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Monthly Archives: August 2006

All those Web 2.0 logos are starting to look the same… so some guy went and created an app that generates them automatically…


In my quest to make everything into a feed… I present the Code Snippet Comments feed. It goes with this site, which lacks a feed for comments posted on snippets.

For this feed generation, I used a free service called Feed43. It’s quite powerful! Basically, you give it a URL and about ten minutes of your life working out some pattern recognition, and voila! you get a feed auto generated every six hours based on the content of the page. Nice.

Update: Version 2 is available here.

Today, I finally got fed up with Wikipedia‘s lack of watchlist feeds, so I wrote a script that generates them.

A few of the photos I had uploaded to the Wikimedia Commons have been marked for deletion for some time now due to inadequate license information (my fault entirely), but I didn’t know it because I didn’t think about the Commons having its own separate watchlist. Oops. That got me thinking… these watchlists should have feeds so I don’t have to keep pulling up my bookmarks every day.

Now, until they actually add feeds to those pages, I have my own solution in a few lines of Ruby code: This code can be run as a CGI on a web server and generates feeds like this.

So, I’m sharing this because the other two or three scripts out there written to do this suck IMO. (Or at least I couldn’t get them to work — which in that case means I suck :-)

I needed a version of Lightbox that handled real web page urls instead of just images, so I hacked it myself. I looked into using Lightbox Gone Wild, but it seemed a misnomer; it’s more like a stripped down version of Lightbox. I like the effects and transitions of Lightbox, so I figured why not start there?

I’d love to show you an example, but I don’t have a host for it right now. Just imagine Lightbox that’s capable of showing any URL you throw at it.

  1. Download the original.
  2. Replace lightbox.js with my version here.

Rush-Hour Ethics

Here’s a phenomenon that really peeves me. On my way home every weekday, I pass South through these two intersections. During rush-hour, traffic can get quite backed up here, so the wait can easily be ten or fifteen minutes at this one point in my drive home.

What’s worse is that people cheat. As the second map below shows, people take a side road over to Peoria, turn South, then line up at the same intersection, but in a much shorter line. When their light turns green, they cut in front of all the people waiting patiently. Argg!

Rush-Hour Ethics

The green dots represent nice people, waiting in line as they should. The red dots repesent people who believe they’re better than everyone else and cut in line.

I see this happen every day. I will be nearly at the end of the line, watching cars turn down the side road. It’s become somewhat of an obsession (one that only serves to make me angry every time I indulge it) for me to make a mental note of these heathen people’s cars and watch as they pull in 50 car lengths ahead of me moments later.

What do you think? Is it wrong to do this sort of thing?

Update: The community has stepped up to take over development of ZiddlyWiki. So, it appears ZW will live on!

Update 11/7/2007: has been dead for a long time now. I really like TiddlyWiki and think there should be a solid server implementation like ZW was; make your plea in a comment on this post if you’d like to discuss a ZW comeback.

ZiddlyWiki was a product I built and maintained for awhile. Now, I’ve decided to give it up. I don’t have the mental bandwidth to keep it up, and I’ve neglected its users for quite awhile. I will be letting the domain names expire shortly, and the latest version will be made available here for anyone wanting to take the product as their own and keep it up-to-date.

One thing I found in building ZW is that the amount of support required from people is enormous. I realize now that some open-source products require more support than others, particularly end-user products. I’ve released open-source libraries before without near as much required followup support, but then again, they were meant for developers — not end users.

Undoubtedly, this move will make somebody mad. Good news with ZiddlyWiki: you can always export your data and move to another TiddlyWiki-based product.

If you’re interested in taking over the project, let me know: [my first name]

ZiddlyWiki Version
Old ZW Documentation