Sam Wilson's Website

January 2023

  1. Someone asked about how to send an email if a MediaWiki page hasn’t been updated in a year, and it reminded me of an extension I wrote in 2013 that was for just that sort of thing. It was quite cool, for the year or so we used it.

    It was on a wiki that stored information about fleet maintenance and tools and things (documentation sorts of stuff mostly), and people wanted to be reminded of pages that they needed to review on a regular basis. It could target things quite well, so people wouldn’t get emails if other people had already done the review, and I think that helped with the response rate to the emails actually being quite high (although maybe that was just because the whole project was closed down after a year and people didn’t have time to get sick of it).

  2. MediaWiki extensions have two basic options for releasing: one (called rel) is to have a separate branch for each major[^1] version of core; the other (called master) is to only have one branch and to make it compatible with as many versions of core that the maintainer wants (hopefully all current versions). Extensions also have a version number of their own, and for years it’s confused me. I think that it doesn’t make sense to have a version number with a rel compatibility policy. It does make sense for master (and in that case, the automatically-created REL1_* branches should be deleted).

    [^1]: note that MediaWiki doesn’t use Semantic Versioning, so it’s not the first number; that’s always 1.

  3. In reply to Bring Back Blogging by Sam Wilson.

    Submissions are closed now. I guess it was a “be prepared to start blogging in January” sort of thing.

  4. Bring Back Blogging sounds like a good idea.

    For the month of January, we’ll make a pact to post a few times to get into the habit, and create a directory of all the creators who participate.

    They obviously know some bloggers’ favourite hobby:

    isn’t redesigning your blog template for the tenth time this month so much more stimulating than doom scrolling?

    Maybe I should start blogging again.

  5. There does seem to be a massive pull (a feeling of it being a good idea) to post to places on the internet where one can get that feeling of being appreciated when someone clicks ‘like’. Those places are also where not getting likes makes you feel crap. At the moment, I prefer being here in the ignored bit where I have zero idea of who looks at what, and it’s just a sort of public jotting down of random words and pictures. Much more relaxing. Also means I can stuff around with building the software, which of course is probably the main point for me!

  6. It’s strangely cool for January, this Sunday morning. My brain isn’t really awake yet. Not that too much whiskey was tasted yesterday; just the right amount.

  7. Well, it’s half nine on a Friday night, so I might as well keep scanning I think. I’m getting a few more things uploaded to Commons, and trying not to get too drawn into reading about the 1930s aviation stuff.

  8. I’m trying to add a plain-text export option to Twyne (of varying sorts: LaTeX and Markdown to start with). I couldn’t figure out why my code wasn’t working.

    Turns out there is no mime type called text/pain.

  9. I really do like Thunderbird. It’s such a great email client, and having actual local software feels like such a rare thing these days. I think my favourite features are

    1. local folders, so I can store email actually where I want (and sync it into Nextcloud… but that’s another story); and
    2. one-button automatic annual archiving (select emails, hit a, and they’re moved to year-named folders on my local disk).

    The one thing I don’t like at the moment is that I can’t easily switch to Maildir (from Mbox) as the storage format. I’ve only ever, in 22 years of paying attention to this sort of thing, had a problem. But that did annoy me, that one time that I got a corrupted email folder! (Actually, I haven’t really looked at the state of Thunderbird’s Maildir support recently, so I’m probably way out of date on this.)

  10. Afternoon tea.