Karaoke code re-use
6 December 2003
I've be an infrequent reader of weblogs for a while now, but this week was witness to quite a few hours of weblog scouring; meandering from place to place, wherever my mouse dared take me. And I've come to a conclusion about what a weblog should be.
A weblog shouldn't be about unilateral communication, it's not like a book or a magazine, where the words are stuck fast to the paper. A weblog allows many people to share and evolve thoughts; without these different voices you may as well be writing a news article. As such, a site's blogger merely starts the ball rolling by creating an entry, then it is up to the readers-cum-authors to explore the ideas in that entry by adding their own insights. It is pure Internet: using the free flow of information to expand our thinking. The process of taking turns to express oneself in public reminds me of karaoke; although discomfort to other patrons is usually less severe online, and alcohol normally doesn't make your posts sound any better.
In any event, this realisation found me wanting to introduce commenting onto this here site. Although I'm aware of Movable Type (it seems to be popular with the kids nowadays), I've hand coded every part of this site in Perl, so if I wanted comments, I'd have to bash it out myself. I'm not sure whether my reticence to use other people's code on my web site (or life in general) is due to personal pride, a fear that it will break, or just plain laziness at not wanting to read the manual; it could be just the masochist in me. Plus, I'm a bit of a control freak, and coding it yourself means that everything is just the way you want it, which in my case just means that the code is indented using tabs, not spaces. (I kill space-indenters!)
So, if you feel like having a sing, grab a microphone and hit the comment button!
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