August 8th, 2001

Where to ask

Is there a community dedicated to discussing LJ installations on other servers? Questions like "where are the FAQ add/edit functions?" and "what's wrong with my topics database?" are not exactly development related and I don't want to annoy the people here, nor do I want to bombard martmart with emails :)

As far as I know there isn't one out there... maybe there should be? Is there any demand for it or does anyone disagree?
south park scruffy hacker

Zawinski's Law and the Perl Client...

``Every program attempts to expand until it can read mail. Those programs which cannot so expand are replaced by ones which can.'' -- Jamie Zawinski

anywho, we in the slackware community were discussing the idea of autoposting stuff from the slack-announce and slack-security lists. this would require an email->lj gateway. so last night i sat down with the camel book and the official perl lj client. i made a few minor changes for the sake of anal-retentiveness (it now has 'use strict' and runs with no warnings from the -w flag) i also made a few changes for the sake of feature creep. i gave it an actual interface rather than just checking if it has arguments and posting the first argument as an event (or stdin, if the argument is '-')... anywho, now, in my hacked to pieces version, the following parameters are accepted (pillaged from the new spiffy pod2usage-generated help text):

    lj [options] [event-text]
    --rcfile file
            specify an alternate rc file
            parse the event as an smtp message and look for LJ-related
            headers (useful with procmail(1))
            print debugging information
    --set-field name=value
            set fields to submit to the server.
            show a help message

see that smtp-mode up there? it causes the event to be read as if it was an smtp message. everything before the first line is iterpreted as headers, and certain headers will translate to fields to be submitted to the server, such as, obviously, Subject. most of the others can be set with a one or two word abbreviation with 'X-' prepended to it (let's obey those rfc's people :-) ) effectively, this creates the email->lj gateway i wanted, suitable for use with procmail.

i also added some POD to it that generates the usage message and can be used to create a man page. i didn't put too much effort into it though. it's pretty minimal.

other ideas i've been kicking around as for what else should go in it are things like having an option that just checks what journals you're allowed to post to. if anybody else has ideas, feel free to drop a comment.

while i'm ranting about using perl and lj, i might as well mention that i've been debating writing coldsync conduits for palmlj. if anybody else is interested in those, let me know.