Do What You Wanado

20 December, 2005 at 10:33 pm (clerical, webjunk)

Stellarium iconSo a couple of weeks ago I discovered the free Mac astronomy simulator Stellarium and immediately set about developing a computer representation of the view outside my window, well aware that any virtual depiction would be far cooler — and far more customizable — than reality. After all, reality has light pollution and doesn’t have labels on the important stellar objects.

And it only has the lovely grid lines when the Matrix glitches and reminds us that we’re all inhabiting a fabricated consentual illusion.

the view out my kitchen window

Anyway… my immediate impulse was to blog about this lovely little tool, but after having just posted about some cartographic instance or another, and having typed with glee about maps a couple of times before that, it occurred to me that had I hosted my mental peregrinations on TypePad instead of Blogger, then I would be able to set up and institute categories for my posts. This ability to give greater shape and accessability to my various ramblings is the major reason I’ve considered porting the site over to TypePad in the past, and it’s only the fact that I would then be increasingly responsible for the successful implementation for the back end of the site that has prevented me from doing it. My HTML knowledge is still very 1998, and most of what you see here is bolstered by 21st century coding that I really don’t comprehend.

I then discovered a sweet little potential compromise: on Steven M. Cohen’s Library Stuff blog, he dropped a line about a web app that allowed a blogger to apply post tagging. And well, tagging is near-as-damnit as created keywords or categories for web-content and I did what I am usually loathe to do when it comes to the inertnet: I jumped in with both feet.

m3lbatoast tag cloud for all posts during 2005And, well, rediscovered why it is that I am usually a little tentative about such things: it didn’t really work. The app is called Wanado and while it did allow me to add tags, the tags didn’t like the heirarchal structure of Blogger, and tags put on an individual entry page would not be visible from the main page or the archive page, as they show up only with reference to a specific URL. Additionally, one couldn’t delete mistyped tags, nor could one incorporate the tag cloud into one’s site. I fired off a couple of helpful suggestions to the creator and sadly deleted all presence of Wanado code from my site.

However, the lure of the rough equivalent of categories proved too strong, and after an announcement that informed me that Wanado’s creator Ericson Smith had heard my and other’s and met them accordingly, I decided to try implementing it again. After three days of tweaking, I have finally arranged everything in some semblance of success. The ability to add tags can only be found on an individual post’s page, but the tag cloud now sits merrily on the right-hand infocolumn, allowing browsers to click-through any of the forty-two visible keywords that piques their fancy.

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