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Sign Up

By Tim Butler | Posted at 23:45

It does not add a lot of functionality just yet, but if you would be willing, would you please sign up for an asisaid Account? I am testing my newly minted user sign up and authentication system, part of the “project” I've been working on this summer.

Once you get your account and sign in using the sign in form located above the box to leave a comment on any entry, you'll notice that the comment area will show you signed in rather than giving you boxes to fill out with your name and so on. The information you normally would have typed (or that could optionally be stored in a cookie) will now be stored on the server, associated with your account profile.

It doesn't sound like much, but it required some hefty architectural changes to my codebase.

Thanks to any willing “beta testers.” 20 asisaid points for giving it a whirl.

Finally

By Tim Butler | Posted at 0:18

After probably close to a decade of SAFARI, my homegrown blogware, having a non-functional “log off” function, I can actually log out of my administrative account again. Even when I'm slow to fix something, I do get to it sooner or later! ;)

Under Construction

By Tim Butler | Posted at 23:56

As I have noted from time to time, asisaid runs the bleeding edge version of my SAFARI content management system, functioning as the official guinea pig for the software. Right now, I am in the process of checking off some long term todos for SAFARI as part of developing a site and that means things could get a little crazy on here. In particular, the project is forcing me to go back and clean up some of my messiest, oldest code — some going back as far as eleven years — and trying to re-implement things properly.

If something goes wrong, would you please drop me a line via e-mail or Facebook, in case I miss it?

Thanks.

A SAFARI Glitch

By Tim Butler | Posted at 23:50

With the way I have SAFARI setup, I have asisaid as a testbed, and then all of the other SAFARI enabled sites feed off of one codebase to which I push out updates. I did such a push a few days ago to fix the disabled comments bug that was affecting Ed's blog. Silly as I am, I didn't check afterwards to make sure everything was still OK on my church's site, which also uses SAFARI. As it turned out, I killed off most of the site because of a small bug that hasn't been a problem on the other sites.

Keeping the code centralized is good for saving time doing updates, but has its disadvantages…

More SAFARI Fixes

By Tim Butler | Posted at 23:04

Just a heads up: I've corrected a bug on the “Recent Comments” page that caused the entries to be semi-randomly sorted. With this fix, the latest comments are again placed at the top of the page.

The road to 3G SAFARI is progressing! Let me know if you see any bugs. For those of you who read Ed's blog, I'm hoping to get this and some other fixes deployed there very soon. :)

Joining the Crowd

By Tim Butler | Posted at 17:02

Well, I enjoyed my brief moment as t3h l33t subquery h4×0r, but in the end, subqueries seem to fall flat on their face. Two queries with subqueries were taking SAFARI 7-20 seconds to run, a totally unacceptable speed, especially since my goal with SAFARI was to build it in such a way as to allow it to be Slashdotted without performance problems. Conversely, using a join statement, I accomplished the same effect while reducing the processing time to less than two seconds (how much less, I cannot yet say, since I'm still working on developing the perfect query, but I'm expecting it to drop below 1 sec before I am done).

The road to the next generation of SAFARI progresses…

Update (10 July 2006 12:14 AM): OK, so I wanted to see if I could count the number of comments in my comments table in addition to comparing the objects (metadata) and articles (normal article stuff) table all in one query for efficiency. I ended up with what might be best termed a hybrid solution: the meat of the problem is taken care of via two LEFT JOINs, the latter one joining the results of a subquery to the main results. It seems reasonably efficient: it takes a mere 0.0274 seconds to process! How 'bout them apples? ;)

Subqueries Take One

By Tim Butler | Posted at 22:38

As you may recall, I recently discovered subqueries. While everything should seem functionally the same, you'll now be receiving subquery produced information when you view category pages. I think everything seems to be working OK thus far, although the subqueries seem to be a bit slower simply doing several queries, which suggests to me I must not be doing something right — why would initiating multiple queries be faster than one complex query?

Hopefully, I'll continue working on adding functionality via subqueries in the near future.

Oh, and about commenting or the lack of the ability to do thereof: I think I finally fixed SAFARI so that commenting should be on by default on asisaid. I'll be distributing that minor bug fix to other SAFARI-powered sites, such as Ed's, once I stabilize the subquery work a bit more.

Whoops!

By Tim Butler | Posted at 10:07

Mark pointed out to me that I had disabled comments on new posts — not something I intended to do. If you tried to comment in the last day or so and found yourself unable to, please try again.

I'm sorry about that! I should be more thorough in checking my code. Sheesh.

SAFARI 2 Road Map

By Tim Butler | Posted at 17:43
Here's what I need to do soon to SAFARI 2:
  • Implement per post comment_disabled flag. (I promise this to Ed a long time ago.)
  • Create query string option to use alternate themes (e.g. for optional front pages that don't look blog-like.)
  • Implement metadata editor allowing editing of any standard metadata as well as addition of unlimited custom metadata.
  • Allow data to be limited based on any metadata, not just category.
  • Streamline category/metadata selection mode to use MySQL sub-queries.
  • Rework search engine from SAFARI 1.x flat file database support to SAFARI 2.x SQL database system.

Launch of the new, reworked Open for Business.

Lower priority goals:
  • Implement user-end of multi-level threaded commenting.
  • Finish auto-caching spider for high traffic readiness.
  • User registration tied to e-mail address verification.
  • User-only comment posting restriction mode.

This will make SAFARI 2 functionally complete.

SAFARI 2 Release Candidate Goals:
  • Rework inefficient subroutines, removing 1.x legacy code.
  • Verify SQL injection protection.
  • Decide on and reveal new name (too much confusion with Apple Safari web browser, even though SAFARI the CMS was first.)

Ed Returns (for Me)

By Tim Butler | Posted at 23:34

My good, if backward, friend Ed has been missing from the blogosphere for about the last six months. If you didn't notice, don't feel bad. He only disappeared for me, or so it seems. For whatever reason, WordPress took a disliking to my IP address, and I could only view Ed's blog erratically for most of the year and not at all since July. Whenever I'd open the page, it would say there were no entries. I knew there were entries from looking in the Google cache or viewing his site via ssh from another computer, but any of the computers on my network — Mac OS X, GNU/Linux or Windows — could not view it regardless of browser.

This was doubly frustrating since I host his site. :mad:

Fortunately, Ed had agreed back in July to make himself a willing guinea pig for SAFARI 2, the same software that runs asisaid, and will be running at least four other sites within the next two months. I decided to make Ed's blog the first site — other than asisaid — I'd actually deploy SAFARI 2 to. It was a bit of a puzzle to figure out how to convert the WordPress database, but he is now up and running with a nice theme he designed that matches his two other sites.

The best part of all of this is that I can actually read his blog again!

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