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Site Improvements

I've been busy lately trying to add some functionality to this blog. I recently learned an awful lot about cgi/perl and now I can post to Game On! by email. This may not sound like a big deal, but it is. I get a lot of email with news and press releases. The old way involved cutting and pasting from the email into the blog and then rebuilding the blog. That could take a considerable amount of time. So I found a script called Meow , downloaded it, modified it to meet my needs, and that now handles picking up the email from an account, parsing the text, and entering it into the database.

Then I found a perl script that rebuilds the blog (publishes the database out onto HTML pages). It really didn't meet my needs at all. I had to recode a lot of it to get it to run in cgi. I am not a programmer. Never have been, never will. This was like a herculean task for me, sitting here with my perl and cgi books. The script that I downloaded was mt-rebuildall, but I don't recommend it. Apparently the right way to handle rebuilds on a frequent basis is to run PHP and dynamically publish. I don't want to do that because I believe that it is faster to serve up static (ie, pre-built) pages when the user requests them. Why should you have to wait an extra few seconds for the page to build?

What made the whole problem really interesting is that this blog is hosted at an ISP that doesn't allow cron jobs. So I wrote a bunch of perl scripts to run on my other server that call the cgi scripts on this server to import the email and rebuild the blog.

I've noticed that some of the postings under the News section are pretty screwed up. I think meow isn't parsing the text correctly, but I don't have time to keep programming so it'll have to stay this way.

My hope is that now the time that would have been spent cutting, pasting, and rebuilding can now be spent writing previews, reviews, and editorials. It would be great if I could spend more time writing.

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