Textile at your Service

From Apple’s Download section comes the HumaneText.service, which claims to:

Convert text in the textile markup to HTML in-place. It becomes easy and intuitive to write full standards-compliant HTML.

Which means it’s a Mac OS X service for using Textile. Interesting…


Feed Your Head!

Long ago I took a closer look at a hotList that UserLand provided, and the results can be found at hotList HEADs.

Well, times have changed, and now since we all share OPML, there’s a new list on the Share Your OPML! site showing the Top 100 Feeds. I thought it would be interesting to see what web servers the feeds were coming from and what mime-type the feeds were using.

The results can be found at Feed HEADs.


Tidy up while you're at it!

Since we’re on a roll with the whole "checking for errors" thing, we finally completed the official addition of Tidy to our home-grown CMS.

So now when we create an entry not only will it check the feeds for validity, but we also run a check on the well-formedness of the HTML that is created as well. You know, for those people that read this in a browser rather than an aggregator.

The big picture of all of this is that these additions are fairly easy, and I’m just some Random J. Hacker, not a developer and vendor of CMS-type software. Beyond that, we can see the value in open-source, and standards, but we’ll expand on that more in the future…


bless and the Dead Monitor

Last night I had a project to work on. I sat staring at my Sony 17″ Trinitron monitor while transferring files and all of a sudden there was a bright flash and the monitor went dead. Since I didn’t kick out the power cord, and there was no UPS beeping, I determined that my monitor finally died. The smell of something burning was also a tip off…

I’ve had various syncing problems with this monitor before, so I did some tests. Reboot, no good. Connect to PowerMac 8500, no good. Connect to Motorola StarMax, no good. So I smashed it into tiny bits. (Ok, in reality I just took it off the desk and put it on the floor.) Next I tried to put an old Apple 15″ monitor onto my G4. Well, after digging through boxes to find a VGA adapter. That didn’t work. Syncing issue I was guessing… I rebooted, zapping the PRAM with the hopes it would set the system to 640×480. Again, no good…

Luckily I was able to actually use my Mac, sort of. I ssh’d in via the iMac. Upon doing so I discovered that it had booted off of my backup drive. I found that interesting. Obviously resetting the PRAM changed where the system looked for a startup drive/folder. This just would not do, as I at least wanted my system up and running, doing it’s (cron) job and so on, even if I couldn’t see it. What to do?

bless. That’s what to do…

From our old pal, the knowledgeable Mike Bombich comes Some Useful and Interesting Terminal Commands for Lab Managers:

You can use the bless command to bless a System folder. This is particularly useful if you want to install system software by imaging rather than a standard installer. bless can also be used to bless a Mac OS 9 system folder, which is handy if you need to bootup Classic, but the system folder is not blessed. Finally, bless can be used to set the startup disk from the command line!

That last bit bless can be used to set the startup disk from the command line was what I was looking for. A few attempts to get the syntax right and my G4 was running off of the correct drive. All is well with the world again. Except the monitor, which will be replaced tonight…

bless you Mike Bombich!


Bring the Validator to the People!

Since I’m one of the half dozen people who don’t use Movable Type, but actually use a home-grown CMS, I get to do things like add my own, and other people’s code, into my system. So what’s the latest addition? It’s the Feed Validator. Mark mentions bringing it to the people, and I’m all for that. So now when I create an entry, and the pages are rendered, the four feeds we’re providing are checked using a local copy of the validator. If there’s a problem, I’ll know it before anyone else does, unless I’m not paying attention or something.

The other recent relevation is that you should subscribe to your own feed. I never even though of telling people this because I thought everyone was already doing it. So with the combined might of the downloadable Feed Validator, and actually viewing my own feeds in aggregators, I’m pretty darn confident that I’m producing well formed and valid feeds. So there! ;->

(Don’t worry, you’ll still see plentey of speling erors heer and their… they’ll just be contained within valid markup.)