Headshot of Erik Mueller-Harder near Christ Church College, Oxford
Erik Mueller-Harder

Another year

28 March 2022 | TolkienistsErik Mueller-Harder


Yesterday marked another completed trip around the sun for me, and as the kind messages flowed in via Facebook and text-message threads, I again realized how fortunate I am to be here among such excellent and admirable hobbits (see LotR LRC §1.01.059). Thanks to you all for thinking of me.

To continue quoting old Mr. Bilbo, I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like (LRC §1.01.060), but I hope I’ll have the chance to get to know you better.

Catching up

I returned early this month from another stint developing the Tolkien Archives manuscripts CMS at Raynor Memorial Libraries J.R.R. Tolkien Collection. It’s taking even longer than usual for me to catch up on correspondence and other to-do items since my return: if you’re waiting to hear from me, thank you for your patience!

Tolkienists site development

One thing that has kept me from that catching-up has been a small bug that entered the software I use to develop Tolkienists, ProcessWire early in February. It was an obscure bug — I seemed to be the only person in the community of developers who was affected by it. After perhaps 30 hours of my solo attempts at trying to track it down, I was joined by more experienced PW developers on our community forum (readers who are curious can follow the thread here). We worked out the arcane conditions in which the bug would reliably make itself known, and I submitted a comprehensive bug report yesterday afternoon. I’m very grateful for the community’s aid and encouragement in this process!

Another of the lovely things about using an open-source software package from a small developer is that well-researched bug reports are usually taken seriously and addressed quickly. I have to say, though, that I’ve never seen such speedy work! When I arrived at work this morning, I’d already received word that the head developer of ProcessWire had fixed the problem! I’ve tested his fix, and if you are reading this now on the Tolkienists home page, then you’ve already seen it in action.

If any of you happens to be looking for a web site content management system & framework, I cannot recommend ProcessWire strongly enough.

So, I’m still working on the big project at Marquette (also using ProcessWire, btw). As and when I have free time, it’s my plan to rewrite the Tolkien Art Index and LR Citations using ProcessWire as well, allowing me to integrate them better with the rest of the site and to improve their capacity for interactive searching and instantaneous presentation of results. Hopefully this won’t take too long.

As a dear friend is fond of saying, Onward, through the fog!

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date recorded 📅2022-03-28
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