January 7, 2007

Back in Business
Buenos Aires, Argentina

After loosing the ability to publish to Travelvice for 10 days, I'm back up and running again.

I've been working with Andy Collington over in England somewhere in between the long nights and short days spent with Babak. Andy has been helping me the occasional technical programming task that crops up while I'm traveling about. His expertise and brainpower has been invaluable.

The entry scheme that was developed to fool Blogger's link field looks something like http://location.com?at=(the city and country).

For example, I'll now have to enter "http://location.com?at=Buenos+Aires%2C+Argentina" to get the resultant "Buenos Aires, Argentina."

Annoying and slightly time consuming? Yes—but unfortunately the only way to circumvent the error checking that Blogger enabled with their system upgrade/update.

For those who are faced with a similar situation and looking for a solution, I'll explain. The PHP script that's currently being used on this site is fairly complex, but a simpler version could be reduced down to something like:

function convert_faux_link ($bloggerLink, $flag = 'http://location.com?at=')
{
echo urldecode(str_replace($flag, ", $bloggerLink));
}

The above strips out the fake URL and uses the urldecode function to convert any addition symbols to spaces and %2C to a comma. It's also backwards compatible with older posts entered without any of the fake http:// jargon, which will pass through the little PHP function without issue.

The downtime has given me the opportunity to add some visitor track to the site, courtesy of Google Analytics. I've had a less sophisticated version of this available through my Web site hosting company, but Google's is much more attractive and feature rich (not to mention free).

Many, many thanks go out to Andy for taking the time out of his schedule to work with me on this.

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