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Wed, 02 Feb 2005

More on plugins - 18:54
Have I mentioned before that Mikal is evil? Ahh good I have. A few days back Mikal wrote his first blosxom plugin to implement technorati tags. Useful though it may be, it is not exactly what I am interested in. So it got me to thinking.

In the same way Tony has been known to put off completing easy action items as they are that easy... I have yet to write the story tag lookup thing the way I want it as it is easy. The technorati tags thing got me thinking of a harder class of problem though.

I notice Movable Type and some other diary software stuff allows entries to be placed in multiple categories. Blosxom gives you the concept of categories by letting you place files in a directory, the directory becomes the category. Blosxom does not easily support placing posts in more than one category.

If I wanted a post to show up in /mtb/gear and /comp/hardware or something (say a gps receiver I use when cycling) I have to choose one. It would be neat if I did not have to choose, but everything else still worked correctly.

Using symlinks or some top level database for the entries subroutine and other stuff may allow you to get some of the functionality, however other plugins are unlikely to work when a fundamental assumption is changed. This is because the posts are placed in a category, the category is not simply an attribute of the post. On my diary on the left I have the categorytree, calendar and flatarchives plugins displaying information. If the entries subroutine returned an entry for every file it found, yet some were symlinks and thus one entry only the calendar and flatarchives plugins would have incorrect counts. However if the entries routine only returns an entry for every real file and ignores extra entries that are only symlinks or a copy of an existing post in a different category the categorytree plugin will fail.

I am thinking of various ways to play with this such that I can keep the simplicity of blosxom (text files in directory structure) but allow multiple categories for a post. As I said Mikal is evil for distracting me once more. Maybe he wont be so evil once he returns from yet another trip to Microsoft headquarters in Seattle next week.

[/comp/blosxom] link

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