Just this goy...

Sunday, February 14, 2010


okay, so I've been wrestling with this script... it's blown up a couple of times after many many hours of work, and I've done a number of not-very-pristine-code bits to get it back up and running. I'm not good at babysitting a script.

Anyway, after getting home and seeing it dead and fixing it and rebooting it with toes crossed... I just discovered a logic failure in one of my four primary categories. "Former" indicates a user with plenty of activity on one or more Wiktionary languages, but on which the user has not edited within the past year. However, the script does not value recentness of editing activity over number of edits - so someone who has been editing (albeit rarely) on a language but was formerly active on a different language will be listed as formerly.

That's more of a value judgement than a logic problem, I guess. It's just that I personally would value recentness over number of edits.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Nothing quite like working the hell out of a new piece of code.

I've been casually working on a php mediawiki API class for, uhm, months. But got motivated this past week and rebuilt it a lot. Decided to hammer out a quick proof-of-concepts today and ended up with some junk code which will need to be rewritten.

On the other hand, right now it's chewing through a 1013 long list of names, checking the contributions of each on up to 171 different Mediawiki website, and for each site it's creating an instance of my class, connecting and logging in, requesting the name's contributions, parsing them if any, logging out, and moving on to the next site (assuming the user has not made enough contributions.) With so many website connections and communications the script is not quick, and each user can take several minutes.

I think I can safely say the log-in and user contributions routines are good.

On the other hand, the editing routines haven't been touched yet. They don't get any use until after working through the list of users the third time (first time builds the list of unique voters, the second time builds the list of users ordered by how active they are on Wiktionary projects, third time builds the wiki syntax for writing to the wiki.) By my estimations, three and a half days from now it will (finally) get done. That's a pessimistic guess though.

So I'm just watching the terminal as it ever-so-slowly scrolls along... we're all the way up to the An* usernames.

Monday, February 01, 2010

I love Strunk's Elements of Style. Yes, the 1918 version, before E.B. White joined his name to the foundational style text. Most especially, I love Rule #13, and this brilliant one-paragraph essay on writing:

Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all his sentences short, or that he avoid all detail and treat his subjects only in outline, but that every word tell.

Today I received the following, excerpted, bit:

I think reducing the bylaws to the boilerplate in order to speed up the process would be overkill. Can we look through Amgine's minimum version and make sure that every minimum clause is represented in the longer draft bylaws?

Can anyone explain to me why one would wish to include more than what is necessary?

About Me

Owned by Njørđson, a Cape Dory 25D.