Awasu » 2004 » April
Wednesday 28th April 2004 12:45 PM [General]

Which OS are you?

You are OS2-Warp. You're plagued by feelings of abandonment and disgust for your backstabbing step-brother.  Oh, what might have been.


I so wanted to be GCOS-8 :-)

Monday 26th April 2004 12:41 PM [General]

Since there are now quite a lot of people who have been using Awasu for a long time, it might be a good idea to occasionally draw your attention to more recent features that you may not have noticed.

One of them is channel packs, which are sets of feeds, usually grouped together by topic or publisher. You can find this feature in the File menu.

Will Richardson asks:

So is there any reason why next fall we shouldn't give our kids their ID numbers, their network passwords, and their login info to their Bloglines account prepopulated with world, national, and local news, the latest sports and weather, and a few choice fun feeds for kids to follow?

None that I can see, apart from using Bloglines, of course :-) And while Awasu's standard channel packs were put together with an adult audience in mind to help them get started after first installing Awasu, it's possible to add your own on any topic you choose and use it as a means of distributing channel subscriptions. You can even get your own channels and channel packs distributed to all Awasu users if you like (email us for more details).

Wednesday 21st April 2004 9:27 PM [General]

An alpha for the next version of Awasu is now available that implements basic archiving of feed content as it arrives.

Please make sure you read the release notes before installing this build! It is a work in progress and there are still some deficiencies and problems.

Have fun! :-)

Wednesday 14th April 2004 2:01 PM [General]

Or "Happy New Year" in Thai.

It's Songkran (Buddhist New Year) and the best place to celebrate it has always been Chiang Mai, in the north of Thailand. Traditionally, people poured a little scented water over you as a kind of a blessing to bring in the new year but things have escalated somewhat to the full-on water fight that you see in the pictures :-)

Chiang Mai has a moat that surrounds the old city that is over a kilometre long on each side and people line the streets, drawing out water and throwing it at anyone and everyone. Pickup truck parties are very popular where you all just pile into the back of a truck with an ample supply of Thai whiskey (yum!) and the biggest drum of water you can find and then just drive round and round the moat, hurling water at everyone :-) At least, until the water (or booze) runs out and you have to pull over and find a friendly face who will let you borrow their hose to reload.

A Kiwi friend of mine is over here for the first time so I get him to tag along as bait - foreigners are a favored target so everyone goes for him and leaves me alone :-) Nevertheless, it doesn't take long for everyone to get totally drenched and things can get quite wild - if you can imagine a nation of 60 million people stopping for a week to get drunk and have a water fight, well, that's pretty much what it's like :-) Moo-an mahk!

It's not all water and whiskey, though. Many people return to their home towns to be with family and visit a temple to pay respect to monks and receive a blessing for the coming year. The markets are full every morning with people buying food to give to the monks, something that happens every day of the year but Songkran is a particularly auspicious time to make merit. There are also vendors selling baby birds trapped in little bamboo cages, the idea being that you make merit by releasing them. Of course, there is the question of how much merit one makes by freeing an animal that was captured for the sole purpose of being released :-) and so many of my friends prefer to go to the market and buy a fish or frog or snake :-) which they release into the river.

So it's been a fun week but I'll be back in the dungeons shortly, slaving away on archiving, just as soon as I get all my clothes dried out and this hangover starts to clear...

Saturday 10th April 2004 10:38 PM [General]

It's been a bit quiet here in the weblog since the release of 2.0 but that's not because I've been taking it easy. Quite the opposite, in fact. I've been flat out working on the next beta which will archive feed content as it comes in.

It's easily the biggest and most complex change that has ever been made to Awasu and since it's the kind of thing that is best done in one big hit, I've locked myself away in the dungeons to do it. Someone pushes a bit of bread and water through the slot every now and then to keep me going as I sit chained to my desk, churning out code at a pretty good clip. Certainly that most important of software development metrics, Curse Words Per Minute, has been right up there :)

Anyway, I've now got a very crude version up and running that archives content - woo hoo! I had a self-imposed deadline of this weekend to get to this point and I'm very glad that I made it since I'm not going to be getting much work done next week. More on that next week.

Awasu's entire internal object model has been redesigned to provide a powerful and flexible framework for managing content. As usual, I've over-engineered it to the max - even over the Internet, I can hear the eyes of everyone who knows me rolling :roll::roll::roll: - but it lays the groundwork for native Atom support and the more sophisticated features we have planned for later this year.

Because there have been so many extensive changes, we will be having an extended period of alpha testing. The first cut won't be out for a few weeks but if you would like to help test this new version, please send us an email and I'll let you know when I push it back out through the slot...

Thursday 1st April 2004 5:54 PM [General]

OK, so it's been a while coming but it's finally here: a plugin that scrapes web pages and generates an RSS feed. While there are web-based services that do this for you (e.g., they are computer-generated and so the quality of the results can vary somewhat.

Well, Allan Wilson has written a plugin that downloads any web page and using regular expressions, extracts the information of interest and generates an RSS feed that you can then plug into Awasu. Full documentation is in the release zip plus a utility that lets you experiment with the RE's and preview the results.

Many thanks to Allan again, he's just a plugin-writing machine! And if you're using his plugins, please think about maybe getting him something from here or putting something in here. Or if you've written a plugin that you think might be useful to others, send it in and we'll put it up on the website.