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samtregar (2699)

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Journal of samtregar (2699)

Wednesday August 20, 2003
03:36 PM

Improving Meerkat's use.perl Journal Display

[ #14234 ]
I'm an avid Meerkat user, but I find the display of use.perl journal entry links somwhat lacking. They look like:

Class::XPath 1.2, a gift from the sea (2003.08.20 12:56)

So you get the title and the time the entry was made, but you don't get the author. The only way to see that is to mouse-over the link and read the ~name from the status-bar. And since I don't read everyone's use.perl journal I end up doing that a lot.

At one point I worked on a proxy CGI that would show me the author strings but it just got too damned complicated. There are cookies flying, redirects and relative paths all over Meerkat. I gave up.

Enter Middleman, a highly configurable HTTP/FTP proxy server with builtin support for doing Perlish s//g over web pages. A few minutes after installing it and turning off a bunch of banner-removal/web-bug avoidance stuff I don't need, I wrote this pattern/replacement pair:


$1http://use.p$2/journal$3$4 [ $2 ]</a>

Now my links look like:

Class::XPath 1.2, a gift from the sea (2003.08.20 12:56) [samtregar]

Awesome! I can tell I'm going to have a lot of fun with Middleman. It's got a lot of features and some neat development tools built-in.

In fact, if Graham doesn't let me integrate my CPAN differ into soon I'll probably just add it for myself with Middleman! I've wanted it a few times lately...


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  • You might be interested in my Net::Meerkat [] module, which will let you grab headlines from Meerkat, in all of the various output formats that Meerkat supports. It's especially useful if you've set up a custom profile.

    I even included an example of how to use it with HTML::Template in the docs.