Monday, December 29 2003
I spent nearly all of the day continuing with work on the backend Randomly Ever After PHP functions. In case you're curious how they turned out, I happen to believe in the concept of open source, so you can look at them. (Many of those functions have very general applications, particularly in calendars and text parsing.) Most of the work today focused on automatically generating indexes of entries using the data in those entries. I also did some work on providing a caching scheme for the indices that required large amounts of computational work to generate.
In the past I've been meticulous about including titles and META descriptions in all of my entries, knowing in the back of my mind that there would eventually come a day like today. Being able to draw from all that information provided in such a predictable way made it easy for me to write the indexing programs. In fact, the data was so complete and reliable that I was able to include a case in my functions for old Musings entries reaching back all the way to the beginning of December 1996, allowing the Randomly Ever After indices to include nearly all of my journal-style online presence. As I worked, I could think of other things to add to the display, giving the casual browser more of an idea of what was present at the next levels down in the organizational hierarchy.
In the past week or so I'd let my facial hair grow about as long as it's been in the past ten years, but today (with Gretchen's strong encouragement) I shaved it all off. Then I drove into town to get the supplies suggested by the supplies I'd bought the time before. Today's supplies included such things as copper pipe, welding goggles, and a Skil reciprocating saw. That last item cost the same as the Black and Decker equivalent, but had a higher wattage. (This was the first time I'd ever seen the best low-end value on a power tool not be a Black and Decker model.)
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