posts to days old
of topics
with text

This Blog

Paul (19 May 2004 11:48): The Blog is now working, I believe, so now I can post to it. What do you think of it? BTW, if you want to make a new topic, just go to post.cgi?topic=yournewtopic. My old webpage is at indexold.html.
Paul (19 May 2004 12:20): Hopefully now line breaks and tags and stuff now work.
Well, that's the essence of the blog, so I guess I'm done, right?
Paul (19 May 2004 12:38): Note that this page is located at Please link to it as such, if you happen to link to it.
That way your link will not break when the page moves in a month or so. Thank you.
Paul (24 May 2004 6:17): And please post links... That way one has something to do after finishing reading the blog.
Paul (23 Jun 2004 6:53): Sorry about the tag problems... :( I'm about to move everything to another server, but the address should still work.
Paul (8 Feb 2005 19:55): Updates! Goodbye to "email" (used twice ever) and image-at-top-of-post-by-regex.
Hello to "browse past topics" and "Preview"!
...view the code at code.php.1107935578 This Blog m use php's highlight_file to syntax highlight the php files.1107935601 This Blog m DOH!1108002438 wiki What happens when you make a post with the same topic name as a previous topic, I wonder?1108002964 test So, uh, is posting broken?1108003040 Ahem The answer is YES. BROKEN.1108003113 This Blog And what - posts are identified by their unix time? Oh, Paul - you card, you.
Hey guys, lets all post in 10 seconds! Ready...!1108004341 This Blog Paul How embarrassing! I should've tried posting two messages last night, I guess...
Paul (9 Feb 2005 18:59): Is it fixed now?
Paul (9 Feb 2005 19:06): Now using highlight_file, a very useful function. What will they think of next?
Paul (9 Feb 2005 19:12): And yes, Unix time is used, to facilitate comparison with the current time()... Well, should I "fix" those broken posts, or leave it as a souvenir?
m (10 Feb 2005 0:12): my vote's for souvenir
m (18 Feb 2005 22:03): in the if (this post doesn't satisfy our criteria) continue; section, add
if (_GET[f] and (strpos(mdat[2], _GET[f]) === False)) continue;

m (19 Feb 2005 12:06): maybe I mean mdat[3] -- whichever corresponds to allowing only those messages containing _GET[f]
Paul (19 Feb 2005 16:59): This should maybe probably be done with regex's, but I'm not sure on the details. Should topic also be done with regex's?
Paul (20 Feb 2005 20:43): The 'name' field could default to 'Grant', if nobody minds :)
Or the 'name' field could be right next to the 'post' button so it's harder to miss? I think cookies would violate mancalablog's tenet of simple code, though
Grant (21 Feb 2005 8:46): Want to violate the tenet of simple code? How about allowing users to edit their posts afterwards?
I don't know. It's pretty awesome to have something you've written yourself. If it were me, though, I'd probably be running Wakaba Zero, though.
(21 Feb 2005 20:04): I'm not really suggesting scrapping Mancalabrog - it's awesome.
I might not be opposed to ripping off features from other places, though.
I guess it depends on how easy the code is to read.
Paul (28 Feb 2005 16:53): Regexes appear to work fine, and require no extra code. Hopefully they don't break anything important like posting ;)
Grant (17 Mar 2005 16:50): I'm going to take over - just watch.
Nobody can resist my consistent off-topic posting and repetitive linking.
Paul (21 Mar 2005 18:06): Okay, preview now escapes htmlentities() in the textarea.

But the unmatched-quotes-in-tag problem is bad: Maybe you didn't see it, but my post in test broke mancalablog. I just added <!-- '" --> to the end of every message as a quickfix, but is there a decent way for server code to detect this in posts?
m (13 Jul 2005 8:30): I was trying to think of some way of allowing modifications to entries that would make sense, but none seems very ... good. like, changing an entry is too easily/accidentally abusable. maybe list all versions of entries changed? It seems best to just not allow changes.
m (14 Aug 2005 10:25): Huh -- my previous post to this topic looks bizarrely inane. The content could be summed up pretty much by "".
Did anyone else notice a few hours' of digitalaudiorock downtime last night?
m (12 Jan 2006 14:04): Paul, I think that the italic tag is deprecated and that these days we use <em>. I'm not sure why that is, though. Or even why I think that. Shit. Now read some of these for a fucking headache.
m (14 May 2006 10:18): can you add blog.php to the list printed out by code so I can see what isspam() does?
Paul (14 May 2006 19:17): No, sorry.
Grant (15 May 2006 18:08): Hey! I can read This Blog again!
I just thought it went down, or something.
Grant (18 May 2006 22:53): Testing someting - I think this will break Mancala.
Grant (18 May 2006 23:04): Sorry. Maybe i should wait to try things out until I have something worthwhile to post. Then, if it works (or rather, doesn't work), nobody will be the wiser.
Paul (19 May 2006 5:30): heh, it can be amusing when things don't break, or even if they do break but are fixable... I wonder what you were testing, though. Apparently not weird tags. What else could break things?...
Grant (21 May 2006 18:07): Well, yeah. I actually think the javascript one might be pretty bad, but it's probably even uglier to fix than you'd expect.

So, I have been working on replacing the comments on MatchPile with Mancala. And I think I made a mistake (which I think I fixed), and I wanted to see if it would break Mancala, or just the version that I had hosed.

What I am going to change next is: when you attempt to view a topic that doesn't exist, it will give you a link to create that topic (not very useful for here, I know)... Or maybe something else. I don't know.
Grant (21 May 2006 23:54): Also - how's this for weird? It would seem that I can read This Blog only when I am at school - when I'm at home, doesn't resolve... I think. Maybe I've got a crummy DNS or something.
Paul (23 May 2006 13:38): You could try if DNS is really the prob.

Indeed there are obscenely many ways to obliquely invoke javascript from tags in some browsers (IE is the worst iirc). I'm trying to imagine how much damage could be done with javascript...I mean, like, there's no login system to compromise, but you could surely make mancala unreadable... Hm...
Grant (23 May 2006 19:44): Yeah, that's probably the worst you could do...
Although, in my case, perhaps it could get cookies from my domain...? And that might allow them to post/delete news.
Grant (24 May 2006 1:31): Yeah, the IP address works here.
Grant (25 May 2006 19:31): Although, if I access the site with the IP, then the absolute links still all break. Like trying to post, and stuff.

Right now, I just modified the Mancala on Matchpile to have a "Post to this topic?" thing if a search turns up empty. Next, what I really want to do is to have some simple code I can use to get the number of posts in a topic. Which isn't so hard on the Mancala side as it is on the Matchpile side.
Grant (25 May 2006 19:31): Maybe.
Paul (19 Jul 2006 17:49): Sounds like is soon to be no more :( It's moving to a machine where I can't get shell access, in one more month. So, um, hm. Any ideas where I can get shell access to somewhere?
Grant (19 Jul 2006 23:18):
R (20 Jul 2006 12:15):
Paul (20 Jul 2006 18:32): sounds great! [see my email]
Grant (21 Jul 2006 1:47): Oh, yeah? See my email.
Any of my friends are more than welcome to put stuff on my webspace, by the way. I'll get you a subdomain, whatever. If you don't have an account yet, I probably made one for you already and just forgot to tell you.
And if anybody wants to sign up for an account with Dreamhost (maybe you want to use your own domain, or something), which is what I'm using, you can use this affiliate link: blah
Grant (24 Jul 2006 18:29): Seriously, you should try it out.
I mean, even if you've got two mancala's running for a couple days, it should be easy to merge the blog.dat files. Or, most likely, you could just forget about whatever test posts were made on the 'new' mancala before the switcheroo.
Paul (30 Jul 2006 10:49): now hosted through (through!
Also, ssh -p 5722
Grant (30 Jul 2006 15:39): Is there a reason that the subdomain doesn't point here?
Not that "blah 28282" isn't the sort of thing that deserves web space, too, y'know, but...
Grant (30 Jul 2006 15:42): Also, make that: (through dreamhost)
DK (31 Jul 2006 1:32): You know, once I get a server for colocating my website, I could probably give you free space and bandwidth.

I'll probably end up with more server than I need...

R (13 Aug 2006 11:54): I'm going to second editing/deletion of one's own posts. :(
Yesterday posting resulted in an error message about users/paul not found.
(13 Aug 2006 11:56): Yeah, you get directed to a "The requested URL /users/paul/ was not found on this server."from digitalaudiorock thing after posting. Although posting (obviously) is working.
Paul (14 Aug 2006 4:50): The /users/paul bug is now fixed...hopefully there aren't any more, but let me know of them(!)
G (8 Apr 2007 19:48): You know, you could move the picture on the post.php page to this page if you really wanted to. Just saying.
G (22 Oct 2008 1:18): Look how many posts there are!
G (24 Apr 2009 6:40): Sometimes I wish there were a couple extra tags I could use in posts.

Like maybe the 'del' tag: <del>funky homosapien</del>
Or maybe the blockquote tag? <blockquote>H & R</blockquote>
Maybe even big? <big>notorious</big>
I guess you'd need 'small' for parity.
Obviously blink & marquee are long-standing oversights.
G (24 Apr 2009 6:43): Does anybody every use the <q> tag?

It seems easier to type your own quotation marks, but what do I know.

Now I have a perverse desire to use <q> to generate all my quotation marks, just because.
m (25 Apr 2009 9:50): <q>bert</q>?
G (27 Apr 2009 8:52): omnipotence!

See how great that is?
m (27 Apr 2009 12:38): marquee. what a garbage tag.
G (27 Apr 2009 20:45): Seriously. It's a disgrace.
According to Wikipedia: <q>The marquee element type was first invented for Microsoft's Internet Explorer and is still supported. The Mozilla Firefox, Opera, and Safari web browsers support it for legacy page compatibility, although many other browsers do not. The tag is considered unofficial in proper XHTML or HTML. An equivalent for the tag is however being designed for the future releases of Cascading Style Sheets. [1] Similar effects can also be achieved through the use of JavaScript on a webpage.</q>
Thanks for nothing, Microsoft.
m (15 May 2009 9:08): Any of you guys have a grill? Time for a little home made five alarm get together?
G (15 May 2009 10:28): lol my parents do.
m (15 May 2009 13:33): May have to buy one...
R (18 May 2009 7:55): There is a large-ish George Foreman Grill™ in my house. I know that's not really what you want, but I already have one. Punch out the fat!
G (18 May 2009 9:24): Yeah, maybe we can collect it in a glass and then pour it back on, or something.
G (18 May 2009 12:50): With bacon. And peanut butter.
m (18 May 2009 19:14): and avocado?
m (20 Nov 2009 12:13): (a) I hate it when Paul ignores me.
(b) What about year? The way the blog formats the date string is to elide the year for posts made during the previous 15000000 seconds (bzzzzzz). But I think you're right about permalink button - more clutter than value.
m (20 Nov 2009 12:14): which, 15mil seconds is a pretty good approximation for 6 months.
m (20 Nov 2009 12:50): Problem was surprisingly easy to solve.
m (20 Nov 2009 12:54): post should've immediately shown up in the rss feed. If not: that's bad.
(feed updates as part of post.php)
m (20 Nov 2009 12:56): so permalinks work either with or without the year in the date string, and in the case where it's omitted we match all years.
m (20 Nov 2009 21:55): you merged the blog.dat files!
G (29 Nov 2009 16:02): Did the link for reading an entire thread always display the thread's title?
It seems kind of redundant, and in the case of longer thread titles (see 'helmets are strictly good things') kind of ungainly.
G (29 Nov 2009 16:03): Also, it begs the question of 'why not just linkify the title, instead of have another, separate, linkified title next to the normal title?'
G (29 Nov 2009 16:06): And why doesn't the RSS feed keep links intact?
Did you guys see this regex linkifier?
Whine whine whine whine whine.
G (29 Nov 2009 16:07): Man, where is everybody?
G (29 Nov 2009 16:07): Seriously, it's like a graveyard in here.
m (29 Nov 2009 21:39): (a) patch for post.php file to fix the rss feed description tag contents (here's the deal: I thought that it would be a good idea to, you know, just give the first 500 characters of the post as the <description>, but then what happens to your garbaged up feed when you cut off in the middle of a <b> tag or an <a> tag or some quotes? So I truncated at 500 chars after a call to striptags(). With the patch we get the whole post, tags and all, which is a better strategy anyway.)
PAUL: patch -p0 post.php < ~bell/
(b) There used to be some code that distinguished between topics which were and weren't displayed in full, and for those with posts outside of the x-recent-days range an "all" link appeared. That code is gone. Everyone gets an all link. But it can't say "all" any more, just willy nilly, now can it. You should've seen the unwieldy topic title links back before I made their whitespace into nbsp;s.
m (29 Nov 2009 21:42): also google reader chokes on that last post of mine, and I think the patch will fix things. Maybe. Aw, christ.
m (29 Nov 2009 21:47): the patch also clears up a little rss feed validation hoo-ha at the expense of making the feed links a little less human-readable (the urlencode() bit in the first changed line)
But Grant broke the speed limit earlier and now the validator complains about multiple posts with the same guid. What a headache.
PAUL (30 Nov 2009 4:24): patched.

Is the guid supposed to be human readable? If not, just use the integer timestamp already attached to the post...
m (30 Nov 2009 11:26): patch2. everyone else uses their link as the guid, probably for strange legacy reasons since I had to include the string isPermaLink="false" in there with the guid to validate. we'll still break it if two of us ever post within the same second, so beware.
I thought about keeping the link (which works as a permalink, after all) but slapping on an additional anchor with the timestamp (totally ignored, but keeps the strings unique); seemed messier, didn't do it.
m (14 Jan 2010 10:41): hey, my mancala feed is a little screwed up in google reader - it doesn't bold and list the number of new items (in the sidebar on the left) any more. The main view still works just fine otherwise (i.e. new items are actually present in the feed, sidebar to the contrary)
Is this happening to anyone else? Just a bug in my reader?
G (14 Jan 2010 10:46): I had that happen with a different feed yesterday, but it seems fine today. I suspect it will resolve itself by tomorrow.
m (17 Jan 2010 22:25): can't test my broken feed thing if nobody ever posts...
G (17 Jan 2010 23:58): Seriously.
Paul (14 Mar 2011 22:06): is posting broken or is it just me?
Paul (17 Jun 2011 18:02): has new styling written by m
G (17 Jun 2011 18:07): Looking good!
Except for gratuitous CSS border-style: dashed.
I thought that shit went out of style ten years ago.
m (17 Jun 2011 18:18): border-style: your mom;
z (18 Jun 2011 5:23): wow wow... this blog went from like scratches on cave walls to e-printing in the blink of an eye. all the more reason to not judge a (mancala)blog by its css.
m (20 Jun 2011 15:11): Thanks z.
Hey, do you guys find the link text visibly distinct enough from the standard black text?
G (20 Jun 2011 17:46): It's subtle, certainly. I can tell, but a slightly more obvious different color might be good. Or since we're using CSS, you could even give links a lighter background color or something! Or... a border!
R (21 Jun 2011 8:37): Drop shadows. C'mon...
R (21 Jun 2011 8:38): Oh yeah, I forgot to mention: New look is effin' sweet! Great work, m!
m (7 Jul 2011 7:51): so did you fix it? I'm going to call it an http hiccup on grza's part and ignore it unless it happens again. sound ok?
G (7 Jul 2011 12:36): Or did you just hit back or refresh or something? I've done that a couple of times.
m (26 Aug 2013 8:16): we need to fix mancala's character encoding issue. It's screwing up my rss feed.
Paul (3 Sep 2013 19:50): Probably it "should" be UTF-8 all the way through. Do we know where it's not? Possibly just in the output, based on the output I'm currently seeing??
m (11 Sep 2013 18:56): most wanted feature for mancala: edit post
G (27 May 2014 22:30): Topical. This might be just about sorted.
Dreamhost support is real frustrating.
m (28 May 2014 7:07): nice work! Any story?
G (28 May 2014 8:19): Ongoing! Basically they have a policy against node.js, which we violated. But after that we were trying to comply, and dealing with support was confusing and unhelpful. I may have become frustrated.
G (29 May 2014 20:30): Moving back to shared hosting from VPS now. P's account should be okay, sent him a couple emails about it but didn't hear back...
m (30 May 2014 7:30): Typical. Post something under 'xkcd' and maybe you'll get his attention.
R (19 Sep 2014 4:06):
R (19 Sep 2014 4:06): Huh, I just had two posts eaten. They previewed just fine, but I'm not claiming to be writing proper HTML. Maybe we should switch to CommonMark? (ha)
Eaten post:

If you missed the Apple iPhone 6 and Apple Watch announcement, this is a good liveblog of the event. Jony Ive: “Finally, you can wear After Dark on your wrist." -Paul Ford
R (19 Sep 2014 4:07): OK. Somehow when I preview that, the message field gets blanked, and then I hit post. Really not sure why it happened there specifically. The quotes?
R (19 Sep 2014 4:13): OK, this previews and also stays in the Message field.
If you missed the Apple iPhone 6 and Apple Watch announcement, this is a good liveblog of the event. Jony Ive: 'Finally, you can wear After Dark on your wrist.' -Paul Ford
m (19 Sep 2014 16:48): testing "double quotes"
and 'single quotes'

That's awful if it doesn't work.
(19 Sep 2014 16:53): Testing “l/r double-quotes”
and ‘l/r single quotes’ (I didn't even know these existed)
^^^ will not preview. hopefully posts.
m (19 Sep 2014 16:56): Strange. So the ‘ ’ “ ” characters blanked out my preview message but worked fine for posting (without previewing)...

Paul, investigate!
m (20 Sep 2014 9:24): Another strangeness: Reed's final Applefilter post and my un-named post show up as blank posts in my RSS feed... Grumpy!
m (27 Oct 2014 21:07): we need to fix that quotes thing
G (16 Jul 2015 20:29): Does YZ still read this?
m (17 Jul 2015 15:34): as of 2014, at least...
m (17 Jul 2015 15:34): you need his email? I think I've got it somewhere
m (3 Oct 2015 22:09): Sam!
sam (4 Oct 2015 16:29): Hi hi! Etiquette (sp?): am I posting too much now?
R (4 Oct 2015 17:20): Definitely not! Everyone else should be posting more, IMO. Sorta a pain on iOS or Android though, which is where I find myself a lot of the time. I dunno, I'm trying to compensate with links shared via RSS, kinda? (much easier than writing HTML on an iPad). Then folks could maybe chat about 'em here if they feel so moved.
R (14 Oct 2015 1:26): Wait, does the ™ symbol prevent RSS text from showing up? I'm guessing Yes based on it killing the message field when I hit Preview...
m (15 Oct 2015 8:45): Something about htmlentities breaks both preview and rss when it gets non-ascii characters. Maybe the function is confused about the character encoding? Should probably just change to use whatever the sanitizing function for actual page display is. I'll submit a patch to Paul and then spam him with requests to update mancala/src until he actually does so.
m (15 Oct 2015 8:52): Though iirc there was some reason rss.xml wanted html-entites encoded in their stupid "&lt;" way...
m (15 Oct 2015 8:54): and maybe <textarea> too...
Well we'll just replace htmlentities() with a regular expression that does it for us. That's good practice, right?
m (15 Oct 2015 15:17): That actually seems to work in my testing-sandbox. PHP is all kinds of messed up, isn't it.
m (21 Oct 2015 13:39): DIY spoiler tag, maybe?

YMMV. This works in my Firefox mancala-preview, but Chromium complains about XSS and won't run the javascript - but maybe that's just because it sees the script in the post data? I don't know. maybe it will work in Chromium when I post for reals.
<a onclick="'';'none'">show spoiler</a><i style="display:none">Spoiled!</i>
(no whitespace between the <a> tag and the <i> tag or you're going to need to futz with nextSibling.nextSibling.etc)

show spoilerSpoiled!
m (21 Oct 2015 13:39): (works in Chromium)
m (21 Oct 2015 13:59): <span title="omnipotence">Testing the span tag, which bizarrely works here. (along with marquee??)</span>
G (11 Jan 2016 9:15): Maybe the default temporal viewing window for this blog should be more than a week.
R (11 Jan 2016 17:12): This is a good idea. Even setting it to a month means I barely have to scroll to see all the content in my iPad. IT'D ALSO HELP PEOPLE REUSE TOPICS MORE THOUGHTFULLY (MAYBE).
R (11 Jan 2016 17:15): Actually everyone's doing great in that front recently, or if not, intentionally so to irritate me (look at how obliging I am in this regard, so magnanimous.).
m (14 Jan 2016 10:32): It's hard to get paul to make changes!
G (16 Jan 2016 14:27): I guess I could just bookmark this instead.
m (25 Jan 2016 12:27): Omg forgot how awful HTML links are on the phone. Maybe we need a little JavaScript button that pastes in the lt/gt/etc etc under the cursor
R (25 Jan 2016 23:10): I think I've previously suggested adopting some form of MarkDown for blog post formatting, but might be a bit of work to get it going.
m (13 Jun 2016 18:53): omg what I'd give for just a little bit more control over typesetting here. I tried to cheat and use <ul> to indent a quote in the last post, but even that old friend (who has been around since the beginning) is disabled on mancala.
m (13 Jun 2016 18:57): Ok, forgot about inline CSS.
Not exactly optimal. I'm inside a bold tag that I've told font-weight: normal. But you know, whatever.