with 'fads' tag

migrated to slim framework 4

a couple of weeks ago i finally took some time to upgrade the code for this blog to the latest major version of the slim framework. it is still a strange mash-up of framework and hand-coded sql queries and old php code but this should make it easier to for me to tinker with going forward. the main thing i need to do is add a way to post images again.

another three years

another three years between entries. some stuff has happened. the store is still going, and i am still finding excuses to code and learn new things.

i wrote before about how i was converting scat from a frankenstein monster to a more modern php application built on a framework, which has more or less happened. there’s just a little bit of the monster left in there that i just need to work up the proper motivation to finish rooting out.

i also took what was a separate online store application built on a different php framework and made it a different face of scat. it is still evolving and there’s bits that make it work that aren’t really reflected in the repository, but it’s in production and seems to sort of work, which has been gratifying to get accomplished. the interface for the online store doesn’t use any javascript or css frameworks. between that and running everything behind cloudflare, it’s much faster than it used to be.

now i’ve done it

i noodled around a little more, and came up with an ugly way to supply and extract tags in my postings via email. the next step will be extracting attachments so i can post images again.


yes, this is still on. and now it is on a new server with new code, even though it looks the same.

i still need to knock together the "writing a post" bit of code so that i can post without using manual SQL queries. details.


it turns out that this thing is still on. it is kind of funny to me that it still just chugs along, but such is the joy of writing your own software running on your own (virtual) server. it is long past time to rebuild the infrastructure here, which may or may not happen. but it is something that i am thinking about again.

comments closed

i get tired of dealing with spam on very old entries here, so the comments now automatically close on posts after one week. you know, on the off chance that i ever post anything of interest again.

plus c'est la même chose

you might remember a little over a year ago, when automattic acquired blo.gs. no signs of life yet.

plus ça change

the new york times has an article about how the fast pace of innovation is creating mini-generations.

while the story focuses on the users of all these technologies, the part of it that is of more immediate interest to me is the makers, since i’m one of them. the craft of making computers do what you want is progressing at least as fast as their uses.

new languages, new techniques, new environments. there are people who stand aside and laugh at the reinvention they see, but i would not count myself among them. there are people in the thick of it that think the current new thing is the one that will change everything. i am not one of them, either. there are people who get caught up in an eddy, where what was once the new thing has become their only thing. they are the next generation’s cobol programmer.

i think i am becoming one of them. i don’t think i mind. i don’t code in my free time any longer. i am moving on in other ways. my value as a programmer is not in knowing the newest things.

blo.gs lives?

so today i happened to stumble across the news from last week that yahoo “transferred” blo.gs to automattic.

i guess i can finally let the domain names lapse that i had planned to create a service like blo.gs on.

the march of time continues

i haven’t had much to say. very out of character, i know.

or maybe i’ve had a lot to say and don’t know how to say it.

i am looking forward to the dr. horrible’s sing-along-blog session at paley fest 2009.

maybe i’ll write about that next month.

boring from another continent

blogging session

as celia wrote earlier, we are in riga, latvia for a meeting of the mysql developers. she is holed up in the hotel room working on a screenplay (or maybe in the atrium where the wifi is better), and i am in a presentation about blogging.

celia already posted pictures from our excursion day on sunday (the day we didn’t sit around in the meeting rooms at the hotel). i took some video which i will figure out how to deal with once we are back home.

don’t ask too many questions

chyrp is a nice looking piece of blog software. individual posts can have different styles, something it borrowed from the hosted tumblr service. i was interested to read about “the sql query massacre of january 19th, 2008” but the numbers gave me pause — 21 queries to generate the index page? that is down from an astounding 116, but that still seems ridiculous to me.

the number of queries to generate the index of this site? two. one of them is SET NAMES utf8. i could see boosting that to three or four if i moved some things like the list of links in the sidebar into the database, or added archive links. call it five if i had user accounts.

but right now, the number of queries used to load the index page on a chyrp site grows with the number of posts displayed on the front page. not only that, it grows by two times the number of posts on the front page.

chyrp could use a security audit, too.

new voices

if downtown los angeles was the 3rd bloggiest neighborhood six months ago, things are really exploding now. walter has become frighteningly prolific at scribeskidrow. joe, of joe and ruby fame, has started a blog at big city poz. the guys at angelenic are doing a fantastic job of digging up the news on the downtown development front. white boy/white dog has all the news from 2nd and main. nearby, the lofty dog is one of the first businesses to start up a downtown blog (disclaimer: with my wife and dog’s help). bert green also has a blog as a business owner, resident and player. and dodger is another downtown dog with a blog.

that is a whole lot of new blood in the downtown blog-la-sphere. but i think my favorite part about is that i have been lucky enough to meet all of these new bloggers in person, and they are all fantastic people (and dogs!).

at a party the other night, i was talking with another of our new downtown friends (not yet a blogger) who mentioned how small-town that downtown feels. it is amazing to see how this community is growing up, and to be a part of it while it happens. and i know that the little network of people i know is just one of many such networks downtown.

but enough about me, what do you think of me?

in his infoworld blog, zack urlocker (vp products at mysql) passes on a good link about smaller software teams. and says very kind things about me, since he read the article after i posted it to our internal business-intelligence list. i used to report directly to zack, but i have managed to shoehorn in three other people between us on the orgchart since then.

that business-intelligence list is kind of a funny beast. it is mostly industry news (who bought who), with some interesting mentions of mysql in the press and blogs, and my ongoing implicit criticism of our development processes. it would make a pretty good blog. i should at least start posting the things i have been sending to the list.

and so the puppyblogging begins

wonton chewing a (fake) bone

5 things you didn’t know about me

i knew that dave would get me back for tagging him eventually.

  1. i am a published poet.
  2. i have appeared on a local newscast.
  3. i did telemarketing (cold-calling) for an insurance agent.
  4. i used to work the weekend opening shift at burger king.
  5. i failed two classes in my major in college.

tagging: angel, angel, shannon, jeremy and sam.

now for step 3

over at franklin avenue, mike coined the ridiculous term blog-la-sphere and a few misguided domain-name look-ups later, i ended up registering blog-la-sphere.com (and variants). now i’m proud to launch blog-la-sphere. or relieved. or mildly amused. or maybe i just ate something bad for breakfast.

i don’t like “better feed”

i finally saw someone make mention of the plugin that adds the load of awful crap to the end of some people’s blog entries which clutters things up on sites like planet mysql. it’s called “better feed.

clearly, “better” is in the eye of the beholder. i find it to be an eyesore.

i asked, and she said yes

so we started a new blog.

lists of four things about los angeles

clouds, palms, and skyline

my girlfriend celia tagged me with the “meme/chain letter/time suck that’s been going around.” if you read closely, you’ll notice that i have mutated it slightly.

four jobs i’ve had in my life in los angeles: programmer at mysql, programmer at homepage.com, programmer at knowledge adventure, and college (public) relations intern at harvey mudd college.

four movies about los angeles i could watch over and over: crazy/beautiful, repo man, assault on precinct 13, and collateral.

four places i’ve lived all over los angeles (with food memories from each): downtown los angeles, where i still haven’t exhausted the possibilities (but engine co. no. 28 has really won me over); north hollywood, where i discovered chinese deli t&d way too late in my stay; glendale, where i had many great lunches with my coworkers from knowledge adventure, the best at places whose names i don’t remember; and claremont, where making milkshakes at platt (the school cafeteria) probably caused my lactose intolerance.

four los angeles-themed shows i love(d) to watch: boomtown, the shield, 24 (and none of this “only the first season” weaseling — i still love it), and entourage.

four places i would vacation at in los angeles: downtown, the beach, the hills, and downtown. (i’d have added disneyland and laguna beach like celia, but that’s orange county….)

four los angeles-based websites i visit daily: 5th and spring, l.a. observed, blogdowntown, and sha in la. (but to be honest, i use blo.gs to only visit them when they’ve updated.)

four of my favorite foods found in los angeles: strawberry donut from donut man (aka foster’s) in glendora, meat loaf at engine co. no. 28 in downtown los angeles, everything at chinese deli t&d in north hollywood, and celia’s white chocolate sweet potato cake and lasagna.

four places in los angeles i would rather be right now: the central library rotunda, the city hall observation deck, the watercourt at california plaza, and wherever celia is.

four los angeles-based charities you should support: los angeles conservancy, library foundation of los angeles, childrens hospital los angeles, and the midnight mission. (i could go on.)

tagged: shannon, ask, dave (eecue), and eric.

not quite formless

last night was the ambassador hotel wake, which mack of lavoice.org has already covered (although our paths did not cross). there was a large number of los angeles bloggers there: mike of franklin avenue, will and jillian of blogging.la, josh of curbed la (no, i don’t know which one, but i’m just “a reader”), carolyn of laist, kevin of la observed, joseph of martini republic, shannon, and my girlfriend celia.

there may have been more we met and i forgot, and almost certainly more that we just didn’t meet.

i bet you think this song should be about you

this “outside the tent” piece whining that the recent los angeles times blogging article didn’t feature political bloggers is colossally dumb. “wah, the times didn’t write about me and my friends. they suck!”

lack of a discernible soul

if you read any los angeles blogs, expect to see a lot of mentions of this los angeles times article about los angeles blogs. no, i’m not mentioned.

welcome back

martin jansen pointed out that my feed wasn’t showing up as updated on bloglines, and it turns out to be because i had broken the conditional get handling for the feed. oops.

so if you’ve been relying on bloglines, you’ve missed a lot.

tools for the community or vice versa

this wired article about myspace is interesting, but what really caught my eye was justin’s comment about it: “interesting, MySpace has evolved into "indie music + SNS", like Flickr is "photos + SNS"; also, each of the SNSes seems to have found a niche.”

i was thinking almost the exact same thing this morning, but in relation to yahoo! groups. where the groups concept is “form a group, here’s tools for them to use,” the new model appears to be “here’s a tool, form some groups around their use.”

someone had to be last

okay, since everybody else has finally tossed a link their way, now i have to point out the new curbed la, a blog about los angeles real estate and neighborhoods. they’ve gotten off to a great start.

it finally dawned on me what the building was in their header — it’s city hall. you’d think i would have picked up on that sooner considering i can see city hall from my desk.

worked a coin from the cold concrete

“breaking the web wide open!” is a long article by marc canter about new open standards on the internet. i’m named as a “mover and shaker” in the pinging space, which i think says volumes about the limits of that space.

what color is my parachute?

evan williams (of blogger and odeo) says that most people read blogs via their web sites, and not an rss reader. (he doesn’t cite any evidence, but i believe it is probably true.) this was in response to information from bloglines about how many feeds “matter.”

i’m one of those — i like reading personal blogs via their web pages, not in an rss aggregator. it is why i built blo.gs. it is why i might have to build something to replace blo.gs, now that blo.gs has become nearly useless for tracking updated blogs.

why do i prefer to read blogs via their sites and not rss? i like to see jason kottke’s remaindered links, reviews, and longer posts in their overall flow. i like to see the random pictures and latest comments on blogdowntown. i like to see what picture of herself shannon has decided to feature now. i like to look at the comments left on recent posts i found interesting by jeremy zawodny.

and for all of the blogs i read, the design of their site gives me a little context, and a little reminder of who they are. (not in the “who the hell is that?” sense, but the “hey, shannon likes pink!” sense.)

five years and two days ago, i wrote my first blog entry. i started out using blogger. four days later, i made my first entry with my own blog software.

when leonard got in touch with me to pick my brain a little bit about the blo.gs acquisition experience, i didn’t have an inkling that he would be joining yahoo! along with the rest of the upcoming.org team.


when i look at the hobbled state of blo.gs, i lament, a little bit, my decision to not go to yahoo with the site.

ugh. so much more i could say. but no more angsty bullshit.

i feel like i’ve already seen this discussion about elevator/metro etiquette.

kaj arnö is the latest mysql executive to get bitten by the blogging bug. he’s going to be taking up the mantle of vp/community relations soon. zack urlocker, our vp/marketing, was the first executive to jump on the bandwagon.

doc searls has sometimes explained how he blogs as just answering emails in public.

it has come up in some recent conversations with people i know that they keep up with what i’m up to by reading this site. (which, it frightens me to say, is probably pretty effective. there’s not much that goes on behind the curtains here.)

in conversation, i ask few questions and give short answers. i wonder if blogging has become a sort of conversational crutch for me. by blogging about something, i don’t have to talk about it.

or maybe by blogging about something, i figure out a good answer for the questions that nobody needs to ask because they’ve already read the answer.

cnet news.com reports on the results of the pew internet study that says for nearly half of the bloggers surveyed, blogging is a form of therapy.

that doesn’t surprise me. a lot of what i’ve been blogging recently has been motivated by that.

graph of posts made per month

i felt like i’ve been posting a lot lately — here’s a graph of posts per month since i started (way back in october 2000).

for the 1792 days i’ve been blogging, i have averaged 1.38 posts per day. my longest entry was my notes from the vsda home entertainment conference, the shortest entry was the percentage chance i gave to moving out of my then-current apartment.

trying to read through my archives can be a bit of a chore. it’s one of the things i’m looking to fix with the redesign that i’m slowly working on. so far, it’s not really too radical of a change — but i’ve just been focused on removing things.

businessweek’s blogspotting noticed in a wall street journal article that technorati is making deals to get ping data first, or at least that’s the claim in the article. it would be interesting to know who those deals are with. i can’t imagine it’s with either blogger (google) or six apart.

of course, i’m not sure it helps for technorati to have the data first if nobody can ever actually get at it because of their persistent inability to handle their search load.

jeremy zawodny says that “trackback is dead” and jason kottke says “so long, technorati”, which are both observations i find fairly interesting.

but not so interesting that i have much of anything to add. i don’t get into the stats/links/whatever navel-gazing side of blogging very often. it’s been nearly a couple of years since i’ve even bothered to run stats on the logs for this site.

the only stat that really matters most to me are the number of cool people i’m connecting with, and if they’re just reading, it’s not a very meaningful connection.

kevin roderick passes on the old news that the los angeles times is working with another company to build an rss aggregator. what a terrible idea. the first step for the times should be to publish their own damn rss/atom feeds.

when i graduated college (ten years ago!), one of the places i applied to work was the times. they didn’t get back to me before i had found a job. while at the gym this morning, all that was going through my head is how much of a blast i could have at a place like the times if simply given a mandate to kick ass. (another is that i am probably way more qualified to do that now than i would be even if i had been working at the times for that last ten years.)

if it’s a great time to be an entrepreneur, it should also be a great time for everyone trying to do kick-ass things on the web. if i were at the times, and the team at a paper from a small town in kansas was continuously out-innovating me, i’d go nuts. especially when they have have released their web-building framework as open-source, and the best thing i’ve got going is an rss aggregator that is going to suck being built by an external company.

more fun with stats

the number of unique blogs added to or updated in the blo.gs database, per day:


(the data for this is a couple of months old because i stopped logging this information. the way i was logging it was having trouble with the volume of data, and i lacked the interest to do it right.)

blo.gs growth

some people have been interested in the growth of the data that blogs collects. here’s some numbers. this is from a snapshot of the database from sunday morning, so it isn’t to-the-minute.

of the 6,602,676 entries in the blo.gs database snapshot i used, rss/atom feeds were known for 2,512,959 of them. that doesn’t mean more didn’t have rss/atom feeds, just that blo.gs didn’t know about them.

of the blogs that were updated in the last 30 days of the snapshot data, 71% had known rss/atom feeds.

this is the number of blogs added to the database each month. i wasn’t tracking this before september 2003, so the earlier number is all the blogs prior to that.


the big jump in january is from getting a feed that includes the livejournal data from pubsub.com.

here’s the count of blogs last updated in each given month:


and based on the ip address, here’s the top hosts:


needless to say, the entries for the spammer are gone now. blogdrive.com shows up multiple times because they use multiple ip addresses.

here is where i would insert all sorts of caveats about how these numbers are derived if i cared to hold people’s hands when dealing with numbers like this. these are free numbers, and you’re getting what you paid for them.


so i sort of understand the fascination with tags (although i haven’t provided any way for browsing my entries here by tag), but it seems a shame that the common implementations eschew spaces within tags.

one thing that is fun about tags is that they can provide a bit of meta-commentary about an entry, sort of like a title sometimes does.