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Sunday Jan 30 9:24am 2005
by Deadman

DMR's anniversary is still a couple weeks away. In the past, it's been the time when I update the world on the current state of DMR. For some reason, I feel like doing it this morning.

It's been over two years since the last real release of DMR. There was a maintenance release that came out more recently than that, but it only fixed some code that stopped working. I mention this only because a few of my friends used to tease me about not being able to keep up with what they called "the hourly releases." :)

What the hell is taking so long? Well, the biggest part of the two years was simple procrastination. My personal life changed a lot and I got out of coding and more into music and film. When I was taking the time to code, I was experimenting with external libraries. My lack of programming experience contributed to my using a couple of those libraries longer than I should have, so the extrication process took longer than it should have.

I recently got a couple of beta testers (well, one and a half really.) Having users, for me, always accelerates development. Glenn's even switched to DMR for his "production" bookmarks.

Most recently, I've been working on a feature called "metafeed." DMR, which has a new name, BTW, still has the concept of individual RSS/ATOM feeds, but it can also truly aggregate feeds into a sort of chronological newspaper containing items from several feeds. It has a cool XMLHttpRequest interface that allows one to mark items as "read" as well as queuing them up for easy bookmarklet-assisted browsing. I'd love to work up a demo, but I'm guessing I won't even get around to a marked-up screenshot. Hopefully by the time it's released, I'll have something to entice everyone. While still on the subject of feeds, I should mention that all of the feed fetching is handled by a scheduler (in my case cron) and not by the UI script, so loading should never be slow.

I haven't released it because there's at least one feature that is only about 25% implemented. There is no installer. There is no administration interface of any kind. I haven't written any pagination for long data lists. Some of the features that are implemented, are fairly ugly in both appearance and implementation. :)

I've recently fallen in love with MediaWiki and it's spoiled me to having really nice user interfaces along with unbelievable flexibility. Unfortunately, I still find writing administration interfaces and pagers and all of the other things mentioned above to be incredibly tedious. It's much more sexy to make metafeed do something cool than it is to paginate history or print a list of users, or whatever.

I also keep thinking that I should get someone to teach me object-oriented programming, beyond the basics. It seems like DMR could benefit from a few of the things I've seen other OO PHP apps use. That's probably not going to happen, though. But, hey! I'll take this opportunity to do my periodic scream into the void, asking if anyone out there wants to help. Why help with a slashdot clone or blogware when you can help with something as weird and unique as DMR?! If you wanna help, guess my email address (you'll probably be right) and drop me a line.


© 2007 Sam Rowe. Some rights reserved.
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