December 11th, 2003

Andrei in the office

Greetings and inquiry


I'm a mac software engineer with about 15 years in 'the biz'. I've been trying to write some LJ centric data collection and analysis tools (more aimed at the Meme) crowd. Several times however this has led me on a chase back to looking at the code of interest.bml

Now the code on CVS (which I'm aware may not match the code in production) suggests that the search lists are throttled to 1000.(EDIT: Didn't pull down the latest revision, I now see throttling to 500)

My current curiosity seems to stem from the fact that in high quantity interest lists (take lotr for example), the list tops out at 500 matches. Now, while my perl is not entirely to the level I want it I think I've found the segment of the code that handles it.

Now the code on CVS (which I'm aware may not match the code in production) suggests that the search lists are throttled to 1000. My curiosity is how the search routine is choosing which n users to display. As far as I can tell, the database search always returns the same throttled selection. This list does not seem to rotate with a random sampling of the pool available.

Now, my issue with this mechanism is that if this is occurring, for example, from the order of registration, then the list is heavily biased to the older users and the new users will have less and less likelihood of being found in a search. Further, as attrition often grows from oldest to newest, the likelihood of listed users being active and current users is bound to constantly decrease.

This was similar to the situation with the "match the score" function which was coded to bias people at the top of the alphabet.

Any further information on this would be appreciated as I'm glad to try to suggest algorithms to help make this functionality more useful.

Standard Disclaimer: This seemed like the most appropriate place to post this query. If this was wrong please direct as appropriate with my apologies.

FF Sparks (Casual)

Mobile Livejournal

So, I have a nice little GPRS PocketPC. It'd be really neat if I could view my LiveJournal and friends pages and comments from within pocket-IE or something similar. I began tinkering with an experimental style to see if it could work well with a PDA screen, and got a reasonably clean/decent design (Here is the LJ_Dev journal using a sample design, and what the style looks like on my PDA). Here's the problem, however.

I realize this obviously needs to be an S2 style because comment pages need to be also formatted to be legible on a PDA; I just prototyped a basic layout in S1 'cause it's way faster to do certain experiments. However, there doesn't seem to be a way to do precisely what I want in S2.

I don't want to muck with my account's style settings; i.e., when I am on via a normal desktop browser, I want my normal S2 style and I want to honor the styles of other people's journals. However, I want something -- a'la customview.cgi for S1 -- which will let me force, for a given session, the entire site style into something S2-based. This would allow me to read stuff normally on my desktop browsers, but use a nice, compact, PDA-friendly style on PDAs. (Plus, since my PDA is also a phone, the new phone post stuff works well with this.) ;)

Now, I'm perfectly willing to grab the source code and start mucking about with it to try and come up with a way to do a Mobile Livejournal/PDA-LJ viewing. And if it really comes down to it, I may just write a 'LiveJournal client' for PDA which sucks down the XML to format locally... but I'd rather find a way to do it on the server side, since then it immediately supports all the PocketPC variants and the PalmOS users who are running Plucker or AvantGo. I do know there are others out there who would be interested in a mobile-accessible LJ format.

But before I charge in to begin hacking on all this, I'd love some input. I've tinkered with the LJ code, but not really gone into depth with modifications, and I'd like to make certain a) that I'm not reinventing the wheel, and b) if I /do/ have to invent the wheel, I'd prefer to invent it right (i.e. round, things like that). And this seems like the place to poke my head in and query. :)