December 2002

1st December 2002

Added a Letter of Comment to Cat-Out-Of-The-Bag Productions. Added button-links to www.scifisource.com since they have listed both Net-Fic Reviews and WorkStorm.

5th December 2002

Revised Digging Up The Stargate after feedback from a rather irate Furies77, who didn't like the way I maligned the writers about Sokar, and pointed me to other references.

8th December 2002

New version of HTML::GenToc and hypertoc; it no longer uses the AppConfig module, and the hypertoc script is now part of the HTML::GenToc distribution (only one file to download and install!)

18th December 2002

New version of HTML::TextToHTML and texthyper; it no longer uses the AppConfig module, and the texthyper script (and the TextToHTML.dict) are now part of the HTML::TextToHTML distribution (only one file to download and install!) (If this seems rather repetitive, well, I was determined to do the same thing to HTML::TextToHTML as I'd done to HTML::GenToc).

20th December 2002

New version of HTML::TextToHTML and texthyper; I fixed a small but annoying bug in the script which was causing warnings.

I've also been messing around in the background; as I was trying to mirror my site development on my laptop (just in case I wanted to mess -- er, play -- with it while travelling; what else is a 20GB hard drive for?) I have been discovering all sorts of dependencies I wasn't aware of (like ancient perl modules which I had just blissfully deleted under the assumption they were obsolete -- oops!). So I've been rewriting scripts, downloading files, and committing things to CVS.

One of these dependencies was on eperl, for about five or so files in the site. Unfortunately, nobody seems to have made an RPM for Mandrake 9.0 (which is what is running on my laptop). Fortunately, I was able to download the source. Unfortunately, the source for eperl is so old that its "configure" script freaked out when it encountered the perl 5.8.0 on my laptop (Mandrake 9.0 uses perl 5.8.0 as standard, as distinct from Debian Sarge on my PC, which is still 5.6.1). After I banged my head against this for a little while, it occurred to me that maybe I could get the functionality I needed (it wasn't much) by just writing a script which uses the Text::Template perl module, so I did. It worked. Bye-bye eperl.

22nd December 2002

Well, I spent too much time on this, as usual, but it is pretty nifty even if I do say so myself. I have now Spambot-proofed this site. Well, to some degree, anyway. I was trying different methods, like semi-random encoding of email addresses, but I thought I'd look around to see if that was really the best way. The other usual suggestion for thwarting the email-harvesting of Spambots is to use Javascript, but that means that browsers not running Javascript miss out. I also didn't want to take the route of not having any click-to-mail-this-person links, because if people have to translate some only-makes-sense-to-a-human email address and write it down to put in their mailer... they ain't gonna send any mail half the time.

Thanks to the info at Spambot Beware! (and the Nomailto CGI script they provided), I can now have my cake and eat it too. I have now set up my lovely XSLT transformation (I love the way that XSLT can do things to HTML without having to change the HTML source) so that all mailto: links are replaced by a link to a CGI script which does the mailto: stuff. (And with an extra flag, the mailto: link is replaced by a FORM which calls the CGI script -- this is even more likely to fool spambots.) And the text describing all such email addresses no longer displays the email address, it displays a human-readable version of it. Suppose the email address was <fred@example.com>; this is replaced by <fred at example dot com>.

As a result, I've gone and made more email addresses available for feedback. See the contacts page for details.

25th December 2002

I have finally done a review of the Fellowship of tbe Ring on the last day I could do so. Well, it's more of a rave than a review, but still...

I have also been tweaking some things behind the scenes, but that shouldn't change the look of anything.

26th December 2002

And as an opposite trend, I have done a review of The Two Towers as soon as I saw it.

27th December 2002

Updated the Sentinel Cascade Times Awards page. Also did some link-checking.

28th December 2002

Well, I got distracted, didn't I? After getting into correspondence with the fellow who runs the fvwm-themes development mailing list, I spent the whole day working on another theme called "Celt-Bow", which has celtic knotwork everywhere.

29th December 2002

After feedback from the fvwm-themes development mailing list, I've fixed bugs in the fvwm-theme themes as well as making changes to the rainbow and mkimgset scripts here.

31st December 2002

Again, after feedback from the fvwm-themes development mailing list, I've fixed bugs in the fvwm-theme themes as well as making changes to the rainbow and mkimgset scripts and in the process of that also made a change to the Graphics::ColScheme module, all of which are here.