peteg's blog

The Big Issue #269 (26 Dec 2006 - 16 Jan 2007): Summer Fiction Special

/noise/books | Link

This one is wall-to-wall short stories, some quite good:

  • Linda Jaivin: Jaklyn & Lucinda (subject-aware voyeurism).
  • Mark O'Flynn: Stealth: Fire, Explosions, Death, Catastrophe, Screaming, Crashing, Destruction. And that's a wrap. (Hollywood goes to the Megalong Valley).
  • Deborah Robertson: Seeking Jasmine ("I like sad girls.").
  • Cate Kennedy: Ashes (a ceremony at a lake).
  • Michel Faber: Adopt a Tiger (homelessness).
  • Emily Maguire: Dependence (internet dating).

For four bucks and a conversation it's a steal.

99writeback

/noise/blogging/writeback | Link

I got a few doses of blog clap, and being bored and idle I put some effort into tidying up Blosxom's venerable writeback plugin and adding Captcha support. (I don't believe in the centralised blacklisting epitomised by akismet, it's too readily abused.) I get the impression that somebody in ee land is manually spamming, so I might need a plan B. My other concern is that the Captcha times out, meaning that if you take longer than a day to go from page load to post-comment it will bugger you up. Also the interaction with the back button is less than ideal.

You'll need to instruct CPAN to install Authen::Captcha (or use your package manager to do it for you, or remove those bits of code). It should be easy to adapt it to use another Captcha library. I'm thinking about constructing a logic-puzzle one.

Part way through I realised just how fragile Blosxom is (no non-word characters in directory names? — and I was going to call this writeback++!) and how badly coded most plugins are (let's do everything ourselves! date functions, interpolation, file-backed databases, ...). If my perl was more fluent I'd have a shot at linting it all.