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delirium happy

Just keep on trying till you run out of cake

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Oh no! It's a meta-entry! On userpics.
delirium happy
Since people seemed interested, based on my throwaway remark in my last entry, here's more on my moons.

Unless you are either blind or using a friends page style without userpics (and possibly even if you are) you will have noticed that my current user pictures are moons. What you may not have realised is that I try to post each entry with the current phase of the moon at the time of posting as my picture for that entry.

The pictures themselves were originally ganked from this site. The pictures aren't quite right, partly because I just took an extra added day at a time for each subsequent picture, rather than figuring out the exact correct fraction, and partly because, as that site says the depiction of lunar surface features suffers geometric distortion. this is especialy noticable around the full moon, apparently, but it's close enough for me.

I then use another site to look up the current phase, and post with the relevant user picture.

As I mentioned in my last entry, this last bit is the bit that I'm getting tired of. Several people suggested some sort of automation process could work, and I'm sure there are ways of doing this, but probably none that I'm capable of.

Firstly, it isn't possible to just reference some sort of dynamic URL, which generates a .png of the current phase at the time, or anything like that. The reason for this, is that the pictures have to be uploaded beforehand, because otherwise people would be referencing lots of non-working URLs, which would break lots of images, and make lots of pages look ugly. So that's out.

What would be needed is a way to automagically calculate the phase of the moon as I post, and then figure out which userpic corresponds to that, and post with that number. Unfortunately, most clients don't come with the capability to do this. Sure, I could have some sort of little application that would calculate it for me and tell me the number, but I'd then have to select it manually.

marnanel suggested that I might be able to do it nicely using deepestsender, except I don't like deepest sender, so that was pretty much a non-starter, really. Another option, of course would be to write a whole new client that could do nifty things like that, but that would very much be a case of reinventing the wheel, and I like my current client anyway.

One thing that I get a feeling would probably be possible, would be to create some sort of simple proxy server for this. Direct my client at the server, which could then take the entry, jibble with the userpic part of it, and then post it on to LiveJournal. That probably shouldn't be too hard to do, since the LJ client-server protocol is just a dialect of HTTP, but as I mentioned, is well outside my abilities and expertise.

My next userpics project, will be to have one userpic for each a-z, 0-9 and then 14 assorted symbols and punctuation marks. I will the proceed to tell stories, or give out URLs or other such things, one letter at a time. The main reason I've not done that one yet is that I'm too lazy/incompetent to actually make the pictures. I wonder if there are any nice images of big bright fridge magnets anywhere that I could steal.

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Ooh. Another idea: write a cron job which will use your cookies to make a request to LJ to set your current default icon every so often.

Ooooh. That would be nifty. Although it would mean losing the nice effect of watching the changing phases on my lastn page, but it would mean that I could have the correct picture in comments. If I could do that and some other method to always post with the right one though, then that would be very nifty.

How would it lose that effect?

surely the same default is used for posts and comments?

When you post using the default userpic, it's saved in the LJ databases as "default", and then whenever it's viewed, there's a db lookup to see what the current db is set to. So while all the entries would be right at the time, they'd all change whenever the default changed.

Hi! I'm a dork and would get great pleasure out of making the alphabet/numeral/symbol userpics for you. Would you be interested in matching fonts and colors or having them all different? Any sort of patterned backgrounds, or maybe transparency?

Well, at this point, I'm thinking I'm going to wait justa little bit longer to see if anyone comes up with any really good ideas on how to do the moon things, because I'd feel bad asking you to make me 50 userpics or so and then ending up not using them because something shinier had taken up my attention. That said though, if you really really want to do these and don't want to delay, and don't mind risking me not needing them, then I'd be very happy to take you up on the offer, and give you the exact sort of specs that I want.

I can always use an excuse to make more userpics! So yes, tell me what you'd like and I'll start on them, I'll just rush less until you decide for sure whether you want them. :D

Feel free to utilize my interrobang, should the need arise. :D

You use interrobangs too‽

OK, another idea.

You're identified to LJ by your cookies. So if you save the HTML of http://www.livejournal.com/update.bml to another server and adjust the action of the form to point at the same place as the original, it ought still to work.

Then all you need to do is write some simple PHP on that server to set the correct icon.

We have those enormous bright plastic fridge magnets, I'd be willing to take pictures of them all, but be warned that there is not punctuation for those.

so you want a client do display current userpic? for example, like in semagic instead of its help window on the right?

I don't know if this would help you in any way, but it's a pretty nifty site, which can at least give you the current moon phase at any time. And maybe there is something here that would give you a clue how to do what you want to do. Assuming you haven't already figured it out by now, as this entry is a couple of weeks old.

Oh . . . I very nearly forgot to paste the URL!


Oh . . . and, btw . . . Hi! I'm Wendy, and I wandered in here from somewhere . . . erm, mickat24, I think. ::waves:: I'm enjoying your journal, love the moons, and would vote in the sexual fantasy poll, except I was afraid it would be too weird for me, as a total stranger, to make that be the first time you ever heard of me. ::grin::

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