Upgraded to Drupal 5.x

If you're wondering why Disobey.com looks "AAHHHhHhh!", it's because I've recently upgraded to Drupal 5.0. Since I've so little time in the day, however, I'm doing it in baby steps, which means that every little mistake and "remaining TODO" is live and available for your amusement and scorn. Thus, the first "remaining TODO" is to, uh, actually rebuild my original theme. Until then, we're using the new (and awesome) Garland theme. More later, but if you notice anything egregiously broken (like content, since I wrote a quickie 15 line Flexinode to CCK script), certainly let me know.


50,000th commit to Drupal CVS is Mine!

The Morbus Effect

Posted without permission, thus names obscured:

<user1> meaning, you have an amazing talent of spawning discussion about the most trivial things
<user2> Who, Morbus?
<Morbus> i take that as a compliment, you know.
<user2> That's soooo *true*!
<user1> Which is part of the problem, I thiink :)
<user2> I find everything Morbus has ever said to be trivial.
<user2> That's why I agree with him so often.
<user1> Morbus: Sorry if it comes off as a surprise, but I find that every discussion where you are involved only gets longer, rather than resolved. And so I find that not dealing with you makes me happier and less stressed.
<user1> it's surely better than bickering endlessly
<user1> and you've already indicated that we're not going to reach a compromise anyway
<Morbus> you'll find that i haven't commented on that issue since then.
<Morbus> i'm not sure how you can blame the other comments on me.
<user1> I don't know how the morbus effect works either
<user1> but it does


bot.module Goes Into Live Deployment

In order to test the stability of an IRC bot written as a Drupal module, I needed to get something useful running relatively soon so that I could watch it over a week of normal usage. As such, the first complete bot.module plugin has landed in Drupal CVS, which simply reports the titles of drupal.org nodes. In a development channel like #drupal, we're constantly mentioning issue URLs for followups, patch testing, sanity replicators, etc.. This module spits the issue title to prevent wasted clicks to a topic you know nothing about. Running live on #drupal as I type.


An IRC bot... as a Drupal module?

Been on my todo list for a while. Busted out a framework today:

Druplicon is an IRC bot that has been servicing #drupal, #drupal-support, and many other IRC channels since 2005, proving itself an invaluable resource. Originally a Perl Bot::BasicBot::Pluggable application coded by Morbus Iff, he always wanted to make the official #drupal bot an actual Drupal module.

This is the fruit of these labors. Whilst the needs of Druplicon are driving the future and design of the module, this is intended as a generic framework for IRC bots within Drupal, and usage outside of Druplicon is encouraged.

You can browse the source code online. It is very basic at the moment - mostly a proof of concept, but uses the Net_SmartIRC PEAR library, is a Drupal 5 module, and supports IRC plugins (ie., additional Drupal modules) via Drupal's hook system. I doubt I'll be converting the existing Druplicon bot over anytime soon, but I will be slowly finessing the plugin system (right after I add a "reload" function, right after I add all the IRC message types, right after I...).


Morbus at DrupalCon 2006, Vancouver

I normally hate travelling, but I made it to DrupalCon 2006 in Vancouver.

Drupal as Game Engine?

Last night, I wrote up a different approach to a long-running idea in my head:

[RFC] GameAPI: Embedding RPGs into Drupal: I am pregnant (woohoo!). In six short months, I will be disappearing from active duty in the Drupal community for a good long time. I'd like to discuss a desire I've had for years and years, only reworked for our beloved codebase. In short: an HTML based browser role playing game, though ultimately an API.

Shortly thereafter, it was blogged on The Escapist, one of the most popular "new games journalism" magazines, of which I'm a regular reader (for both the articles and the pictures):

Browser Wars: I was recently pointed over to this posting regarding embedding a game engine in Drupal. Which would make it easy for people to design content and get it up and running in the style of MUDs. Now, that is of course asking for a lot of random crap to be put out there, but it also opens the door for interactive storytelling with the addictiveness and ease of entry of a browser game. Of course I may just be thinking that turning a CMS into a game hosting system is really cool.

And yes, I am pregnant. And I'll be disappearing from far more than just Drupal.

Hobos are Cheap Robots

I've hated, since time began, most web-based "verification" services: those that require you to enter your age, to click a link in a "return email" (or to even enter your email at all), to read some fuzzy letters in CAPTCHA (hopelessly inaccessible), and so on. The topic of verification and login came up in today's development chat of Drupal (the best CMS eveerrrR), and my stance was, simply, that I didn't want to ask for email addresses at all (I don't care for 'em, so why should I even store 'em?), nor perform verification on them. The immediate response was "Well, how will you tell a robot from a human?". My reply was simply:

Vertification with CAPTCHA, or anything else, can be easily broken by waving a twenty at a hobo.

This prompted one person to sway their opinion. There are, of course, many other approaches to the verification issue: for example, "how would you stop duplicate accounts?", to which I'd reply (cunningly and without a solution) that the mass availability of free accounts prevents the email address metric from even being considered.

Drupal developers want to give administrators choices: to allow them to customize the login process as they feel is appropriate, and to streamline it so the user can take advantage of the Drupal goodies as soon as possible. I'm fine with choices: hell knows I love clicking little boxes. But, give me the opportunity to choose no choice at all: to disable email collection and verification of any sort. Then I'll be happy.


Drupal Conversion Notes

A few notes on the Drupal conversion process and design:

  • I'm attempting to do a network-site sorta thing so that I don't have multiple layouts for each of the individual sites - think planetquake.com vs. planetdoom.com. This will be handled via a taxonomy vocabulary (defining the different sites) and/or flexinode types (defining the different types of content for the different sites), which'll determine which stylesheet and images to load. I will probably use the sections.module, though I suspect I'll have to add some custom tweaks. Thankfully, this decision doesn't have to be made right now, since it'll be a bit before I move another existing static section into Drupal.
  • If you want any sort of black background, you will spend a long long time trying to get the admin pages of Drupal (hell, even the menu sidebars with their little graphical widgets) all converted over. This was not something I expected.
  • You'll also notice that I've moved to a liquid design. I realize this is good for viewing accessibility for those with large monitors, but I've always been a fond proponent of "the shorter the line length, the easier it is to read." So you, with the gargantuan monitor, have a blast - I'll go right on resizing my window to a size I feel comfortable with, and now, so can you.
  • If you're seeing this message, you're visiting the new Disobey web host as well. After nearly eight years with my previous host, circumstances led me to move onward, even though it made me quite nervous, jittery, and saddened.
  • I've added the ability to receive email updates. Comments, too. As a negative, a side effect of the tweaked design is that all those crappy automated pre-2001 titles from the Blogger to Movable Type conversion years ago are now front and center in bright red and white. And, even before that, the conversion from handwritten to Blogger left lots of little one-sentence posts that I never merged properly. One of these days, I'll fix it. Uh huh. Seriously. I have, however, had quite a blast reading over my old entries. Too much linkrot though.

Let me know if there's anything I've missed, eh?


Drupal Conversion In Progress

Browser-based visitors may have noticed something has changed: I am in the gigantic process of switching eight years of webbery over to the Drupal content management system, whilst still maintaining some semblance of anti-linkrot and anti-clean. After spending too much time deliberating, I decided to simply jump in, and crazily so. Thus, you can expect many many things to be broken. Don't hesitate to send me an email.


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