A better home for flat-files..

I don't use databases at corz.org, in a word, hatem! I tolerate them for other domains I fiddle with, but here at the org it's flat-files all the way, baby!

Flat files are beautiful things. You can pick them up, split them up, read them, edit them, join and gzip them, give them cute icons, chuck 'em in the trash, and all the rest; they are desktop objects, with the kind of tactile response I expect from such things.

As I/O speeds increase, and RAM and hard drives get dirt cheap, flat-files make more and more sense; and over the years, I've developed quite a few database-like manipulations for flat-files, something which makes an increasing amount of sense as time goes on. Databases, and database servers are ugly, nasty, complex things that just beg to be knocked over and abused.

So, living on a server that was also a MySQL database server was more than a little annoying smiley for :aargh: and I'm thrilled to say that corz.org now happily lives on a proper RAID-1 volume, and you can feeeeeeeel the difference on every page. Apart from the speed increase, there should have been no other visible signs of the transition. Thanks to the fine support team over at Las Vegas Communications, I had everything running like clockwork before the DNS even knew what had hit it.

There's probably a few silly spiders still crawling around the old server; but their DNS will catch up soon enough. There are far too many world-wide search engines, anyway. In fact, I suspect they are breeding. Hmmm …

On the subject of search technologies, it's great to see corzoogle back to its old self, and happily returning full-text searches of the entire site (around three thousand documents) in a second or less. I expect downloads will rise sharply. smiley for ;)

There have been too many updates to list, so I won't.

for now..

;o) Cor


corzoogle.. XHTML at last!

A few days ago, the /corzoogle/ part of the site went all cool and clean XHTML, which of course, was an early warning sign of, yup, you guessed it, a new corzoogle release... <fanfare>

The idea of thousands of corzoogles spitting out nasty HTML4 was becoming too much to bear, and so the beta section has wrapped its luvvin arms around a fresh and sweet-smelling new zip with the equally sweet-smelling corzoogle beta in it. Juicy details, current changes, info, links, downloads and all that jazz can be had from the usual place..

http://corz.org/server/tools/corzoogle/

As well as the strict XHTML output, position and style is 100% CSS, so you can have your corzoogle looking, well, however you like. A sample css file is provided, and you can always grab mine, though note, these change, depending on what browser you use, in other words, don't grab my CSS files with Internet Explorer!. There are a few other improvements over the previous release, too; full details at the above link.

for now..

;o) Cor


corz distro machine... EXTREME!

Well, here it is, finally, and without further ado, the changes, except in user-friendly chronological order, just this once..

0.9b1 - no releases for a while until I get the other features in.

added depth infinity..

you can now put folders inside folders inside folders and so on, and the distro machine will keep on doing its thing. if you are using a custom css file, please note the additional URL styles for .menu_title because the title is now a series of links along the path you have travelled, which is nifty.

also the changes to the .sub_sections_title style, which is now a link to the corresponding "other" section; if you have a downloads section called "foo", and a source section called "foo", the powerbar title will become a link enabling users to toggle between the corresponding sections, so long as they occupy the same locations, relative to their own "root" folder be it "download" or "source".

0.9.1 - 0.9.7
XHTML re-work

Where to begin on how much better this is? Forget it!

Simply put, it's clean, it's clear, and you can do funky stuff like switch the panes around by doin no more than switching "left" for right, and vica-versa, in your css. MY machine is all transparent and cool orange, because it's here, but YOUR distro machine could be anything you want.

It's now trivial to create pages that have wee boxes with download menus in them, scattered anywhere on your page. Joy of CSS!


0.9.8b
distro machine can now automatically re-route to moved source files it performs a scan of its folders, and returns the frst matching target. So long as the file name hasn't changed, the user won't even realize it was moved.


0.9.9b
added pajamas login capability. this is only for admin functions (by design) the "secure area" uses a different authentication mechanism.

Note: you can use an existing pajamas installation, if you have one.

Only the comments script to go, and I have a site-wide login! w00t!


0.9.10b
Fixed the embedding features functionality (which I'd disabled during the recent updating). Works great. I'm using the (new) download page as a demo of the various available embedding combinations..

http://corz.org/server/tools/distromachine/download.php

I think it's almost ready for its next release.


0.9.11b
Added Hot-Link Protection.


0.9.12b
Fixed embedded text highlighting (non-php) where extra frmatting was being applied. this feature was a freebie after adding the text highlighting code, I just fixed it up.

improved a couple of other features of the non-php highlighting, and added specifics for a couple more types, autoit code and batch files.

the text highlighting services can handle any extensions, simply add or remove them in the prefs.

Improved hot-link protection - added "strict" option for extra security.

Added a couple of example active hot-link messages you might like

Upgraded the distro machine web pages to XHTML, at last!

http://corz.org/server/tools/distromachine/


0.9.13b
First official XHTML release.

Fixed a couple of minor issues with the path title in the stats page

Made the "powered by" link open in a fresh window, so you don't lose your visitors to corz.org!

NOTE: in the release, the source menu is disabled, as I figure that's how most people will want to use it. If you need source menus, simply enable that in the prefs.

Have fun!

;o) Cor

ps. a thousand apologies for the list styles that temporarily made this blog, and other areas of the site look like an explosion in a bauble factory; oh the power of CSS!


Thumbs UP!

Or rather, I eventually got around to uploading that cool GD thumbnail creator cum image viewer thingie. In truth, I'd forgotten all about it, and had left it lying dormant in one of the forgotten corridors of the dev mirror. To rectify this, I popped an "X" in front of its HTML, and slapped it on-site, here.

When the page is first visited, it uses GD to rapidly create a set of thumbnails from a chosen folder of images, along with a database of their names and sizes. Clicking on a thumb pops up a clever pre-sized windoid with the full-size image in it1. Simple as that.

Thumber can operate in stand-alone mode, or as a helper, working in a similar way to the textviewer script, churning out thumbnail galleries for whatever folder you point it at. A simple wrapper to create a " qdig-like" infinite gallery wouldn't be too difficult, methinks. It's not complete, but certainly functional enough to share. What else?

Whilst answering a comment on one of the .htaccess pages, I stumbled into a site-wide .htaccess mod_rewrite update; hoping to finally nail that one-file-suits-both-servers state of being. All this is transparent (I hope!), but I mention it because in the process I threw together a wee Hot-Link tester. If you are messing around with hot-linking code, you might find it handy. I must remember to drop a link into the .htaccess page. Oh! I just did. One sec... Ahh, much better! smiley for :)

I've been working on making some of the /server/ parts more generic, less Mac-centric; following the multi-platform format I used for the static IP page. I have a feeling Google gives extra love to multi-platform-aware sites; I'll likely get detailed about my Google feelings, another day. At any rate, *I* have a lot of love for multi-platform aware endeavours, and will try to cover all the bases wherever possible.

I gave the php man page viewer a make-over while I was in the area (upgrading the debug unit - now with debug-report - my super-handy instant output php debugging tool), and some other stuff.. It's starting to blur together now. WHERE IS MY LIST?2

/me scrolls back through the EditPlus "txtbax" folder.. oh yeah!

The distro machine continues to get subtle upgrades, and is now handling all the old OSX downloads section, too; which leaves only one old-school distro machine left on-site (serving up some of my mp3s). No doubt, another section will appear in the /engine sometime soon, and then, as they say, there was one.

On the subject of numbers, I got around to tarting up the UNIX Timestamp Converter, which is proving popular. It is quite handy, and I'll probably add it to my new services page; collecting together the various handy tools that lie ever-ready to do your bidding. Okay, that's done, too.

This dev-as-you-blog devblog is working out swell. I'll definitely do this again. It's almost as good as a list.

for now..

;o) Cor

references:
1. Unless your JavaScript security settings prevent that. Quite possible.
2. Brian Tracy Time Management tip No. 2: Always work from a list.

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