Just to forewarn you, this might come across as a more technical post than I normally throw at you.  Still, I did something exciting last night that I wanted to share and perhaps educate you about.

I built a custom XML-RPC server.

And with that statement I know I've already lost most of you.  Rather than get too much into the details, XML-RPC stands for XML Remote Procedure Call.  It's a way for one server to send information to another for processing - like posting inter-office mail to another department.

XML is just a way to code information.  You split up the message into chunks and label it.  For example, you can send a message via XML-RPC that asks to multiply two numbers together.  You'd code a 2 as <int>2</int> to mark it as an integer.  This way the server knows what kind of information it's reading and what to do with it.

My particular server is meant to handle and report errors created by my open source WordPress plug-ins.  I write more than one, and several hundred websites use them.  Unfortunately, when they break for whatever reason I rarely hear about it ... so I can't fix it.  Hopefully this new system will give me a way to monitor my own performance and step it up a bit.

I'm calling the system "Elliot" after the main character in E.T the Extra-Terrestrial.  I was inspired by the thought of my plug-ins "phoning home" to tell me whether or not they're working.

Will this make things better for me?  Time will tell, and I'll definitely keep you apprised of my progress!