Saturday, August 17, 2002

Straw news available for your aggregating pleasure

Release announcements and stuff like that, in RSS: Straw news.

It's not quite identical to the news on Straw home page, because I'm updating the RSS feed by hand.

Haaaappy biiirthday tooo youuu

Happy birthday to GNOME: courtesy of Footnotes, here's Miguel's original announcement five years ago.

It's been some trip, and my desktop looks and feels a lot nicer these days than in 1997.

Friday, August 16, 2002


Straw 0.7 is here. Stores items and images locally and stuff. Slightly better UI too.

Gee, free ideas

It's nice when you don't have to figure out all by yourself. I've had some vague ideas about making addition of feeds in Straw easier (the subscribe to source button is first step in that direction, but few people use the source element) but haven't really thought about it all that much. There's a lot of functionality to work on, and something that works, even if not optimally, isn't as high on my to do list as something which is totally broken or unimplemented.

This is something Mark Pilgrim has been thinking about, though, even if not in the context of Straw. He is frustrated with current aggregators and his step-by-step instructions on how the process of finding a feed should work sound sensible enough. So maybe when I get around to working on this again, I'll take a clue or three from that rant.

Meanwhile, Straw's local storage of items and images (offline operation, here we come) seems to work. Maybe I'll get a new release out today/tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 14, 2002

Learning things about Zope

So I was agonizing over getting SSL to Zope working. M2Crypto might be nice, but it requires SWIG, which brings with it a version-dependency nightmare. Supports SWIG 1.3.6, I have 1.3.13, it doesn't work. Oh, great. I'm not going to downgrade.

Next choice was in fact my first choice, before I started looking into more 'native' solutions: Apache SSL proxy. I've used it many times before with great success, so I figured it would be a piece of cake.

Well, it almost was. The only problem was, once I got it up & running, the first page loaded a-ok but all the links pointed to the supposedly-proxied Zope server instead of the SSL-enabled Apache proxy. I soon enough figured out there must be something funny what Zope is doing to cause this, but I had no idea what. The headers looked OK through telnet-ssl. Then I noticed in the HTML an element I had never heard of before: base, with a href attribute.

With kind help from people on #zope, I found VirtualHostMonster, a product packaged with Zope. This thing is really pretty cool: with a simple ProxyPass directive in Apache, I'm able to make all the objects inside a folder in Zope to think they live on a different host, behind a different protocol, under a different directory. And it fixes the base href too. And the VirtualHostMonster doesn't require any configuration at all.

So, ProxyPass / http://host:port/VirtualHostBase/https/vhost:443/path/to/stuff/VirtualHostRoot/
not only makes stuff on host:port appear on the Apache SSL vhost, it also makes things on the Zope located at host:port in the directory /path/to/stuff/ think they really are at vhost:443/ root.

Gotta remember this next time I'm reinventing the wheel.

Tuesday, August 13, 2002

But I wanna be conservative

Jarno just nudged me in the direction of Mark Pilgrim's Ultra-liberal RSS parser. I've been a bit frustrated lately with everybody and their dog producing broken XML, so maybe I'll integrate that into Straw and see if it makes things any better. I must admit I'm not too keen on it, though: I'm familiar with the phrase "be conservative in what you send and liberal in what you accept", but still, I'd really love it if the leaders of the bloody interoperability movement would respect the standards they claim to use.

Monday, August 12, 2002

They're at it again

Three new buzzwords for oh-so-useful product comparisons. "We can't use that, it doesn't have this, um, WS-Transaction thingy!"