Breaking the Silence

Once again, it’s been a few days since my last post. It’s time to remedy the situation.

One of the things I was worried about when I decided to begin this weblog was content… specifically, having the discipline to post my content on a regular basis. I’ve never been a good journaler. I ran a practice blog a few months ago, and quickly found that I spent more time working on the infrastructure than on the content. Much more.

I have started writing new entries several times over the past few days. Each time I seem to get distracted or obstructed by something different. I am quickly finding a fundamental difference between writing prose and writing code – the way in which difficulty affects my desire to complete the task. When writing code, a more difficult problem tends to spark my interest, and draw me into working harder at solving the task. Technical difficulties add to the challenge. When writing prose, however, technical difficulties tend to turn me away from the task at hand. I attribute this to the differences in my perceptions of these tasks – I enjoy coding much more than writing.

For example, when writing blog entries, I often cite topics which should contain links to other resources (e.g., Blosxom). Even using textile to compose my entries, I still find the task of looking up and typing in URLs to be tedious. Late last week, I began a post, only to quickly tire of including the links for Blosxom, the plugins page, etc., yet again. So I stopped what I was doing and went looking for a better way. I recalled seeing something in Dean Allen‘s Textile 2 Announcement post regarding storing of URLs in an external file, to avoid embedding them in the text. As well as I can tell, this feature is not (yet?) a part of the perl port of Textile 2.

This led me to attempt my first ever Blosxom Plugin. After many hours of hacking (and still no post), I decided that: A) my perl is rustier than I thought, and B) My original concept for the plugin might be flawed. Eventually I gave up, but the post didn’t get done.

A day or two later, I started on another post. Again, I got distracted by the need to look up (and type) URLs, and again, I got sidetracked by the desire to come up with a strategy. I spent some time carefully combing through the Blosxom Plugins Registry looking for something applicable. Eventually, I thought of a refinement of my original idea, and returned to the failed plugin. Much hackery later, I still had no plugin (and no post). I am very close, but still sans cigar. I plan to post about it on here soon, and to seek help on the Blosxom mailing list and/or PerlMonks.com.

Another hurdle to writing blog entries is the difficulty in formatting posts for my subject area. When trying to include sample code, I’m finding the interaction between wikieditish and textile to be a problem. Escaped markup in the original post gets un-escaped in the wikieditish edit box. Another enhancement for later, but one I plan not to address at the expense of site content.

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