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A prayer to the programming fertility gods
By Dave Winer on Friday, June 25, 2010 at 2:30 PM.

A picture named prayer.gifWhen I left New York for California a week ago I was emerging from one of the most productive development spurts I'd ever had. I didn't know it then but I was about to enter a slump. Since leaving and returning I haven't gotten very much work done at all. I've tried all kinds of tricks to get myself back in gear, but none have worked. permalink

Over the many years I've been a developer, I've hit these periods of stagnation many times. I don't usually write about them -- who wants to say "Geez I didn't get very much done in the last few days" or I'm spending most of my time sleeping or playing video games or eating sushi or hanging out with friends or even hanging out by myself. Or waiting in a line at the Apple Store. Or whatever. Mostly, whatever. permalink

The next thing on my development plate is very exciting stuff!  permalink

I want to make it so that blog posts can disappear from the timeline, and become standalone articles. permalink

Every blogging system needs this feature, and most have it. (For example Posterous just added it, with some fanfare.) permalink

The challenge is to do it without giving up too many features (hopefully none) and minimum disruption to the framework. My plan is to simply have a boolean for each post that says whether or not it's in the timeline. If it isn't we just skip it when building whatever it is we're building. I hope to catch this by sub-classing a relatively low-level verb that traverses a calendar structure in reverse-chronologic order. Come to think of it, maybe I'll just make it a new optional parameter to that routine. Maybe that's a good place to start? permalink

So at some point you might see this post disappear from the flow on When you see that happen you'll know that at least my period of stagnation has temporarily abated, if not completely receded.  permalink

Another thing I want to do is designate a post as being rendered as an RSS feed, in addition to being rendered as HTML and OPML (as they all are). Hey maybe I should by default make all posts be rendered as RSS feeds? That might be pretty cool. The idea is that the post could then act as input to the EBS of Twitterlike things. Each headline in an outline is an awful lot like a tweet, especially in a world with annotated tweets. If you read the OPML spec and think about outline-level attributes you'll see what I mean. I want to get away from the idea that every tweet is entered into a dialog box as a separate thing. I like thinking of them as a connected stream of consciousness. Also dammit, sometimes my paragraphs are more than 140 characters. But when they flow to Twitter they will get cut off at 140 minus the length of any link pointing at it. permalink

If this post were an RSS feed I'd link to Rex Hammock's post about how Twitter has become too big to fail. He's got a very good point. permalink

An aside about Rex.  permalink

Once I was dining with him at T-Rex in Berkeley. Rex is from Tennessee. Tennessee Rex. T-Rex. Hey they named a restaurant after him! Heh. No they didn't. <img src="> permalink

Reminds me of an excellent Dead song called Tennessee Jed. I think I'll listen to it right now.  permalink

See what sub-text is good for? Throwaway shit you don't need to know but is kind of fun. Little nuggets of coolness. You got the important point -- Rex and how Twitter is too big to fail. If you miss the rest of this banter who the fcuk cares! Exctamente.  permalink

Now I wish sub-text had sub-sub-text. I'd like to tell you about how when I started humming Tennessee Jed what actually came out was "Red and white. Blue suede shoes. I'm Uncle Sam. How do you do!" Yeah that's not Tennessee Jed, that's U.S. Blues. Another excellent Dead song.  permalink

Nothing better than an aging southern hippie type. I doubt T-Rex would cop to being a hippie, but he is a hippie. That's why I like him. <img src="> permalink

You know you're bound to wind up dead if you don't head back to Tennessee Jed!  permalink

Well you know it's like I said you better head back to Tennessee Jed! permalink

Got a letter this morning baby and all that it read is you better head back to Tennessee Jed! permalink

Catch a few winks baby under the bed then you head back to Tennessee Jed! permalink

My dog he turned to me and said "Let's head back to Tennessee Jed!" permalink

The wheels turn round and the letters read "You better head back to Tennessee Jed!" permalink

Another thing I have partially done that I need to finish is the right-click menu for the blog post editor. In addition to the usual outline-editing commands I need some that are specific to Scripting2.  permalink

Now a prayer to the programming fertility gods. Please let Dave resume his fecundity. Or fecundness. Or whatever. Mostly, whatever. <img src="> permalink

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