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Fri, 2005-Dec-30

Domain Change

Welcome to The move is complete. I apologise to Planet Humbug for the spam as entries were duplicated and pushed to the top of the list. Strangely, Planet Linux .au appears to have been completely unaffected. will be the permanent home of this blog for as long as I can keep up the payments :) I suggest updating any links that are not automatically updated by the 301 responses back at


Mon, 2005-Jun-06

Why Pimp my Blog?

Nicolai noticed my previous post and noted that his own blog seemed to get plenty of interest from web browsers, and that for him pimping is probably not required.

I used to be in that boat, but as I've indicated I haven't been entirely happy with the amount of feedback I had been getting[1]. I'm looking for less in the way of quantity and more in the way of a focused technical set reading what I write. Otherwise for me it's like writing software that only I use. I know the quality won't be what I really want, but my care factor and self-editing are reduced when my ramblings are only for myself :)

As I recall, it was Andrae who put me on to it, but for actual non-feed readers of my blog I do keep track using an icon down the left side of the page. It currently sits just below my blosxom credit and if you click on it you can get quite an interesting traffic breakdown. Thanks Extreme Tracking.

Presently, it shows that over the lifetime of my blog I have averaged eight (8) apparently-unique hits per day, or two hundred and twenty two (222) per month. It hardly puts me on the "A" list shared by folk like Tim Bray or Miguel de Icaza, but it does give me some encouragement to keep putting pen to paper.

Interesting statistics:


[1] zero :)

Sun, 2005-Jun-05

Pimp my blog

In an effort to gain a wider audience for my blog I have been pimping it a little lately. I've posted comments to a few popular blogs I read. I've made some in-links accessable from my blog. I've joined technorati. I've even gotten around to moving my bookmarks to as another marketing scam.

I recieved my first email in quite some time over the blog last night, regarding the possibility of using SRV DNS records to handle ad hoc services. On first glance the definition of service assumed in the RFC has a different emphasis to the definition I would use. It seems that they would call http a service, whereas I would tend to think of it as a protocol. I would see something like myname_sqlite as a service, in this case one to look through the files of user "myname" and treat them all as sqlite databases to support SQL query.

The difference in emphasis may be inconsequential, however, if I can work out how to use this kind of lookup in a URI. I would prefer to use "http://localhost:myname_sqlite/mydb?myquery" (which as I mentioned previously is not a valid URI because it has non-digit port content) over "myname_sqlite://localhost/mydb?myquery" for obvious reasons. I want clients to understand which protocol to speak when they get to the relevant port. So far in my brief browsing I haven't found a definitive resource. Does my URI become "http://_myname_sqlite._tcp.localhost/mydb?myquery"? I'll have to look into this further. If a defined relationship does exist this may reinvigourate DNS in the small network environment for me, where NIS and LDAP rule alongside their more literal /etc/hosts and /etc/services file counterparts. I'll also have to look into the libc apis for this again. At first glance, this port information does not appear to be available from getaddrinfo(3).

Anyway, back to the pimping. The gentleman who contacted me appears to be a SLUG member. I've put a planet SLUG entry into my liferea feeds list to see what other interesting folk I might stumble across. This lead me to also look into Linux Australia's planet and wonder if I might be advised to request membership.

Surprisingly to me, I found I was already a member :) I must have missed that memo, as all planet HUMBUG members seem to have made their way there. I'm pleased at the outcome but a little but put off by my lack of fore-knowledge.

Anyway, off to do more pimping...

On second reading of the gentleman's email, I notice that the URI scheme would just be a matter of host aliasing. My sample URIs above could be made to look like "http://sqlite.myname.localhost/mydb?myquery" in combination with the DNS record
_http._tcp.sqlite.myname.localhost. IN SRV 0 0 1717 localhost.
Very nice, indeed. With a dynamic edit of bind's configuration at application start-up it should be possible to access these ad hoc services in an entirely appropriate and convenient manner. Compliant clients would resolve their http URI to port 1717 of host So long as the DNS changes can be propagated to relevant clients (and remember we're talking about a small network situation here) we should be able to access services fairly reliably.

Another link.


Sun, 2005-Jun-05

In Links

I've been fairly disillusioned with the blogging process of late through lack of interaction with my readers. These entries are basically notes to myself. I haven't been getting the kind of feedback on this blog that I initially envisioned, so I haven't found myself tailoring the content to any particular interest group. I haven't been polishing by entries at all, either. If I'm the one that will be reading it, it need not be for anyone else :) If you are a regular reader and feel you want to see the content reflect your own thought processes, do drop me a line and let me know your reactions. I don't support comments on this statically-rendered blog, but I would like to hear about any blog entries that are written in response to mine. There's a good chance I won't hear about them if you don't write to me.

I have been thinking about whether the use of google's link: search token could form part of the blog content. Perhaps each page could contain a link to the relevant google search for links to that page. I'm not sure I want to get into bloxsom that heavily, though :) Personlly I only use the RSS feed to view my blog (any anyone elses, for that matter).

(time passes)

Ok, here's what I've done to try and get more interactivity into the blog:

  1. I've added in-link links for google and technorati. You should see them at the bottom of each post (although not in the rss).
  2. I've created myself a technorati profile, and I'm now watching technorati for new links to my blog.

It was quite simple, actually, and technoratiy on the face of it looks like a decent RESTful interface. The GET side of it certainly is, where everything you create in terms of watchlists and the like becomes a URL you can link to. It would be nice if I could get the kind of rss-feed subscription to links to my blog from google that technorati provides.

Interestingly, the two datasets seem to intersect. Neither is a superset of the other. Google finds links from Adrian Sutton's blog regarding my criticism of exceptions back in October 2004, while technorati shows zilch. When I described the approach taken to describing RESTful web services in article as "damn foolish" techorati finds this link which I was previously not aware of but this time google folds, finding only the generic link from planet humbug. I suspect that Dwight Gunning's technorati membership resulted in better performance for this query.

How do HUMBUG bloggers rate when it comes to technorati membership?