15 January 2012

Updates to the Web Apps Shell-Fish and About Tag

I just pushed new versions of Shell-Fish (the online version of Fish) and the About Tag app.

There are some quite significant changes, which I will summarize briefly.

  • Shell-Fish has been updated to the latest version 4.26. It has sat at 4.00.0 for a ridiculously long time, and that became self-sustaining because non-trivial changes were needed to the web version to make it use the new one.

  • The About Tag app now includes a clone of Shell-Fish. Click the bottom tag on the logo to use this.

  • The search functionality in About Tag has been overhauled and remodelled on the much better version used at yet another of my sites, Art of Tagging, which is hosted on the intriguing PythonAnywhere platform. Changes include:

    • When you click a link, the diagram now appears inline
    • If you re-click, it refreshes
    • If you’re signed in, you can tag items and the diagram updates.
  • The changes are quite major, and I haven’t tested them as thoroughly as I would wish, so I’ve probably broken some thing. Sorry. Let me know and I’ll try to fix them.

  • The three sites all use the same model of requiring your Fluidinfo credentials; unfortunately they don’t share databases, so if you want to use all three, you need put them in three times. This is crazy; all three sites should merge, but that will take time.

  • Although the search functionality on the About Tag site mostly works well, Google’s hard 10-second time limit on queries means that queries that match a lot of objects tend to time out. The version of Art of Tagging doesn’t suffer from this limit, but unfortunately that site is quite often down for maintenance.

  • There are many small changes to Shell-Fish but two really major bits of new functionality:

    • Aliases and syncing now work. If you create aliases on a local version, type sync in Shell-Fish and they will appear there, and vice-versa. Among other things, this makes it easy to use sequences and access them from both sites.

    • You can drop the -i and -a in almost all cases. So (in the most common case), rather than:

      fish> tag -a "artist:melody gardot" rating=10

      you can simply use:

      fish> tag "artist:melody gardot" rating=10

      though the old form will, of course, continue to work, along with -q and the new -@ (for anonymous objects).

  • My process of turning everything from XHTML to HTML5 continues. Shell-Fish and the About Tag we app are now pure HTML5, like this blog. Previously, they were all XHTML, which worked for everything under the Sun except Microsoft Browsers; at least now Internet Explorer 9 should be able to use some of the functionality. Users of Internet Explorer 1–8, and therefore of Windows XP, remain out of luck (in more ways than I can possibly enumerate, most of which are rather more significant than not being able to use these web sites).

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