As an update to the previous item… I’ve made a change that will hopefully stop at least some of the “spam” appearing amongst annotations. For a while… Hopefully I haven’t broken anything else, but let me know if you notice anything has stopped working!
I had a few emails recently about annotations posted where the users’ names linked to porn sites. These are “comment spam” and are an increasing problem on weblogs. I generally delete them when I check through all the annotations every few days, but this time they were apparently more noticeable!
The Telegraph has an article about a million word journal kept by a puritan minister from 1677 to 1691. A relatively small part, 40,000 words, was, like Pepys’ diary, written in shorthand which has now been interpreted. It’s due to be published in 2005.
It’s been suggested before, but the need for it has become more apparent as the diary goes on. I’ve created glossary category in the Background Info section for words that are used reasonably often, that need explaining, and that don’t have a more suitable category. “Link boy” is the only entry so far, and if you think of anything else (in past or future diary entries), just let me know. It should help cut down on anyone having to explain the same things too often!
In the past we’ve debated whether there’s a need for a more informal discussion space, aside from the diary annotations. While we didn’t reach a conclusion, I think it’s worth a go. There have been a number of off-topic annotations recently and I think we would all benefit from somewhere we can dicsuss things, or ask questions, that don’t fit anywhere else.
I’ve noticed recently that annotations seem to be drifting “off-topic” quite frequently. This can be interesting and enlightening but please do be aware that annotations should enhance the particular diary entry, not just now but also in many years time. The annotations about pasties and MAs have tended to stray rather off the beaten track, as have some of the parallels between diary events and today’s politics.
One of the first links on the front page of this site is to the Story so far page. This is intended to be a brief introduction to Pepys and his world, for anyone who’s just joining us as we progress through the diary. The lower third of the page is supposed to be a summary of what’s happened since the diary began but, as you can tell, it’s rather out of date.
Half a year in… it seems like the diary’s been going a long time, but we’ve only just begun! Thanks to everyone who’s contributed annotations to the site — I’m sure I speak for many people when I say the diary has come alive thanks to the information and discussion posted over the past few months. Here are some statistics for you about the diary so far…
Tina emailed me to point out that Claire Tomalin’s recent biography of Pepys is available at Amazon UK as part of their “3 paperbacks for £12” promotion (plus postage and packing). The small print reveals that you don’t have to buy three books — you can just buy one for £3.99 (plus p+p). Crafty!
Keith kindly pointed out an article in the Times Literary Supplement by Ferdinand Mount, author of Jem (and Sam) (Amazon US, UK). It is mainly a review of London’s National Portrait GalleryPepys exhibition but also has interesting things to say about Pepys and some of his associates. I fear the link may only work until Thursday though, so be quick…
Yesterday I altered the way the fonts on the site are defined, and wondered if anyone would notice. Todd did, so I thought I’d mention it here in case anyone else wonders why something’s different. Most people shouldn’t notice much difference, a few should notice some improvement, especially on small text and with browsers set to display text smaller than usual. I’ve tested it on most browsers on Windows and Mac OS X, but let me know if you have any problems.
Unfortunately, some people don’t know when to shut up. I’ve decided to ban “Hhomeboy” from posting on this site. I’m reluctant to do so, especially as he obviously has a great deal of knowledge to contribute. He has refused to restrict his relentless pomposity and snarkiness masquerading as advice. I’ve lost count of the number of people who’ve asked me to ban him before now and so I hope this doesn’t seem overly vindictive or authoritarian. He’ll no doubt take this as more “evidence” of my inability to take criticism, something that I hope will be news to all those whose welcome comments have benefited the site.