Greetings Stang. Morvus here.

Been having server troubles again. Here's the state of the state:

The Art Mines Archive scripts work, but aren't up yet on any server, because of problems with the modem in MD. Sorry, but I just had to come back. I'm working on putting them up here, but have gotten no response from my ISP yet. And I can't just telnet to MD because of some godddamned firewall. So I'm fucked, for now.

So in the mean time, I started the next project, and drafted the following plan. Let me know if you have any thoughts on it. BTW this is really just an organizational memo for myself, but I thought you might have some input before I got too far.

The short answer is yes I can do it, in PERL, and here's how:



The entryway would be a page presenting last month's (or last week's) grand winner. The picture, with the caption, and the name of the winner. Proposed prize: an automatically e-mailed "certificate of achievement" from Dobbs himself! Or whatever.

A link on that page would lead to the Caption of the Day page:

An html page is presented, with the image of the day, selected from a stack of seven via some procesessed call to DATE. Beneath the picture is displayed a table containing the ten most recent and most popular captions submitted. Button prompts below would allow one to either: submit a new caption or vote on the captions presented.

The "make new" button would lead to a page presenting the image and a form allowing one to input the caption, one's name, and e-mail address. Although e-mails wouldn't be displayed, they would be used to notify winners, and of course stockpiled and sold to the highest bidder (I want 20% for my code-work...).

Submitting the "make new" page would first check to make sure all fields are correctly filled out (hence requiring the e-mail, but in no way guaranteeing they don't lie.), then add the new caption to the top of the list. This would cause the remainder of the list to be resorted, via some complex method based on weights of yes votes, and the bottom number would be dropped off. The person would then be transported back to the Caption of the Day page to see their new caption on top. Don't forget to include a hidden field stating which picture this is a caption for, to avoid screw-ups at midnight.

The Voting Page will present a table of the top ten captions, numbered, and a form input for selecting the number(s) of the ones you liked. This should be a select multiple form, in my opinion. Submitting the form would write the results to the "weight" field of the database, but not retabulate the vote-count. This would only be done when adding a new caption.

To retabulate the votes, I think this would work:

First, sort the file on the "weight" field. The top five entries get slots {2,4,6,8,10} The new entry gets {1}, the rest get the odd-numbered slot beneath their previous one. Slot {11} gets booted. So a caption works its way down the list, 1 --> 3 --> 5 --> 7 --> 9 --> out, getting five chances to oust the leaders. Because voting doesn't recompile the list, only adding, a good entry with luck can rise to #1 right away. Mixing up the records into odd and even puts the most voted intermixed with the new, to keep the natural bias to like the ones at the top more a bit more balenced.

Every month the vote-counter script would run (a CRON job?), which would read all the text files from all seven pictures and find the caption that got the most votes, period. That caption would be declared the winner, and the script would write a new html page for it for the Entryway page, moving the winning image out of the "daily" folder and into the "monthly" folder for reference by that page. It would then automatically e-mail the winner, compile a list of all names and addresses of submittors, remove duplicates and write this to a log. Then it would find the file for the next month's seven pictures, and overwrite the previous directory, creating a default batch of empty text files to match them. Whew! Piece of cake, really. Should be done by X-Day.


Note there's a bunch o' crap I have no idea how to do here. But last week, I didn't know how to write the Art Mines scripts, and trust me, they work. Either I'm a supergenius, or hideously insane, or pathologically obsessed, or all of these. Pray my head don't explode. Time to get to it...


Morvus Thenu, leader
tackweld production studios

"Oh yea fuckface? You and what army?"

Original file name: Caption THIS

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