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All About Triggers (a FAQ)

Frequently asked questions.

What is a trigger?

Essentially, a trigger is a device you can use to have Apache Today alert youof news that you are looking for, rather than having to scan for it yourself.

The problem as I (Paul Ferris) see it, is that we have all these neat tools, but we put them together so that the format is similar to something already in existence, and fail to realize the full potential available. In the case of Apache Today, it was put together like you might put together a newspaper.

Apache Today: "Here it is the news - read what you want".

But we forget, it's driven by computing technology. There should be some way for you to tell it that you're interested in certain types of news. And at that point, YLT (Your Apache Today) was created. That's cool, and we've refined that as of YLT TNG (Your Apache Today, the Next Generation). You can now easily have the news you care about most, show up first.

But really, that's akin to having someone buy a newspaper for you, and rip out the sports section, for example, and then present you with the stock section first. It's better than a traditional newspaper, by far, but it's still not doing what it could be doing -- telling you of news as it breaks. You personally, that is.

Hence, triggers. You go to the Apache Today web server and say, in effect, "Look, this is what I'm looking for, please send me mail when it shows up".

In this context, a trigger is an event that you can use to keep abreast of news that you are interested in on Apache Today, and eventually, most of the news sites on the Linux Channel at

For example, say you have some kind of a vested interest in Gnome security. Say you don't want to miss any news item that has the words "GNOME" and Security in it. In the past, you might frantically scan the Apache Today headlines, in search of your favorite topic, or worry needlessly about whether your system was secure (hey, it could be worse, you could be using some kind of proprietary junk, you know).

With a trigger, you simply change your trigger preferences and effectively tell the Apache Today back-end software "Hey, when this happens, send me an email about the event, I wanna know!".

Since a lot of cell phones and pagers will receive email, you can even have your pager or cell phone alert you. Soon your refrigerator as well. Isn't modern technology wonderful?

Why does it look like the search page?

Well, essentially it's because it is in a way. The search page is being used to generate search commands, which are stored as part of your user preferences. They compose the actual trigger mechanism itself.

Why can't I have a regular expression in my search?

Two reasons:
Because the SQL back-end we're using doesn't take advantage of regular expressions.
Because we don't have infinite processing power available to us to execute the infinite loops that a poorly formed regular expression can create.

How many triggers am I allowed to have?

As many as you want.

How frequently will the triggers be checked?

The frequency is user selectable, up to a point, see the table below:

Interval [HRS] Trigger Que Start Times
1 HOUR Every hour, on the hour.
2 HOURS Every even hour, UTC.

The only way you will ever get your news more often is to continuously poll the main page at high frequency. Not that we don't condone that also! :)

Where do I go to setup a trigger?

Right here.

I think that this idea needs refinement. Who do I send suggestions to?

Send your refinement suggestions for Apache Today to .The system as it is envisioned is often just a stepping stone to something much better, and we're pretty open minded about things. If we can't implement it, or if it's not practical, we'll at least tell you why things are that way.

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