Tiny Issue and SQLite

It has been a while since I have last blogged on this page, almost 3 years and some change. Amazing how time flies by when you are doing other things. Initially I created this blog to post about my development with Pixelpost and to blog about all the things I found interesting about programming. Occasionally I posted some stuff about my photography as well.

Over the last three years I haven’t done much programming so I never felt the need to blog about that. The same goes for photography, which I do need to pick up again. Anyways, more recently I started to develop some things and that means I probably have something more to blog about. Hence, I am trying to revive the blog. Since the layout hasn’t changed for quite some time, I probably have to look at that as well. First however, I want to draw your attention to the reason I wrote this blog:
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Times are changing

I can still remember why I started this blog a few years back. I was heavily into the development of several web applications and I wanted a place where I could showcase the stuff I have written. So basically this blog was born and it has served its purpose ever since.

However, time doesn’t stand still and numerous events have taken place after the initial launch. I have had some make overs, added some features, upgraded old features and in general I found doing those things enjoyable. But times have changed, free time to spend on programming and blogging are getting more and more sparse.

The lack of free time is also the reason why I have searched (and found) another solution to display my images on the web (shameless plug: http://foto.schonhose.nl). I even started thinking about how I could change this blog into something more useful, something with more information and something more easier to maintain. I haven’t found that something just yet, so in the mean time I just keep this blog up and running. I do want to share some stuff that has drawn my attention.

My good friend Jay Williams has been blogging as well, but redefined the blog a bit. His blogging, a mixture between tweeting and real blogging, is really nice if you do want to share something, but don’t want to write a full pledge post. I really like the format Jay is using.

Perhaps this is why I have started using Twitter more and more. It allows for small messages to be posted for followers to see. It also allows for some interaction that is probably on a lower level compared to leaving a comment on a blog.

But writing is no fun if nobody actually reads the posts. So the real question is: who is visiting these pages and read my ramblings? My guess, based upon the comments, the majority of visitors are spammers, trying to spam their stuff at my blog. Secondly, there is still a group of people, using Pixelpost, who are downloading my addons. These addons are still regularly downloaded, with a couple of downloads a day. And third, there is this (probably small) group of people that are actually reading my ramblings. Sometimes there is some interaction using the comments, but most of the times I have no clue who is actually reading this. Since nobody is actually complaining about the lack of updates it is safe to conclude that nobody really cares about my ramblings. ;-)

Perhaps herein lies the solution for my initial question: “what to do with my blog?”. The focus now is on the blogging part, something that I haven’t done for some time. Perhaps I should move that part more to the background, changing the stuff people see when they open my website. Give people easy access to what they want (well, except the spamming part) by providing a choice to go to the Pixelpost addons, my photoblog or my textual blog. Perhaps I could even track how many people make a certain choice, to get more insight what they really want.

Or perhaps I should stop thinking about this. ;-)

Tutorial posted on Photoblog

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Today I have spend a little time working on my photoblog. I fixed a few issues and launched two new features: a “tweet this” button and tutorials. The “Tweet this” button makes it easier to share something you found on my blog with the world using Twitter. As for the tutorials, sometimes people have asked me questions how I did certain things and what better way of sharing it by using tutorials?

So here it is, the first tutorial on my photoblog. It deals with Geocoding images using the GPS on a (WM) smartphone.

The next feature is still undecided, if you have some ideas please leave them in the comments.

The end of Pixelpost (at my blog)

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In the summer of 2006 I decided to start my own photoblog. I had just bought a new DSLR and was looking for a way to display these images. I found Pixelpost to be the only package meeting my requirements and I started using it. During the development of my photoblog I fixed some issues in Pixelpost and after that I found myself on the development team.

Together with Piotr I fixed a lot of bugs and added a lot of features in the 1.6 release. One of the main features I worked on was alternative language support for templates. I also developed some addons, one of the biggest the Googlemap addon to display images on the map. It is still a nice showcase of the addon power in Pixelpost because it uses a lot of workspaces to plugin its code. If I look at the downloads from my site over this period the absolute number one addon is the Entrypage addon, followed by the Googlemaps addon.

Working with the codebase of Pixelpost made me realize one thing: the code needed a complete overhaul. Jay, Dave and myself started making plans for the new revamped version of Pixelpost, the illustrious version 2.0. Like all good plans it started out real nice and we made some nice progress. In our attempts to make it clean, lean and mean we had to restart a few times from scratch. It took a bit longer than anticipated and we also had other stuff to attend to. All this lead to a stop in the development, ultimately leading to a blogpost on the forum describing the current situation.

Over the last year I came increasingly disgusted with the administration panel of Pixelpost and the lack of features found in other programs these days. Also I found it hard to maintain the self-imposed upload scheme of posting a new image every three days while not taking any new images. And last but not least, I also found I uploaded an image both on my blog and on Flickr. After some reviewing I discovered Flickr had most of the features I implemented on my blog as well. It had the maps, a nice way of organizing images with tags and sets and an easy way to upload images. Next to that it features multiple sizes, something I always wanted to use on my blog.

So I decided to scratch the blogging idea, turn the whole thing into a portfolio and use Flickr as a base. I closed my photoblog (e.g. stopped uploading pictures) and set out on a search to fulfill my requirements. After a couple of weeks programming and figuring out the (wonderful) Flickr API I present you with my revamped portfolio: http://foto.schonhose.nl.

As always there are some minor issues to fix, which will be dealt with in the next few weeks. I managed to retain most of the features of my old blog, although the comments now go through Flickr. Flickr doesn’t allow anonymous comments so that is the only drawback I found. That being said, over the last year I only got 2 legitimate comments, the rest was SPAM. Love to hear your comments on the new site!