Sunday, 25 September 2005
Throwing things around...
Lately I've been doing some work
on Mimír, and this week I
silently launched a brand new layout. I replaced the remaining HTML
tables with proper div, made a new stylesheet and worked on
As you can probably tell, the new layout is Plone inspired, with the navigation
bar featuring tabs. Moving the navigation from the left to top leaves
more horizontal space for items. Also, the grouping of the different
pages, personal settings and controls is much clearer now. The logo now
is just the text
Mimír in a nice font suggested by
guy has been promoted to Mimír's mascotte. In
his location in the top banner, he reads his news while more news is
being thrown at him. I think this nicely represents what Mimír does.
Thanks to sneakin for suggesting
Last but not least, I created a nice, unobtrusive background of
news papers flying around. All in all, I'm pretty happy with the new
layout, although I still have to get a bit used to it, after having
used the old layout for almost three years. I still have to update the
screenshots in the manual, but the interaction with the site hasn't
really changed. As always, keep those suggestions coming.
Tuesday, 13 September 2005
Shiny new stuff...
Over the past few months, I've been quietly reworking some parts of
Mimír. One of the changes was
replacement (see the architectural overview for
reference). The other part is the news bot, that consumes publish-subscribe
notifications, stores items in its database and sends out messages to
end users. To replace the Perl implementation of this component, a
brand new one has been written in Python using the Twisted framework.
Why these replacements? First of all, there were a number of issues
with the old implementations, mostly dealing with faults in
interpreting incoming items. This sometimes resulted in the news page
being horribly deformed. That should be fixed now. The aggregator
cleans up all bad HTML and the news bot now correctly processes the
incoming items without doing erroneous extra entity unescaping.
Secondly, having these new implementations makes it easier to
change the format of the publish-subscribe message to conform to Atom
over XMPP. Among other advantages, that would solve getting
duplicates because of changing URI schemes, and allow for new features
like linking to item enclosures in the Mimír messages, like sneakin suggested recently.
Another feature could be a preference to only get item summaries in
notifications or pure publish-subscribe notifications instead of the
text messages Mimír sends now.
Another change to Mimír is the addition of an actual Mimír logo,
contributed by Intosi. Thanks for that! I added
the text part, but that might still change. The news paper reading guy
stays for sure, though.