Inchoate Ascendant™

spider webs

March 5, 2009

Speak and Be Heard, Soon

I have had something to do with programming for more years than I recall. My brother had a TRS-80 Model 3 without the new fandangled "floppy" disk drive. It read and ran programs off of 30 minutes audiotapes--none of them fancy 60 minute tapes in our house, and 90 minutes tapes were likely not invented yet. I don't know how old I was but I sat down with the book he received with the machine and taught myself the programming language called "Basic". Here it is years and years later. I've left behind Basic, Turbo C (don't ask), and a brief stint with Perl. I'm left with JavaScript and PHP, of which PHP is the clear winner since it's less likely people will or even can turn it off for supposed security's sake. Not a lot has changed through the shift from one language to the next.

Programming is a lot like writing. You learn the words, then the phrases and other bits of grammar, and then comes the hard part. The hard part is figuring out what to write. Take my recent project as an example. I set out to re-create the wheel by writing my own engine for comments on this blog and the others that I write from the ASCII up. Writing the form to get a name and comment is easy. Putting the comment to a file is easy again. Why stop there though? The best places let you comment on a comment. Making sub-comments was not much harder than the comments. Where it became a nightmare is then displaying those sub-comments in the right places. There is also the matter of counting the comments to display them back and having multiple counters to track.

I'm running long here, please bear with me. There is a lot of logic to be sorted out when writing a program like this. This is much like sorting out the details in a story and the implications. Then there are other decisions such as how many layers of sub-comments do you allow? Only so many can fit on a screen comfortably. This leads to trying to figure out how not to allow comments too many layers deep and having some not display. It also adds confusion to the counting. Then unlike most kinds of story writing there are security issues. So I built my own random captcha delivery system, one that is easy to read by humans but not for machines, and of course built in functionality to prevent comments from running dangerous code. You can all see this comment system coming soon, after I build some more backend code into it.

Music: These Colours Don't Run by Iron Maiden.

Return to the full month. spider webs
spider webs

About Me

Robert G. Male
Name: Robert G. Male
Location: Ontario, Canada
See Full Profile

Recent Posts

Tag ListTitle List


Suggested Reading:

This scary book

available at Battered Spleen Productions™.

Suggested Listening:

This free scary audio book

available at Battered Spleen Productions™.

spider webs

Inchoate Ascendant™ is a presentation of

Battered Spleen Productions™