Patching ljcharm (python-based LiveJournal client)

I am a big fan of ljcharm, a console/command line LiveJournal client written in python. I’ve been using it for a while now, mainly because I’ve gone super-minimalistic with regards to ‘net applications. I use mutt for email, centericq for chatting, slrn for newsgroups, and ljcharm for posting to LiveJournal. With screen to tie them all together, of course.
Anyway, there were a couple of things that annoyed me about ljcharm. Actually, two very similar items:

  1. The moods list is displayed in four columns, which takes up too much screen space (more than one screenful)
  2. Worse, tags are only displayed in a single column
  3. Tags are not pulled from the server, so it’s hard to tell what tags have been used before, and its easy to accidentally create a new tag (say, “trips” instead of “trip”)

I decided to fix this. Since ljcharm is written in python and is open-source, one can make changes directly to the application. So that’s what I did! This was a little tricky, because I don’t actually know how to code in Python. But I took a crack at it anyway. The changes I made are:

  1. Changed the number of columns to 5. This was actually pathetically easy, thanks to excellent code documentation by the ljcharm team
  2. I modified the tag list display screen manually to use columns. I set it to print out 5 columns, which makes all of the tags fit on one screen (I have 103 tags currently)
  3. I had to cheat on this one. :) I edited .charmcache manually, adding in all of my tags from LiveJournal (and cleaning up my tags on LJ while I was there)

The end result: I am even happier now with ljcharm!

(If anyone wants to laugh at my code, just let me know and I’ll send you the modified And yeah, I submitted my changes to the ljcharm team.)

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  3. links for 2007-02-14

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Profile picI am a 40-ish uber-geek, Daoist and family man. Blessed to have one incredible wife and three wonderful kiddos. Dao has been kind to me.

May 2007
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