mrry (Happy New Year)
Blog Inebriated Development 21/Sep/2004

Tonight, we went to the Monday-night quiz at Rufus'. We came joint-fourth, under a simplistic, and, frankly, wrong system of counting. However, that is a vast improvement on our last performance, which doesn't bear detailing.

Then, I came home, and coded as if possessed by a nerdy demon!

Some background, I fear, will be necessary. GUFF is nearing the distribution stage. It will be released under the moniker of BEANS (the link points to the development mirror of GUFF), very soon indeed.

At the start of this evening, my teammate and good friend Gary suggested a feature: when a member blog receives a comment, it should ping BEANS, and this fact should be represented in a sidebar of posts upon which readers have recently commented. Through this feature, Gary would know when a new comment had been made, and could revisit the post accordingly, thereby minimising the amount of browsing that would need to be done outside of GUFF/BEANS.

At first I quibbled with the likely usage of such a feature. Then I saw the light - I promised that it would be implemented by the end of the night.

Now for the technical details:

  • The testbed XML-RPC interface is
  • The method name is beans.commentPing.
  • The method takes a single parameter - the permalink to the post on which a comment has been left. This must be exactly the same as the permalink that is published in the Atom or RSS feed for the member blog, and thus will have the same URL as the link from the GUFF/BEANS instance to that post.
  • The method returns a struct, similar to a ping.

All of which is all very well as an academic exercise, I think you will agree. However, it is necessary to bootstrap the comment-pinging process, and I have set about this as well. With the aid of the nocturnal WordPress user, my good chum Chris, I have written a comment ping WordPress plug-in (.ZIP archive), which will ping BEANS when a comment is recorded. This plug-in will work with the current development instance of BEANS, and could be tweaked for use with future instances by changing the settings variables. It's very much alpha software, but it worked for Chris, so it might just work for you.

I must commend WordPress plug-in development to you. It's really quite straightforward (assuming this plug-in doesn't blow up spectacularly in my face), and possible even after a night out. Fear not, Movable Type users, as an MT plugin will appear after not long (though I'm no Perl programmer, and the environment is totally alien to me).

Meanwhile, at this point, it would probably be a good idea to sleep.








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