brendan is currently certified at Apprentice level.

Name: Brendan Quinn
Member since: 2000-09-16 12:41:42
Last Login: 2008-03-02 13:05:33

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Wow, long time no update. I am an Australian living in London, working for BBC New Media as a technical architect on content management and syndication issues. In the past I have been an independent content management consultant, and a developer and development manager for the online arms of media and publishing companies.

Some of the open source projects I have contributed to are...

  • mod_dav: Greg Stein's Apache module to support WebDAV, a Web protocol for editing content repositories via HTTP. I built a MySQL-based repository handler for mod_dav as a proof of concept
  • Syndication::NewsML and Syndication::NITF, Perl modules to support these XML news syndication formats. Both of them still need lots of work, so if you use them please tell me what you'd like to see :-)
  • Various patches for mSQL, MySQL, Apache modules, and other assorted stuff over the years.
Other interests include online communities, information security, wireless networking, music (singing and saxophone) and various things that a normal late-twenties guy living in London gets up to.


Recent blog entries by brendan

Syndication: RSS 2.0
3 Feb 2001 (updated 3 Feb 2001 at 07:32 UTC) »

Okay, I've built that comparison engine thing in PHP/MySQL and sent it off to Cam, but I have'nt heard back from him (over a week now...) so I'm just going to go and do my own version anyway. Everyone on the cms list is screaming for a product comparison chart, but noone seems prepared to be the one to go and do it. And when I go and volunteer, and actually produce some stuff, it doesn't go up. I understand Cam's busy and all, it's just a bit frustrating.

I've decided that I really should start "diarising". I'm sure it will be a good form of self-motivation, if nothing else... (ie even if noone actually reads what I say here)

Been working recently on a "product comparison engine", for want of a better term... I had been thinking of doing it for a while, based on a little business idea thing I've got, and I had written out some db schemas etc, but only when Cam Barrett (I don't think he's on Advogato?) started asking for help on the cms-list did I start writing code.

Unfortunately, Cam wanted the code written in PHP, so I had to throw away my utopian ideas of a real J2EE-compliant MVC-based architecture, and hack up something ugly in a language I was teaching myself on the fly.

Some thoughts on PHP

Personally, and selfishly, I don't see the point in a language like PHP.

What I mean is this: all the docs out on the Net that proselytize PHP keep on talking about "how easy it is to learn, even for non-programmers". Sure, so is BASIC. And it teaches you lots of bad habits, unless you are very careful about what you do. And, like BASIC, some things just can't be done cleanly (like separating display logic from the display itself). They even talk about how bad Perl is for new programmers, and how nice PHP is compared to Perl because it doesn't look like line noise, but then they boast that PHP is compatible with Perl regular expressions!? Go figure.

Anyway, I got most of it finished in PHP and was going to hand it over, when I had an interesting conversation last week with some people that might be interested to help me maintain the system myself. As I've just started up a content-management consulting company, it would make tons of sense for me to do it myself, and frankly I think it would be better for the CMS community if I had direct access to my code so I could roll out new features without having to go via Cam (and without having to use a crappy scripting language)

The upshot of all this is that I'm currently thinking of rewriting it all in Java servlets/JSP/Velocity (true MVC, or as close as you can get right now), hosting it myself somewhere, and promoting it like crazy. This would also give me the opportunity to create other product-comparison type sites using the same code base, and possibly release the code as open-source.

We'll see.

So now that I've committed (at least to a Web site?!) let's see how far I can go.


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