mrry (Happy New Year)
Blog GUFF is Back 29/Mar/2005

It being the vacation, I thought it high time to put some work in on GUFF, the Glasgow Uni community aggregator. The purpose of the project was twofold: to migrate the BEANS codebase over to GUFF, and to introduce sexy new features(!). The latter being the reason for the barely noticeable down-time over Sunday and Monday.

The first thing to notice is that the recent comments sidebar is now available. Currently, however, only Gary's and my posts show up. I'll shortly release a new version of the Wordpress plugin, so that the vast hordes of Wordpress users can participate. (Should demand arise, I'll do a Movable Type version as well.)

The main new feature is the ability to associate more than one feed with each member. The obvious application is Flickr feeds. Currently, I've set it to poll my photos tagged with guff, the only one of which can be viewed by paging back through the old posts.

The inclusion of Flickr feeds raises a few questions, and I would be interested in your suggestions:

  • Selection. I'm very much inclined to go with the guff-tagging approach, since it gives the most control to the members. Unless, of course, you consider guff to be insufficiently unique, in which case I welcome suggestions.
  • Flooding. There's always the temptation to tag photos en masse. Should somebody do this with the guff tag, it could result in wiping out the entire front page (with the ten most recent photos). A possibility would be to add only the first item in the feed. Another would be to trust the members, and disable a feed if its owner gets overzealous. I'm tending towards the former. Comments?
  • Presentation. At the moment, I'm displaying the content verbatim from the Flickr feed, but I've written the code in such a way that I can tailor the output of items from Flickr feeds. I'd prefer to keep photos in-line with the other posts, though removing them to a sidebar is not out of the question.
  • User Interface. Currently there is no way of specifying one's Flickr feed through a web form, and all back-end work is carried out directly on the database. Is there any need for a user management interface? (Note that this would likely be a GUFF/BEANS 2.0 feature.)
  • Other feeds. Flickr is all very well, but there's a whole host of other personal feeds out there. The other obvious candidate for a similar treatment is, and there might be some use in having Gallery feeds in there as well. Suggestions, the more interesting the better, are welcomed, especially with respect to how such information might be presented.

If you're a GUFF member, and you want to add your Flickr feed, send me your username via the GUFF contact form, and start tagging photos with guff. And if you're not a member, and you meet our stringent criteria (a past or present student or member of staff at the University of Glasgow), then sign up today!








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