Old Wikipedia (urdu)

Pakistan has blocked access to Wikipedia. Old Wikipedia is now available in urdu, and has the same content.

We are working on more clearly communicating the Old Wikipedia is not Wikipedia in Urdu like we do in English–translation help would be welcome!


پاکستان نے ویکیپیڈیا کی رسائی روک دی ہے۔ پرانا ویکیپیڈیا اب بزبان اردو میں دستیاب ہے، اور اس میں پہلے جیسی مواد ہے۔

ہم انگریزی میں جیسے، ہم پرانے ویکیپیڈیا کو ویکیپیڈیا کے بطور بزبان اردو مذکور نہیں کہنے کی سعی کر رہے ہیں- ترجمہ کی مدد خوشبو دائی جائے گی!

SQL views

I decided I wanted to show (restricted) data views on the web in table form. Specifically, ‘stylish.db’ is a database provided by a chrome plugin. Here’s an example script, stylish.view, which displays the contents of that. It contains a comment saying which database it’s a query on, together with the query.

-- stylish.db
SELECT style, code, GROUP_CONCAT(section_meta.value) as 'website(s)' FROM
 (SELECT styles.name AS style,
 sections.code AS code,sections.id AS sections_id
 FROM styles INNER JOIN sections ON sections.style_id = styles.id)
LEFT JOIN section_meta
 ON section_meta.section_id = sections_id
GROUP BY style;

The cool part here is that none of this was specific to stylish. I can quickly throw together a .view file for any database and put it on the web. Continue reading

WIP: Dead Tree Publishing 3

Compared with last update,  the Dead Tree Publishing website is looking nicer.

Looking better

Looking better

It’s served over HTTPS now (not needed for security, but it puts people at ease and enabled Chrome’s autocomplete) and you can order multiple books at a time.

Other than some more visual improvements, the main thing missing is proper detection of page size — my server doesn’t understand about page margins, so it things books are bigger than they really are.

WIP: Dead Tree Publishing

I started work on my publishing website again (Dead Tree Publishing). The idea is to make a really, really convenient way to get a physical copy of a PDF/epub book. Think: “send me a printed copy of this mailing list / tumblr”. Right now things are looking encouraging.

I use a “back end” publisher who does all the actual printing, and the one I was using before charged quite a lot and wasn’t amazingly fast; I just used them because they were the only publisher who was at all up to date. Seriously, order of $100 – $200 for a 100 page book, just absolutely ridiculous levels of expensive. I’m switching over to a new publisher who can offer that same book for something like $7 (maybe $12 in hardback), which is absolutely reasonable, and with similar 2-week turnaround times.

First you upload a PDF:


Uploading a book

Then I tell you what your ordering options are (hardcover, softcover, color), and what they cost. I’m also supposed to ask you your address to ship the book, and for you to pay for it,  but those aren’t done yet.


Book-buying options

Hopefully in the next day or two I’ll have something up and running so people can order books, and then make it gradually nicer! I’m very excited about this website existing.