would display a heavily truncated edition of my most recent blog post, and my most recent link. On the new front page, you will have more of a short tumblelog of recent activity. Under the advice of my good friend DHP, I’ve made sure that the most recent blog post remains sticky at the top, with the recent activity in all categories down below.

Honestly, I’m still conflicted on this new look, as I’m also tempted to just display the latest item in each category (blog, links and photos), but that seems not much better than I was doing before. I’d love to get your feedback regarding whether you feel the front page is an improvement, or whether you would prefer a tighter summary of each category and quick access to the footer.

I’m amassing quite a todo list for the site, and for my own benefit as well of those of you who are strangely curious, I will share. Here it is in no particular order:

  • Finalize front page design (of course)
  • Fine tune the caching so that it stays responsive and unobtrusive.
  • Develop style sheet for mobile browsers
  • Refine default style sheet to improve readability
  • Add additional media types for some new projects ;-)
  • Finish XML-RPC interface
  • Improve internal search application
  • Improve Akismet integration (I report spam/ham, but via the command line. Need to add it to admin page)
  • Connect OpenID logins to Django auth system to take advantage of native features

That should keep me busy for a little while, I expect. I’ve also got a number of other posts that have been sitting in the queue as drafts including a few reviews I’ve been procrastinating on, so I’ll be finishing those too. Yay, for new content!

Hopefully, I’ll get all of this done soon, but in the meantime you can stalk me via the interwub. Please consider leaving me some feedback either by posting a comment or by emailing me at daniel at andrlik dot org.