Friday, October 28, 2005

Pretend papering

I have recently moved a pretendpaper into subversion.

Before that it was in no revision control. Well, my own style of revision control. Which is a shell script that runs every few seconds, checks for changes in my local set of files, and backs those up.

All done with about 30 lines of bash. With time stamped directories showing all of my changes. Without me having to run 'svn commit' or some such thing.

Which worked quite well for my productivity, except I didn't really have an anotated history, apart from my own logs. I would make notes in a text file, and from there I could peer into an old directory to see what happened.

Which was all fine except now two other people need to make changes, and this system just can't work for others as easily as subversion can.


So now I have a remote dev server, as well as my local dev server. There were some issues with the website running from a different domain for some reason. Different timing issues showing up some bugs in apache2 mod_proxy mod_deflate/ and my code. I cleaned up some of my javascript before discovering it was really a problem with one of the mod_deflate settings. Well, maybe it was another part of the system interacting with that setting. I'm guessing it was a mod_proxy problem. Funny thing was, I never saw this problem at the other url.

However now my code is cleaner and more resilient. So that was probably worth it.

Pretendpaper now loads within 2 seconds on my fast machine. After the first load. Which can take up to 10 seconds. So I'm happy with its performance for now. The next performance improvement I think would be to do the xmlrpc part in an iframe.

There are a few other things I need to do to get things working nicely for me and the other two working on the site. I need to fix up the templating system so that you do not need to recompile templates once you change them. I also need a way to trigger a server cache clear. Which will most likely mean a server restart. However being able to clear various parts of the cache are probably a good idea for neatness.

Slowly getting there.

We made a few fixes to templates when we all met. We fixed up the article view and did some changes to the event template so that we could see the start and end dates in the view. Today I also made it sort the events by end date.

We decided to tackle one bit at a time. First make the events listing part really good, and then work on other parts. A few improvements things for events include search. So that people can search through events easily. Also search spiders, that search the web and other websites for information about events.