April 11th, 2001


web comic client

I'm currently pondering the task of creating a web client that would allow Web-Comic Artists to post their latest strips to their journals for syndication on LJ. This was insomnia's idea and I volunteered to help out by creating a client. It's web-based simply because many artists already use a web-interface to upload their comics, and it's easy to use.

What the client is is basically a set of 4 pages.

Page 1: Login to the client. Which loads the default "blurb" for the artist's main site (if any), and the default subject field.
Page 2: Fill out URL to latest strip and optionally change the blurb and subject fields.
Page 3: Preview Page of how the comic entry will look (Sample:
[Comic Image]
[Blurb] ) along with the last button to confirm posting to the journal.
Page 4: Confirmation page with any error messages LJ.com may have spit back.

Now, I've just been tossing this around against log.cgi and it all works, but log.cgi spits back text/plain and what I'm looking for is text/html. (Unless any of you know a way perl can simulate a POST action to another script and then wait for the return). So what I'm thinking is possibly modifying log.cgi into something that will do the queries (log in, post event, etc) and then send the info back to my comic.cgi (via GET method likely) to display page 4.

So I have two questions.

1) Having a custom log.cgi (I'll call it comic-log.cgi from here on) to make queries/updates on the artist table, as well as log in the user and post the event would seem to be very useful. It also minimizes what scripts have to run on lj.com. Would this be advantageous to having the actual client.cgi on lj? (the client.cgi would basically just be a script that displayed HTML forms and then compiled that data into a single event for posting)

2) The data for the artists is important. Most artists don't know HTML or don't have the time to add in the same blurb to every entry. So having a table for artist info is needed. Should this be on the LJ.com server? And access it via the comic-log.cgi? Or should some other server be found to host this data?

Any comments and questions on this are greatly appreciated. Ciao.
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  • jnala

Search engines

I'd like to add a full-text search engine to LiveJournal. This is probably way too much load to add to livejournal.com, or possibly practical only as a paid-only feature, but it'd be a killer feature for sites with a higher hardware-to-userbase ratio.

Anyone else working on this, or have suggestions for how to go about it?

The simplest solution would be to use MySQL's built-in full-text searching, but it seems kind of primitive. No multiword patterns, no ability to match words with punctuation ("C++", "2.5.1", etc), no regexps, etc.

Alternately I've used Glimpse in the past (six years ago!), and it was pretty fast and powerful. However, it's not free software. Also, since it expects to be indexing files rather than database entries, it'd take a little more hacking to hook into it.

What other search engines - especially free one - have people worked with?
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  • mart

Non-livejournal.com development community

There have been a few posts here recently regarding using the LiveJournal code for various things other than on LiveJournal.com, and this is great.

However, I think it would be of benefit to reserve lj-dev for discussion of actual Livejournal.com development, and create another community for discussions about adapting LiveJournal for other applications.

This way, it keeps those focused on LJ development together, and gives people doing non-LJy stuff a place to discuss that stuff. Where the changes they make might be of benefit to LiveJournal, they may also wish to post about it in lj-dev too.

I imagine quite a lot of folks will be members of both communities, but lj-dev was created for a defined purpose and I think we should be careful to keep it focused on that purpose. However, if you disagree I'm sure you won't hesitate to argue with me! :)

It is exciting to see LiveJournal being adapted in lots of interesting new ways, but I do think that discussions about applying LiveJournal code to other applications should be elsewhere, for the benefit of both itself and LiveJournal development itself, even if it does overlap from time to time.