Simon Willison’s Weblog


Sunday, 1st September 2002

Yay for <links>

Aquarionics has joined the Mozilla <link> element party.

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Grabbing web pages with Perl and PHP

Web Basics with LWP (via Scott) is an excellent tutorial on Perl’s LWP, a powerful set of modules which make it easy to retrieve content from the web. I’ve been using the excellent Snoopy class for PHP for the same purpose, but I have to admit it isn’t half as comprehensive as LWP. I’ve also written my own simple function safeGet for more light weight tasks—it grabs and returns the contents of a web page but limits both the size of the page and the maximum time it can take to download it.

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I’ve been playing with XML-RPC and PHP today. I ended up using Keith Devin’s pleasantly straight forward library thanks to PHP’s built in (and completely undocumented) XML-RPC support conflicting with the function names used by Useful Inc’s partially object oriented library. I’ve been messing around with Stuart’s idea for a trackback alternative and things are looking pretty promising.

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Templating with Smarty

Zend have a short tutorial on PHP Templating with Smarty.

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Joel on platforms

Joel Spolsky: Platforms. Plenty of food for thought. Dave Winer responds with a pointer to his 1996 article The Perfect Parent which touches on the reasons Groove can’t count on making it as a platform.

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Font size bookmarklet

Scott Johnson (and others) has been waging war against Font Bitches, aka people who use fixed (pixel) fonts on their sites making the text unresizable in Internet Explorer. Here’s a new bookmarklet that can help alleviate the problem:

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A better trackback

A discussion on Aquarionics nails why TrackBack isn’t quite there yet (emphasis mine):

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2002 » September