aqcom Imported From Epistula Metablog web development


So, I’ve redone the commenting form for Epistula to reflect certian forthcoming technological efforts.

Ahh, I love the smell of a crowded new marketplace in the morning.

Smells like failure…

Imported From Epistula Metablog MLP

A meme and a return

Hello, Livejournal users. Been a while, hasn’t it? Well, if your stupid RSS system rejects feeds merely because they aren’t valid, that’s what’s going to happen.

ahem fixed now.

So, in honour of the return of the Livejournallers from another dimension (You can, in case you need to know, read Aquarionics via it’s syndicated account on LiveJournal) lets have a meme I’ve stolen from people’s LJ and then bent to my own neferious purposes.

Recommend (and dis-recommend) one of each of:

  1. A movie
  2. A book
  3. A musical artist, song, or album
  4. A LiveJournal user weblogger not on my friends list blogroll
  5. What I should have for dinner
  1. A website
epistula Imported From Epistula Metablog PHP

Comment as mucked

So, whilst other people have been attacked by comment spammers, I – in my Epistula fortified ivory tower – have recieved two, which I have then deleted. More of a problem for me is that Google has placed my review of Broken Sword III in the top of it’s rankings for that phrase, meaning I’ve had a couple of people saying how much it sucks.

This full and frank exchange of views (If they ever come back to the site I’d be suprised) is exactly why I have comments, but both of them decided to put forth their views in CAPS-LOCK FOR EMPHASIS.

Grr. Just reading the comments makes my ears hurt.

So, given that this is a social problem, there must be a technical solution to it, mustn’t there? This is, after all, a weblog. And yes, of course there is. A couple of quick regexes later, and I have checkCaps to do this fun job for me.

Also, since I’ve got a couple of reports that my comments validation thing was a little odd, I’ve recoded it a bit so it highlights if there’s been a problem submiting your comment (Originally it just changed the status message, but this is apparently not obvious enough, so now it colours it red)

Next trick is going to make the “Email me when someone replies” thing actually work…

epistula Imported From Epistula Metablog

tidakada ta-da

Michel Valdrighi, one of the founder members of the sinister1 and complicated Blogite collective2 who used to be at is back with his shiny new domain, and shiny new WordPress install3 and shiny new weblog at

Also, Epistula now pings both Technoarti and Yahoo’s XML-RPC interfaces. and the formating system has been upgraded to Textile 2 beta, which brings me easy tables, easy classes and… feetneat:

1 That’s right, left handed.

2 Neither sinister nor collective, even. One day it might even come back.

3 Making him the third person today I’ve seen make reference to it

aqcom Imported From Epistula Metablog

Not Geek

So, why so much geek-stuff? Well, reasons are three-fold.

One: People are doing ESF things, which makes makes me happy, which makes me feel I should be doing more cool things. Part of this week has been spent redoing the input system for Epistula, meaning now I can add the location information.

Two: One of the blogsphere’s I read has just gone back into navel-gazing and syndication-gazing mode, so I tend to react. The second and third appear to have gone on hiatus all at once, with few exceptions.

Three: I haven’t been out of the house in days. Partly due to illness, mostly due to not actually having any reason to. I shall now Make An Effort.

Reasons why there will be less geek-stuff in future:

One: I’ve now got a routine for writing real things, so stuff is happening, just not being posted.

Two: The chair that came with the house is about four inches too short for my desk, and non-adjustable. I didn’t notice this until my RSI started returning, so enforced absence may happen until I can fix this.

Three: Black hole syndrome. Not sure why.

As soon as I get a life, I’ll write about it.

Imported From Epistula Metablog

In defense of weblogs

It’s probably fair to say that there is an element of the online population who feel that the recent explosion of weblogs and the publicity it has recieved is undue. Furthermore, it has emerged that All Webloggers Are Teenage Girls.

Well, Most of them.

Well, Most of them that live in poland.

Well, most of them that live in poland and filled out the survay.

I was going to start this article as “There are two types of weblogs in this world” and divide the world into Them (The webloggers who are, as Andrew carefully and elequently describes, a bunch of sixteen year old pop-idol fans gazing at their navels whilst describing how great the macaroni and cheese they had for dinner last night was) verses Us (The cool, level headed Webloggers, who discuss new W3C standards and the direction of them; the future of weblogging; the whys and wherefores of XML development and such), before I did something that stopped me doing this. I read my archives. So I ask this instead:

What is a weblog?

It’s a collection of articles displayed in descending chronological order on the front page, normally archived by month or week. Easy. Does that stop FTrain being a kind of weblog? Not really. Does that make The Register a weblog? Probably not. So, we have these weblog things, where we can safely define Weblogs as “Something I think is a weblog”, and that’s about it. This means that you can make something a weblog by putting it on the web and saying “This is a weblog”, and since weblogs are currently Cool, an awful lot of people are putting things online and calling them weblogs.

Saying that all webloggers act like 12 year olds is rougly equivilent to saying that “All journalists are no-talent hacks with the integrity of a ball of water”. Andrew Orlowski saying that blogs are a waste of bandwidth is roughly equivlant to the classic “All Greeks Are Liars” argument, since his irregular columns are mostly a rant three folds long about whatever is on his mind at the time. But I digress, for this isn’t about attacking Andrew Orlowski.

So, ninty percent of weblogs are crap, depending on how you define weblog.

So far, so normal. Ninty percent of everything is crap. There is still the 10%, there are still people like Stavros, BB, Mark, CavLec et. al. who make wading though the rest of it worth it.

One day I’ll submit something like this to The Register to see if they print it. I doubt it.

Imported From Epistula Metablog UKBlogs

At a slight angle to the org domain

In one of those horrible domain things that we hate so much, Vaughan at Wherever You Are let go of his hold on his domain for long enough for an evil search portal to grab it. He has taken this opertunity to rearrange his domain into a more country specific paradiem.

You can now find Wherever You Are at, for your daily dose of fun and frolics and stuff.

Have a nice day.

This has been a public service announcement on behalf of the UKB community. Please return to your seats.

Imported From Epistula Metablog

Debloggification of Google

Andrew Orlowski at The Register is continuing his rabidly anti-blog stance with an article today on Google’s possible creation of a Blog tab to go along with the images, news and groups tabs. This follows the pattern that groups matched, that of buying the company and using the data to provide a separate meta-data enriched search system.

There are plus points of this idea, from the separation of mindless-link-propagation which can effectively bomb or repaint a search result, though to the idea that searching for anything will get you the site, rather than a tonne of blogs talking about it first.

And here is the rub. I’d agree with this decontamination of Google’s database if I could find effective and conclusive evidence that the database was contaminated to start with. If I search for “Domino’s” I get Pizza and Games. If I search for “I Hate Domino’s” I get two message boards and my own blog (Where someone in comments said that phrase), because the first term is a thing, so you get matches of the things, and the second is an opinion, so you get opinions. The idea of a -blogs option if you don’t want blogs is one thing, but removing the data they give Google is something else.

Second is the separation of blogs from the results, meaning you could just search blogs. This would be useful, the ability to use the entire blogsphere as a kind of eopinions site. But you can now.

Third is also the separation of blogs from the results. First, how do you draw the line? Do you match every url against the blogger database, and if it matches it’s a blog? What about MT, Greymatter, Vellum, Epistula, Blosxom, Radio users? What about Zeldman and Murky and the other sites that are hand-coded? How do you tell if they are Weblogs?

What about the sites that use Blogger for news? How do you tell they aren’t weblogs?

But most of all, this hurts me as a person. My online identity is based around Aquarionics and weblogs who have mentioned Aquarionics. If you search for my name, you will find the fact I defined a specification (Admittedly, it was ESF), you will find that I’m generally not-disliked, and that I have spent the last almost three and a half years writing a weblog, and developing the software that runs it. If you take blogs out of Google’s equation, I vanish.

Imported From Epistula Metablog Personal


I’ve recorded Burningbird’s Request twice, and am not happy with either. It will happen.

I’ve recorded four audioblog entries today.

I’m not happy with any of them.

I’ve posted 155 entries this year, 854 since April 7th 2000, when I started using Blogger.

Since mid last year, when I started “Blogging” rather than writing a diary (The difference is small, but is mostly about awareness) I’ve written one single short story, and one new site.

William Gibson is right, Blogging interferes with writing. Burningbird was right, once you start blogging it’s [D]ifficult to focus on my books and my articles. I now know the book I’m writing, I can see the plot in front of me. But all the time I’m writing this, I’m not writing that, and Aquarion The Website started out as a place to put my fiction online.

Don’t panic, I’m not going anywhere immediatly. I’m here at least until the house thing happens.

But after that?

We’ll see.

Imported From Epistula Metablog

Performance Art

Today is apparently Perfomance Art day in the Neighbourhood. Mike has a whole load of links to people taking part, saving me the effort.

For my part, I’ve decided to read the thing that I enjoyed most this week into a microphone. It’s David Salo’s Cave Linguistica, and it’s in the attachment below.

I should point out that that MP3 is about seven minutes long, and 3mb in size