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No Comment!

Cheers for the comment, whoever posted it! Sadly, the comment tool in Drupal is a little naff as it stands. The developers make a careless assumption that when people want to comment, they will either create themselves an account, username, password, profile etc etc, or be quite content with submitting a comment as an anonymous user. Maybe I'm taking this too far, but people quite like to be accredited or associated with the comment that they make - and in the case of blogging, want to do it quickly and easily. If I arrive at a site which forces me to register before I can make contributions, I very often tend not to bother, unless I feel I will get something of significance in return.

Worth mentioning at this point that I got talking to a guy called Pablo, (in the Drupal community, yes I did register!) who has written a simplecomment.module that offers a new comment form for submitting names, email address and comment - very cool - he's hoping to have something ready in the next couple of weeks. For now though, just add your name in the comment field.

Having spent a weekend looking at various blogging software, Moveable Type, Drupal, Serendipity - to find the one that would most suit my blogging needs. Truth is that any of these tools would be enough to run quite an extensive blog - but my criteria was more than that - I would looking for a blog tool that would be the most adaptable and extendable. After much exploration, Drupal seems to be the tool of choice here. As with the other tools, there is a whole host of plugins to add extra functionality. However, I favoured this tool because the core blog software and modules are written in PHP, a language I could at least hack around a bit.

I really like the way drupal allows you to build and customise your own themes - you can rack up a whole set of themes, and these can be a selection which have simply been downloaded and installed, or ones modified by the user.

Pirate BBC Essex Radio Station

ULTRALAB and BBC Essex Radio are working together to celebrate 40 years of pirate radio of the Essex shores, to bring you the BBC Essex Pirate Radio Station. The station goes live in April, broadcasting on medium wave frequencies from LV Eighteen - a former lightship owned by the charity Pharos Trust.

The plan is to transmit a wireless signal from Ha'penny Pier in Harwich to the lightship using wireless base station transmitters. This will allow the radio presenters to receive SMS text messages and emails on board LV Eighteen. We also intend to run two webcams, one streaming pictures of the ship from the pier, the other streaming images of the presenters on board to an Internet website.

There is a sizeable crew already formed, including BBC Essex Radio presenters, Steve Scruton, Ian Wyatt, Tom Warmington, and from ULTRALAB....Matthew Eaves, Jonathan Furness, Alex Blanc and Tim Ellis.

Welcome to my new blog.....

For some months now, I've wanted to find some time to develop my Filemaker weblog a little. It lacks many of the features, such as trackback, RSS news feeds, that nearly all blogging software can do really quite easily. So I spent the first part of the weekend exploring how to develop these tools.

It wasn't until I started hacking around in the Filemaker database that I realised that i'd been running my old blog for nearly two and half years. Took me back a little - especially when I began reading some of my earliest entries, Software just got harder, much harder and Exploring Children's Creativity - absolutely fascinating. Have some of the issues changed since then? no, not really.

I also started me thinking why did I spend time developing my old blog in custom built Filemaker software - sounds like a crazy idea now. It quickly dawned on me that at the time, there just wasn't the range of good quality blogging software that there is today - so I built my own.

As you'll read.....I just couldn't get Filemaker to do even the most simpliest of tasks - create an RSS feed. I managed it - and it worked (kind of!)

Read on.....


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