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10:41 <@mst> marcus: 
        ->update({ id => $new_id })

From the #dbix-class channel on irc.perl.org


So, as part of my development of iwatchthis.com, I've been researching the various video sites out there. Youtube, Google Video, and most of the minor sites out there does this is a fairly similar way. Almost everybody uses a flash player (With DivX as a honorable exception, requiring a download, but providing high-res content), so I guess you could attribute the video boom to Macromedia/Adobe, who made this trivial in recent versions.

Apart from that, some sites do blunders in navigation, sometimes going overboard with AJAX :) Others have sucky title-tags, Most of them tries to lead you into their site by showing you related videos, Lots of them use tags to caterize content, alot of them provide a comment system. All in all, the content is the largest differentiator for these sites, with some getting bonus points for good design solutions.

Last week, I worked on adding support for http://vids.myspace.com on http://iwatchthis.com/. Despite their trademark hideous design, they also mostly fall into the above group. The 'Myspace.com' title that appears on every video page isn't really search-engine or bookmark friendly, but that's a fairly common mistake in this segment. This week however, I'm looking at a site that's really decided to reinvent the whole concept of video sites.

Fair enough, http://video.msn.com/ does sport a Beta tag, but in recent years, we've come accustomed to seeing those on several web apps out there, and it's a bleak excuse for major design flaws. Screwing bookmarkability and navigation is just the start of it.

Welcome to AJAX hell. Leave your 'back' button at the door. Of course, MS provides a patch for this problem.. However rather than using the common 'bookmark this' link to give a bookmarkable URL, they do a neat bit of Javascript fuckery to open your browser's bookmark toolbar. Never mind that some of us like to use online bookmark managers like magnolia,delicious or stumbleupon. Scratch that. never mind that the javascript pile of crap actually bookmarks whatever page you landed on in the video site, be it the frontpage or some video link a friend sent you, not the video you are currently watching. Admittedly, I am a Firefox user on a Mac, and this app might be shooting sparks out of it's ass in MSIE 7, but I didn't get very impressed.

On my test of the site, they also seemed to have some serious infrastructure issues. When I tried to watch some of the music videos listed on the sidebar menu, I got a screen says 'The Video you requested is not available'. They did manage to show me the ad first tho. While we're on the subject of ads, Microsoft's use of AJAX has facilitated another "innovation". You can't switch videos during ad play. It just ignores the click. This means that if you change your mind about which video you want to see just after clicking the link, you have to wait while the 10-15 video sequence plays, then watch another 10-15 sequence before you hopefully get to the content you wanted to see.

After the 'not available' video, MSN Video goes on to display another neat "feature". Rather than giving me the option to pick some related content to continue with, MSN picks for me, determining that the appropriate followup to not seeing a Pink video was a report from the Anna Nichole Smith verdict, the current non-issue raging in the US press. Gee, thank you Microsoft!

As a final insult, MSN has decided that the 'embed' feature that every other site out there provides to allow videos embedded in blogs and other web sites was a blind path. That means I don't get to refuse to support them on iwatchthis, they've refused to support me. Oh well. I wish MS good luck on their continued voyage as a iceberg floating through cyberspace, isolated from all the others. Wonder why they fear Google, huh?

Angerwhale officially released

Congrats to Jrockway on releasing Angerwhale. Angerwhale is a filesystem-based blog with integrated cryptography, built on the Catalyst framework.

You can get angerwhale on CPAN.



12:36 < Alias> Andy: Please give rjbs/marcus repository access so they can add 
          Module::Install support to Module::Starter?
 < Alias> sheriff: Can you make you purl replacement see that someone I'm 
          talking to isn't in the channel and pass it on automatically?
 < Alias> your
 < Alias> marcus: When sheriff comes online can you pass that on to him? :)

Macfuse rocks!

I noticed Macfuse showed up on the hotlist at iusethis recently, and decided to check it out.

This stuff rocks. You can transparently r/w mount dirs through ssh with a gui client. For instance that, means I can open remote webapps as projects in textmate and work on them. They also have a NTFS driver that lets you mount windows drives, and a spotlight driver that lets you mount smartfolders as normal file systems very easily.

I recently saw this video, which shows of a lot more cool stuff that seems to be coming for macfuse. RSS filesystems, picasa webalbums and more. Looks really neat.

Soap as in simple object access protocol

After a few weeks of mad scrambling to try to interop with one of our partners' SOAP web services, I found This post pretty hilarious. :)


Hashing passwords on user creation.

If you use Catalyst auth with hashed passwords, here's how to create the digest in your DBIx::Class user class automatically.

sub store_column {
my ($self,$col,$val)= @_;
$val=Digest::SHA::sha1_hex($val) if ($col eq 'password');
return $self->next::method($col,$val);


When websites go wrong

19:07 < seumas> Sometimes I'd like to ditch my site and put my energy into a
new idea or something. But there's that whole "but I've spent 8
years on this!" thing. You don't want to give up something yo
put so much work into. Even when it's bad for you.
19:07 < seumas> I guess my website is like an abusive relationship.

Got something cooking

Coming soon to a browser near you

Couple of Catalyst powered sites.

Even tho we haven't got the holy buzz of Rails, people seem to be putting up new Catalyst-powered sites all the time. I'll try to mention some as I hear of them in the future, here's a couple to get you started

21:17 <bert_> it is for independent artists to be able to easily sell card at 
              their live shows, and fans use them to dl songs from our site 
              when they get home...
21:18 <bert_> site went from concept to production in 3 months...
21:18 <bert_> you guys here helped us through the rough part, none of us had 
               used catalyst before this...
21:18 <bert_> we really appreciate your help

Let's get dugg

This is a neat blog powered by a new Catalyst-based blog software called Typeface. Typeface is downloadable right now, so feel free to check it out.