Evan Rose

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Monday, October 1st, 2012

Big Changes Around Here

Now that I've gotten back in the swing with a new gig and have gotten in the habit of doing something productive with my life, that being productive has beget more productivity, though that hasn't yet extended to my yoga practice. It has, however, gotten me into a bunch of new cool web stuff I've not done much with over the past few years, given me some new ideas, and so I finally gave this neglected site some much needed TLC and added some cool stuff.

First, the site is a hundred pixels slimmer and have hidden the overflow of my Flickr photo stream and trimmed down some of the descriptions on the header links. I also got rid of the contact page (which at one time contained a contact form that I got rid of long ago) and moved the functionality that displayed the ten most recent (though infrequent) blog posts to the archive page which now contains the last ten posts by default, the ability to choose posts by month, or if passed a post ID, a permalink page. Some work under the hood included a bunch of changes to the site's date and time functionality, as when I built this site almost ten years ago, I didn't understand PHP's date and time functionality very well so cleaned up a ton of crappy date/time crap, deleted old deprecated code, and did a lot of general refactoring.

The new cool jam here though is the home page which has a bunch of new stuff. I built a script that, when called by a cron job every hour, grabs my most recent 22 Tweets (why 22 is the limit, I have no idea), my 15 most recent Tumblr image posts (which are 500 pixels wide, hence the site's new slimness), and the last ten evanrose.com blog entries (which are obviously way down at the bottom of the page as there aren't many recent ones), puts them all together, and then saves them in a separate file in reverse chronological order. This file is then included on the home page which, because it's just included and not requesting all this stuff every time the page loads, the page loads much faster. I know anyone who comes to this site probably already looks at my stuff elsewhere, but this was a fun project and I feel like this site hasn't gotten as much attention it's deserved.

Next up: taking those tweets and Tumblr posts and putting them into my database, downloading the Tumblr photos to keep here for safekeeping, and having that same script update my RSS feed on a daily basis with a digest of the stuff I've put on the internet that day. If you've made it this far, you are now an honorary nerd. Welcome to the club.

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