Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Blog robot - part one
It's taken me a little time to get this together, but I'm now ready to begin my report on WR:TW's BLOG ROBOT. (Not least, I had to check the status of my court order - apparently it's fine for me to review other people's code...)
I'm going to be dividing my report into three sections. Today, I'm going to discuss technical aspects of the software and its implementation. If you're not a web developer you might want to skip this. In my next post, I'll run through how to use the code on your blog. Finally, the third installment will provide some examples of the results. I hope you enjoy my commentary, and that it helps you decide whether BLOG ROBOT is for you. (Obviously, I think BLOG ROBOT is a cretinous waste of time, but I'm going to try to stay objective.)
From the coding point of view, I'm afraid I find little or anything innovative. As is increasingly the case with multi-author software produced by a largeish company, BLOG ROBOT relies on a suite of standard routines bolted together. Random number generation relies on the computer's internal clock and user key presses. That's about it, really. No attempt is made to optimise the code for home computer operation, although such sloppiness hardly matters these days with the speed of hardware being what it is.
I still remember the early days of webdesign - before even FORTRAN 77 - when pages were written in CPU specific assembler language. RAM and CPU speed were at a premium, so we often had to employ clever solutions. That was real design. Having written each individual statement onto punch cards, one would drop them into a reader and hope for no snags. On a longer piece of code, compiler errors could sometimes take 10 to 15 minutes to come back via the line printer. Oh, happy days. One wonders whether today's latte generation would have been able to handle it.
Anyway, I'm digressing - I have to take the wife to the optician's now (it turns out she couldn't tell the difference between myself and Martin Fry on the new Look of love video), so that's all until part two.