Archive for the 'Web' Category

Google Scholar

Friday, November 19th, 2004

Give it a whirl: Google Scholar.

LJ RSS Feeds with Locked Posts

Monday, October 18th, 2004

Note: There is content after the geeking, really.

I found a couple of blog entries about authenticating LJ RSS feeds so you can see friends-locked posts in NetNewsWire and better RSS readers everywhere: eclecticism (Reading protected LiveJournal entries via RSS) and
life - listed chronologically (LiveJournal RSS Celebration).

The LJ FAQ (Question #149) isn’t nearly as informative. It doesn’t mention putting the username and password into the RSS URL. I’ve been experimenting with leaving it out, and NetNewsWire will ask me for the password and save it in the keychain if I do. That’s probably a better approach.

Jerie was kind enough to lend me a test account to try it out, and it does all work. Rather than make everyone friend a sockpuppet, though, and since the RSS feed thing gives me a use for one for the first time, I made my own LJ account. I’m not planning to post anything there except possibly Stargate fic announcements, but friend the new me if you want me to see your friends-locked posts. I will still read your LJ RSS feeds even if you don’t friend me, and I won’t get offended or anything about it.

Zoom into Links

Tuesday, October 12th, 2004

Here are some fun and handy links I’ve come across recently:

Pretty Pages

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2004

I like looking at lovely web pages. Here are some I’ve spotted recently

Converting .webloc files

Sunday, September 19th, 2004

Speech of the day: Aragorn’s ever-popular not this day monologue

Warning: Geeking ahead!

Safari and most other Mac browsers will save individual links as a clickable .webloc file, recognizable by the little “HTTP” on the document icon. I’m always dragging links from Safari or Mail to the desktop for later reading, blogging, or filing away. When I’m off-line and I just want to click something later, a webloc is fine, but when I have a huge folder full of links, reopening each one in Safari can be a pain. Cutting and pasting links for a link dump blog entry is time-consuming. There ought to be a script for that, so I wrote one.

Webloc files are hard to work with because the URL is in the resource fork. Here are a few useful links that discuss getting the URLs out of the resource fork—incidentally, this link dump is an example of my new script in action:

The case I really wanted to handle was my collection of reference links. Normal people would bookmark them but I keep them in folders sorted by topic, along with html and other files. I’ve tried wikis and blogs and xml DTDs for keeping information organized, but I’ve found that the best knowledge management software for me is the Apache webserver that came with my mac. Safari will display xml, text, html, pdf, and rtf, plus my local WordPress writing journal, so I keep all my writing info on my local website. I use a php script to index each directory and provide navigation. The system works perfectly, except that I can’t see the .webloc files or open them through Apache—they can only be opened by clicking on them in the Finder.

So I took a shell script from one of the macosxhints articles about converting Mac weblocs to the PC analogue, and hacked it until it took a bunch of weblocs and converted them to an html list, which can be easily cut and pasted into the blog. The output is actually a full html page (sent to stout) which I can use for my local web pages. The script can be edited easily to change the html. At some point I may make a version that outputs markdown-native links.

To use the script, download linkdumper.txt. Change the permissions so it’s executable (chmod 755 linkdumper.txt), rename it if you’d like, then run it in the Terminal. Typing ./linkdumper.txt *.webloc should work, if you don’t understand shell scripts. If you type just ./linkdumper.txt, you get a short help blurb. I keep my copy of the script in ~/Library/Scripts/, though I had to add that directory to my path. Please keep in mind that I know very little about shell scripting, and weird things may happen. Weird things happened during the hacking of this script, though I’ve been unable to reproduce them.

Pardon the extreme geeking.

P.S. I forgot to link Faviconic, a nice little program to add a site’s favicon to its webloc icon.

Cool Color Tool

Friday, September 17th, 2004

Voet Cranf has a neat color tool. Click on one of the colored squares, and then on the plus sign that appears in the lower right corner of the square. Then slide the sliders! Or read the directions and find out what all the other controls do.

Blue Screen of Death

Sunday, September 12th, 2004

As the Apple Turns reports on a truly frightening nuclear scenario. I think it’s time to bring back the backyard bomb-shelter fad.

Slashdot can advise you on sheltering in style from that mysterious mushroom cloud over North Korea.

Lightning DNS

Friday, September 10th, 2004

I heard about the new, faster DNS propagation at Slashdot, and I’m trying it out right now with another domain. (It applies to .com and .net, but not .org, apparently.) Just in the time I’ve been typing this entry, the new DNS info propagated far enough for me to see it at dnsreport, but it hasn’t reached my mac yet. I suspect my ISP is caching the DNS somewhere.

It’s not me caching, since I found this handy blog entry about flushing your DNS cache on OSX (lookupd -flushcache). Yet for the moment, I’m still using the DNS trick I blogged about a few weeks ago.

Colors Rotated

Friday, August 20th, 2004

Math link of the day: a tribe who can’t count (thanks to Seema)

You may notice a subtle change in the blog design. I think I’ve finally tamed the wild, CPU-eating color switching script. It was especially slow on pages with lots of entries, like the category and monthly pages. Links are no longer colored.

Depending on your browser, it may take time or effort for the cached versions of the stylesheet and script to be replaced by their replacements. Color rotation should happen faster with the new version.

Pretty PHP Fonts

Saturday, August 14th, 2004

Look-and-feel link of the day: Firefox - Switch

I was going to redecorate with pretty fonts (possibly Tengwar), as described in dynamic text rendering at A List Apart, but I ran out of web design energy. If you want to try it at home, here are some useful links I found in the comments: