Like a Blogroll, but Not Really


What with the whole impending child thing, my concentration is pretty much going out the window…anything that takes longer than about fifteen minutes isn’t going so well. That, of course, makes it a perfect time for a stupid little programming diversion.

Those of you who visit the site may have noticed the sad little “links” section on the right-hand side. I dropped a few links in there when I set up the template and haven’t looked at them again since. They were good links, but…well, (a) it irritated me that they were static, and (b) I’m far too lazy to actually go in and change the template manually whenever I find an interesting site.

I could have used something like blogrolling to solve these problems, but laziness gets in the way there, too: that’s another Web page that I have to go to to manage them <shudder>. In any case, since FeedDemon allows me to export an OPML file of my subscribed feeds — which accurately represents the stuff that I’m actually interested in and reading at any given time, anyway — it seemed like it’d be a fun fifteen minutes to turn that into a little linking tool.

While I had to go over my time limit by a few minutes (I spent several of them trying to remember how the fisher-yates shuffle was supposed to work before I gave up and googled it), my links are now thrillingly dynamic and the code actually seems to work correctly. At midnight each and every night a little script now runs through the OPML file of my currently subscribed feeds, selects six at random, and displays them under the links heading of the site.

Feed subscriber, feel free to click through and enjoy — it makes me happy to see you all in my server logs.