User talk:Seanmcox

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Welcome Sean. Thanks for the interesting questions and posts. I hope you become a regular contributor. --Matthew Faulconer 07:19, 6 Oct 2006 (UTC)

Hey Sean. Congratulations on the new job. I hope you have a chance to come back here soon. Also, if you are ever in the mood to do something on the more technical side to help out, please let me know. We could use plenty of help there as well. --Matthew Faulconer 09:21, 21 August 2007 (CEST)

Thank you. I still pop my head in every once in a while, at the very least to check my watchlist, but also whenever I'm doing lesson preparation. I was the Gospel Doctrine Teacher in my last ward briefly, but as I recently moved, I'm no longer that, nor anything else yet. We shall see. Still, I'll be checking my watchlist at the very least. The blog certainly seems to have pulled a lot of activity from the exegesis, which is not entirely bad. It seemed that people needed a sounding board for their ideas which the exegesis wasn't quite right for, and which the talk pages didn't seem to sufficiently provide for.
I've recently been quite active over at as my new manager wasn't ready for me when I arrived and I needed something to do all day. I'm kind of on temporary assignment right now until I get cleared for my real job, so I'm going to be affected by a bit of a third wheel syndrome, I think, until I get to where I'm supposed to be.
In any case, I'm always interested in getting involved in some technical projects, but I've been realizing that my interest has been driving me to try to run faster than I have strength. Perhaps you tempt me above what I am able to bear, because I really want to ask you what kinds of technical things need to be worked on. I consider the feastupontheword wiki to be one of the worthier projects I can invest my time in.
Well, I've rambled, and my time runs short. I'll jump back in when I get a chance as I really wanted to throw some thoughts your way regarding your recent question in Acts. In the meantime if you'd like to tell me what kind of technical help you'd be interested in, I'll certainly be willing to consider it and let you know what I can do, or might suggest, or ... . --Seanmcox 22:49, 22 August 2007 (CEST)

I'd like to respond to more but am short on time right now. Here are a few possibility around technical projects . I'll put it here in case there are others who may be interested who happen to stumble across this.

Also I'm listing the technology I think is relevant but there may be other ways of accomplishing whatever the task is so let me know if there is a particular technology you are interested in playing around with and we can think about whether it might be a good fit.

Feast Technology Projects[edit]

Regular expressions on data in myssql tables[edit]

  • The db we use is mysql and we have phpmyadmin connected to it. In the past I have used sql statements with instr(), substring(), and left() type functions to manipulate the text within those pages. As we continue to make enhancements to the site this type of text manipulation of text kept in mysql tables continues to be needed. instr(), etc work but is ugly and difficult to use. Regular expressions are the right tool for this type of job. We need to investigate ways to use regular expressions in these cases. There are several projects that we should work on that would be better off if someone figured out the right way to do this.
I might be able to help with this. I must say that I don't much like regular expressions, but they're the standard we work with. (and, I suppose, that if there was obviously a better solution, then there would already be a common alternative, so I guess they're probably something worth having) What kinds of text edits do you find yourself needing to do via SQL?--Seanmcox 18:16, 25 August 2007 (CEST)
The regular expressions I find a bit of a pain because I don't know it. But the type of thing we are talking about is relatively simple I think. Consider for example, if we change the exegesis name to in-depth analysis as suggested on Site talk:Feedback#section_headings and we can see on Alma 13:1-5. But (and I haven't attacked this in a while) I wasn't clear on how to actually use the regular expressions to move text around within mysql. If you'd like to work on this one, that would be great. Let me know and we can discuss the details offline. --Matthew Faulconer 08:25, 1 September 2007 (CEST)

Linux command line stuff[edit]

  • I totally don't know what I am doing here. Could use help in several ways. A simple example would be to write a cron job to backup some stuff regularly for us. Backups are already going on but I would be more comfortable with more.
Hmm, I'm not a linux expert myself. I get along OK, but all of my machines are Windows machines. (Though I do have a linux machine on my desk at school, and I use linux for my hosting. I generally find I like linux hosting's features. I've never created a cron job myself though and my linux prowess, I'm very sure, is easily matched.)

Mediawiki on PHP[edit]

There are several thinks we could do to make the format of the site a bit better which require customizing the mediawiki software or writing a plugin for it. We currently do this today but more is needed. A few examples include:

  • adding a drop down allowing people to get to a certain verse by selecting the book from the scripture and then the chapter etc versus using search only.
  • implementing some sort of more functionality (as blogs use to limit what shows on the home page) within mediawiki's already built-in transclusion functionality. If this were there it would give us a good reason to split up the sections of the commentary page into separate pages and then include just the first part on the overview page--again more similar to a blog format. (I realize this isn't at all clear but if the project sounds interesting I'm happy to spend more time explaining what I mean here.)
    • I think I see what you mean here. This might be interesting for me once I've finished up my PhD. It's certainly a good thought for now. I know that on wikipedia I often see brief intros, to a topic that has its own page, included in a page for a more general topic. The effect is quite nice, but as it doesn't appear to be an instance of specialized transclusion, it's probably a bit of a bear to maintain. In any case, good idea, though not for me right now. --Seanmcox 22:03, 26 August 2007 (CEST)

Other PHP[edit]

  • Better integration between blog and wiki (e.g. single sign on)
This is a good idea. Are both written in PHP? (Might be the kind of thing I'd be handy at, though I haven't yet even integrated the login for my own blog with my standard login system... 'tis on my todo list.)
Yes both are on PHP. Currently we are using the virtually free, but limiting,; however, I'd be happy to move to another server (even if it is a little more expensive) and use hosted wordpress software which would allow for greater customization. --Matthew Faulconer 08:29, 1 September 2007 (CEST)

Not sure?[edit]

  • Adding some public domain stuff that is relevant directly onto the site and linking to it.
  • Converting the Greek and Hebrew fonts within some word docs or pdfs into unicode so that the information could be uploaded in a way that can be programmatically linked to from the relevant commentary pages.


  • Adding new pages programmatically (several needs here)
  • Automating analysis of edits (maybe not super high priority but probably fun)


  • I started working on a crawler. It is of limited usefulness now (as pointed out: ) but if properly thought out and executed on I think adds a nice tool to the online scripture research set of tools

Also, fyi if you'd like to be able to receive e-mail from others on the wiki a good way to do it without having to post your e-mail online is to set your preferences up so that you can. Then, following this link [1] another registered user could send you an e-mail without knowing your e-mail address.) IN the same way you can get e-mail notifications when someone changes a page on you watchlist. (Thought I don't want to discourage you from coming and checking on things).

Finally it isn't a technical project, but would love someone to write up a quarterly newsletter about what is going on on feast. I keep thinking I will do it but haven't. --Matthew Faulconer 10:07, 23 August 2007 (CEST)