I’ve Started, So I’ll Finish

This is a multi-part blog post on many rambling topics…

LabPlot website

Last year, shortly after they had helped me with the interview, I contacted the LabPlot developers to see if they might be interested in a bit of help updating their website. It seemed like a nice, self contained and quick project that I could do and see a result, unlike some of the longer term things in kde-promo.

Screenshot of the LabPlot website

LabPlot website

So much for ‘quick’ 🙂 A lot of discussion, interruptions (mostly due to me being busy), choosing a CMS, finding that Sourceforge’s provided Wordpres install is very limited, finding out how to install WordPress to the sourceforge webspace and sorting out the permissions later, the new LabPlot site is finally live. There are still some things to tweak and improve, but for the moment, I’ll call it finished. Of course, the developers still need a lot of help with the application itself, so if you’re looking for a cool project and want to work with LabPlot and SciDAVis on the “future of free scientific plotting” then please get involved.


Well… scripting. Doing the LabPlot site encouraged me to get me hands dirty with a bit of PHP, which I hadn’t really played with in a long time. I’ve worked with JavaScript and PHP a fair bit over the years, but have been very keen not to get involved with any of that side of things in KDE, simply due to time issues (and because I thought there was no way I was good enough).

However, I’ve slipped on that a bit recently, having got my hands slightly dirty in Planet KDE and I’m currently playing with some PHP feed aggregation that will hopefully let us get more relevant KDE news on to our Facebook page and maybe provide some extra KDE feeds for general use on an experimental basis (a few blog posts ago, someone asked for an Atom feed for the Dot). I’ve been hacking about with Magpie and a companion script I found, trying to make it a bit more secure and improve caching. At the moment the caching is very effective as it never regenerates the feed, so I’ll need to fix that 🙂


I’m also doing my first ‘proper’ 10km run tomorrow. I’ve done that distance before, but not in a timed/semi-competitive kind of way – most of my running in events has been 5km ‘adventure race‘ type stuff that involves wading through ponds and climbing over horse jumps while wearing fancy dress. This is something different in that it’s on roads, flat(ish) and for charity.

Stylised image of someone running


I’m doing the run as part of a team of four in aid of Cancer Research UK. In case you’d like to sponsor us you can do so online (before 0900 UTC tomorrow morning you’ll also get the chance to win £25 in Amazon.co.uk vouchers by guessing our combined running time). People have already been massively generous, putting us way over our initial target.

In this case too, once I start I have every intention of finishing 🙂

That also brings me back to coding again – I couldn’t find a decent free script to operate a sweepstake like ours, so I wrote one. After the event – and when I have a little bit of time – I’ll fix the more obvious flaws in it, generalise it a little and make it available.

4 Responses to “I’ve Started, So I’ll Finish”

  • Peter says:

    Another scientific plotting program is Kst:
    Do you also have interest in helping us updating our Web0.0 website?
    We would be very interested 😉

    • Stu says:

      True, I hear it’s vary good too 🙂

      Nicolas Brisset contacted the kde-science mailing list about that actually and I promised to try it out and give an opinion, something I still haven’t managed to do yet (well I opened it, couldn’t get to grips with it in 5 minutes and didn’t find time for a proper look yet). Still on my todo list.

      As for the website, well it’s actually not bad – definitely beyond web 0.0 🙂

      If you’re happy to work on a similar time scale, so maybe it would be ready by December 2011, perhaps I can do some work for you too…

  • Great result ! I like it.