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Jumblr: Linkawhat?

jumblr screenshotConnections are most interesting when they are broken, when they’re forbidden, when they are unintended. Secret liaisons make good stories, short-circuits end in fires, ruptured pipelines induce panic. This is the great appeal of the mashup—possibly even the power of cinema (wasn’t it Eisenstein who wrote about cutting and the mental jumps the mind makes?)—the juxtaposition of disparate elements that our minds nonetheless connect. That is pretty much how my favorite parts of my brain work, making strange and unexpected connections with unpredictable outcomes. It’s also the way humor works, uncovering the unexpected connection to spark a laugh.

Part php and part spit, Jumblr is a website that makes unexpected connections by jumbling links, either within a site or between two sites. It works by scraping a site, parsing its links and storing them in an array using XPath, shuffling the array, and then returning them via preg_replace(). Right now it breaks when sites use relative links because they end up pointing to my domain. I’ve been to lazy to revisit constructing conditional regular expressions, but once I do, I’ll be able to fix that problem. I’m also going to develop a Javascript link interceptor so that the randomization persists with each link click.

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