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Reversing the flow of information

It has long been a well-known secret that the Ermarian Network was capable of posting to the Spiderweb forums. This was done by the Endeavor site for several months (the digest was discontinued soon after the update was automatized), and the api for accessing the forum is shared between PPP and Endeavor.

This essentially means that PPP could offer a form for posting a reply, and send this request (server-side) to the forum. In fact, as of a fast prototype I made yesterday, and a module I wrote today, it now does so. I have used this feature several times.

Temporary malfunction

My Drupal environment is easy to understand, but unfortunately undocumented. This means that whenever I spend two months not hacking it, I end up forgetting the finer points.

To wit, the upgrade to Drupal 5.3 (I've stopped using CVS for my production sites) caused some trouble with core changes that I forgot to reimplement in the new version. The file backend of PPP broke, taking with it about two days of posts during which the archiver just couldn't download topics. This is already corrected, and the topics in question are now up to date.

Database search

Two hours of intense late-night PHP were sufficient to get the inbuilt database search working again. It's not as fast or navigable as Google, but it has one advantage: The index is guaranteed to be complete and up-to-date.


"Google" should show up as a tab next to "Topics" and "Posts", but so far it doesn't. This issue is being worked on.

Google Search

I have put my own database search on ice for now and decided to rely on Google. Their CSE service is really great now; I can even display the results here on my own site (assuming you have Javascript). Google's index is not as up to date as my own, of course, but still. Also, the site now offers an OpenSearch description, which means the Pied Piper Project can soon end up in the search box in the top right corner of your browser.


As of tonight, PPP spiders, archives and displays polls whenever a topic is parsed or viewed that contains one. However, since it needs to use my account for viewing the poll results, this hinges on me having already voted. Fortunately, Piperbot is now smart enough to notice when my vote is required, and will drop me an email to get me to vote. --- Poll results are at present stored one-off, and never updated.


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