July 01, 2003

Hitting your stride

It’s a wonderful feeling when you’re working on a project and the barrier between an idea and the implementation is almost nonexistent. I was doing work on OI2 last night, trying to get another content generator besides the Template Toolkit working. (Yes, Text::Template works, HTML::Template is coming soon.) Along the way I thought of an feature to swap content generators – having the option to declare your output destination (template name) in the configuration rather than specify it in the code. (It’s not required because I don’t want to force people to declare too much.) This makes it easy to create a new action that uses the same code but sends its data to a different output destination and uses a different processing engine– true MVC! What’s fantastic is that took about ten minutes to implement, document and test out.

I can usually tell when I'm in a zone because I fall asleep and/or dream about design in a very concrete fashion. This time it was about filters and the flash I had just before zonking out was so simple: actions are observable. Filtering is just another observation. Duh.

Sure enough, once I woke up it took just a few minutes to add the notification, and then a while longer to create an initialization framework so it's easy to declare filters and have them read in at server startup. And just like that, a major feature is added. Nice.

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