Writer’s Block Dev Diary

 Updates regarding the development of the Writer’s Block content management software. Covers assorted errata as well as most changes.

See the new posts or look at old ones, or grab the RSS feed.

RSS bugs fixed

2009 May 14, 23:02. Permalink.
I fixed an RSS bug across both Writer's Block and Ligature that made feed links faulty if the installation was in a subdirectory.

Just download the installation .zip again and replace you existing rss.php and atom.php with the new copies.

Anypages named alike to folders

2008 Nov 1, 2:30. Permalink.
I figured out that the display error that people got when looking at desiquintans.com/writersblock (the CSS would not be linked properly, and therefore the page would be entirely bland) was caused by the server being confused about whether it should serve articles.php?page=writersblock (which is what we want) or the /writersblock/ folder which holds the WB download files. It ended up doing a bit of both (/writersblock/?page=writersblock) and so there was an error.

Don't name Anypages the same thing as you’ve named a folder.

Entry summaries with new template tags

2006 Nov 29, 22:42. Permalink.
I’ve made a late addition to v3․8: entry summaries. In the archive pages of the main blog or Mini Blogs, a new template tag called {SUMMARY} in the language file lets you insert the first sentence (or, failing that, the first hundred characters) of an entry to use as a teaser.

I’ve also allowed the use of {POST_ID} in the permalink template.

Both these features will be available in a v3․8a patch, soon to be released. Maybe I can have another brainwave before then.

v3.8 is live

2006 Nov 11, 4:39. Permalink.
v3․8 is now released. The manual has been updated to explain the new features, being the proper use of the blacklists and comment closing.

WB’s About page has also been spruced up. It looks much more interesting now.

Site update

2006 Nov 10, 1:13. Permalink.
Before the v3․8 release I’m going to spruce up WB’s pages here on Paper Tiger. More screenshots will be added to a condensed main page, and new entries will be made to the WB Online Manual while old ones are rewritten.

Otherwise, v3․8 looks set to rock and roll. Rock and rooooll!

No news box

2006 Nov 9, 22:44. Permalink.
I've decided not to include a news box. A news box that called up a simple text file from my domain would require certain PHP settings to be enabled (which may not be consistent across servers) and might introduce security vulnerabilities. I may set up an occassional mailing list for new blacklist releases or something, but a regular news service is unnecessary seeing as active development on new Writer’s Block features is winding down.

A Writer’s Block v3․8 release this weekend. Promise.

Working great

2006 Nov 9, 0:04. Permalink.
As you can see from the footer section of Paper Tiger, the site is now running on the Dev build of Writer’s Block v3․8. I got automatic comment closing working, and also employed blacklists on the Email and Body fields of a comment. Wildcards from REGEX like a period (.) standing for any character are also confirmed to be safe for use on all blacklists, so I can now use a pattern with wildcards to condense several blacklist entries into one(e.g. (Well.done|(Nice|Good).site|(Good|Great).work|Good.design|Thank.you)!
would take seven or more entries without the new extensions).

Couple that with a mass-delete utility that operates on Spamguard-like keywords and can delete comments based on a URL search, body text search, or both.

What you have is a robust anti-spam package. I used to get 500 new spamments a day. Since I implemented these new features, I have not had a single new spamment for an entire week. I’ve had to create spam to test the features.

It’s that awesome.

This weekend I’ll add a News box to the front page of the Admin section, sort out the install script, check for major bugs and send out emails to all known Writer’s Block users telling them that Writer’s Block v3․8 is out.

Spammers, where is your messiah now?


2006 Nov 4, 14:57. Permalink.
Great inroads were made into WB v3․8 last night. Things are being done, man.

I got comment thread closing to work, which you can see at work now (and which completely stopped the flow of spamments for the night). Spamguard now has separate blacklists for email addresses and body text, and some new entries were added to the language file to reflect the new comment closing feature.

I’m currently working on wildcards for the blacklists so they can flexibly match patterns, and also developing a mass-delete utility that uses Spamguard’s keyword/pattern matching system to delete many spamments at once.

3.8 Bugs!

2006 Oct 28, 6:02. Permalink.
Much of my time developing WB v3.8 has been employed in finding and squashing bugs in the existing code. Take, for instance, the serious bug I found not ten minutes ago, where submitting an empty form to a tool that deletes comments by searching them for keywords resulted in the deletion of all my previous comments.

Oh yes.

I cannot stop laughing.

3.8 underway

2006 Jun 17, 5:46. Permalink.
I'm very slowly getting work done on WB 3․8. It’s hard to code sweeping new features when you wrote the program so long ago that you barely recognise any of the code. I find myself having to learn PHP and mySQL all over again.

But we’ll get there.

3․8 is a security update to counter spamments, and will include new features like mass deletion of comments using URL fragments (built on Spamguard’s blacklist system), broader blacklist options and a News box on the Admin section’s index page so that you’ll know exactly when I’ve updated the blacklist or fixed a bug.

See the new posts or look at old ones, or grab the RSS feed.