Goodbye, Allconsuming

I’ve given up with, it’s just too slow (when it’s responding at all) and too much work to maintain my books there.

Over the next few days I’ll be exporting my data via the HTTP API, and probably converting it to RDF using the RVW format so that I can later do with it what I like.

What this means is that I’m in the market for a replacement. It doesn’t have to do all the social engineering part, but it does have to be easy, pretty, and let me export my own data if it’s a hosted service.

I’ve known this was on the cards for a few months, but I’ve not really given it anything other than idle thought before now. I had considered using, but I don’t just want a list of titles and 255-character descriptions, I also want the book cover and the ability to thousand-word descriptions should I so desire, as well as multiple dates for things like “bought on”, “started on”, “finished on” etc. and they shouldn’t just be tags.

I had vaguely considered using Alf‘s suite of tools like rvw! and blaxm!, but I don’t think they’re what I’m after. rvw is all well and good if I want to post a review to my own site, but I don’t. blaxm! is a kind of interesting experiment, but that’s all it really looks like. I’m sure the code underneath it is enough to give me 70% of what I’m after, but the services as-is aren’t enough, and my Perl’s probably not good enough to run with the code even if Alf was kind enough to let me see it.

I must admit, it’s pretty tempting to just forge on ahead and knock it all up myself (how hard can it be, right?), but basically I can’t believe that someone out there hasn’t already done this (and I’m kind of dreading using the Amazon API too).

So what say you, my readership? I know you’re out there, I see your aggregator polling me right now! Does anyone know of any service that’s like Flickr, but for books?

Downloading via SSL in IE

Edd Dumbill’s been having problems getting IE to download dynamically generated files and today posted the solution he discovered:

The sort of situation that causes IE not to cache is either an SSL session, or where caching is turned off for other reasons, such as using PHP’s session facilities. This latter reason was the problem I was having.

The answer is remarkably simple, which is to add a Cache-control: public header to the download. This causes IE to keep the downloaded file around.

I ran into this about a year ago, and as far as I can remember, this solution doesn’t work when the download is both over SSL and your app is hosted by Tomcat behind IIS. I ended up having to both write my own server-side download handler and set the Cache-control header.

At the time it was all a bit of a last-minute discovery which didn’t get much investigation (both Firefox and Opera worked fine without any additional work which is why I hadn’t seen it earlier), and I just went with the first working solution, so if anyone knows better, please let me know 🙂