Thoughts of a geek

8 July 2009

Updates to theQuotebook

Filed under: Computers, thequotebook — Tags: , , , — qwandor @ 9:46 pm

I have made a few updates to theQuotebook over the past few weeks (well, okay, months). For those who have not already noticed:

  • You can now get an email when you are quoted, or when someone comments on one of your quotes (either a quote that you added or one that you said). This will be enabled by default the first time you log in. Users who have been created to be quoted but have not themselves logged in to the site will not get any emails. I originally implemented it so that they would get emails and so could see when they are quoted and log in if they wanted, but this was changed on request from a user. Let me know which way you think is best.
  • It is now a bit easier to sign up if you do not already have an OpenID, as the site now has an option on the login page to get one from myOpenID. The link there will sign you straight in once you have it, thanks to myOpenID’s affiliate programme.
  • It is possible to use some basic formatting in quotes and comments. You can make text *bold* and _italic_ like so, and also use BBCode if you are familiar with that. The formatting options for quotes are fairly limited, but comments allow most BBCode.
  • There is are now Atom feeds for comments as well as for quotes, so you can subscribe to both in your favourite feedreader (I recommend Google Reader) and keep up with them without checking the site all the time. To subscribe to the quotes and comments on your quotebooks, go to the home page, make sure you are logged in, and then click the RSS feed icon in your web browser (in Firefox it is a little orange icon in the address bar, right-aligned after the URL).

There have also been many minor improvements, such as the ability to add a new quote straight from the page for each quotebook, rather than having to click a link first.

Looking forward, we will hopefully have a new style for the site in the not-too-distant future (thanks to Daniel Sherson). If you are particularly curious, more plans and ideas may be found. Or, of course, you could talk to me.

Comments, suggestions, ideas and other feedback are of course welcome. I make no promises about doing what you say, but I will certainly be happy to listen to anything.


7 February 2009

Quote website

Filed under: Computers, Humourous — Tags: , , , — qwandor @ 12:33 pm

I have over the last couple of months been working on a new website for people to post funny quotes from their groups of friends.

The idea is this: People often like to keep a quotebook for their flat, office, lab, club or other group of friends with funny things people have said, especially quoted out of context. Another approach is writing them up on a whiteboard. The problem with this is that such quotebooks get lost after a while (and whiteboards get erased), losing a part of the group’s history. Also a physical quotebook is only in one place at once, so you cannot show people these funny quotes unless you have it with you.

My website fills this purpose. There are already some websites for funny quotes from IRC &c. (e.g. QDB), but they all seem to lack a social dimension: you can look at funny things people have said, but they are not people you know. A lot of the humour of the sort of quotebook mentioned above comes from knowing the people who said the quotes.

Anyway, I have started making this website (using Ruby on Rails if you are interested in the technical side). You can see what it looks like so far at, as I have not decided on a proper domain name yet. You can login, create ‘contexts’ for the groups that you are part of (maybe I should just call these groups), and then add quotes to them. You can look up quotes by context or by person. There is an Atom feed for each person, each context, and for all quotes on the site, so you can subscribe to quotes in your favourite feed reader (personally I like Google Reader) or integrate them into other websites.

I am considering some sort of integration with other sites like Twitter and Facebook, though I am not yet sure what form this will take. Suggestions are welcome. I am also planning to let people comment on each quote, so the person quoted can explain what they really meant, or people can laugh at them or whatever.

So, I would like a few things from you, dear readers (assuming I have any readers):

  • Ideas for a domain name. All the ones I have thought of so far (,, are already taken, unfortunately. Can you think of something good that is not already taken? I would like to decide on a domain name fairly soon so that not too many people have to change from the current temporary name to the new one.
  • Comments about the site as it currently exists, what you like, what you do not (and why), what could be improved (and how and why). Try it out and see how it works for you.
  • Bug reports: does it break, or behave unexpectedly? If so, please let me know, with as much detail as possible so that I can fix it.
  • Feature requests: what else should I add? How could it be improved?
  • Use it! Create an account, create a context for your flat or office or friends or whatever, add quotes, tell your friends about it.

Please note that at this stage I have not done much at all about the graphic design of the site; a friend of mine is hopefully going to have a look at that soon (though if you would also like to help, please do get in touch).

Please post a comment on this blog post (the original on my blog please, not the copy on Facebook if you are reading it there) with your ideas and suggestions, or email me if you prefer.

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