Saturday, August 16, 2008

Number of books per category


I've been messing around with the layout and look of the blog. I liked the blue template's look, but it proved to be too hard to work with.

In order to add some of the Google visualizations (the tables holding the book lists), I needed to widen the content section of the blog. I spent about an hour messing around with the blue template, and discovered all of its widths are hard-coded, making it difficult to modify. Eventually, I gave up and found one that adapts to the size of the screen. In other words, a correctly coded one.

The spreadsheet is getting a little hard to work with now that it's over 100 rows. Plus, I don't think anyone else can sort it since they don't have access to modify it. So I've changed the Booklist link on the right to point to the blog point containing the table.

The front page is kinda slow to load right now, thanks to all the queries going out. This should get better once the last two posts leave the first page of the blog. If the tables don't load, try hitting reload (once, please. Don't DOS me!), and let me know.

The Book list

A slightly easier to use book list. This is a Google data visualization (specifically their Table), which displays the rows in the spreadsheet that holds the book list. Like all of the tables on this site, it is dynamically generated when the page loads, so it always has the most current information out of the book list.

The rows can be sorted by clicking on any of the column headers.

Duplicate Categories

I noted a few days ago that the list had passed 100 books. However, a number of categories contain more than one book, so I actually hadn't reached 100 categories.

As of today, I have 100 categories, using 141 books. I've also figured out how to make the Google data tables show up in a post*, so I'll celebrate by displaying a table of the duplicate categories:

*in case anyone else is fighting with this, you have to put the entire chunk of code on a single line with no line breaks. Otherwise, blogger will helpfully add br tags throughout the javascript code, which breaks it.**

**Turns out, you don't actually have to do that. Blogger has a setting where it will add line breaks for you automatically in the post editor. Turn that off, and you can add your javascript with normal formatting.***

***Of course, as soon as you do, Blogger completely ignores your line returns, and your posts run together. Like that above.****

****And I've already gotten sick of having to add br to every line in my posts. Not to mention it broke all the old posts. It would be nice if Blogger's parser would watch for script tags, and not insert br tags inside them.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

100 Books on the Booklist

I've finally made it to 100 books on the reading list, which was one of my goals. Having a critical mass of books on the reading list makes it easier to decide which book I want to read in a given category.

An astute reader who carefully studies my list will probably quickly notice a number of duplicates. For right now, I'm allowing a few duplicates in each category I haven't read. Once I reach that category, I'll pick one of the choices, and discard the others. So my list of 100 titles is really a bit shorter, once you eliminate the 10 or so duplicates.

The problem from here on out will be finding entries in the more obscure categories. Already, I can name my favorite categories based on population:
  • 973. Technically "US History", but pretty much anything related to the US goes here. Barack Obama's book is here, as is a book on Revolutionary War privateers. A surprising number of political books are categorized here.
  • 320 and 324. All of the political screeds that aren't found in 973 are found in one of these two categories.
  • 612. I've very interested in how the human body works. Unfortunately, every book on the topic, from memory to balance to emotion to memory falls here.
As always, suggestions are welcomed and appreciated.