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Sunday, February 8, 2009

Hacking on Wikiperl

My Wikibooks bot is one of those projects I work on in fits and spurts. I tend to ignore it when it does what I need it to do, and hack like crazy when it doesn't. Recently I've been focusing most of my efforts on Parrot instead of on Wikibooks, so the bot has been pushed even further back in my queue.

However, Spring semester is getting going again, and the folks down at ODU need more help getting their book Foundations of Education and Instructional Assessment up and running for their students. A lot of pages in that book need boiler plate text added to get the students started. By my last count, they need about 2500 edits made, and they need to be made by this weekend. Sounds like the perfect use for my bot!

I did some hacking on it yesterday and this morning, and then set it loose to start making edits. While I was on a roll fixing things, I added a few features that I wanted too. Here's some of what I did in the past two days:
  1. Added syntax highlighting and line-numbering
  2. Lots of refactoring of code to improve code quality and improve extensibility (have a lot of ideas for extensions to add later!)
  3. Fixed the "save"/"load" functions, so you can save your work and return to it later
  4. Added in a mode to do unified diffs, to better see what changes are being made
  5. Added support for multi-level TOCs (Book/Chapter/Page)
  6. Fixed handling of TOCs not to return Category:, Image:, or other non-page links
In addition to these fixes, I also set up the bug tracker at source forge to better keep track of things that need to be done.

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